I always envy those families that look so perfect. So normal. So happy all together. Granted I know every family has it's issues, whether it's visible to others or not. And sometimes their happiness is just an illusion. But I can't help but wonder what my life could've been like if my family while growing up was more normal (if there even is such a thing as 'normal').
My father was an alcoholic. My mom was (is) very overbearing and controlling.
I remember very little of my childhood. I don't know if I've just blocked it out or what. I remember a few good memories, like camping at a nearby state park as a family. Or fishing with my dad. I remember listening to my father play his guitar. Sadly, what I remember the most is how I felt. Always feeling scared to upset my father. Never ever feeling good enough. Feeling worthless. Depressed. Sad.
My teenage years, things just got worse. His alcoholism got worse. Tension in the family got worse. My feelings of hate for myself got worse. Depression was more frequent and intensified. I started cutting myself. I was stressed, trying to hold things together. Trying to appease my father and at the same time live up to my mother's expectations of me. Neither really ever worked, though. It was then that I started to realize that i was never going to be good enough, that I was a failure.
My parents separated for a couple years, and then got divorced. After my dad moved out of our house, I hardly ever saw him. You'd think that might have made me happier. But it didn't. Even tho he was so messed up, I missed him dearly. I felt angry at what he was, and angry that he was not a part of my then-current life. Seems contradictory, but then again, I had a lot of mixed feelings back then. Heck, I still do. But anyways... that's a topic for another day.
I focused hard on trying to just make it through life. I graduated High School as an honor roll student. Got a nice full time job. Then, one afternoon, I got the message. A message that I didn't want to hear. I knew one day it would come, but it still caught me by surprise. All I was told that I needed to leave work, go home, and that it had to do with my dad. My heart just sunk. Right then, I knew. And unfortunately I was right. My father was dead. He had passed away in his apartment the night before. This news was devastating. I still to this day regret that I hadn't seen him in months prior to his death. I never got to tell him I loved him. I never got to say goodbye. The heartache, guilt, anger, and sadness led me into a really bad depression. And my life seemed to just get worse and worse after that. My father has been gone for almost 10 years now. And unfortunately I still suffer and deal with the consequences of my actions and mistakes that I made following his death.
I wish things would've been different. What if he hadn't died because of his diabetes and liver failure (both brought on by excessive alcohol consumption)? What if he had gotten more help? What if he hadn't given up on life?
So many people tell me that I am a lot like my father. And it's true. I am. And it scares me to death. There was high speculation that he was bipolar, though he was never diagnosed. Which I could totally believe. He struggled so much with the same kinds of feelings that I do. But after a while he just couldn't handle it anymore, and he turned to alcohol. He gave up on life, he gave up all hope. And eventually, it killed him. I am terrified that I will have a similar ending. Not because I turn to alcohol to cope, because I don't. In fact, I barely drink at all. But I've gone through so much bad depression in the past 10 years, feeling completely hopeless, wanting to just die. And every depressive episode I endure, especially lately, the desire to commit suicide gets so much stronger. I want so badly to be happy and live a satisfying life, to have children and be a good mom, to have a happy family life... but I know it's never really going to happen. And ending my life before I suffer even more heartache - it sometimes feels like my only option.
I miss my dad so much. RIP =(