I have started to blog about how my faith has gotten me through so many things I would not have gotten through otherwise. I was thinking last night where I wanted to go today. I was really wanting to tell the story of my husband but kept feeling led to blog about my father. This is still a little hard for me but hopefully it helps someone with the same issues.
Growing up I was NOT a daddy's girl. In fact I would have been happy if my dad had went away and never had come back. Actually I use to pray about it. He was probably one of the most horrible people that I knew. I know that is harsh but that is how I felt. My dad was filled with lots of anger when I was younger. We could not really play around with him like most daddy and kids did. We did not go and do things like most families did. My dad was a work alcoholic so there was not really much time. Then when he would get home he was tired and irritated and took that out on us and our mom.
When I was 9 years old I started to take care of me and my three younger brothers by myself. I was also responsible for making sure that dinner was cooked, laundry done and the house cleaned by the time that they got home. If it was not done, you paid the consequences. He was very physically and verbally abusive. I took the blunt of everything I think for two reasons. One because I believed if I went first then the boys would not get hit as hard and two I think he came after me first because I was the oldest. I don't know. I often took the blow for him and my mom fighting also. He never hit my mom. On occasion when they would get into it he would find some reason to corner me in my room or in my closet.
Like all other kids, all I could dream of was how I could not wait till I was 18 and I could move out of the house. When I became a teenager and could drive and work I did. It was a great way to stay out of the house. Much came with this age. This was the age that he and my mom got pregnant with me and got married. So of course I was going to do the same thing. If he even heard of me talking to a guy I was sleeping with them. I was a whore or a slut or what ever else. according to him I was doing it all. Even if I was not out with a guy this is what would meet me when I got home.
Separate from the abuse, I always resented him for always moving us around. We moved probably every two years. Just when me and my brothers would settle in and make friends, we would be moving again. He always had a plan to make more money or we would just do this for a little while and then we could have a bigger house. Yadda yadda. He never really had a job. He was self employed. What that meant was that my mom worked so hard to pay the bills by herself and everything that he did make went right back to his business. Because of his selfishness we struggled hard. To this day I have a hard time eating brown beans and sandwiches. I am not complaining though. Thank God we had something to eat!
I believe because my dad and mom were married so young my dad started to feel trapped. When I was pre-teen he started to come and go as he pleased. He had many girlfriends on and off. It threw my mom into a depression and she did not come out of her room much. Ever so often he would leave with the explanation of he just wanted to date for a while. Every time I would pray that he would just stay away. My mom would always take him back. I hated her for that. I hated how weak she was. She would always tell me that she could not raise us four by herself. I just could not understand.
I have really come down hard on my dad. But here is where I want to go with this. Now that I am the person that I am I can see where this all came into play. Because we moved so much I can adapt to any situation. I am very outgoing and never meet a stranger. Because I had to take care of my brothers I was not scared of my own children when they came along. I had been there and done that. Plus since there was three of them I can take care of many children at one time. I am great at multi-tasking. Because we did not have much food in the house, I am really good at making something out of nothing. My favorite thing from all of this, is that I have been able to minister to other youth that are going through the same thing.
You are probably wondering what my relationship is like with my dad now. He kicked me out of the house very shortly after I turned 18. For about 4 years after that we did not talk much. We did not see each other during holidays or nothing. He knew how I felt and gave me my space. He and my mom divorced right after I moved out. He became a totally different person. A 180 degree change. But I still could not forgive him. I carried that anger with me every where and used it for an excuse for everything. I took my anger out on every one that I could and even my husband. I just blamed it on how I was abused.
After my daughter was born we took a visit to see some of Tim's family in Florida. His uncle is an evangelist. He can read you like a book. We got into conversation and I began to spill my story. He asked me if I wanted to be delivered from it and I did not answer. I was not sure if I was ready to forgive him. It had become my identity. I was an abused person. It was who I was. Plus I did not think that he deserved my forgiveness. Especially when he had not even told me that he was sorry. Actually he would not admit to anything. Finally I relented. We prayed and prayed pretty much through the whole night. When it was all over I was healed. I was able to let it go. When we got back from that trip I slowly began to work my dad back into my life. We would go visit and show up on the holidays. Now I run a landscaping business with him and we talk daily. He still has never told me he is sorry but I am okay with that. I can see it in his eyes and in the way he does selfless things for me. I think he is not able to physically say it but I know that he is. I love him now. I actually thank him for shaping me in so many ways. I would not be the person that I am today had I not gone through all that I have been through. One of my favorite sayings is that there is always a rainbow at the end of the storm. Just keep looking for the rainbow, it's there.