No child should have to fight for their parents attention. No child should be raised with only their mothers support. No child should be forced to feel as if they raised their sibling. No child should feel as if they have been betrayed by their parent. No child should live without their father. No child should have a poor outlook on marriage. No child should feel if they were to have children that they could mess them up as the parent did them. No child should feel as if their world is falling apart.
For me, life without a father has been an ongoing war for as long as I could remember. My father has never been a large part in my life, nor has he ever cared to be. He may have been under the same roof as myself but he never attempted to father his children. He has been paralyzed from the waist down and since the accident he has felt as if someone owes him for this life altering thing. Because of the divorce caused by his selfishness, and his moving to New York and never contacting me and my sister, my outlook on “normal” families have changed. I have never wanted a marriage or children for I am afraid of not being able to stop the person I love from leaving. If I cannot stop the one man, that is supposed to stay, from leaving, how can I stop a man not required to love me? How can I raise a child when I was never shown how to raise a child who was not me or my sister, two children with equally horrible outlooks on life. How can I teach my child to love their self if I cannot even do the same. My father has changed my outlook on every perspective of life, he may have made me afraid of many choices other children would make without a second thought. He has also made me want to work harder and show that I am not the ‘weak’ and ‘stupid’ child he thought I was. I have become a person who fights for what she believes in, a person who makes the grades no one in her family has ever made. A person who will go far in life without the help of a man who never cared. A person who will show the entire world one day that no matter my past, no matter the father I was given, I will make a difference.
In March of 2002, my father made the most ignorant decision he has ever made to this day. He got on a three wheeler, peeled out of my grandparents farm, and drove like a maniac by himself. My uncle said to my mom, “He’s going to kill himself acting that way.” That day my father died three times while being airlifted to the nearest hospital, he ended up surviving but he was permanently paralyzed from the waist down. From that day forward my father became a selfish child towards his family.
To my father his wants were above his wife and even his children. He would stay up all night watching T.V. and sleep all day forcing my mother to take both positions. While he slept and my mother worked I would take care of myself and my sister. As he sat in bed for days on end telling my sister and me how worthless we were for not doing all of the things he wanted us to take care of at the ages of 9 and 5. We only learned what he said we were. As we grew, I saw the man my father was, I would step in between my father and mother as they screamed.
Several times I would watch my father get angered at my mother over little things. Several times I watched my father use his wheelchair to push my mother. Several times I watched my mother stand very still and take in whatever nasty things he had to say. Several times I watched my mother scream back. Several times I remember not being able to handle it and stepping in between. Several times I was afraid of what would happen if I did not. Several times I ran out of my house at 13 years old just walking in the dead of night to get away from the screaming. Several times I knew, this was not how a marriage was supposed to be.
After 15 years of emotionally damaging marriage and two kids, my mother finally decided enough was enough and she divorced my father. Throughout this divorce I was forced to move in with my grandparents into an attic containing my mother, sister, and me. This only occurred because my father refused to leave. Being the oldest child I was the one forced to go to the house to get the things any of us were missing. These small times in the house I was raised in was the scariest out of all the time. I was bombarded by the man who raised me with tears and name calling, depending on how he felt that day. One day he would cry to me about how much he needed me and my sister, the next he would yell ugly names at me for not wanting him over my mother. He would cry to me and as I told him how much I didn’t need him and didn’t want to spend weeks with him his mood would change and horrible words would fly out of his mouth. He would tell me all about how worthless I was for wanting my mother over a man who barely cared before the divorce.
I thought during the divorce many times how I would never get married because I refused to go through what my mother went through. I also promised myself to never have children for I would never force them to go between houses if I did get a divorce. A year after the divorce the reason for not wanting marriage changed. A year after the divorce my father stopped contacting me, stopped attempting to have me stay the weekend, stopped.. Caring. He would never stop calling my sister but I would not even receive a measly text. My eighth grade year I was inducted into NJHS and was given a part to read where I lit a candle. I told my father about this achievement assuming he would go. I got a call that day saying, “I’m sorry but I’m in pontoon beach with my girlfriend and can not come back for your induction,” I was devastated. The one man required to love and watch me grow, stopped caring, stopped showing up, stopped appearing in my life.
He was always down the road, of course I could have forced myself back into his life but he no longer needed to manipulate me as he did my sister. He knew that I was a lost cause and that I would never choose him over my mother. One thing I will never understand is how you can love one daughter and not the other? How you can act like your first born never existed?
One year after the divorce my dad went to New York to visit his family, he was gone for an entire month. He loved it so much he came back for one week and went back out with even more things than last time. Me and my sister got a call about a month after his second visit. He told us he was moving out to New York. Without another word, he was gone. Little phone calls happen sporadically throughout the year for my sister. For me, I get a text on christmas with my name spelled wrong. The only time he calls me now is for when he enters the hospital, never before, never after. Never does he ask how I am or how my schooling is going. He only ever talks about himself, because just like 10 years ago, he is still the selfish man he was and always will be.
Because of this selfish man my outlook on life will be forever changed. How am I supposed to believe that a man can love me, when the one who was supposed to never did? How am I supposed to love myself when I wasn’t even good enough for my father? How can I get married when I know how it could turn out? How can I have children with the fear that I may mess up like my father did? How am I supposed to grow from something I never asked for? But, I did.
Because of this wretched man, I was able to grow and prosper. Because of his hateful words and his leaving me I worked harder. With everything I set my mind to, I refused to give up. I would either be the best or I would work the hardest. I was determined to make the man that made me regret the decisions he made. Though I am still determined to be great one day, I would never have grown up to be this kind of person without dealing with a man who never loved. I would never have been strong, smart, or hard headed without the help of a man I will never understand. Though he broke my outlook on my views of a “perfect woman life”, he has forced me to work to become the woman I am today. A determined girl, destined to change the world through the fate of a loveless father.