I had a “rough” childhood, and by that I mean, it was harder on me than I appreciated. I know others have had worse, overcome more, but if you want their story, read their blogs. This is mine.
I was born as a result of rebelious drunk teenagers. As it was the 80’s and small towns, they “decided” marriage was best for them. Shocker, it didn’t work out. I mean they tried. Dad joined the service, we were moved away from their families, mom tried to work but also care for a child, still as a child. My first blurry memories were of fights, in our small town home just off base. Then came my most vivid memory. Dad riding off on his motorcycle. I was probably 3. And he left. Just rode off, me crying on my moms hip. Wanting him to come back. This plays out still to this day. We had moved already, it was just mom and I in a 1 bedroom apartment. I got the bedroom, so it was normal, but she slept on a pullout couch. He was transferred to the east coast, never to return. So to say I have abandonment issues, yea huge ones.
I remember spending time w my mom, but my strongest memory of all that I remember “talking” to my dad. By that, I mean I got cassette tapes (showing my age, they were what was before CD’s, which were before MP3’s, which was before music steaming) where he would talk to me, and I would talk back to him, only he wasn’t listening. He was just talking. So maybe that is another trigger for me to this day. Again this blog is for me to help me work thru some things.
So I had issues as a kid. And I would see him every few years, for a week or so during the summer. But he was a single guy, suddenly thrust into being a father for a week, which didn’t go well.
I’d come home, confused, unsure of where I fit into his life. Maybe that’s why he left. Soon enough, he remarried, moved to Europe, had kids. Years would go by, I’d seem him occasionally. Talk infrequently. But I was going into my teens, and he was my dad. But I didn’t fit into his life. My step-mom made they fairly apparent. And I struggled with that.
On the home front, my mom remarried when I was 5. My stepdad is awesome, filling in so much, truly showing unconditional love. But I didn’t like him for a long time. He just wasn’t my dad. As I grew up, I began to realize how much he cared for me. I was mean to him, especially after my sister was born. And I have always felt bad for how I treated him, and then personally I set a bar so high to try and impress him. You know the saying, “shoot for the moon so even if you miss, you’re in the stars” well, I read it as, “shoot for the moon, and when you miss, you’ll be stuck in the dark vacuum of space, alone with your failures.”
I grew up with my parents telling me not to repeat their mistakes, don’t do what they did. They “settled” for their jobs, never happy, because of their circumstances. Well, eventually you read between the lines and realize, their mistake, circumstances are ME! And I feel guilty for it. I don’t know why, but I do/did. Something. I’m embarrassed for the situation I came from. And I had zero to do with it. But I still feel guilty.
So out of my childhood, my biggest goal is, don’t be my dad. But here’s the catch. I run away from trouble, just like he did.
I asked my dad, the biological one, once why he left and never came back. “It was better for you, easier for you. I can’t explain it, I regret it daily, but you’ll understand some day.” That really stuck in my head.
That’s why I explode when I’m drunk. I sit back and hold all this in. All these emotions. This anger of being left, the fear of when I’ll see my family again. The hurt of being alone. The pain associated with seeing others being picked. So, if I can avoid you picking someone else by running away, BOOM. It’s my fault then. It’s not someone else picking anything but me.
So that’s what I do. I push away, tell my wife she is nothing without me. Push her away because I hate her. How could I love someone who has given her life to someone with so many issues? Why should she love me? There is so much better out there, someone who isn’t me. The girls, they would have a dad who is my stepdad. Someone who fills the void I leave. They would have it so much better. “It will be better for them someday” “they will understand then”
But it’s all bullshit. All those things, they really fucked me up. Like really fucked me up obviously. I don’t feel any of those things when I’m not drinking. Okay, sometimes I feel like a piece of shit anyways, mostly because i keep analyzing my past, replaying it, stuck in spots of hurt, both felt and caused. But overall, I can be a great dad. I’m loving, comforting, caring. I’ll go to the end of the earth for those two. I would literally give up my last breath for them.
And my wife. Man, this whole process has giving me a new found meaning of unconditional love. She has put up with so much shit from me. Liability, emotions, baggage, (which we both have plenty) and hateful actions and words being thrown at her for trying to comfort me. If she stays with me thru this, I will truly owe her my life. Because she has saved me from myself so many times already. And I just want to be there a little for her, to say thank you.