When Fathers Lose Daughters

Every memory I have of my father is steeped in the smell of beer and cigarettes. He was an alcoholic from the moment I could remember him. When my mother met him, he didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't do drugs, he was just what she was looking for and they connected on what seemed to be a deep level. However, as the years passed and I was born, he began to show his true colors.

He nose dived into cocaine and alcohol use. He would come home stinking and stumbling with eyes glazed and hair matted. He would sweat all the time and even if he didn't, there was a sheen to his skin.

I remember being confused and scared. I didn't like to go into the bedroom that he slept in, even if he wasn't in it. I didn't understand why he acted the way he did, until I got older.

He spent time in and out of jail, forged my mother's name on credit card applications and completely ruined both of their names credit-wise. He picked money out of my piggy bank. My mother hid dollar bills in boxes of tampons, coat pockets, salt shakers...

Finally the divorce was finalized and we felt free. The heartache and issues didn't go away of course. He had partial custody and I saw him on the weekends. Many years went by and he didn't change.

I was the product of his second marriage. He remains faithful to his third wife and step children. The first marriage resulted in a half brother and half sister. I have never spoken with my half sister and she refuses to speak to our father.

I connected with my half brother on Facebook and after started talking, it was revealed that he had the same problems in his first marriage. He was a drunk and would beat my half brother. That explained the severity of his fall back into drug use. It cleared up so much mystery that my mother and I felt. I was 22 years old when I found that out. He had lied to my mother the entire marriage, saying he had NEVER been a drinker, a smoker, a drug user... It was all a lie, a sham, and speaks to his character.

To this day, I am not a fan of cigarettes and beer. I shun cocaine and hard drugs. No matter how I think about it, no matter how many people try to make drinking "right" with me, it feels like a pit in my stomach. I am fearful of becoming like him. I have tried wine and will have a glass on occasion, but every time I think about it, I worry that one day perhaps I will like it too much, that I will end up like him. I know I'm not doomed per say, but it's always there, that thought that I may end up like him. That thought prevents me from getting drunk or going to bars or partying. I'm thankful that I can rise above peer pressures in a college setting, but it also sets me apart.
CamLonic CamLonic
22-25, F
Dec 7, 2012