Learn from me

I would beg for daddy not to leave late at night, I knew it could mean he may not be back for a few days. I knew that would make mommy upset. We would go for long drives around the scary parts of town and try to find his van. She would cry and hold me. I’d be strong for mommy who needed strength and l’d wipe her tears at night and brush her hair out of her face when he was gone. But when he came back through the door, I couldn’t help but be happy. But eventually it would only lead to fights, mom was losing faith that she had what it would take to change him. She was sad she couldn’t change him and daddy didn’t love us enough to stop choosing the drugs over us.

Mommy let him stick around and pull our entire family into the cycle of addiction. He dragged us deep into the depths of it and when he was out on binges he still held a hold on us. We would pray that he would show up eventually, not on the news dead. We would pray that the cops would find him and make him get the help that he so desperately needed. He got caught many times, and never got the help he needed. You have to want to change. You have to be ready and willing to change every aspect of your life and in yourself.

I started to hate my dad as I got older because he crushed my mom’s spirits and I had to take his place. It was my job to be the protector of the house and the feelings of the people in it so I tried to keep him away and to keep my emotions positive. That was until, he would tell us that he was going to get the help he needed or that he was an enlightened, changed man. He would come around to watch movies after school and tuck us into bed when he was doing good and moms face would glow. All she wanted was for him was to be a good dad to us. Id allow all of his visions to cloud my judgment, but even as a young kid I knew better.

After one too many times of hearing bullshit and lies I vowed id stay far away. I’d let my heart try and heal and id let him do whatever. It would cause so much less strife for everyone if he wasn’t around to lie, steal, cheat, and manipulate everyone; including himself.  I wouldn’t answer his phone calls from county and I didn’t even open up his letters yet alone respond anymore. I never knew what hate was until he destroyed our family. I let him have power over me even when he wasn’t around, I thought about it constantly. About how life could and should be for us. About all the lies. I wished he loved us enough to change. Why wasn’t my mom and my beautiful siblings he created enough to change him? I wanted nothing more than to change a man who couldn’t let go of the monster deep inside of him.

Addiction is a disease; dis ease with yourself or your surroundings. It’s a vicious monster that preys on weak predators who are going through something dramatic. It’s supposed to help people get by “just this one time” or maybe the crutch they were using before just isn’t enough anymore. Whatever you can do to not feel anything. For my entire life I tried to have power and control over someone who wasn’t even in control of himself. I spent so much time and energy trying to turn my dad into the person I thought he should have been. WE all did. My whole family held onto hope that he would change for the better. They would pray daily and cried for him every night.

The fact that he is gone now is hard to cope with, but knowing that I didn’t use the time I had with him wisely and appreciate every moment I had with him hurts even more. I never was content when we were together because I feared I was going to get too used to having him around. I didn’t learn as much as I could have from him. He had so many talents and an even bigger heart that I refused to accept love from. I refused to see the good and show him the love that everyone deserves to receive. And now that he’s gone all I want is one more chance. One more chance to accept him for who he was and to just let go of wanting to have control. Accept people for who they are and enjoy the time you have with them. They are all you got in this crazy thing called life, enjoy their presence while it’s still with you.
-Destiny Fochtman

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