I'd like to be able to one day say that I had a great childhood and a great father who I loved and admired. The truth is I don't ever think that will happen.
As far back as I can remember, my brother and I were always alone or with a babysitter who wasn't nice and drank all the time. Even with the babysitter we were alone. I do have a few good memories from childhood but they are times when I was with my Grandma. She died when I was 10 and I struggled with happiness ever since. She was the escape from our reality and she let us be kids. I wish she could be here now and been able to meet my husband and her unborn great grandchildren. That is besides the point though.
My father was a drunk and a drug addict. He added to the problems and the struggles of not having enough money. He ran around our gang filled neighborhood with his buddies at all hours of the night. He would work all day and go straight to his buddies to get drunk and whatever else. He had to drive by our home to get there and he wouldn't even stop to say hi or see how our day went first. He acted like a teenager more so than I ever did and he was nearing 50. Whenever he would come home, I'd hide in my room until I figured out if he was in a good mood or not. My father had a temper on him and I didn't want to get the 2x4 if I said the wrong thing. If he was in a good mood I'd come out of my room and he'd lay on the floor demanding I get him food and drinks and his smokes. He was very 1950 and expected the wife and child to serve him. Pissed me off. My senior year he moved to Wyoming for a job and he missed my graduation and open house. I wasn't surprised since he'd already seen my older brother's, mine wasn't that important. I wrote him a letter before he left that told him I was sad we didn't have a better relationship. He never read it, said he never planned on it and he threw it away. I guess what makes me so bitter is that he never treated my brother the way he did me. I grew up in fear of him and hating him because his friends, drinking and drugs always came before me. Since he's been in Wyoming he's been sober and has a better relationship with my mom, which is good. He's tried mending things with me and calls me all the time. He gets upset when I don't answer the phone and he thinks I'm ignoring him. I'm not really sure how to forgive him or how to move on. I can't just pretend that the way he treated me for 19 years didn't happen. I knew one day he would wake up and realize what he'd done and that he'd missed out on a wonderful person he calls his daughter. I just never planned on not being able to forgive him or knowing what to say to someone who is otherwise a stranger.
When I was about 13 I told myself that I'd never let that man walk me down the isle. I would have my brother or my Grandpa do it. This past summer I caved into my mother's request and let him walk me down the isle. I guess that's a start? After all he stayed sober the entire wedding.