My parents have a terrible relationship. They don’t love each other. The only reason they are still together is because my mom seems tho think divorce is worse than a dysfunctional, abusive relationship, and she can’t afford to be on her own. They went to my PMEA district choir concert together. We made it about 10 minutes into the drive home until the explosive, screaming fight over how my moms incompetence at parenting was to blame for something smartass I had said 3 weeks ago.
My father is a mean, immature, abusive man. A lot of my life, I have felt a lot of guilt over his behavior. As a kid, I blamed myself, because I assumed that adults only behaved badly with good reason. I thought I was defective and unloveable. All I wanted was his validation. My dad can be pretty nice when he feels like it, which adds to the feelings of guilt, because I want to hate him for all of the abuse that he’s put my mom, sister and I through, but when he is nice I feel like I’m the bad one. Then, when it gets bad again, it feels like my fault that I turned my nice father into the asshole that he is. There are dents in my wall from the last time he got mad at me. It was over a history assignment that I had turned in late. My mom, fearing for my safety, stood up to him for the first time ever and dragged him away from me. He tried to lock me in the closet while he went out to drink.
My father did not speak to me on my 13th birthday because weeks before I hadn’t cleaned my room when told.
The thing I find the hardest is when he blames my mom for my behavior. Whenever I do something that he doesn’t like, it’s my moms fault, because she is a terrible parent who is playing me and my sister against him for her amusement. This kills me. My mom is the best, strongest woman I know. She has been to law school, leads a Girl Scout troop to this day, and has made sure I know that I am never alone in this world. I wish I could be half the woman she is one day. I feel like I need to protect her against my dad,because, deep down, I still believe that his abuse is my fault. I remember in 8th grade, she gave me permission to miss a volleyball practice to go to a Lady Gaga concert. This was something I had been planning for months and was really important to me. When he realized that I had missed practice to go he was furious. He told me that he no longer cared about anything I did and that my life meant nothing to him. He told my mom she was a terrible mother. I hated myself for that.
Now, I’ve stopped caring. I don’t need his approval to be a valuable human being. Sometimes, I wish I still had a real father, but my mom is all I will ever need.
I’ve also stopped feeling like I need to protect my mom. She is a grown woman, and although I do not agree with her choice to stay with my father, it is, in the end, her choice. Just because he got my mom pregnant, doesn’t make him my father. He is my abuser, and nothing more.