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It’s been about 7 or 8 years since I last saw him.

He was an alcoholic before we were taken away. Long were the nights that the fighting and the screaming would last. I was too young to realize what they meant. I don’t remember too much of those fights. I guess my mind blocked it out.

The alcohol didn’t really mean much to me. I was forever taking bottles out to the kitchen sink for him. I once tasted the rim of a bottle. It tasted disgusting.

He wasn’t always drunk or drinking. Sometimes he would play with us. It was those moments of laughter and happiness that I treasured the most, when he wasn’t screaming at her. It was in those moments that let me know he wasn’t a bad man. It was the alcohol that turned him into the monster, the one who screamed and hit and overturned tables.

Even though I have always known that he was detrimental to our existence, I still wanted dearly for him to stay with us, for him to stay with her. But he was controlling, barely letting her out to go get us from school. He controlled and handled every penny.

I guess she was strong to cope and deal with the abuse and the restrictions. But she was also weak for not getting out of there, and our relationship with her suffered. Even now I don’t have a very good relationship with her. We were often left to our own devices, to entertain ourselves by ourselves while he was at work.

He went to jail once for drinking. I remember going to a strange place with bars and glass windows with openings and white walls and weird uniforms. I didn’t mention it for months. When I did, she said it had been a dream.

I didn’t suffer from his drinking. In an odd kind of way I knew that he would never lash out at us, would never hurt us. We were his two lovelies, his delicate little sparrows. He loved us too much to hurt us even when he was drunk.

I really didn’t think his drinking was abnormal. He drank so much and for as long as I could remember that it was my normal.

When I was 9, or maybe I was 10, we were taken away from them and put into individual foster homes. It was the first time in our lives that we were separated.

We went into a shelter with her. And at first we visited with him, but the visits were long and strained. It was always in a medium-sized room with a small window and a couch. There was always a one-way mirror facing opposite the couch. We were always watched, so it made such ritual things as giving affection awkward and forced. It wasn’t long before I hated those visits and had to be forced into going to them. After we moved, they stopped altogether.

I haven’t seen him since.

He took up with another woman and had a child with her. Now we have a 7 ½ - 8 years old half brother or sister out there somewhere. But not with them. He/she was taken away from them as they were unfit parents. He as a former (or still is) alcoholic, and she as a prostitute. I secretly hope it is a half-sister.

Even though I truly do know that being with him was detrimental to us, there are still times that I lay awake and cry against the sharp pang of only having one half, of living without him. I haven’t seen him in 7 or 8 years but I still miss him sorely.

I still miss my daddy.





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