All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Who Are You
A tall, thin, and smart man is what I saw in my father. He was the “ideal” perfect father. He was also a very funny guy. I could joke about literally anything with him and he never took it personal. He taught me how to be the same way. I’m not sure how to teach someone how to have a sense of humor, but being around him teaches me to be the same way he was. My father always tried teaching me something new every day. I was the smartest, most intelligent girl alive and still am till this day, according to him.
My brother, Robert, and I have been told we look a lot like our father. I personally hated it because I wanted to look like my other brother Anthony and sister Erika. They got my mom’s traits, the better looks. My father wasn’t ugly, I guess, just hairy. Recently, he developed chipped teeth, but before that he had a beautiful smile. He is starting to look very old, but he used to look very healthy. He was tall and skinny at one point, but now his weight is like a teeter totter. He was athletic and wanted to always compete with me (he always let me win). He taught soccer for a long time, but never taught me how to play. I never understood this concept. Same deal with Spanish. He knew it very well and was fluent, but yet didn’t teach his children it. Almost my whole family knows Spanish, with the exception of me and my brothers and sister. I make my father feel guilty everyday for not teaching me. Oh well, there is nothing I can do about it now.
Ah, the smell of fresh coffee on a Sunday morning was the usual, along with some bacon, eggs, chorizo, and potatoes. My father was the best breakfast cook I had ever known. He never let me down. Even when I didn’t feel like eggs, there he goes whipping up some pancakes and throwing them on the grill. The other thing was he would put some blueberry waffles in the toaster because he knew those were my favorite and to top it off he would butter them to perfection. Cutting them up into little squares was the routine and still carries on into my life till this day. Pointing out the obvious, I was a daddy’s girl. In his deep dark brown eyes I was the smartest and most beautiful girl in the world. I disagreed with him every time. His little nicknames for me were never worn out because he had so many of them for me. Such as, “Baby Girl, Baby, Chakalaka Boom Boom, Scoober Doober, or Kassandras,” and many more. He also had many names for my brother Robert. He called him, “Chops, Daldadalda, or Mijo,” just to name a few. We were spoiled by my dad. He got us anything we wanted, that is if he had the money. He was never greedy about it.
Sounds like a perfect family, think again. My father barely left my life about four years ago. I never saw that day coming. In elementary school I considered myself one of the luckiest kids there because I had a father figure in my life. Little did I know the torture he had put my mom through, during this time period. In my deep dark brown eyes I saw him as the perfect father. He taught me how to ride a bike, water the plants, start a car, and most of all how to have a sense of humor. My father always knew how to make me smile, no matter what mood I was in.
When I was little my favorite thing we used to do was he picked me up and hold me like a baby and sing to me. He would sing, “mimi…,”
Then I would yell, “Baby!” It cracked me up every single time. Dancing while I was still in his arms he would translate that song into a Spanish rhythm.
Soon after that I would burst out laughing, just like a baby again. I’m not sure why it was so funny to me, but it made my day.
I was stuck in a room with my older sister Erika till she moved out. I shared a room with her until I was in about third grade. She left my room a disaster. I am a neat freak and this was the first time I left my room the way it was. Was it for a memory or out of laziness? It was more of a memory for me. The room was so messy that I built a trail from my door to my bed. It was about one foot wide. Around the sides there was nothing but clothes, boxes, make-up, and papers.
Even though I shared a room with her I still yelled for my dad, in the total opposite room, across the whole house when I was scared of the dark. I knew he would always come and carry me to his and my mom’s bed for the night. In their bed he would put me in the middle and sing till I fell asleep. After that my mom would hold me through the night. Some nights I would be scared to call for him because my parents have been fighting.
I never understood why my parents fought so often or what they could even fight about. I still loved them both even after seeing them arguing constantly. I have even seen it to the point where my mom is on top of my dad choking him almost till death. Back then I thought my mom was insane, but now in my eyes it all makes sense. My mom has even told my dad that she will laugh at his funeral and then on the next family day out they would be holding hands and I thought everything was okay, in reality they were never okay. The only reason they stayed together for nearly twenty one years (shy of one day) was because of the four of us kids. My dad loved all of us with all he had. Even though one of my brother’s and my sister are from different fathers, he still treated them as if they were his blood kids. Till this day he still calls them just like he calls my brother and me. He raised Anthony and Erika pretty much from the start. My mom was in an abusive marriage and needed out. That’s when she met my father. My brother Anthony was born at this point and that’s when their relationship grew to the fullest. He loved my dad so much.
One early morning I heard my mom crying out, “Anthony! Wake up!” I burst up out of my bed and sprinted into his room. That’s where I found my mom on her knees begging for my brother’s life.
Anthony’s head was face down on his night stand, mouth wide open, drooling, with a bottle of pills scattered everywhere. Next to the pills was a book of his memories. Photos from his photography class he was taking at Flowing Wells High School. The photos consisted of our cousin that passed away at the age of five, religious things, and pictures of us when we were all very little. I never understood why he really did it till recently my mom and I have talked about it. I’m more mature now and can understand things a lot better. This suicide attempt was a threat to my mom.
While my brother was in the hospital be told my mom, “If you leave my dad, I’ll make it happen next time.”
My mom was stuck and didn’t know what to do. She knew we would never understand why she didn’t want to be with him. Even if she tried we were all too attached to my father and would never want him to leave. There was another time I almost lost my brother, but I’m not sure why that happened. Soon after this life changing experience the four of us all kids were called for a meeting in my parent’s room. I had never been in a situation like this at that point and had no idea what was going on. We all lined up and stood there like children that just got caught doing drugs, clueless of what was going on or what to do.
That’s when my mom said, “Tell them Robert!”
“I cheated on your mom,” said my father.
“How many times?” My mom yelled while standing up with her fists clinched.
“For the past two years,” explained my father in a monotone voice.
“You guys expect me to put up with that?”
“It’s not okay!”
We all stood there in silence. I just said okay and walked out of the room. I didn’t understand the concept of cheating or how much it hurts a person. Now that I know I would have wanted my father out at that point. I feel dumb till this day for just saying okay with an attitude. My mom tried everything she could to prove to us that my father was no good.
Everyone in the outside world thought we were one happy family, but in reality I never looked forward to the evenings. I knew I would have to deal with my parents calling us in one by one. We used to make bets on whose name would be called next. It’s not such a joke anymore now that I think about it. When my mom would yell out our names we would get asked a question so they could prove their point to each other. I felt like I had to pick sides all the time, I pretty much had to because I was scared to get grounded if I didn’t. This was literally every other day. It usually started at the dinner table.
Yes, my family eats dinner at the table every night as a family, but it always ended with someone getting up and walking away pissed. After that, someone argued about what had happened. That argument turned into another, such as who cleans the table, who washes dishes, who unloads, and who cleans the floors. One of my parents, soon after, got up and locked the other out of their room. All I could hear was banging and yelling. They were always swearing up and down in English and Spanish. They never knew how much Spanish I knew, but I knew enough to understand that they were not just messing around with each other. I was the kind of child that was always screaming till I turned purple for my parents to stop fighting. I tried every single time to make them stop and tell them that if they didn’t stop, they didn’t love me. They stopped some times, depending on how intense it was. I would say it only worked about twice. After that it was unstoppable. I always yelled for my older brother and sister to get them to stop because they were the only ones brave enough to physically get in-between their swings. Literally punching, slapping, shoving, and in each others faces.
My father was a truck driver, which meant different hours every day. He took advantage of this. Back then he had a beeper. I would try to get a hold of him from right after school till sometimes I fall asleep trying to get a hold of him. I never gave up, thinking he was just busy. It never worked. Then cell phones came in and I thought there is no way my dad can ignore me now, wrong. I called and called. I just wanted him home to give him a big hug and kiss, also, to make my mom happy by surprising her by actually showing up. Not knowing where he could be my mom and I went searching for him and always spotted his truck at a bar. She never went in to get him even though I wanted her to. Eventually my father would come home and they automatically got in a fight. It would start by him banging on the door because my mom had locked him out. She even locked him out of the house sometimes (no he didn’t have a key) and he would wake us all up.
Sometimes, my dad would even come home on time and my mom would say, “He’s drunk, again.” (He was)
“No he isn’t!” I always denied.
“How can you not tell Kasey?”
“Mom, he is fine, he’s the same to me.”
“You can smell it all over him.”
“He smells normal to me.”
To me he was the same man he was from the day before. That’s when I had no idea. Now, I can tell if he is drunk in a heartbeat. The only time I believed my mom was when he went home and got in the shower right away. That made it suspicious. Sad to say now the smell of alcohol reminds me of my father. The times I got a hold of my father, I was the happiest girl alive.
He would answer “Hi babygirl!”
“Daddy! When are you coming home? Can you bring me some candy please!” I would say with a huge smile on my face.
“Hi baby girl, I’ll be home soon,” My father explained to me.
“What time is it?” I would ask (inside joke).
“Three thirty,” he said in a silly voice. In his eyes it was always three thirty for some reason.
“What time is it?”
“So you will be home around five?”
“I love you dad!”
“I love you to baby girl!”
Sometimes he would say he didn’t have money. That was when my huge smile got denied because I knew he wouldn’t be coming home. I used this as a disguise to tell whether he was coming home or not. When he said yes, he knew exactly what to bring me. He also brought the rest of the family some candy as well.
My sister was a trouble maker. The day she left I didn’t know what to do. I thought to myself she will be back. I told myself that every day that past. Eventually I gave up and knew she wasn’t coming back. She wasn’t as close to my dad as all of us were. She was the “I don’t care” child or the “I’ll do what I want,” type. My dad used to go chase her when she ran away. One time she even tripped over a bush and my brother Anthony just sat in the back seat laughing the whole time. He was a quiet child also shy and honestly I feel like I don’t know him too well till this day, but it’s getting better as he grows. That’s why it was such a shock to me that he would even try to kill himself.
All of this was in one house, and then we moved to a street called Horizon Hills. There I switched schools to Richardson Elementary. This was in fourth grade. I was very mad to switch schools and I was scared. I thought I wouldn’t make friends, but once again I was wrong. This was the first time I had gone Christmas caroling. My dad went with me and went door to door singing with me. He loved singing and he loved doing anything that made me happy. At this house, for some reason, my parents decently got along. My mom didn’t have a job, so she was an at home mom. I didn’t mind this. This is when I started getting sneaky. I would always ask my dad to go hang out with my friend Kristen, he could never deny me. It just wasn’t in his dictionary to say no to me and my brother. There were a couple of times I would go ask my dad for something because I knew my mom would say no. My mom would get so mad when I did that. I knew if I did there would be some kind of consequence. When it came to my brother my father for some reason took defense when my mom told him no. He used to beat her and tell her I never knew my father was this kind of an animal.
My father spoiled me so much I used to have him take me to school late in elementary school. That was when he didn’t go in at five in the morning. It was kind of a rare occasion when my father didn’t go in so early. Sometimes I even wondered if he even worked some days. According to how much support (money wise) he wasn’t even working because he gave my mom no money at all. She pretty much raised us with all she had.
After getting closer and closer to my mom as I grew older I found out more and more and till this day I still find things out I never knew. I started thinking about what my life would be like without my father. I always thought to myself, “who would grill the steaks, who would cook breakfast on Sundays, who would randomly bring me candy, how will life be for my mom, who would attempt to clean the yard or the pool, who would make me laugh, who would help me lift big things, or who would teach me how to drive?” A never ending list of questions popped in my head one right after the other. I broke down crying worrying about him leaving. I still didn’t want him gone. My mom and I had talked about it, but still couldn’t convince me he was no good for us.
From here we moved onto a street called Basil. This house my mom was in love with. It was wide open and could see everything. Also, it was very welcoming. At this house is when it all started going downhill. My father would disappear for weeks at a time and come home like nothing happened. My parents didn’t get each other anything for Valentine’s Day. My mom started going out all the time. My brothers’ and sister threw parties because my parents were never there. I would call my dad asking when he would be home. He made promises to be home in ten minutes. Promises meant nothing to him and left me waiting hoping for his appearance. Eventually broken promise after broken promise broke my heart and they meant nothing between us. At this point I started wearing away from my dad.
We moved again to a street called Celery. This house changed my life forever. My father would disappear for months now. Here at this house, I used to ask him if I could wait outside for him. When he said yes I knew he was coming home. When he said no, it was a heartbreaker. One evening he gave me permission to wait outside; he left me hanging outside all night; literally. I gave up on that after he piled onto his lie list. I didn’t see him often at all. When I did it was when he was banging on my door at four in the morning trying to tell me how much he loves me, while he was drunk off his ass. This started to aggravate me and now I knew when my father was drunk.
It all started one evening when my dad went to a family party. My mom never liked to go because all they were were a bunch of alcoholics. She is not that type to drink all the time at all. That evening when my father came home there was trouble. He came in yelling at my brother Anthony for no reason and starting crap with him. Then he moved on to my other brother Robert. They both got in his face yelling, while trying to protect me and my mom. Back before this, I would always want to call the cops, but my mom told me no. This was the first time she let me. We locked him out of the house. He was kicking, punching and yelling at the door, I thought it would break for sure. I wanted to let him in but my mom wouldn’t let me. I was so scared and tears started pouring out of my eyes. I asked permission to call the cops because I thought he was going to kill us. She let me. They showed up and didn’t let him in. All they said was he had to sleep in his truck. We all were infuriated because we wanted him off of the premises. I was honestly scared to death to go to sleep.
Surprisingly, I woke up. I did my usual and went to the restroom. I went back to sleep and I hear a knock on my door. I thought to myself “Oh great what now.” There my dad was standing with one black trash bag.
He said to me, “I’m leaving.”
All I said was “Okay.”
He looked like he wanted to cry and apologized for the night before. He didn’t say much, but I think if he would have said more I would have saw him cry for the first time.
He said “I love you,”
I just said, “Okay,” again.
I didn’t believe he was actually leaving with just one bag and that’s why I let him go so easy. As days past he never came back. My mom said he tried, but she was smarter than to let him back in. It didn’t hit me till about a month later when I finally realized it actually happened. My father left for good. My mom started never being home at nights, literally every night she was gone. If it meant her not yelling at us I was happy. It was back to the teenage party nights every night. Honestly, I was a goody good and was always cleaning up after every one because I didn’t want to get blamed when my mom came home. I did any ways even though I didn’t drink or smoke with the boys. I was always in my living room watching T.V. then they would come in trying to convince me to smoke with them. I never gave in till about a year later, when I got tired of being taken advantage of and being so lonely. I stayed into drugs for about another year, till I promised my friend Shianne I would stop. I was in very bad shape and I did it for the fun. Till this day I can say I am drug free and proud of it.
Eventually, I started to worry about my mom. We talked more and more each day and she finally asked me, “What if I found myself a new man?” At first it was a joke and then it got serious a couple of months after. I was still upset about my father and told my mom,
“I will NEVER call him dad if you do!” I demanded.
“I’m not expecting you to,” she respected.
“He’s not going to tell me what to do. Does he have money?” I questioned.
“He can help support us,” my mom said.
“He’s not my dad. He is not moving in,”
“Don’t you want me happy?”
“Yes, but why can’t you and dad work things out?”
“I’ll never forgive him.”
We moved out of this house. I went with my sister and my mom found a new boyfriend and went to live with him because we could not afford a house. In the process of cleaning out this house, I found something that cleared up a lot of things. I was in my mom’s bathroom cleaning under the sink. There I found a spoon hidden behind a drawer. I went to my mom to ask what it was. She made a weird, shocking, and clueless face and told me to ask my dad.
I called him and he said, “I’m sorry mija that was back in the day. I’m not like that anymore, daddy was stupid.”
I didn’t believe a word he said. It was a spoon full of drugs. This totally changed my perspective towards my father and it explained it all.
Till this day I don’t believe a word that comes out of my father’s mouth. It has almost been five years or so since he has left. He keeps in contact, but doesn’t pay child support. He just gives me more of a reason to not believe him when he says he will give my mom money. He lies and it never comes. He wonders why we don’t call him. I’m sure he knows it’s because we are tired of his lies and they carry, even as we speak.
Our relationship has grown so far apart that I have a hard time telling my own father that I love him. I seriously have to think twice before I tell it back to him; sometimes I don’t even say it back. When he tells me he loves me I just want to burst out and yell at him for doing the things he did. I know it’s not right to hold a grudge against my dad, but he still lies to me. He calls me once in a while, most of the time he is drunk or on some other drugs. I wish I could picture this scenario as “it’s the thought that counts,” but it’s not. He supposedly went to counseling for his drinking problem. I’ll admit he had straightened out a little, but what do I know, I don’t see him or talk to him anymore. Once or twice a month I hear from him. It’s the same every time, promising to give my mom child support, promising to visit, or promising things like buying me a car. It makes absolutely no sense! If he can’t pay child support, how can he afford a car for me?
He still calls me all of my nick names. It kills me to see my father in person because he looks older every time I see him. I feel bad for being such a smart ass to him.
My father would say, “I’m going to come see you soon baby, I promise.”
“When I’m like thirty?” I said with an attitude.
“I need money,”
“Anything to help support mom.”
“I’ll give you some.”
“About fifty, maybe sixty.”
“We’ll see about that.”
“Okay, I’ll get it to you baby,” (he lied). I don’t know why I ever believed him.
I also remember one conversation. I was in the car with my mom and I was about fifteen. My dad called me and said, “Hi baby girl what cha’doin’?”
“Driving with mom,” I would say, not excited to hear from him.
Being the funny guy my dad is he said, “Oh you’re driving and talking on the phone at the same time?” (I wasn’t old enough to drive).
“Yeah dad, I’m drunk to. I’m following your footsteps! You were my biggest role model.”
He had nothing to say because he knew it was true. I am still a smart ass to him. I do have some respect for him because he is my father and I do need to respect him to an extent. I have also grown out of him and onto the best mom and she always has been the best mom in the world. I don’t call my father, anymore. He calls me asking why I don’t call him. I tell him I don’t want to hear lies anymore. He broke my heart more than anyone can ever.
He wants my mom back because he finally realized what he had at home. My mom has moved onto a real man to support her. I do not call him dad, like I promised. I actually keep my promises. I got that part from my mom that’s for sure. Now that I know more and growing up more each day I have an understanding of what happened. My respect has grown for my mom more than anyone in this world. She has gone through hell and back for me and my brothers’ and sister. I’m happy I matured and was able to accept this new man into my life. I have never seen my mom so happy in my life. It feels good to know the person my mom is actually is. Even though she has a new man I still know he won’t replace my father. I randomly get break downs because my dada comes back into my mind, but that is because now that we are grown apart, I can’t help but wonder if I lost my dad for good.