January 6, 2006
This morning on my drive to work I remembered that your 57th birthday is next week. I wanted to take this opportunity to write and let you (once again) know how I’m feeling and to wish you a happy birthday. Despite everything you’ve put our family through (and continue to put our family through), I still hope you have a happy birthday; however, it saddens me that YOU have made choices which prohibit the rest of your family from celebrating with you. Instead, on your birthday, the rest of us get to mourn the loss of our father, the man we once knew, who left us for a life of drug addiction, crack whores, and low-life losers. Thanks.
Despite what you think, dad, I love you so much, and I care what happens to you; all of us do. All of the things you have put us through wouldn’t hurt so badly each time if we did not love you. Your mind is far too disillusioned because of crack these days that you lack the capacity to even understand and comprehend these thoughts. You’ve lost the capacity to care about anything other than crack or how you’re going to get your next high. I’ve given up trying to make sense of why you continually do this to your family and I’ve given up trying to analyze why you’re always so nasty to everyone.
One of the best things that could’ve come out of your addiction and this hell (if there is anything) is that I’ve come to realize just how many people really do care about you and our family and what becomes of us. Family friends, long-lost relatives, your co-workers – all calling because they are worried for you and for our family. The sad part of this is that your mind has become so convoluted that you are unable to see just how much each and every one of these people (including me) really do care about and love you.
The part I think has become so interesting for me is that I have a hard time feeling anything these days, even despite all the shit you pull on nearly a daily basis. I don’t feel angry, sad, hurt, depressed, or hateful anymore. I’ve come to realize that there’s nothing I can do to control you or your shameful actions. I can only work on and control me and my actions, and concentrate on making ME a better person, using what I’ve learned from this nightmare to help make a difference in other people’s lives. That’s why I’ve decided to go back to school this semester and finish up my degree. In about a year, I will have a bachelor’s degree with a focus in Substance-Abuse. Ironic, isn’t it? It is my hope that someday I’ll be able to make a difference in the life of someone dealing with addiction, especially since it’s obvious your family cannot make a difference in yours.
Dad, I love you so much, and I feel the worst kind of pain imaginable watching you destroy yourself. You’re incapable of understanding this right now. The man you once were exists no longer and that breaks my heart. You had the potential to help so many more people through your work with the Union and to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Now, you are willingly destroying your own life and taking others down with you. I’m happy to say that I am not going to be one of those people, and neither are my brothers, my mom, or my children. Each one of us will be happy and succeed in life, with or without you, and since you’ve made choices that prohibit us from allowing you to be a part of our lives right now (or until you choose a life of sobriety), things are as they were meant to be.
I will continue to pray for you and hope that someday you’ll realize the error of your ways. I will continue to hold on to the hope that someday you will obtain and retain the life of sobriety that we pray for each night. Happy Birthday, Dad. As always, you’re in my thoughts and prayers.