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Thank you father

for continuing to play your thankless role

By Just DanielPublished 10 months ago 11 min read
1
Thank you father
Photo by Shoeib Abolhassani on Unsplash

Thank you father for being the help that gave birth to me, to have me come into such a beautiful, natural world with nature and human-made wonders all around me. Thank you for being by my side all these years and teaching me lessons about life in your own special way. As I grow older now, I see things more clearly from your perspective, although I resented them for quite a long time. I see where things went wrong and I see how you thought what you did was right and how you hold onto your arrogance that you are right through all that you have done for the family.

I am learning, teaching myself, to let go of my bitterness once again because I know that the entirety of the fault is not yours alone nor should any problem fall upon any one person's shoulders so that they should bear all the bad repercussions. Sometimes I do think, however, that I should be able to at least hold onto my bitterness, my bitterness of how this world isn't fair, that no matter how much I try, how much I do, it will be left unseen and won't make a difference in this world. I should be angry too for you caused me to lose my sense of self for oh so many years and only now have I been able to piece myself together again, stapling my bleeding heart and bursting brain back into one piece as best as I can. Even though anger, hatred, and bitterness are good motivators in life and make me able to do more in a day, I will not let these emotions control me as I have seen them control you sometimes. These are some of the lessons you have taught me. Not directly but through the indirect path, you have laid out for me the future for me to imagine.

By Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Anger. Fear. Hatred. Pain and Suffering. Psychosis and Sorrow.

I feel like all these emotions and feelings go hand in hand, that they complement and build upon each other. But before we can get into the depths of these emotions, there needs to be a bit of background to lay the foundation of everything and I will try to the best of my ability to lay the entire foundation as it is, in all of its entirety.

I remember when I was young, I had a good childhood, a great childhood even. As a child, I was happy with my family, following them wherever they would go, doing whatever it was that they did. And you were no different, I tried to emulate you, but I discovered that I quickly failed in many aspects in my attempts. You were and always have been the absolute image of peak physical health, the absolute image of a healthy individual who was proud to have a good family, to come from a good background. You were sporty, you were athletic, you were active, and you were well-liked by your customers and co-workers alike. Not only that, but you were good with kids. Not as good as our uncle, but you were good nonetheless and you loved playing with babies and small children. Everything seemed perfect. On the outside.

No one knew how demanding, how strict, and how scary you were to your own children. In fact, few even know today. For the few that do know, including myself, we have decided to keep silent and anonymous because there would be no benefit in letting the complete secret out, given many of the actions are a thing of the past and time heals all wounds or yaddayadda, something like that. And I am not writing this to shame you, I am not writing this to purposely embarrass or criticize you on the decisions you made, the actions you took, and the consequences that followed, but rather I just want to use this platform to let people know that forgiveness is the greatest gift that you can give someone and it will heal both yourself and the other party. Also, I do want some sympathy. I am human after all, and given all that I have been through, I do believe I deserve it sometimes. Silently, quietly, I do believe I deserve it. I don't believe that I am entitled to it. Oh no, I don't believe I am entitled to anything but that is a story for another day.

Growing up, I knew you were happy that I was born a son and that you could include me in many father-son activities for us to do together. However, you did not know that I was born as a timid and shy male, who did not resemble you in any way, for better or for worse, and least of all, I was not gifted athletically. That was a secret hope I knew you harbored for many years in that you hoped that I had "your genes" and would be able to compete competitively in some kind of team sport and be able to make you proud that way. This is because you were never allowed to participate in any of the "violent" sports just because of how your parents thought of it as unsafe and it just wasn't something our family did traditionally. You tried to push me to do everything you couldn't do and to go further, go further than anyone else in the family to accomplish what hadn't been accomplished and most important of all, to make the family proud. I know the weight had been put upon your shoulders and now you transferred that weight onto my shoulders, hoping and yeeting me into the deep end of the pool, both literally and figuratively, hoping that I survive the impact and also hoping that I would not drown. Partially this is because if you allow all of your future investment to sink, well, that would be bad for business, wouldn't it?

Mom had a different approach. Where she came from, education was the key. Education was, and still is the key to success. It is also widely accepted across the world as a great way, a sound way, a solid way, to increase increase ones' socioeconomic status and to get into a profession that will pay well and pave ones' way for the future. All I needed to do was to concentrate on my studies and I would be able to make my family proud as well as create a good future for myself. Easy, straightforward, and simply right? Surely nothing goes wrong... I'm not sure if it was your lack of communication or if it is your lack of communication to this day that creates misconceptions of reality of what it is that you think your children need and/or what you think you provide for your family, but I can just tell you that when we didn't do things according to your specifications when we were young, you would fly into a rage and chase us around the house, getting your hands on whatever you could find such as a slipper, the back of the feather-duster, the back of one of the metal coat hangers (man I hated those metal coat hangers but wood was worst when we did have those few wooden clothes hangers), or just the palm of your hand when you were impatient and ragey enough and I would be so afraid of being around you and I would try to escape into my hiding spots.

The fact stands that nobody would've expected it. You always appeared happy-go-lucky outside the house whether it was to relatives (sometimes), customers, or neighbors. That was something I disliked when I was young, of how you could appear so different to other people. Of course, when I was young, I thought this was normal and that I should just accept this as how you were but it wasn't until I grew older that I realized that how you treat your own family versus how you treat others outside of your family, is entirely different. Also I feel that this is true for most families. The longer you spend time with your loved ones, you will find little itty-bitty pieces that you absolutely can't stand that are tied to that particular family member, but if it were anybody else, it would hold absolutely no value on you at all. Nonetheless, I always tried to appease you, given you were the strictest person that I have ever known even though almost all people would've thought that mom was super strict. Your children were only useful if they did something for you. Otherwise, they were just parasites that kept taking more and more while giving you very little in returns and returns were things that you needed, immediate returns. Too bad for children, it doesn't quite work that way.

By Joe Beck on Unsplash

There was also something that was plaguing me in my early childhood although it was not as severe at the time, but has been something that has been accompanying my throughout my whole life, and that feeling was loneliness. I also believe that we as humans, all feel this in one way or another, in varying degrees from one another, the amount could be small or large, but it is something that we all experience. I longed to connect with others, to just be normal, and to feel loved with a sense of security. Yes, I was secure with you around, but you were also the security that beat me whenever I did something wrong. I also remember one time in elementary when I was sent to the principal's office and then I was sent home with a letter that needed to be signed by one parent. I begged my mom not to tell you, to keep it a secret, because I knew just how you would react, but even then, you exceeded my expectations.

Based upon your upbringing, you were small, you were pushed around, you were bullied and even several decades later, you still remember that one incident where a group of kids on the playground were laughing at you after they pushed you around and then you broke down in some tears. That was one incident that you kept telling mom, sister, and myself and you have kept talking about this incident as something that greatly affected you even though you weren't hurt physically. This was something that was etched into your brain and heart. Therefore, this might've been the catalyst for you to focus on yourself physically so that if you looked slightly more physically intimidating, people might leave you alone. I am not 100% sure, but I am fairly positive this to be the case based on living with you and learning all about your nonverbal communication methods. I can only infer and I dare not assume because this was also one of the life lessons you and grandpa instilled into me, which was to not assume anything about another person and to step into your shoes for a change.

I am glad you have another child, my sister, who is my younger sibling. Only recently have I refrained from calling her my little sister because she isn't that little anymore but she will always be my little sister, in my heart. I am glad I am the older one so I could see all the wrong methods you used on me would not get to influence her. I am glad she turned out normal and is well-establishing herself and won't make the same mistakes that you made that you passed down to me as part of my inheritance. It's funny how life works, the more you try to prevent something, the more likely it is to happen. It may not happen the way you thought it would happen, but it will happen nonetheless. You should be happy that your family, your children are safe and healthy, but I just feel this aura of disappointment and exasperation as things aren't turning out the way you thought they would turn out. Also since my younger sibling has done everything correctly and becoming more and more independent, you should be proud of everything that she has accomplished and not comparing yourself and all your years of hard work and experience to hers. You two seem to get off on the wrong foot and land on a worse foot many a times, although the number of occurrences of this happening is less now. I hope and wish you two a better journey ahead as you both try to learn more about each other and refrain from jabbing each other, even if they are playful, friendly jabs.

I have done my part in keeping the family together even though you may scoff and laugh that this way clearly not the case. I am a bit worried, but I cannot allow my worries about you, about our family, and about myself shape our future. Some distance will make us learn about what we had in each other and will do us some good as I further my career. Now that I have been rambling for quite some time and stumbling across my own words, I would just like to say thank you for supporting this family financially for all these years and that your efforts will not go to waste. Although you messed up with me in how you early and smoothly I was supposed to be successful for you and for the family, I do know now that your intentions weren't purely evil and I do forgive you for that. And now that I am getting older as well, I have to remind myself to stay vigilant because I catch myself slipping sometimes and making the same mistakes that you made. Maybe I do have "your genes" after all. But I just want you to know that you are appreciated and I love you.

WisdomIssuesGeneralFatherhoodCulture
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About the Creator

Just Daniel

I write short fiction when I have time. There are also elements of my life interwoven with fantasy that I incorporated into my writing. I also like the unknown, so enter into the dark, true, and mysterious if you dare...

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