a.k.a. A Sperm Donor and a Father
You always made it seem like having me for the weekend was such an inconvenience, and now I realize that was true because I would take you away from what you really loved: alcohol and drugs. You made my dreams of playing college soccer seem impossible, because you focused more on getting high than taking care of yourself or me. It took me almost 25 years for me to understand that I was never the problem, I was just in the way of what you loved most: scoring some coke and drinking until you were no longer anyone I recognized.
You were supposed to be my protector, my guardian through life; but instead, you taught me what rage and hate were. You were my dad, one half of me, and from what I saw, I knew I did not want that half to ever show itself, as I grew up and started my own family. I enjoyed being at your house because I got to hang out with my three step brothers and all our neighborhood friends. My step mom would basically kick us out of the house once it was light out and we could come back when the street lights came on. I thought this was because ya’ll wanted us to have a childhood, play outside, and make memories. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I realized it was because you were shooting up in the kitchen and my step mom didn’t want us to see that or feel the wrath that was you waking up sober. She would do her best to shield us from your anger, but that took a toll on her. She began to drink more and more to deal with all the horrible things you would call her and tell her. She may not have been an angel, but she was trying her best to be a better woman for her three sons and me. She didn’t have to take me in like I was her own, but she did. It wasn’t until I was about 16 that she told me that she is the real reason you came back in my life. She had always wanted a daughter and you figured if you brought me around, you would win her heart and she would stay. Your plan worked, but it also backfired on you. Not only did she defend me like I was her own, but my three step brothers also defended me like I was their blood.
When we were younger, your anger was directed at my step mom, but as the boys grew, your anger quickly began to drift towards them. The oldest of the three got the worst of it. He would challenge you on everything, and you always had to let him know that you wouldn’t let it slide. This worked until he got into high school, when he was finally bigger and stronger than you, but that didn’t stop you from trying. I made the horrible mistake of always trying to calm both of you down. One night it didn’t work so well, he calmed down, but you didn’t see anything but red and an obstacle in your way. I had never felt so little and weightless as I flew from the middle of the backyard and slammed against the fence. Even my cry from pain didn’t break you out of your drug and alcohol induced rage. The oldest step brother then knocked you quickly back to reality and made sure that I was ok. You just went back inside and grabbed another beer. This was a common theme when I would come over every other weekend. You would get wasted and my step brothers would do their best to protect both my step mom and me, from you. I don’t think you even feel remorseful about it. You have never once apologized to me about it. I know you would tell my step mom that you were sorry, but that was just so you could get back in the house after she had kicked you out for hurting one of the boys.
As I graduated high school and went on to college, you started to show interest in me because I was getting recognized for both my academics and soccer. The summer before college, I was asked to play on a semi professional team, and you would’ve thought you had been the most supportive soccer dad there ever was, but we both know that’s the farthest thing from the truth. I can count on one hand how many games you came to in all my years of playing. You always did put a good front on for everyone else, but as soon as we got to the house, you were completely different. It was like I was living in my own story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I learned fast what would set you off, anything that you hadn’t already planned on. That meant my soccer was a no go on your weekends. I hated you for that. I loved being out there with my team and you would steal half my season every year. Once I was able to drive myself, I took that back and you did not care for that. When I would get back from my games, you would already be a couple cases of beer deep and who knows how many shots of whiskey deep. You didn’t care how my game went or if we won or lost, all you cared about was that I took time away from you, even though you never really wanted me there. My step brothers and step mom always would ask how the games went, and we would talk about it for as long as we could before you would erupt into a fit of rage about how you let me go, and how I should be so thankful. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized you were trying to control me and make me feel like I was your possession, and that I didn’t deserve to go to my games.
The day that my step dad (or as I call him now and will from here on out be referenced, “Dad”) asked if I would allow him to adopt me, I was so excited because for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be his daughter. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that a part of you would always be in me, but I wanted as far from you as possible. The day that we went to the courthouse and I was legally his daughter was one of the happiest days of my life, aside from marrying my wife and welcoming her son in my life as my own. My Dad did your job for you. He taught me how to be a loving and supporting spouse and accepting parental figure. He taught me what love was from a father figure. My Dad taught me that rage and anger are not the only two emotions that a father has for their children and spouse. He taught me that I can think for myself and stand up for what I know to be right. You may be my biological father, aka my sperm donor, but you will never get the honor of calling yourself my dad ever again.