I have just gone back and added a few things and sharpened it up a bit.
Well worth a reread.
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. " Tolstoy.
The past few days have been personally taxing. I spent last night sobbing and distressed. It has been building for a few weeks now. I finally realised that I need my father. I think every girl does in her own special way. I want him to care for me. I want him to notice me and take interest in me. But my dad is not well. He likes to drink.
Firstly, my beautiful sister came and stayed with us. ( That was not why I was upset lol) Whilst she was here, we went shopping together and did beautiful sisterly things and over a shopping mall lunch, we had a candid chat about childhood and growing up in the family - that was.
In front of me was a young woman that wanted to speak about how she was mistreated.
So I listened. I learnt.
Things are not going so well for her. My brother (16) and sister (18) are living at home with my parents. The home environment is less than ideal, my parents constantly embroiled in some major fight about money or lack thereof and Dad's drinking problem has worsened. So my own flesh and blood are trapped in a less than desirable situation and it just happens that I don't know what to do about it. At what point can I step in as an adult and protect my siblings or at what point can I ever trust my parents to do thier job, when they failed me ?
My sister is going to leave home and my brother, well I guess , he is just hoping. Just hoping for better days. Then he will leave too.
Try and start again at life, and hopefully manage to survive on his own. But he won't be alone.
I will be there for him.
My dad is an alcoholic. My dad harasses the family. He shouts. He spits. He gets mad.
We don't know how to help him. The Stepmother has been to counselling, to AA - it is Dad that refuses to admit he has a problem.
We don't know how to help ourselves to get over the anger we feel. The sometimes overwhelming feelings of loss. The loss of the chance to be a great family - full of happy people. Not perfect, but happy. But instead we are hardened hearts, just trying to go about life as best as we can.
I left behind my sister and brother, and left that environment as soon as I could. That hurts me and just lately I have been really angry at myself about it. I just could not take it anymore.
Not only did they lose their sister to drugs, they lost their champion fighter , the one who would always make them smile, in the darkest hour of the darkest day.
But I am better now and I think I am ready to help them.
I just don't know if I am strong enough to fight those demons.
And I don't mean my parents.
My birth parents separated when I was about four ( no-one really talks about her) and my father was going to be looking after me as my mother seemed to be struggling with drugs and prostitution. We have a special bond as he is my only true blood relative left in my life.
He is It.
I was raised by my father for the majority of my early childhood and I have many blissful memories, slightly enhanced by the magical recollection that is childhood memories.
Faded like photographs. I remember sleeping in his black t shirts, riding high upon his shoulders like a queen, his soft booming voice singing me to sleep and drinking raspberry lemonades in the pub while he had "a few". I was the apple of his eye. We loved and we lived in happy times.
I remember how the world looked from his shoulders, I remember how it felt to be his little 'Tinkerbell' . I have always been a Daddies Girl , it doesn't matter how grown up I am , the minute my Daddy wipes away my tears , I am straight back there .
I am straight back there , and my heart shrinks with the swell of regret overpowering it, the parent love that I miss, everyday of my life. I am needy again. I am hopeful that he may be there for me again. But now I am grown up and I am meant to be able to do this on my own.
Even though noone has ever taught me the right way - only the hard way.
I think of my childhood as a fruitless time, a time where nothing I could do, would make things go better. My family was broken and that was my lot. I just had to cope. On my own. A heartbreakingly futile time, when my little hands and feet , just could not build a better future for us all. Imaginary friends. Crying myself to sleep. We have all been there.
If you haven't, be very, very thankful.
I tried so hard to keep smiling. To be a perfect daughter. To be well mannered and lead the family with my childhood hopes that one has. The unconditional love that happens. Ties that bind. Yes, I feel let down. Yes, it makes me cry sometimes - when I realize that I didn't do anything wrong - yet I still had my heart broken - never to be quite the same as when she left me , never quite the same when The Stepbrother took my virginity. Parents aren't perfect. I think you can only fully accept that when you are an adult, and that is when you realize you are no longer a child.
Dad ended up remarrying to The Stepmother and I was six. The Stepmother had a son, The Stepbrother. I have mentioned them in earlier posts ( archived)
My dad has always been an alcoholic. This means, to my experience in my family,that on any given night of any week, he will drive home drunk and start shouting and basically being arrogant and cruel. It drives you crazy, so I left home as soon as I could. Most of my childhood was spent, treading on eggshells all the time. Nastiness. The Let downs. The Embarrassment. The Resentment. The Loss of a Father.
The Stepmother seems to think, that had Dad not been so harsh on her with his drinking and associated dysfunctional behavior, she may of been able to treat me better.
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda. But what is her excuse for not doing something now?
I am so angry about this. I know she loves him. I try to understand , for her sake.
But what about the children?
Lately, I have been going through some rather heavy health issues and I don't think he is even caring enough/ aware enough of life and me, to know what is really going on. I know I sound spoilt and pretentious, but trust me I am not. I really do not know my father anymore.
I know I hurt him with the drugs, but he hurt me too. I don't think he can face up to that. Maybe because of the drink, I wish he could get better like me, but he is his own person.
Daddy - I will wait for you. Just let me love you.
Apparently, after I left home and all the dramas that ensued, Dad starting drinking more and more and basically made my sister's/brother's life hell as well. My sister (Yes, she is technically a half sister but to me she is my sis ) hates my Dad. I find this heartbreaking, but understandable.
She tells me I don't see how bad he is now. I listen to her and let her share the pain. I know exactly how she is feeling and it tears me apart inside. I am right beside you , Sis.
How he calls her names, like fat bitch and slut. I feel so powerless. I want to save them. I want to take away children's pain. One generation is enough. The Stepmother will never leave. She is too "old" now. So, the pain spreads like a stain, another bruise on the palette of the family portrait.
But I don't and never did, know how to reach out to my Father. I don't know how he works, as a person, it is like he is buried under years of pain and rejection and I wouldn't know how to begin.
Daddy - I miss you. Daddy - I need you. You won't hear me , I know, but at least now I know what was making me so sad. How do I begin to reach out to you? I can see that you are dying slowly. You look so old and so very tired. I miss your smell, I miss the roughness of your hands, wiping away my tears. I miss - you.
Did I make you feel like a failure as a father? I never meant to. Life is tough and I survived it in part because of you. Because I am a fighter. Because I am a good person. Because you are too.
Your hair is graying and you are forgetting things. It's like your the child now. I am worried.
Is it too late for me to be your daughter? When you look at me - who do you see?
Why is it when you go to show me love - it feels so sad that I cannot bear it. What have we become? Strangers ? Is it always going to be up to me, to make everything right ?
I know I am too big for your shoulders, but I am not too old to see the world , from your point of view. I love you so much.
Please daddy, stop drinking.
Please daddy, stop hurting.
I hope you read this, although you don't know me well enough to understand why..
But I understand you.