My Father, My Villain.

It’s easy to vilify people in our lives; Ive been doing it to my father almost my entire life. Sure, my dad wasn’t your typical dad. I didn’t have late night sessions in the garage where he explained to me what a carburetor was, or how to clean one; even though he was a mechanic and he worked out of our back yard, and he could have easily done so. He didn’t come to my baseball games or my school plays; we only lived a block away from the school, and it would have been a breeze if he had wanted to. The only time we had a talk about the birds and the bees was when I was much to old to have the conversation and he was far too high to make any sense.

I have very few fond memories of my father, but I have several bad ones. I have a very distinct memory of being led out of my fathers garage—a business he use to own in a town that was about five miles from where we lived, before he lost it and moved his shop to our back yard. I had to have been only four or five at the time, and I was running from my mothers hands and into the car port section of the garage. I wanted to stay with my dad that day. I kept screaming, ‘I wanna stay with dad, I wanna stay with dad and play.’

I burst through the side door, that led to where he worked, and that’s when I saw him standing at the front of the room, at his work station, with a few other guys who’s faces are lost to time. He turned and screamed for me to leave and to go home with my mom. He didn’t want me to stay there with him, he said. On the work station before him, were mountains of greenish and dusty looking leaves; that was the first time I can distinctly remember seeing marijuana. I didn’t stay with my father that day and I never asked to do so again.

My parent’s divorced when I was 15, and I, unlike my two younger brothers, welcomed the divorce. I saw how my mother cried every morning, from all the hurtful things he’d say to her. I saw how he’d write down the odometer on her car so that he would know exactly how many miles she drove that day. I saw how, if any man looked in my mother’s direction, he would call her a cheating whore, because she clearly was sleeping with every man that looked at her. In the fall of 2002, when my mother left my father–something she had done on several occasions before–I made her make me a promise, “Promise me you won’t go back to him.” and she kept that promise.

I always talk about my father like he is some great comic book villain. Everyone of his actions, hurtful words or gestures, are all connected into some greater, mastermind of a plan. The truth is, my father suffers from drug addiction—he’s been abusing every drug known to man, since his early teenage years—and mental illness. Though he’s undiagnosed, he bares every sign of someone who is a manic depressive. Thinking of him as a comic book villain is less painful than thinking about the truth and how he refuses to seek help.

My father has a warped sense of reality. He’s paranoid about everything. We didn’t have a phone in my household until I was almost 13, because my dad thought the government was going to wire tap it. I guess poor, drug addicted, auto mechanics from Southern Missouri, are high on the priority list for the United States Government. Whether his paranoia is from the drugs or the mental illness, I’m not sure. It’s kind of like the chicken or the egg scenario. Did he start using drugs to self medicate or did the drugs warp his mind and make him more susceptible to mental illnesses. I can never be sure.

I do have a lot of bad memories of my father, but I also have some good ones as well. And I hold onto those good memories very tightly.

We were extremely poor growing up, but no matter what, my mother and father always worked hard to make sure we had great Christmases. Whatever we asked for, we almost always got it. I don’t know if every action they took in procuring our gifts were legal, but it didn’t matter, Christmases were good in my household.

Throughout high school, I was in every drama production that the school put on—there were often two a year—and my father only ever came to one. It was the last one of my high school career–I was the Beast from Beauty and the Beast–and he set front and center, wide eyed, as his son danced and sang for two hours. After the performance, my father hugged me tight and told me he was proud of me; there were tears in his eyes. I also cried…

In four days my father will turn 55 years old, and he looks every day of it. I will make the obligatory phone call. I’ll put it off to the very last moment like I always do, because I still don’t find it easy to talk to my dad. I will call him and tell him happy birthday and that I love him and then we won’t speak again until Thanksgiving. But when we do, it will be almost as if no time has passed at all.

My dad has pushed everything and everyone he loves, away. He sits at home, alone, only with his thoughts; I know that has to be a scary and dark place. I will never have the relationship with my father that I’ve always fantasized about, but thats okay. When it’s all said and done—a lifetime of unhealthy habits are catching up to my father—I won’t be mad at him or harbor any grudges. I will continue to hold on to the few good memories I have. I’m almost ready to let all the bad ones fall away.

It’s taken me almost 25 years, but I no longer see my dad as a villain; he’s a tragic character. And he is my father.

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19 thoughts on “My Father, My Villain.

  1. I am so impressed that you have managed to let go of the resentment towards your father- how incredibly freeing! I love your writing, there is an honesty and sincerity that is so compelling. Thank you for sharing your stories and please keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely. And thank you so much for the support and the comments…please keep them coming. You and everyone else on here have really helped me turn my mood around thanks to the support. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very well written, Ryan. Brought a tear to my eye, which is hard to do. I know your pain and I know that from this pain we become better parents for our own children.

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  3. I’ve always known that your relationship with your father wasn’t a great one, but I guess I never fully understood it and I probably never will but after reading this I at least understand it a bit more. I always took your jokes about your dad as you mostly trying to be funny with a hint of sincerity behind them but now I see that it’s more you making light of a serious issue. I feel bad for not realizing this sooner. I think you need to keep writing about everything and anything and put it out there. Your words captivate people and I speak from experience that it sure as hell makes you feel better not only just getting it out there but realizing that your words are relatable or can help someone else or just damn likeable. All in all keep writing and filming. Love you man

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story. As long as you have one or two people who really love and care for you, you will be okay.

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  5. Ryan,
    This was such a beautiful post. I am sitting here tearing up still even after finishing reading this. I am sending a big virtual hug to you. You sound like such a strong person & that is so awesome you have been able to realize your father’s faults and accept him in the new light you do. I have constant issues with my mother and I know I will never be able to have a normal relating hip with her and she hurts me deeply but I have not accepted it the way you have. Props to you! You rock!♡

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  6. Such a raw and tragic post. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I can understand you seeing your dad as a villain. We all develop coping mechanisms. My mom is bipolar and it’s not an easy thing for a child to cope with. And she was almost stable during most of my childhood. Although almost doesn’t mean that same as stable.

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  7. Ryan, I admire your ability to see your father as a person with issues, rather than an evil villain. You are so courageous to share these thoughts openly and honestly and I assure you that this post will inspire many to be compassionate and forgive so they can experience healing. There were moments in my life in which I absolutely saw my mother as a villain, and like you, I will probably never have the type of relationship I dreamed of having with her, but she is a great woman and I love her and I feel so much better loving her than I did harboring toxic feelings toward her. You are amazing and I am excited to read more heartfelt posts from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much…im sorry it took so long to respond to your comment…for whatever reason i missed it! Im glad you enjoyed this post…it meant a lot to me that it struck a cord with anyone. I plan on writing more heart felt posts very soon! Thanks for the comment and the support!

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  9. When I read this I started to think of my boys who are about the same age as you. Your father reminds me of their father; a complete ass who can never get that time back with their son. A lot of people have bad upbringing’ s, and it can either make you or break you, but I think you’ve gained strength from it so in a sick twisted way, it’s kind of good he’s an ass. By becoming a mature and strong man, you’ve beaten the odds and I’m sure you’ll become a roll model to other young men who had the misfortune of poor maternal selection.

    Liked by 1 person

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