I chose to write about my dad because he’s had the most impact on my life. Regardless of the fact that my emotions for him are negative, I’ve become stronger in my emotional battle against him. To some, it may seem that I’m doing this to get attention, and to some, it may seem that I just like to complain. But it’s not about that at all. It’s about awareness of other’s feelings. We never know what people go through on a daily basis, even if we are friends with them. None of my friends know every single detail of my relationship with my dad.
This is all about accepting people for who they are. I realize I sound hypocritical, because I cannot accept my own father for who he is. But emotions are everything. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in Eat Pray Love, “Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”
Prejudging and misjudging are one thing, but really knowing a person and not being able to deal with them is another.
My dad has always had an alcohol problem. I guess that’s why my earliest childhood memory was centered around him, and his problems. It wasn’t so bad when I was younger, I suppose, because my dad was a mechanic. But then he became a DJ and started working in a bar six nights a week. That made things really bad. Every night he’d come home drunk. My mom begged for years for him to find another job, go back to mechanicing. DJing paid good money, but it caused our family too much problems. And he never listened. And he never stopped drinking excessively.To add to her pain, he’d never leave the women alone at the bar, and vice versa.
And that’s how it ended. She couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t deal with having two girls at home who wanted their dad back, and he never listened. He never even tried to make things right. I’m not gonna say I’m sorry for my hatred and hurt towards him. Every night, I suffered. Every night, my mom suffered. And every single night, my sister suffered. It wasn’t fair to us.
He’s still drinking himself to death. More excessive amounts these days. You’d think having his family taken from him would show him the reality of it all.
Not a Typical Father
Frenchy from Grease once said, “The only man a girl can depend on is her daddy.” What is a father? A father is more than just the typical definition.. A father is supposed to be there, no matter what. A father is that man in someone’s life that is the biological male parent, but it’s more than that. A father is a man who brings up a child and gives them affection and shows them a clear path to their future.
In retrospect, I do not have a father. My biological father never “brought me up”. He was never there at night time. He was never there for my softball games. He was never there when I cried. I missed the love of a father as a child because my “father” was consumed with other priorities rather than his own daughter. My dad was always busy at the bar or out with friends. I missed being “brought up” by a male figure.
Likewise, I never had that man to give me affection. I did not get affection. I received punishment. I was never good enough. My A- was not an A. My 94% was not a 100%. My father had fits when I would make less than an A. I was grounded until my grade was brought up. I was sent to my room. A father should be considered a man of affection. Fathers are supposed to be men who praise their children for all they have accomplished. I thought I was doing great in school, but “daddy” never thought so.
Similarly, the man I called my father is not the person who has taught me the clear path to my future. I am not even sure a path exists. How am I supposed to be taught by someone who lies all the time, is drunk constantly, cannot give his daughter what she needs, but still seems to give his new wife what she wants? My father has not supported me like he is supposed to. He is no example of a good man. Fathers are supposed to be honorable men, men with confidence, men with respect of peers, men who love their children. If I had a father like that, I just might have a clear path to my future.
Nonetheless, I still have my biological “father”. He is not someone with that special title though, because he has none of the positive traits. I can definitely say what a father is not, and from that, I have come to the conclusion of what a father is. When I marry and have kids, I want my husband to come home at night from work and my kids to overwhelm him in hugs and kisses. I want them to love him for being a good man. He would have the “father” title, after all.
Today is my dad’s birthday. I texted him, but he never replied. Because this is how he is. My sister is more important to him then I’ll ever be. My stepmom and stepbrother are even more important to him than my sister is.
Ya see, when my parents divorced, their expenses for me were split 50/50. Everything, from college to transportation. If I need school supplies, he should pay half and my mom should pay half, etc. I haven’t received any money from my dad since Christmas break. When I ask for money for groceries for my dorm, he’ll tell me that he doesn’t have any. He owns a Chevy Silverado, a Ford Taurus, a Ford Escape, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and his house was just recently remodeled (costing about $200,000). And he doesn’t have any money… For me, anyways.
He’s never bothered to take off work as a DJ to come see me here in Decatur. But in November, he flew all the way to Virginia to see my sister. He writes on her Facebook all the time that he’s proud of her. My sister is married, a stay at home mom, with two little boys. The last time he told me he was proud of me was when I graduated.
I try not to complain, I really do. I know that I should be lucky to have what I have. But this tears me up inside. Every single bit of it. Once upon a time, I was a little girl who did everything with her daddy. And now, I’m trying to make a life for myself away at college, and I don’t get so much as an “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” anymore.