My dad was the coolest. When I was little, he was who I wanted to be. There was no one out there like him, not at all. I can still vividly remember the first memory of my dad and I. I had to be no younger then three, crawling up the stairs in my silky pink pajamas. I remember looking behind me, seeing my dad trying to catch me. He finally caught up with me and grabbed me, swinging me in his arms smiling. That smile always made me laugh. I felt so warm, so at home when I saw it. But after a couple months, that smile began to disappear. I remember a lot of fighting after that, and a great deal of tears that came along with it. I remember my mom getting in her car with my sister, and me dragging my teddy bear behind trying to follow her. She bent down and told me I was to stay here, while she got everything settled in at our new place. That way we could begin our new life. My dad cried often that night. I remember him sitting with his hands on his face, back against the wall. I remember asking quietly "Daddy, why are you crying?" but he never answered me, or heard me for that matter. After that night, my dad was never the same. When I turned eight, I was informed that I was going to start living with my dad in just a short couple of weeks. I remember I was so excited, and I sat up all night telling my stuffed animals about how we were going to have a new home to play in. That my dad was the best person in the whole wide world. After moving in, things changed though. I got older, and started to become more aware of my surroundings. I started to take in the scent of marijuana, and soon after my mind switched on, realizing I've been smelling that same exact scent since I was just a little girl. I started to notice suspicious looking people coming into my house, and my dad politely asking me to wait in my room until he told me I could come out. I remember my parents arguing over me, and my dad trying to tell me that my mom wasn't safe to be around. He would call her nasty names, and tell me that he loved me more then anyone else ever would, including her. I was so confused and angry. I felt so much hate, especially towards my dad. I knew my mom was the one I should be living with. My dad had a lot of problems, and I knew that even at a young age. After a year, I began to block everybody out. I felt like the only person in the world sometimes, nobody really understood anything. My dad would be happy one minute, and the next minute do a complete 360. He lied to me all the time, and always yelled at me for no reason. I was terrified of him. After living with my dad, things were never the same. I ended up moving into my mom's house through my junior high years, and I wasn't who I was supposed to be anymore. I traded my stuffed animals for kissing and boys, I traded my innocence for sneaking out and partying, I traded my smiling and laughing for screaming and crying. I was always moody, and began to not care about anything. I picked up on everything from my dad, I mean ... I thought that was the way to live. I filled the void of emptiness with drinking and smoking. They were the only things that took away the pain. I was a mess. But along the way, I met so many people that changed my life in such a short amount of time. I was in a living environment, that was much more calm. I felt, at home. I realized I needed to change. I couldn't afford to let my life go. Now, here I am. Almost fifteen years old sitting back writing about the things that built and tore me down. In my own opinion I think I've been doing pretty good. I've had a lot of emotional and anger problems, but I learned getting help is the best thing to do. I got tired of just letting it all build up. The thing is, I don't think my dad ruined my life, and I don't want him to ever think that. Sure, my dad didn't make the best choices. But he helped me realize I could make the right decisions. His regrets and wrong turns, helped me become who I am today. Now that I'm older, I understand my dad tried his hardest to take care of me. It's not easy trying to take care of a little girl on your own. I love him more then anything for that. Sometimes, I still pretend I'm three years old again. And my dad is chasing me up the stairs laughing and smiling like he used to. We may not ever be able to go back to moments like that, but I still have a great deal of happiness knowing we have the future to come.
'Daddy, why are you crying?"
March 28, 2011