Why You Don’t Need Anyone in Your Life Who Doesn’t Make an Effort to be In Yours

Growing up, everyone always told me that there are some things that are simply out of your control. It does not matter how hard you try, sometimes things just don’t work out. I sit here, months after my world was shattered for the second time, by the person whose name was ironically my very first word,  the person whom I used to call dad. My “dad”, as I used to call him, was everything I thought I wanted in a man growing up: hardworking, a great father, selfless, and, most of all, someone that everyone admired. That was just who my dad was when I was young; he embodied all of those characteristics. Now, I cannot say that any of those statements hold true. After five years of progressively following a trend of actions that can and do break my heart, he finally succeeded. He broke my heart, but I am here to tell you that he did not break me. Five years ago is when you could say that things began to crumble. My freshman year of high school is when my dad’s depression began and, along with that, the progression and furthering of his alcoholism. Growing up, I saw my dad drunk, something that even then, at a young age, I knew that I should not have been around. I was always able to make him stop, though. I’d sit him down every other year or so, and he would always tell me he was ready to change.

Maybe it worked back then because I was a priority to him at the time.  I still do not know if this was the case, however, now I could care less if I ever truly got an answer. During my freshman year of high school, he began going out more, drinking every night, and he began coming home on the weekends progressively drunker and drunker. Around my senior year, he became what I thought at the time, was the worst that he could become. My prediction was far off, to say the least.

During my senior year, I had my wisdom teeth taken out. It just so happened that at the same time, my mom was not in good health, and she should have gone to the hospital for pneumonia but refused. She was so sick that she told me that I had to take care of myself. Luckily, I had my boyfriend to take care of me. My dad was nowhere to be found in our home. He was instead out at bars.

My senior year progressed just like the progression of his alcoholism did. Day by day as I got closer to graduation, his drinking continued to get even more out of control. When I was celebrating my college decision day alongside friends and those closest to me, he was at a bar. He did not know that it was decision day; he only found out after seeing my Facebook post. About a month into my freshman year of college, he totaled our car while driving under the influence, and he finally admitted to being an alcoholic. I was devastated, to say the least, especially knowing that I could not help my mom deal with any of it. She had already been dealing with prior health issues, and now she was heartbroken and forced to deal with my father’s mess.

My dad promised me that he would stop drinking, but he only stayed sober for around four months, though he claimed for much longer that he still was going to AA meetings. I had given up at that point. God had given him a second chance that night that he survived that bad of a crash, and he chose not to take it. As the months continued, he became more and more distant with me. Our relationship was strained to say the least.

Three weeks after being dropped off at Kenyon for my sophomore year, I got a call from my mom saying that my dad was divorcing her. He didn’t even give her any warning; he blindsided her and ended their marriage because he wanted a lifestyle change. Not only did I hate him for hurting my mom, but I hated him for waiting until I was nine hours away from home to tell me. I hated that I had to find out over the phone and not in person. He was and still is only concerned about himself, and as long as he is happy, no one else matters. Not even the little girl who he taught to ride a bike or watched get on the bus for her first day of kindergarten.

Since then, I have gotten one phone call from him, a book, and a few text messages, none asking about my life, just attempts at making small talk. When I tell people on campus about this, they tell me that maybe I should reach out. It infuriates me. Why should I try to force someone to be a part of my life if they have no desire to make an effort to be in mine? Parents are there to support their children and guide them. Where was he when I had to drop a class because I could not deal with all the stress this semester? When my mom told him this, he did not even check in on me. He still has no idea that I can no longer pursue the major I wanted to because I needed that class for my major.

While many negative things have happened in my life because of him, I have also found many blessings throughout all of the hurtful things that I have had to go through. These difficult times have strengthened my relationships with others and made me realize who really cares about making sure that I’m okay and who is just there when it benefits them. Most of all, however, I have learned that no matter how much you love someone, all of the love in the world cannot make them change. Those who want to be in your life will make an effort, and those who do not, regardless of your ties to them, whether they be family or a friend, will not. No one deserves a one-sided relationship.


Image Credit: Feature, 1,2