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Sometimes My Dad Sucks

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avatar Azie
Super Moderator
Level 51 : Grandmaster Grump
1,081
Hey, guys. Not very often that I write very personal stuff, but this holiday season has been a deeply relective time for me and I thought that maybe my experience might resonate with some of you too, so I decided I'd share it.

When I was too young to remember, my parents got divorced. We lost our house and our car, my mom was in jail, and my dad was struggling to make it as a single dad while also taking care of my nana.

He was bitter and angry and most of my childhood was spent in a courtroom talking to paralegals and mediators in between stints in the country courthouse daycare center watching old Disney movies. Mom was unreliable and hot-headed and soon I was bitter and angry too.

Dad had to be my hero otherwise I'd have nothing else to hang on to and for 13 years I idolized him. We went everywhere together and even though I didn't have a huge interest in hunting and fishing, I wouldn't trade sitting in a treestand with him in the cold and dark for 3 hours for anything. He always made sure that he got exactly what I wanted for Christmas, even if it meant using the credit card, working 20 hours of overtime, or camping out in front of Best Buy for 6 hours.

When I was in middle school, my grades started slipping. I stopped doing my homework and started intentionally trying to fail classes so the school would be forced to place me in easier courses where I'd have less work to do. It was all I could think of to do to make my life feel a little easier during what I now understand was the beginning of what I fear may be a life-long depression. I felt like I had nowhere to go with how I felt and I was right.

Dad disappointed me then. My outlet, video games, was the only reason he could see that might have been causing the decline in my health, mood, and grades so one day, after he picked me up from school, he told me he was going to throw out my console and wanted me to join a sports team at school. Taken aback by this, I came back to him a day later and asked him if he meant what he said.

He did.

That was the day I left. I packed my crap, called my Mom, and moved in with the person I spent the first 13 or so years of my life hating. In hindsight that was probably more insulting than the choice words I had for him when I slammed the front door for the last time and got in her car.

We didn't talk for a year. He called me on my birthday and on holidays, but I never answered my phone. One day I got a postcard in the mail: a wedding invitation from my dad. I didn't go.

A few more years passed, each one more angry and bitter than the last. Eventually I thought that maybe talking to him would help me resolve those feelings, but it seemed like every time we talked or got coffee together, I still avoided going back-- and I still do.

My dad is a narcissistic, arrogant, grudge-holding, abrasive, stubborn butthead and he still is, which is why when my mom asked me about 15 times if I was going to see him this Christmas, I hesitated every single time. The 16th time I hesitated and then finally said "if I have to hesitate every time, the answer is probably no". I resolved to spend Christmas day-- today-- alone.

My dad calls because he wants something from you. It might not always be something tangible, but it seems like he never calls just because he genuinely wants to say hello and that's it. However, that's not what he did yesterday. He invited me to dinner at his house.

It could be argued that he wanted me there for selfish reasons and I wouldn't necessarily disagree given how well I know him, but I decided to make him a gift. I felt compelled and it's something I haven't done in many years. I don't know why and I don't understand why I agreed to go in the first place, but I witnessed something that made me realize that I need to try to let go.

Let me preface myself with this: when we're young we often cling to a parent and idolize them. They can do no wrong. One day we find out that they're human-- just like us-- and they disappoint us. However, I'm of the belief that, while inexperienced, children in general can discern the good in a person and that even when someone disappoints them after a while, their initial belief is not unfounded.

Today I gave my dad a drawing of a deer a made and watercolored. Today I watched him play with his grandson and make jokes with his wife and cook for his family. Today he bought me art supplies and gave me money to pay for my medical copay and helped my nana get to the bathroom and smiled when he let the dogs in to greet us, even though they were so excited that they were jumping up on us. To some people it might've looked like someone doing their job-- cook, help mom, babysit-- but it reminded me of something I've had to relearn for myself lately.

He chooses to do those things because he loves doing them. He might be and angry, bitter old man, but when I showed him his gift in the car his "cool." was really a cry of happiness and his encouragment on the way home to continue doing art meant that that was the best gift I could have given him.

"Keep at it. I like drawings."

I want to forget. I want to just stop being bitter and I want to move on. I want to feel comfortable visiting and calling and I want to have a relationship so that when I get married my dad might like to be there, instead of being where I was and ignoring one of the most important days of his life because I was angry.

Maybe this is a step in the right direction. Maybe realizing this stuff is what will get me where I want to go. Maybe one day picking up the phone will feel like less work.

Sometimes my dad sucks, but sometimes he's pretty cool too.
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im depressed also i feel sorry for you but im sad now
It took me a long time to recover from my father. I am happy to see that your's is showing resolve, as mine never did. He is a very important figure in the long journey that lies ahead, so hope and pray that your relationship can be fully restored. Good luck <3
  • UltraBobT
  • Level 16
  • Journeyman Button Pusher
  • April 30, 2017, 10:53 am
This is truly inspiring. I barely have words for how amazing this is.
  • SheedoPlayz
  • Level 8
  • Apprentice Architect
  • March 19, 2017, 11:04 am
I like your writing style. Looking forward to reading more!
  • Pokken X
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • January 31, 2017, 12:23 pm
awwwhh
  • spookysoph
  • Level 40
  • Master Dragonborn
  • January 1, 2017, 10:56 pm
;u;

this makes my lil heart warm as I see you being such a strong-willed person.

i know that we don't know each other, but I would like you to know that you are such an amazing and wonderous human being.

It takes a lot of determination and will to do and accomplish what you have done.

Now im not going to be really cheesy and say "I know I haven't gone through this but I understand!"

because i dont.

I don't know what it's like to be in that situation, but if it happened to me, I definitely would never build up the courage to do what you've done. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful childhood, and haven't gone through a divorce. I know plenty of people who have.

So basically, I really want to congratulate you on being such a strong and brave person. I wish the best for you, and the most fantastic things to come in 2017.
  • Azie
  • Super Moderator
  • Level 51
  • Grandmaster Grump
  • January 2, 2017, 6:04 am
Thank you so much for your kind comment. :) I don't know that I'd consider myself brave since there are a lot of people with worse childhoods than me, but thank you for saying so anyway. :)
  • avaaxq
  • Level 12
  • Journeyman Botanist
  • December 27, 2016, 8:34 pm
omg you inspire me for being so strong and getting through all that
jesus that was emotional im crying but im glad :')
 thank you for the story <3
  • Azie
  • Super Moderator
  • Level 51
  • Grandmaster Grump
  • December 28, 2016, 6:18 am
Thanks for reading. :) I'm so glad I could share something that is inspiring people.
  • Havingfun_ISKEY
  • Level 60
  • High Grandmaster Princess
  • December 26, 2016, 3:31 am
This inspires me.
Same
  • Azie
  • Super Moderator
  • Level 51
  • Grandmaster Grump
  • December 26, 2016, 5:36 am
I'm glad! I hope you both take that feeling and run with it somewhere good. :)
  • Havingfun_ISKEY
  • Level 60
  • High Grandmaster Princess
  • December 26, 2016, 12:13 pm
Yeah, I actually do have an idea in mind to write here. Thank you, Azie.
I feel you Azie.

*cough step dad and dad problems cough*

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