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- March 21, 2016 at 4:22 am#38852AnonymousInactive
It was suggested it might be a good idea to post here. The following is an essay my daughter wrote about something painful in her life. She is a college freshman.
“Love and Hate”
Someone once told me that hate is a strong word. I completely agree. There are not many people in this world that I can honestly say that I truly hate. It takes a great deal of hurt, anger, and deceit to hate someone. But when you think about it, in many ways hate and love come hand in hand. People go through hard times and everyone has problems of their own. But does that give you a reason to “hate” someone? When I hear the word hate, only a few things come to mind and one of those things is my Dad. There are two sides to my Dad, one that I love to death, and one that I hate from the bottom of my heart.
As a kid, my Dad lived a pretty average life. He lived with his Mother and Father and his two brothers. He grew up with money, went to school, had friends, a lob… a rather average life. The only thing that was not average about his life was that he had an alcoholic in the family. His father. Growing up with an alcoholic in the family increases the chances of becoming an alcoholic by 50 percent. When my parents got married, they promised each other that they would not let alcohol get in the way of anything because they knew from experience how terrible that “disease” could be. Being an alcoholic is considered a disease and it is something that many people simply do not understand. They don’t know how awful it can be and how many people it can effect outside of themselves. Unlike them, I know exactly how awful it can be. My Dad is an alcoholic.
Both of my Dad’s brothers were alcoholics when they grew up, just as their own father was. Their lives changed because of this and as of today, they are both recovering alcoholics. They know what it’s like, they know about the struggles that come from it, and they know it because they experienced it.
Like my father, I lived a more than average life. I lived with my two parents, brother and sister. I played sports ever since I was four years old, I did almost every extra curricular activity I could and I successfully made it through twelve years of schooling. We always had money, never a ton, but always enough to get by without worrying. My parents were very supportive to my siblings and I and were always there for us. My parents were never drinkers, except for the few beers my Dad would drink on the occasional Sunday. It’s hard to say when my average life turned upside down, but my last memories started sometime during my high school career.
My Dad and I always got along so well. We never argued and he was such a kind person. He was always willing to be there for me and always encouraged me to try harder. Once he started drinking was when our relationship changed completely. I don’t fully recall how old I was when he began drinking more heavily because he was exceptionally discreet about it. I was also very naïve. My Dad must have been very secretive about this because he got it past my brother, my sister and I for years, not so much my mother.
My most distant memory of his drinking is from my junior year in high school. He worked everyday and as the time progressed, he began never making it home for dinner. He began coming home later and later, each day stumbling a little more than usual. He was nasty. He was mean. He was cruel. He was not my Dad. Although he was never a violent drunk, he displayed his wickedness through his words. He was constantly angered by the fact that my family and I were always in his face about his drinking. He began avoiding us at all costs. He was never around and when he was, he was always doing his own thing. By my senior year in high school, our relationship had completely fallen apart. I refused to acknowledge him when we was drunk and I couldn’t even bare to be around him.
It wasn’t until one average night of my senior year that the hate that I feel for him today began to kick in. It was probably eight or nine o’clock at night when he came home. He claimed he was “working late” but we all knew that wasn’t true. He was at the bar. I was in my room doing homework while the rest of my family was downstairs watching TV before bed. I heard screaming and yelling back and forth between everyone, so I went to see what was the matter. My Dad’s eyes looked as though they had a layer of water over them. I have never seen them so glossy and bloodshot before. I started to yell at him and he began getting angry with me and was screaming at the top of his lungs as his face turned bright red. This was the first time in all my life where I can remember him actually screaming at me and getting in my face. He was not my Dad. I was filled with rage and hate. It was that night that I lost all respect for him. I was tired of his stumbling through the door every night and not being there for his family anymore. I was tired of not having my Dad. I wanted everything to go back to the way they used to be. It was that night that I slapped my father in the face. Not in a million years would I ever think that I could be brave enough to slap my father in the face, but I did. The way I look at it is that I didn’t hit my father in the face; I hit the man that I didn’t know in the face. I hated that man with all of my heart.
Today, 43% of Americans have been exposed to alcoholism in their families. 43% is just a number to the 57% percent of people who haven’t experienced it. Alcohol is a depressant and should be drunken cautiously. Studies have been proven that alcoholism is a disease. I believe it to be true but I also feel as though diseases are not something that you can “choose” not to have. Being an alcoholic is something that you can choose not to be. Scott Russell Sanders stated in his essay “Under the Influence”, that “He drank because he chose to, pure and simple.” Like my Dad, his was also an alcoholic. If one chooses to drink, then they will drink. Bottom line. My Dad chooses to drink.
The night I hit my father, my outlook on everything changed. Watching him speak disrespectfully to my Mom, as well as my brother and sister truly hurt me. I was in shock. I continued to finish my senior year, while I watched my family feel the pain from my Dad. Of course I felt it too, but I always stayed away. I avoided seeing my Dad in that state of mind. I did everything I could to stay out of the house. Today, I somewhat regret not getting involved as much as I should have. Even now, being away at college, I again am away from it all. I despised seeing my own father like that and I loathed the smell that flowed out off of his mouth. I didn’t like one thing about him. I’m not a person that always expresses their feelings to other people and this subject is one that I rarely ever talk about. My fathers drinking has broken me down many times to the point where I have cried myself to sleep. It has broken my heart. It has taken away my kind, loving father that I once had.
I believe that from every situation, leaves a place for someone to grow. Dwelling over something should not be how people live their lives. More so than me, this has affected my brother, sister and mostly my Mom. Seeing the hurt and anguish on my mothers face on a daily basis absolutely kills me. I feel for her more than I do myself and I would do anything to make things better for her. My Dad, being an alcoholic is one of the most stubborn people I know and he refuses to quit drinking. Knowing he is ruining my family a little more each day, he still continues to drink.
As of today, February 19, 2010 my Dad still drinks. He is choosing to tear our family apart. Until he stops drinking, I will not forgive him for what he has done. Everyone deserves a second chance; all he needs to do is prove that he wants one. In my eyes, he is a drunk and I do not consider him my father. He has not been here for me for the last two years, if not longer and I am choosing not to be here for him as long as he is going to drink. The day I hit him will live with me forever. The fact that I don’t talk to him and don’t give him the respect that a daughter should give to her father, must deep down bother him greatly. I know that my father misses me as well as everyone in my family, but right now alcohol is his first priority. If he ever realizes what is important to him, he will hopefully get help and go back to being the father that I once knew, loved and respected. Until then, my feelings of hate, are too far overpowering. I lost my father to alcohol.
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