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Father Figure This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Providence, RI
He called me an asshole today. He said I was a f***er and that he left me alone so I should just leave him alone too. His face was red and he spat in my face. His rage always put me to shame, to silence, to regret. I was holding a big silver and black knife I had been using to cut onions; I wonder if he noticed. I wonder if he saw it and if he thought I might use it. I know I noticed, and I mused about the thought of self-defense, should he for the first time in my life finally act on his rage. Even though I had the shield, I felt the same fear and dread as he roared like a madman. I always wondered if he was sane. If it was normal to go from completely calm and friendly one moment, and absolutely overwhelmingly, irrationally enraged the next. I never understood my father. I think I’ve lost my chance.

I wonder if it’s all my fault. If I have been an asshole and a f***er. I realize I have been, but only because he raised me to be. I was a calm and quiet child, and even growing up the slightest things would set him off. He would scream at me the same way he did today. His words and booming voice traumatized me. I remember him chasing me up the two flights of stairs hollering at me, taking two stairs at a time. I remember crying and running as fast as my little legs would take me. I remember the dread I felt when I realized I had cornered myself on the third floor, and I remember the dread I felt when he dashed into my room and began viciously spanking me. I remember the searing pain I felt run up from my red bum to my stomach. When he was done, I refused to come down. I remember my mom coming up and pulling up the corner of my mouth to make me laugh. And I did, even though I didn’t feel like smiling at all.

I remember packing my Barney suitcase, which was as tall and wide as me, and attempting to bring it down the staircase. A few steps down I tripped and went tumbling down a flight of steep wooden stairs. The suitcase landed on top of me. I remember the feeling of bruises everywhere, and the tears that streamed my face from the pain. I remember sitting between my sister and mother as they comforted me. My father was packing things in the same room; he said nothing. Then I remember him turning to me red-faced and incensed telling me to shut up. I remember wanting to cry more because that was my automatic reaction to his traumatizing scold, but instead I held back my hiccups and sobs with all my might. The tears came tenfold.

I remember a year ago when I was facing time in rehabilitation for consistent failed drug tests, both my parents had to attend the court date. I remember the anxiety and depression I felt for my future, and then I remember my father inches from my face, pointing and spitting, the same face, (I could paint a picture of it) telling me I was a piece of s*** and a useless idiot. I remember the recurring hot tears that streamed down my face silently as I accepted what I already knew. I knew I was a piece of s*** and a useless idiot. It just hurt to hear.

When I wonder if it’s my fault, I remember all these times. All these instances that have led to the disintegration of our relationship. I cannot forgive him for these things he’s done. Every day my attitude towards him is guided by the way he has hurt me. He may begin to be nice, and when I do not return the kindness, he erupts again and I feel no more remorse. Only the remorse of being hurt by his words. I cannot explain the fear he strikes in me. I cannot try to describe in written word his scream. I cannot explain the bereavement that comes upon me when he does it. I just wonder if I’ll miss him, and regret giving up on understanding him.




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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

katie_rainbows said...
Feb. 1 at 5:17 pm:
This is a wonderful thing you did. Sharing this has brought light into the pain i feel everytime i am insulted
 
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Gabi1994 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 31 at 10:53 pm:
I'm sorta speechless right now. I say, "Excellent job" for bringing out all those visceral emotions, but that sounds too...happy? for its topic. I didn't get your absolute inner feeling about how you picture your father, though. I can tell that there is still ability to feel pain through the growing numbness and can see how you view him as simply being ticked off at anything, but what about his motives? Is he acting out of bitterness over something? Or perhaps he's simply g... (more »)
 
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praise_pray_writeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 31 at 3:20 pm:
Wow. Thank you for your willingness to share your experieces. This piece brings about so many emotions all in the course of five short paragraphs. Wonderful job sharing past expierences and their outcomes. Great piece!    <3  
 
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ZachhM said...
Jan. 31 at 1:34 pm:
I am smitten by your article, and it's very touching. If this truly did take place in your life, understand that I know how you feel. Such a beautiful disaster, this piece of work is. I love it.
 
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