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Unread 05-18-2017, 01:43 AM   #1
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Default My father's bookshelf

My dad was eighteen when my mother had me. He wasn't the best dad, or the sort that you felt protected by. He teased me a lot, he drank a lot, and when my mother kicked him out I was still to see him regularly. I remember being three, and hiding under the bed when he would come take me for the weekend, and my mother would drag me out and I would scream that I didn't want to go.

That must have hurt him.

I remember following him in the grocery store, and he would be angry about one thing or another. He would carry on and say mean things about everyone around us. I remember feeling scared that he would notice me and all the vitriol would suddenly turn my direction. His language was like venom, and he could strike true. Some call it wit, but mostly it was bullying.

Yet, he never teased or tormented me after he discovered how much it was hurting me. After he grew up a little, got sober. After my mother left him. But I don't think he ever knew how to be a dad, and I don't know how to be a daughter.

We didn't see each other for a long time during my adolescence. When I did see him again as a teenager, I noticed his bookshelf. He had five books about alcoholism. One was Adult Children of Alcoholics.

I knew my grandfather was an alcoholic, but my father has never discussed his trauma with me. Everything I know is from what my mother has told me. I heard grandpa used to be meaner than my father. I don't want to ask him to tell me about it. I imagine he feels shame, or something he doesn't want me to see. It feels like there will always be a void between us.
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Unread 05-18-2017, 07:28 PM   #2
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Unread 05-22-2017, 05:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: My father's bookshelf

Of course it is difficult to judge from the distance. But to me it sounds as if he grew up himself with an evil alcoholic father and he more or less copied this behavior as a very young man, which is quite normal. But it looks as if he has learned, that he has grown up, as you say. And he has tried his best to deal with the situation and learn about it by reading those books. How could he possibly have learned how to be a father?

So, maybe you can still come closer today. Maybe it isn't necessary to talk about his childhood, or at least not yet. Can you imagine to be closer to him today?
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Unread 05-22-2017, 06:30 AM   #4
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BTW, I wished my parents had ever read one single book about certain issues, meaning if they had ever questioned themselves ...
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