>My father was a drunk.

As far back as I can remember… he drank… sometimes to excess… but certainly every single day of the end of his life.

Apparently… he was not always like this… my half brothers tell a story of a very different man. A man whom was the stand up type… someone you would look up to. A good family man… a preacher… and somewhere… somehow.. that all changed. No one has ever told me why… and perhaps… no one ever really knew why… except him. My Dad was tight lipped about all things in his past. Now that he is gone… all that is left is the questions… that will never have answers.

When I was born, my Dad was in his 50’s already… his life more than half over. I’m not sure why he felt the need to have another child… perhaps I was an opps… I would not doubt that for a moment. I don’t know if my parents married before or after the revelation of my impending birth… but either way… they married.

I remember being four. My Mom had went to the store to pick something up.. leaving me with him. He had been drinking… a poor choice in my opinion to leave a little girl with a drunken person.. parent or not. At the time my only friend was my very older cousin’s dog. He and I went everywhere together.

Dad went into the house to go to the bathroom… leaving me outside. I, of course, wandered off into the woods following my “friend” into the depths of the swamp. I remember being knee deep in water… scared and crying because the dog had taken off faster than I could keep up… and so.. I was lost.

At some point I was found… and of course… punished. This my friends… is my earliest memories.. having my ass beat by my drunken father… because he was too gone to make sure I followed him into the house. Nice. Granted, I shouldn’t have wandered off… but I was FOUR. I still hold a bit of resentment for that…. probably always will.

There are stories just like that littered throughout my childhood. When I became old enough to fight back… I did. My mother surely never stood up for me.. even when I was right. She just “wanted to stay out of it”. It was not a very fun environment to grow up in to say the least.

I remember when he moved out of the house and into a camper trailer on our land…. how he would never work… and how he would spend hours laying in bed doing crosswords and smoking with lines of empty beer cans against the bed. In all of my memories… few are good ones of him.

This man drank till the day he died.. literally. He had drank for so many years of his life.. that he could not go a day without at least one drink… it was sad really… I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him and resentful all in the same thought. I never really got why I deserved the father that was cut off from the world.. and why my brothers… had a Dad that was always there for them.

And now.. I’m an adult… shouldering the ghosts of my past… realizing the damage his drinking did in my life. How when Ben drinks… it upsets me… not because he’s an ass… or hurts me.. quite the opposite.. he is a funny drinker. But subconsciously… I feel this… I don’t know how to describe it… perhaps its bitterness… or maybe even fear. I know deep down that Ben is not going to be like my Dad…. he would never put me through having a drunk as a husband. However… I just hate when he drinks.. for no good reason. It is so far and few between…. and yet… it just eats me up inside. I’m fairly certain that is why I can only stomach one or two drinks now…. or why I was never really a partier.

It’s amazing the scars we leave on our children…. it makes me fearful of the ones I will leave on mine. No matter how wonderful a parent.. there is bound to be something… some impression that you leave on them… that is not a good one. One thing is for sure… I will never have them live through the horrors of a drunken parent… no way.

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