This is the first story I have written on this site. I feel like this is the biggest defining factor in who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming.
I can't remember a single instance in my life where my father didn't have a can of bud light in his hand. I can't remember him without the smell of beer. I can't remember anything but the shiny tin cans and the yelling, the yellow eyes, and the violence.
My father hasn't passed away, if that's the impression the first paragraph gave. He lives a few counties away, still drinking, and begging my mother to take him back. They split when I was seventeen. I am now 18.
He still drinks. The few times I've seen him... his face looks bloated. His eyes are a nasty, urine-like yellow. I know these are symptoms of liver damage/failure.
I tried all of my life to get him to stop. At five, in a home video, I told him I didn't like it. At ten, I wrote a 20 page letter, telling him not to do it anymore. At twelve, I begged him to take it out on me, because his alcoholism might harm my younger siblings the way it harmed me. At fourteen, I poured out his beers. At sixteen... I ceased caring. He won't change. Not for me, not for my mother, not for our little family. Nothing.
He lost us. He begs us to come back. He says he'll change.
... but as long as he's got that can... I can't call him my Daddy.