Since I was a little girl, my parents did their best to protect me from the horrors of the world. That included the horrors of our family and household as well. Like I said, they did their best, but it wasn’t too long before I would find out that my father had an addiction to drugs. To be honest, I can’t even remember how I found out. I’ll probably remember when I finally commit to going to therapy and blog about it lol.
Nevertheless, my father was amazing! He was what every great father is to his daughter. The apple of her eye… the love of her life… her king. His name was Bobby. He was an amazing cook, artist, guitar player and more. He was absolutely amazing with his hands. He could handle all things electric, plumbing, building and more. He actually helped rebuild my elementary school’s playground. He was a high school drop out, but committed and received his diploma my sophomore year of high school. That man LOVED his girls ( my mother, sister and I) as well as the family that we took in. We spent so much time together that I didn’t notice anything “different” about my father. I remember when he wasn’t home, my mother would say “daddy had to go out-of-town to handle business for work.” It didn’t click until I was writing this sentence that there was no way my father could have been out of town for work when he was at home with me all time. When he wasn’t at home, he worked at my elementary school. Where was he going that no one else was going?
So that was some of the good! I gave you that first because in my opinion, it outweighed the bad. I’m confident that my mother and sister feel the same way. But my father’s drug addiction definitely changed my life in many ways. I won’t get too deep into it right now. I’ll blog about it more another day AND you can read it in my book when I stop backing out and write it lol.
Once I knew he was on drugs, I guess you can say I became “woke.” When he was around things felt so right, but it was when he would be gone for three days or a week that would kill me. I worried every day that my father wasn’t home that he was hurt or dead and i would never see him again. I became severely attached to my mother because I didn’t want her to be hurt, but I was still attached to my father because we did so much together. I mean I literally had to argue with this man to stop walking me to the bus stop before I entered high school. Now I understand more than ever why he didn’t want to stop. So when my father died, I lost a part of me. I was confused. I felt like I didn’t get enough of him because I had to share a lot of our time with the streets or rehab. I often wonder if he died thinking I was mad or disappointed in him. My attachment gained a new friend… Abandonment.
My husband was with me through a portion of the experience. I kept it a secret as long as I could. Things got so bad at home I broke up with him in the 9th grade. I had to choose between him or my grades, and my parents expected nothing but A’s and B’s. He kept asking, “was it something I did wrong?” My answer was so cliché. “It’s not you, it’s me!” He said “tell me what’s wrong, what’s going on?” I spilled the beans. “My father is a drug addict!” I yelled. He replied, “that’s it?!” He then chuckled. “I thought it was something bad, like somebody died. My father does drugs too!” We crack up about that conversation til this day. But after my husband found out, that’s when my attachment to him began to form. It got really intense when my father passed away. I never wanted to leave my husband’s side. That’s why him becoming a truck driver crushed me. He couldn’t understand why I would cry so much when he had to go. It was like PTSD or something. I would feel abandoned by him leaving and constantly afraid that something would happen to him. Just as I did with my father. My oldest daughter would cling to me because she knew I was sad. Just as I did with my mother. I remember when she was two, she told my mother “my mommy’s eyes are broken” because I had been crying so much.
I clung to how great my father was though. I expected my husband to be great just like him, but to take it up a notch. This wasn’t a problem for my husband because he’s naturally a great husband and father. It was our age that created an issue. We did everything SO young. We fell in love young (14), had our first child young (21), got married young (23) and have been building as a family in our youth. Since we moved into “adulthood” pretty fast, I expected my husband to jump into gear and get it all right. My expectations of my husband were so high, it was crazy. In my mind, there was no room for mistakes. I didn’t see my father make any besides his drug addiction. Since my husband didn’t have a drug addiction, there shouldn’t have been anything holding him back. He already placed pressure on himself and I made it worse by setting a bar too high for him to reach. He hadn’t had enough time to learn and grow.
When I discovered that I was placing my daddy issues on my husband, I couldn’t stop apologizing. I felt terrible. Not for what I went through, but for what I put him through.
It is vital that we take a look at our childhood and life experiences when approaching relationships. That includes friendships as well. An individual will never know why drinking and smoking bothers you if you don’t tell them addiction runs in your family, and you’re terrified the same will happen to you. That’s just an example. There are so many hidden secrets we have, and hurt/pain that we haven’t uncovered because we don’t like to visit those dark places. Our relationships, especially our marriages and relationships with our children will not be healthy if we don’t tackle our deep issues. This doesn’t mean hold onto your hurt and pain, it means deal with it so that you may move past it.
I’m still a work in progress…