Many kids and teenagers have a bad relationship with their fathers. I cannot say my dad was the worst of the worst, but he was certainly pretty close. After years of separation, Father’s Day came around and my mind began wondering. Sure, it was difficult, but I willed myself through and made contact with him. While it is still tough to forget, I am beginning to learn how to forgive.
Growing up with Hate
I can clearly remember my childhood days. Many of these memories were anything but pleasant. While I did experience many good times, my childhood was filled with abuse, anger and chaos. Now, allow me to explain. I was a good kid, if I say so myself. My father, on the other hand, definitely wasn’t a “father of the year” candidate. My brother, mother and me were thrilled when he was at work and terrified when he came home and started thinking. Heck, half of the time he showed up drunk. Overall, my mom and dad’s relationship was volatile and he almost always got the upper hand.
There was rarely a day that would pass without a fight. Many times, the police was forced to intervene. I can still remember the embarrassment of returning to school, after my father’s numerous arrests. I thought I would never get over the abuse he rained down upon my mother. Forgiveness was something I never even considered. I hated him and would probably do so for the rest of my life.
After my parents finally separated, I was relieved. The fighting stopped, my mom grew stronger and my dad was all but forgotten. This didn’t bother me in the least. However, my mind completely changed when I became a father. For the sake of my children, I wanted them to have a relationship with their granddad. Of course, this seemed like a monumental task. While he was easy enough to track down, I didn’t know if I could ever get over his vicious treatment of my mother. He never tried to contact me. Why should I bother? I wrote it off and put it on the back burner.
When Father’s Day came around and my kids were a little older, they started becoming curious about my own father and their grandfather. At this instance, I knew it was about time I overcame my demons and made that faithful step. What if he was still a drunk? Or even worse, still abusive? I gulped, checked him out on social media and create a message, without hitting send. Many thought ran through my mind. I didn’t want to be let down again, but I couldn’t let my boys down either! I hit enter and turned away.
In the end, I am glad I made my decisions. After finally gutting through treatment, my father had stopped drinking, started going to church and had remarried. It was nice for my kids to get to see their grandpa and I was happy to finally have a positive male role model in my life, even if it was twenty years too late. Looking back at it now, I had to make the first step. It definitely wasn’t easy, but what is the worst that could happen? Your father could turn out to be the same old drunk that you remember. Would that really make you think any less of him?