Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 4: Your Parents

Sorry for my short blogging hiatus. I will be completely honest with you - it is 100% due to the fact that I have been completely procrastinating on this particular blog topic. When I ventured out into this 30 Day Challenge I had good intentions to tell my stories using full disclosure as much detail as I could consciously muster up.

**Disclaimer** If you are someone who believes a blog shouldn't be too personal. Then stop reading... because this blog is about as personal as it gets. It's raw, painful, sad, and truth.

If it were only this simple.

First of all, I like to start off by saying I did not create the blogger topic list myself. I Googled "30 Day Blog Challenge" and found it. With that said, I can only assume that the person who created the list figured that blogging about your parents should not be too difficult or too personal. I bet the person who created the list had those kind of parents who were supportive and wonderful; people that they can always turn to. But maybe I shouldn't assume... I sure don't want to be called an ass.

Anywho, I'm not a person who can describe my parents as wonderful, supportive, influential people. In all honesty, my parents are a complete mess and I am currently not on speaking terms with either one. So here are the basics. This is probably just about as personal as it gets - so I will do my best with the details.

My dad was a good man at some point in his life. At least I hope he was. I hope that when he married my mom and started our family that he really did want to be a good dad. I think he tried. At first anyway. For as long as I can remember my dad has been an alcoholic. My parents split-up when I was seven. I used to spend the weekends with him and at the bright age of ten I decided to put an end to that since our weekend trips would always end at a bar. As a little kid I would plead with him to stop drinking. I would write him letters about how all I want is for him to stop. Nothing worked. He wouldn't stop. He became an embarrassment. I didn't want my friends to meet him. I told my mom not to invite him to my high school graduation party. By the time I was fifteen I made the decision that I was done with him. In the past eight years I have seen him a handful of times. Once I visited him in the hospital when he crashed into a school bus. Once I saw him at my Memere's wake. Once I saw him at the funeral. And once I saw him at the bank - when he surprisingly decided to sign his life insurance policy over to me. He is a mess. Aside from being an alcoholic he is also a drug addict. To be completely honest it shocks me that he is still alive. The way he destroys himself each and everyday. It is a miracle. The difference between my mom and dad though... is I have come to terms with who he is. I learned that he would never change when I was ten years old. So I stopped being hurt by it and I just dealt with it. It is what it is became my attitude. I'd love to be a little girl who has her dad's shoulder to cry on, but I'm not. I'm stronger because of it though.

My mom is a good person with a good heart. I will never deny that. She is also an alcoholic and also one of the most selfish people I know. Maybe she is so selfish because when we were kids she was so selfless, but aren't you supposed to be that way with your kids? My mom was my best friend up until I was about seventeen. She was there for me whenever I needed her. Despite the fact that she was a single mother with little money she honestly did the best she could for us. She went to every soccer game, every cheer-leading competition, bought me a prom dress, everything. I also trusted her. I could talk to her in a way that most kids couldn't talk to her parents. She knew about my friends, boys in my life, I even told her about losing my virginity. Everything. During all of this time - I would describe her as a functional alcoholic. She drank every day, but she still functioned as well. She went to work, she cooked, she cleaned, she was a mom. And a good one at that. But by the time I had started college her drinking had gotten worse and she went through some kind of midlife crisis (I guess we would call it). She lost her job. Lost a relationship with her sister due to a family feud (that I honestly do take her side on, btw). And she gained a relationship with a man who is so completely horrid that I can't even describe my disdain for him. He is a drug addict and abusive. Long story short (because getting into the nitty-gritty might just be TMI) the past four years she was in and out of jail - all DUI charges. I was there for her through all of it. Every two weeks I went to visit and brought her everything she needed. I gave her money, sent her letters, brought her dinner. I was the only one that was ever there for her. We had a plan. When she got out she was to move in with my Grammy (who is 91) and take care of her. Well not even a month into moving in she let her boyfriend move in - we all thought they had broken up. All hell broke out in the family. She broke her probation, went back to jail and blamed it on us. We have hardly spoken since. I sent her a very long winded letter about how I can't do it anymore. I can't be her support. She needs to take care of herself, blah, blah, blah. I also went into detail about how that man will never be part of my life and listed all of the things she will miss out on if she chooses to be with him. I told her when I have kids they will not be allowed to be around him, that when I get married he will not be welcome at my wedding, that I will never spend holidays with her if he is there, etc, etc, etc.  So basically she choose to be with this man sorry excuse for a man instead of part of a family that supported her through everything. The last time we spoke was for three minutes on my birthday, in October. Why three minutes? Because she had to hang up - she was using up her cell phone minutes.

So that about sums it up. That is my sad little tale.

I don't hate my parents. In all honesty I love both of them very much. I will forgive my mom eventually - she just needs to work at it. Unfortunately, she isn't. She isn't putting the effort in. So why should I?  I'll tell you this though I worry about my mom each and every day.

The reason I don't reach out anymore. Is because I don't want to be hurt anymore.

When life kicks you down... you get back up and you are a better person for it. My parents didn't teach me much in life, but they did teach me what I didn't want to be. I didn't want to be them. I wanted to be better. And I am. Everything I have in my life - I have because I worked my ass off to get it and you know what? I bet I appreciate it way more than the kids who had those parents who paid their ways through school and bailed them out anytime they were in trouble.

In light of it being Dr. Seuss' birthday - this quote seemed appropriate.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr Seuss


  1. Wow, I was really moved by this post, I commend you for being able to open up like that. I think you are much stronger for going through this and I hope that maybe you will be able to help other people who might have be in similar situations. I am glad you are able to make a good life for yourself now that you are an adult. I believe you can be happy no matter what happened in your past.

  2. You did it. Glad I could peer pressure you into it today. But in all seriousness, you are much more honest and brave than I could dream of being.

  3. Good job on a very hard topic. I salute your courage.

  4. Very tough thing to write. My father shares some of the same traits as yours, although he has begun to improve with his years.

  5. You are an amazing person and I love you very much, Hun! xoxo

  6. Tracy...though we many not see or talk on a regular basis...I have always looked up to you for how you have a made a good life for yourself. Your an amazing person and friend and I am proud of you :).

  7. Sorry I'm a day late on this, but I'm glad I read it. It must have been difficult to write,but I think your story could help a lot of people. It's great to know, that even with all these difficulties, you made something of yourself, here's to you girl !

  8. This was really, really well written, Tracy. I have an alcoholic father that I am not on speaking terms with as well, so I can kind of understand how hard it must have been to write. You did a great job with it :)