In the middle of the night, I wake up in frantic mode
Unaware of if it was a dream that triggered it all, but my first coherent thoughts come to me like a backwards puzzle. Bits and pieces of a fragile childhood.
If he didn't work so hard at wrecking everything, things could be different. But he did it like it was his job. As if something clicked in him before I ever even met him. Something just clicked and said to hate it all. Hate the family he made the choice to create.
If he spent more time trying to give a shit about being a dad
more time trying to be a husband
more time defending his family
More time taking responsibility
less time drinking
more time feeling
less time lying
more time caring
if he would have taught me how to believe "everything is going to work out"
he wouldn't have had to try too hard
just to say it once in a while
because sometimes it's good for your 8 year old daughter to hear
because kids don't deserve chaos
you don't bring a child into this world to take on your problems
and you don't marry someone to "own them"
you're taking a vow
not fucking buying property
divorce becomes the only solution
you don't turn your children against the other parent.
and if you do
you can't be surprised when it all backfires on you someday
kids are impressionable, but they're not idiots
eventually they see through it all
what exactly goes through your mind?
I'm fortunate enough to never be able to think the way you do and find out
there are things I'm lucky enough to not recall anymore
there are things I'd give up everything in order to forget.
being 5 years old and going for a walk with you
you stopped and pointed up at a lamppost
same one we walked past dozens of times before
"You're mother hung someone from there once."
that's the one
that's the one that doubles as my first real memory of you
as well as one of the things I wish I could forget more than anything.
what an achievement
you must be so proud
that's what I got for a father
there's really no coming back from that one
I never thought of it before now
maybe I was lucky to have my image of you tarnished in the worst way at such a young age
it saved me years of disappointment
it saved me years of me allowing you to let me down
perhaps most importantly
it saved me from ever wanting to end up with someone the way my mother ended up with you
everything about you is everything I don't want from the person I choose to be with in this life
some people find that out in a much more difficult way
I remind myself that I'm lucky
and that there is no place to go from the past except forward
I shake it off
and go back to bed