My Greatest Disappointment This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Growing up, my dad was the world to me. I was the stereotypical "daddy's little girl." I wanted to grow up and marry a man just like him. He was smart, fun, always happy, and would never do anything to hurt his family. Of course most any father was like this to his six-year-old daughter.

Dad always taught me that school was important and told me fun stories about his school days. Every kid hears about the "good ol' days". I knew what I wanted to be by the third grade: a teacher. High school graduates not planning on college were a foreign concept for me, and I was only eight years old.

Both my parents enforced rules about drinking and smoking. If I had known the word then, I would have called them hypocrites since they both used to smoke, and beer was an acceptable dinner drink for my dad.

Inevitably, I learned what alcohol was, and what it did. That's when I began to notice some of my dad's actions. Then, as if in a denial stage, I tossed all incriminating evidence against my dad aside; he was my hero, wasn't he?

Finally, it couldn't be ignored. The late nights, loud arguments that kept me up, constant fear of doing something wrong and Dad getting angry proved it. Of course, that was the best part; the worst was my mother, always upset, the constant tension from the minute my father came home, all the stinging, hurtful words my dad yelled, and the occasional broken glass, chair or shelf. I had really begun to hate my very own father, the man I had once adored. I had to finally realize that the man on the pedestal was an alcoholic.

When I asked people about alcoholism, I was told stories about street people with wine wrapped in a paper bag. That's not what it's like, I thought. I found that my dad had a disease. The only way to help him was to help myself and try to help him to admit he had a problem.

Unfortunately, my dad hasn't tried to help himself, and sadly enough I don't think the thought has even occurred to him. Alcoholism is never talked about because he'll talk about the "garbage" those "dumb doctors" think they know.

In many ways, I'm glad that I found out about my dad. Despite all the disappointment and resentment I felt, I know that I gained a lot. I no longer believe that women have to be slaves to their husband's every demand. I no longer have to take verbal abuse and now know that all married couples do not fight into the deep hours of the morning. I think the best outcome of the whole horrible situation is that I no longer hate my father, although I don't think that I could ever feel the way I did when I was six. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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MinkaTango said...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm
I dont like to face it but I am in the exact situation as you...I dont want to face that my dad has a problem and I dont want to end up not having him there for my wedding or meeting my children. Its scary and he wont do anything about it. Time after time things have happened that effected his health but still poorly hidden empty bottles of wine are found and it makes me extremly sad...I dont want to go through it and I dont want him to go through it. Btw I dont think he knows how I fe... (more »)
 
NotThatGirl said...
Dec. 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm
It hurt to read about a little girl losing faith in her father- keep writing.
 
animaine said...
Mar. 29, 2009 at 11:51 am
normal but nice to read
 
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