January 19, 2010
By Anonymous

The door slammed with a bang. A stranger staggers into my house, stumbling over the welcome mat and sending the umbrella stand airborne with his foot. Who are you? I wonder as he makes his way toward the freezer. With a glassy look in his eyes he put the bottle to his lips and his transformation went from bad to worse. As my level of fear rose, so did his blood alcohol level. I was always scared of the dark because when the sun went down, the monsters came out. My monster crept out of the liquor store and into my dad’s closet to haunt my childhood… I would have settled for the Boogieman.

My dad was a mess. A violent, abusive, stammering, mess. Although I was a only a ten year old girl, I was faced with a situation that required me to grow up. I stole his keys so he couldn’t drive, turned him on his side when he passed out, and sat in my sisters room with my headphones on as he the sounds of his failed attempts to break down the door flooded the empty hallways of my house. I hated him. But I loved him so much. Regardless of how much I wanted to run, I couldn’t leave and pretend like there wasn’t a problem. An endless number of possibilities raced through my mind. I was scared he would die.
At the end of the dark tunnel, there is always a light. My dad eventually stopped drinking, and has been sober for roughly five years. Although the experience was wretched, I came to realizations that changed my outlook on life. Family was now everything. Although I learned the hard way, the experience left a lasting impression on my priorities. It is amazing how powerful a family can be when they stick together. Love is powerful. And when it comes from the people who care about you the most, it empowers you.

I once read, “At the end of the day, a loving family should find everything forgivable.” This continues to be the best definition of family that I have found. Unconditional love is blind to flaw. I believe that hard times make you stronger. This hard time, made my family stronger as a whole and altered what was important in my life. When the storm passes, you end up being grateful for the lessons you have learned. The experience with my dad brought my family closer, made us stronger, and opened my eyes to the power of family.

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