My relationship with my father is one that I’ve briefly talked about here, but it’s also the most complicated relationship I’ve ever had. My first memories of him are some of the happiest of my life; I remember sneaking downstairs on Christmas before my mom was awake, sitting on his lap and watching Star Trek, refusing to look at the tree so it would be a surprise. I remember using our absolutely ancient Tandy computer, with a “writing” program that no longer exists, making storybooks with pictures about dragons (Smaug was my hero then). I remember singing our “MacGuyver Night” song and taking way. way. too. much. time. learning the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air song (to this day, I know every word.)
I also remember the first time he ever yelled at me; when my mother threw a chair at him (and missed) and I ran down the stairs to see what had happened. He yelled for me to go back upstairs.
I remember the way he acts when he’s drunk. I remember what it’s like to pack my tiny pink Troll Doll suitcase and carry my Puppy in the car, driving to my grandmother’s house in the middle of the night. I remember that I was excited that I got to skip school; the reality of running away from home didn’t hit until several years later. I remember what it’s like to recognize the fact that my father is an alcoholic – and what that could mean for my own future. (Self-mutilation addiction much?)
I remember what it’s like to crave affection and attention and male recognition so damn much that I dated that scumbag A for way. too. long. and let him do things I never thought I’d let anyone do. I remember what it’s like to throw my own personal rules out the window, to give parts of myself away one drop of blood at a time.
I pray regularly that he finds happiness, my father. I pray that he’ll let go of his “love” for my mother, that he’ll find happiness. I pray so fervently that he’ll finally want to be happy, instead of being a martyr.
But I’m not so sure this is a prayer that will be answered.