When I was younger I didn’t really know what was going on, except the fact that my life would never be the same. I looked to you for guidance and understanding but you never seemed to be able to give me a straight answer. I would go to my mom’s house and she would look me over and make sure I was okay but I never knew why. You were my dad. My best friend. The one man I knew would never hurt me. You used to sit on the edge of the bed and cry over things that you’d done, but I was young. So I just sat with you, patted your leg and told you that it was okay. But it wasn’t,..was it? I had no idea. You bought me extravagant things and took me to incredible places, but it was never for me. It was to compete for my affection. It was to hurt my mother. When you did love me, you loved me fiercely and I was only allowed to love you. I was smothered and drowning, I never even knew what was happening. I didn’t have friends, I missed birthday parties, I missed my family. But it was always about you. As long as someone was suffocating in your grasp you thought you’d be okay. But I was young. I loved my dad. I wanted you to love me back.
When you’d get angry, everyone was afraid. It’s like they saw the beast beneath the man, except for me. I saw someone wounded who needed my help. So when you would scream at me and throw objects about the room, I would simply sit there frozen, and take it. Your eyes would turn blood shot, otherworldly and you would ask me what was wrong with me, why couldn’t I do anything right? I didn’t know the answer. So I would sit, stare and wonder…what was wrong with me? When you’d had enough you’d leave the room and then I would cry, I was always afraid to show you weakness. You would wait about an hour and come back in the room smiling and nonchalantly throw your apology at me. You’d say it’s okay and that you loved me. Between hurling insults and spitting love, I was lost.
But the one thing that was always worse than the yelling, was no sound at all. Sometimes you’d get angry and go days without speaking. You would sit and stare off at anything except for me. I would have done whatever it took when I was young, to make you happy..to make you want to speak to me again. But I guess that wasn’t enough was it? Sometimes I wouldn’t hear from you for weeks, but when you would come back it would be as if nothing had ever happened at all for you. For me? I was losing my mind a little at a time.
When I was old enough to understand, words were thrown about to describe you: irritable, unstable, chemically imbalanced… Everything was starting to make sense. All I ever wanted was to have my dad, to have someone to run to when my heart got broken, someone to yell at anyone who messed with me. But instead my heart was broken first and foremost, by you. You were the one who I needed to be protected from. And I never even saw it coming. I wanted to help you, I wanted to make you better, I wanted you to WANT to get better. But in the end you turned your back on me. You refused to speak to me and when I reached out to you I was the one who was to blame. You were in the wrong, but I want you to know that I will always love you, even it’s from afar. You’ve done bad things, you weren’t who I thought you were going to be, but you will always be my dad.
“Someday you’ll cry for me like I cried for you. Someday you’ll miss me like I missed you. Someday you’ll need me like I needed you. Someday you’ll love me but you’ll have pushed me away.”