Truthiness Day 14: Goodbye to you

Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)

Dear Dad,

Where do I begin?

When I was a child you were the person I looked up to the most.  You were smart, good looking and talented even beyond music, art, and sports.  My world revolved around you; when my mom told me to go to sleep so that I could wake up and see Mr. Sunshine, I thought she was talking about you.

With all that you had going for you, I don’t understand how you could do the things you did.  You seemed to carry so much life, yet you destroyed that light with drugs.  You then left the evidence behind for me to find and I had to ask my mother, “Why is daddy sniffing sugar?”  How could you pack your things and leave my mom while she was 6 months pregnant with your third child together?  Do you know that she had a panic attack when she came home to an empty house?  You then proceeded to max out the credit card buying things for your new girlfriend while my mom worked the night shift at the gas station to make ends meet…while your girlfriend was being swathed in the fur coat you bought for her, my mom was held up at gun point on more than one occasion.

You were neglectful and reckless.  You left me in charge of my younger siblings while you went out to party before I was even 9 years old.  You nearly drove us off the side of the levee into the river in your VW Bug regularly just so you could get a thrill.  I still can’t get anywhere near the side of a cliff without dealing with panic and vertigo.  I also can’t pick up the telephone without suffering severe anxiety thanks to your yelling at me for forgetting phone numbers when calling Information on your behalf.

Recently I learned that you hit me in the stomach because I left the table without asking for permission.  I was 3 or 4 years old.  I can’t even begin to wrap my head around that one.

I’ve heard a lot of excuses for the things you did, and so much blame has been shifted to others.  I think my grandparents still put you up on a pedestal, believing that you were their golden boy who could never do wrong.

I missed you for a long time after you died.  Now I can’t help but think of how much more damage you would have caused in the lives of others if you had lived past 30.  I barely remember the good things because there is just so much bad to eclipse them.  I wish I could still pretend that you were a good dad.  I wish I still had my hero.

Sincerely,

Crystal