Father’s day has never been my favorite. I never feel like I can say that since I know there are people out there who have lost their dads, and I also know there are people who are close with their dads who are still here. My dad and I have an improved relationship now that I have been out of the house for about six years now, but it’s still not my favorite.
I do love my dad, but I cannot say that I really like him entirely. I’d like to say I have forgiven him for what he’s done in the past, but that’s probably a lie and I definitely haven’t forgotten. I don’t sit and dwell on the past anymore like I used to, but I also won’t pretend that my dad was a great parent.
Apparently in my younger years he was very involved and happy to be around me, but once I turned seven everything changed. My dad’s cousin brought us a computer for my seventh birthday, and although it was for me, my dad said it was for him. I was able to use the computer sometimes, but for the most part my dad got lost in music and MySpace. When he’d get home from work, he’d go right to the computer and stay there for the remainder of the evening.
Another thing that happened was my grandpa (mom’s dad) died when I was seven. This sent my mom spiraling into alcoholism which my dad willingly followed her. My parents drank every single night, and although this was to “help my mom sleep,” instead it left me with restless nights of listening to their drunken rages against each other. The weekends were always worse because the drinking started earlier.
I’m now twenty-five, and they still drink every night. Luckily I moved out at 19, and it took time to stop the obsessive worrying about if my mom was okay or not, but now I know it is not my problem and there is nothing I can do about it. People will only change if they want to. Not once have they tried to get sober, and I hope they realize that this will have quite an effect on them once I decide to have children, because I cannot trust them to watch my child with their alcohol addiction.
Recently during a phone conversation, my mom tried to tell me that my dad “was nice for the most part,” to which I simply told her that was not true. I reminded her of the time where during an argument my dad screamed at me and said “who pays for the health insurance that you’re about to need if you don’t shut the f*ck up.” Of course she didn’t remember this (as they both are always drunk) and started apologizing. The intention was not to guilt trip, I was simply stating a fact.
Just because I have grown up and done well with my life, doesn’t mean that we can just pretend the traumatic shit that happened didn’t happen. Yes, I have moved on and the relationships have been civil, however that does not erase history. I don’t really prefer to talk about what happened with my parents, because my dad lives in denial and my mom lives in guilt; it’s not worth having a conversation over.
Despite everything I have been through, I did see my dad for father’s day, and I also gave him a gift that I made him which he appreciated. I do wish that he would do some self-reflection and realize what he did and how he needs to change, but at the same time it’s not my problem.