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Those of you who know me well will know that I am the survivor of a very messy divorce. Not my own, but that of my parents.

Due to some proclivities of my father, we disliked visiting him. I stopped going wholesale when I was sixteen. According to my sibs, it got worse, but that's later.

This story happens when I'm about thirteen. Brother is eleven, sister is ten.

Dad shows up. We don't want to go. Mom says we have to.

We barricade ourselves in the front bathroom.

Dad: where are they?
Mom: they don't want to go!
Dad: get them out!
Mom: I'M TRYING!

Dad doesn't believe her, but he can't come in due to the restraining order. So he threatens to call the cops. Mom says "DO IT, BRO."

A cop arrives. He hears the story, comes to the bathroom, and spends the next half hour trying to talk us out.

"Your dad wants to see you."
"He doesn't hurt you, does he?"

Finally the officer -- who I never actually saw-- gives up. He tells my dad that, no, he is NOT going to break the door down. By now, more than one of us inside the bathroom is crying because we thought we were going to jail. Dad leaves. The cop leaves. We pile out of the bathroom.

When serving as a witness in court later and asked why he didn't break down the door, the cop said that he had kids at home about our ages, and he "just couldn't and wouldn't" break the door and forcibly drag us outside. His superiors had apparently agreed with his decision.

I never learned his name, but I wish I could tell him I appreciated that.

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