I Erased My Entire Childhood.

Funny how amazing the human mind is. It can save you.

My father was fiend. He drank and drank and drank himself stupid. He'd whip my sister and I, buy us candy, take us to movies and tell us that my mother was a traitor. He'd beat her, terrorize her, blame her for his alcohol abuse (which he began at 15) and for the fact that he was one of those people who wasn't meant to be a parent. It's the longest story I'll ever tell: my childhood. But the thing is, I can't remember most of it. It never occured to me exactly how my head was functioning as I grew. It was steadily forgetting. One part of me was so mad at him. But the other part, the part of me that thought of him as my best friend, wouldn't sit still. I was so close to him. He'd call me horrible things, but I never took it to heart. Now, I wonder WHY. The divorce was the greatest gulp of air I'll ever have in my life. The last time I spoke to him was the last because he'd decided he didn't want to stay sober so he could see us. There's nothing quite like the punch you get when you realize that you were abandoned by the man you called "Papa". Were his children really not enough of him to at least try? My siblings have forgiven him (whatever forgiveness is to them), but I just can't wrap my head around it. Because I can't remember the feelings that arose in me when he was in my life. I can't sort it out. That part of me is so confused. I'm mad that he didn't try. I'm angry because he wouldn't (and still won't) take responsibilty. I'm baffled, especially when I hear that his parents ask around and wonder why I never call him. I was baffled when I saw him sitting in the pews at church, legs extended, blowing bubbles with his gum. I'm sad for him because he doesn't know what he's missing. I'm scared when, if I look at my husband just so, he looks exactly like I remember my father, down to the way his hair falls. They even have the same name.

I tell myself I've forgiven him, but it always comes back. The feelings of...everything. I want to ask him why. I want to hurl insults and tears and knives at him. Then it occurs to me: does he even care? Would he care if I called him, talked to him, told him that it's okay that he did what he did? Maybe he just doesn't need my forgiveness. The thing that saddens me most, though, is the fact, that after all these years, he told my sister that he still blames my mother for his drinking, never once tried to talk to me (not my mom or sister or brother), and didn't bother asking if he was invited to his daughter's wedding. I got to walk down the aisle with the knowledge that the man who was supposed to be next to me didn't bother. Bravo, daddy.
sashandra sashandra
2 Responses Nov 17, 2010

Karma is a *****...he will pay. You just focus on forgiveness.

Sometimes is hard to accept that people do things for reasons that have nothing to do with you. My father left right after I was born and I never knew him. I saw him a few times when I was a child but I didn't know he was my father, just thought he was a friend of the family. Once, I went back home to visit my grandmother and my husband came along. My father called, asked my grandmother to see if my husband wanted to go fishing with him and his buddies the next day, never even said hi to me. The next day he came to pick up my husband and didn't even come to the door, just pulled in the drive way and honked the horn. 20 years later, my father is now dead, and I realize that he left because he suspected he wasn't my father. My mother cheated on him so I was the reminder to him of that infidelity. I can forgive him now for never being there which I wouldn't have been able to do 20 years ago. He didn't come to my wedding, never called or tried to talk with me, and I didn't go to his funeral. <br />
The thing that worries me most about your story though, is when you said <br />
"I'm scared when, if I look at my husband just so, he looks exactly like I remember my father, down to the way his hair falls. They even have the same name."<br />
That scares me too. You're right thinking that he probably doesn't want nor need your forgiveness. As I said earlier, people make choices and do things that have nothing to do with their children. It sounds like you would like to get from him more than he is willing to give.