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As people grow up, they tend to dream about their future. Possibly they’ll imagine the jobs they’ll have, who they’ll marry, the amount of children they want and the names they’ll be given. I’m sure no person will sit there and think about starting a family only to one day leave them. I’m also sure no one plans to one day hurt their “true love” or to one day leave their child and either never talk to them again or pop in every once in a while with apologies and lies to why they left. Your plans for the future don’t always go as planned, and just as no one plans to do this, no one is fully prepared to be the said partner or child in that situation.
I was only a few months old when my father walked out of my life. To this day I’m still bewildered by any person’s choice to just so willingly leave their child out of their life.
My parents married a few years after high school; they were together since they were fourteen years old.
My mother has told me about all the crazy stories they shared. Their love was the type that when they looked into each other’s eyes it was like time stood still, like all the people around them, all their fears, and their pain, was so distant, just as long as they were together.
My mother knew my dad was really into pot, he came from a bad family and he did what he could to get by. He was always a good guy, he just made stupid choices. When they agreed to have me that was when my mother told him it was time to for him to stop.
He had agreed with her, no child could be brought up that way. It was time for him to grow up fully and take care of his family.
It was just pot. Simple enough choice right?
Simple enough that while my mother was pregnant with me he was out sleeping with other women. Simple enough he was not only into pot but cocaine as well. Simple enough that he wouldn’t come home until late hours of the night constantly or sometimes not at all. Simple enough he was almost late to going to the hospital when I was born, and then left after twenty minutes.
My mother has always been smart, she left him. I was her world, and she wasn’t going to risk my safety for his bad choices.
My dad never came around much at all, maybe a total of five times after I was born.
My mom and I lived with my grandparents then, several houses down from where my dad was living with his mother. I guess looking back on it now it’s sort of funny, how close I lived to them all those years, and not once did they try to see me. Not one dollar was sent to my mother to help afford me.
I had birthdays and holidays and never heard a word from him or his family.
I guess drugs were more important than a child.
Growing up I always wondered about him; even after my mother got remarried when I was three to the dad I have now. I still wondered and I still blamed myself.
I was so naïve to the effects drugs could really have on people, to me it was a simple choice, and your child should come before everything. Yet he made me feel like I was less valuable then a bag of pot.
I was eight years old when I called him for the first time. I still remember the first words I said to him, “I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m Tia, your daughter.”
He came back to my life after that phone call. He made promises to me, he told me he loved me, he told me he wanted to make up for all the time he lost.
I went through years of putting myself in such a vulnerable position with him. I went to counseling for a year because I couldn’t handle my emotions anymore. I know people tell you to keep a guard up to protect yourself, but I didn’t realize I had to keep a guard up with my own father.
I was drowning, and I didn’t know why.
I told him stories; I tried being the perfect daughter, good grades, good friends, and a happy life. That didn’t work, he still wasn’t coming around.
So I changed; I became reckless, I was doing badly in school, I mixed myself with the wrong people, and I made all the wrong choices. I thought if he saw I was so upset and spiraling out of control maybe then he’d come around, he’d want to help me. That didn’t work either.
I’ve written him a letter once; it was everything I ever wanted to say to him. Everything he put me through. I wanted one more desperate attempt to have him as a father in my life.
And the letter worked, for a week at least.
I kept saying I would stop talking to him, and that I wanted nothing to do with my father. Yet every time he called I was ready to answer. Every time he asked for another chance I willingly gave him one. Every time he told me he would really change this time, I believed him.
I wrote a few poems about him, I even sent him a few. But he never seemed to have anything to say to them.
Which I think is the worst part, every time I tell him he messed up, every time I tell him how hurt I am, he never has anything to say; because I know that he knows I’m right.
I know he knows how I feel; his father did the same thing to him. Which makes me wonder why? Why would you put your child through the same thing you had to go through?
After a while even when he said “I love you” it began to sound like a lie.
As of now I haven’t talked to him in almost a year.
It was hard for me to come to the conclusion that I finally had to let him go. That he was never going to change and was never going to be what I needed him to be.
I finally realized I didn't need him in my life.
I guess I was tired of feeling like some kind of acquaintance that you don't really talk to unless you're bored rather than his daughter. I was tired of letting myself get upset over a man who was never going to grow up and was never going to take responsibility. I was sick of feeling like I needed someone who throughout my whole life has done nothing to help raise me.
He was selfish; he came around when it was convenient for him. I’m the child, not him; I shouldn’t have been putting in so much effort.
There were so many times I wanted to just leave him alone, but for some reason a part of me just couldn’t let him go. I couldn’t grasp the reality that someone really couldn’t change for their child.
I’m older now and heartbroken. I’m stronger emotionally and I’m wiser. There were only so many chances he could have to manipulate me into believing each lie he had.
I have a lot of people comment on how mature I am for my age, that I grew up fast. However, I don’t think a lot of people realize I grew up from my experiences. I make mature decisions because I have to; my father has been too much of a child his whole life, which only has made me want to grow up faster.
I’ve gained several things from having to deal with my situation.
I’ve developed a zero interest in being involved with any type of drug what so ever. I’ve dealt first hand, with how drugs can affect not only the person addicted to them but their friends and family's lives as well. I would never want to have my life revolve around a high.
I also have the push to be the best parent I can be for my children one day. I can promise you my children will never go through the same thing I had too.
Lastly, the absence of my father makes me want to make my life the best it can be. Although he may not ever realize any of my accomplishments throughout the years, in my heart and in my head I’m able to smile and I’m able to feel proud of myself. All because I did this without him, I made something of myself and he had no say and did no part to help.
That’s the best revenge I'll ever have on him.
My advice for other people in my situation is simple; just let it go. You can’t change someone that doesn’t want to be changed. You can’t blame yourself for another person’s actions throughout their life. Most importantly, you don’t need someone in your life that never played a huge role in the first place.
Since making my decision to no longer involve my father in my life I’ve been in a better place emotionally; at first it was hard and I kept second guessing myself. I mean giving up on your own father is hard, regardless of each time he hurt me he was still my father and I still loved him. As time went on though I felt it was easier and easier to take him out of my life, I don’t regret the decision I’ve made at all.
Throughout your life there will be certain things, certain people, and certain choices people make that you may never understand. My father's choice to put drugs before me, my mother, his chance at a life, and his chance at a family; that I will never understand. However, all we can do is accept things and people for what they are and move on. Life is too short to waste our lives worrying about other people’s mistakes and what could have been.