Life With My Drunk Father

As a child, when I would hear the sound of keys rattling outside the front door of the house, as if someone were scrambling to make their way inside, I would immediately drop what I was doing and run towards the bedroom.

I would shut the door behind me, jump onto the bed, grab the closest pillow, shut my eyes, and pretend to be asleep.

Then, as I waited on the bed nervously and with each passing second, I would feel my heartbeat start to increase. Before I knew it, a blaring sound of footsteps would echo across the hallway, one-by-one, until eventually, they made their way inside the bedroom.

At that point, all I could do was hold my breath and remain still.

In that moment of silence, I would listen to the footsteps as they traveled slowly back-and-forth across the room. Then, I would get this feeling as if someone were observing me closely, almost as if those footsteps were watching to see if I was truly asleep.

And as I lay there motionless, a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach would begin to build up. And although my body desperately desired to move, I knew better than to make any sudden action. Luckily, before I would have the chance to do anything, the sound of those footsteps would suddenly stop

And just as quickly as they stopped, the room would go dark. Then, a loud bang would follow as the bedroom door slammed completely closed.

Alone in an empty room, I would lay still.

In the darkness, I would hear the footsteps gradually make their way past the hallways of the house and come to a full stop as they hit the kitchen tile.

Seconds later, I would start to hear the drunken voice of a man muttering words that I had heard plenty of times before. And not long thereafter, I would be listening to him recount stories of his past. Stories of the struggles he had to endure to come to the United States. Stories of needing to somehow find a way to put food in the mouth of his wife and children. Stories of raising ungrateful sons who did not appreciate any of his back-breaking sacrifices.

On-and-on he went, confessing his truth to an unknown stranger or perhaps, I often thought, he was speaking to an empty room.

Moments later, there would be a long pause.

Finally, the sound of his loud snores coming from the kitchen would be all anyone could hear from inside the house.

This was the routine that played out for many years.

And this drunken figure, who had the distinct title of being my father, would come and go in-and-out of my childhood so much that the only memories of him that I had during that time were of his drunken rants.

And as I grew older, and the more we argued, the more we started to drift apart. I felt, as a son, I was never good enough.

In my early twenties, I had enough of him and decided to move away from home in an attempt to get far away. And when I needed advice that only a father could provide, I went searching for those answers from my uncles, brothers, mentors, or anyone that was older than me.

Yet, those stories that I heard my father unintentionally share when I was a child about his struggles would always linger in the back of my mind.

When I returned back home after years of being away, I made the decision to finally confront him about those memories that haunted me as a child. I figured I would no longer run away and hide, better yet, I was ready to release years of pent up anger and anguish onto him.

As we gathered in the kitchen, and as I started to take a real hard look at him, I was caught off guard. Before me was the face of an older man. A man with more wrinkles in his face than I could remember and more strokes of white lines covering the sides of his hair. And decades of drinking had left him with a weakly body that I had to help him get into his chair.

Suddenly all the words that I had practiced earlier in front of a mirror could not come out.

But before I could get the chance to regather my thoughts, I looked up and saw him staring at me, strangely, in a way that only a proud father would look at his son.

I had never seen him look at me like that before. A few seconds went by, and as I stared back at him and without saying a word, I started to understand.

I don’t know how to describe it. But in that moment, I started to recognize the pain he had gone through as a child. The pain of moving away from home in a desperate attempt to try and prove something to someone who was never around. The pain of having a father who showed him no love and treating his children just the same.

In that moment, while staring into his eyes and sharing his pain, I felt his regret.

And before long, he started apologizing for always coming home drunk, for pushing me away, and for never showing love.

I didn’t say a word.

In that moment, I reached out and hugged him. Hoping to let him know that I acknowledged and accepted his apology.

I don’t remember how long we hugged or what we talked about next.

But I do remember as we hugged, thinking back to those childhood nights, as he would be drunk, snoring in the kitchen with the lights turned on. And I can remember slowly walking up to him, trying my best not to wake him up, and covering him with my blanket.

And I can recall thinking that he was my father and I didn’t want him to sleep in the cold.

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My Life: Friends, Lovers, and Family

I did something that I had been dreading for the past five years…

…last month…I turned 30!

And yeah, I know that I’m probably exaggerating quite a bit, but to be honest, throughout my early twenties, the idea of making something out of myself before the age of 30 continued to randomly creep in my mind. There would be weeks where I would have a hard time sleeping and all I could do was lay in my bed and think about what a failure I was for not making millions of dollars a year or for not having started a professional career in the field that I studied.

Then there would be days where all I did was compare myself to others. I swear, I would write down a list of all the material things that other people had that I desperately wanted but could not afford. Then at night, I would read that list to the point of feeling sorry for myself and then after what seemed hours, I would become exhausted and fall asleep.

Every day, time was ticking extra fast for me.

By the time I was twenty-five and I started my graduate studies, I thought I was already too old to be returning back to school. After a few months, the growing doubt of whether I was smart enough to be a counselor and the pressure I put on myself to be the best student in class started to become too much to bear. So, I made the decision to quit and voluntarily dropped out of the program.

I was devastated for years.

But looking back, I’m glad that I stopped when I did. And I’m not trying to make any excuses for my actions. I guess, in retrospect, those three years of my life after graduate school allowed me the time needed to work on my issues. I reflected on my bad behavior and I started to piece together who and what were important in my life.

Not everything was perfect, but the journey to live a more normal life started the day I walked away from that program.

And now, I am thirty years old.

And like most people who are lucky enough to turn thirty, I feel an obligation to share some small wisdom that I have acquired throughout my life regarding people.

FRIENDS:

When I started writing this blog, I was 23 years old and had just returned back home after living in San Francisco for two years. I spent the next few years going back and forth between southern California and San Francisco in order to maintain in contact with college friends. In a strange way, I felt like I needed them to know that I still cared about our friendship and I would spend money that I didn’t have in order to stay connected to them. But soon, those trips were far in-between and slowly, I started texting and calling them less frequently.

At first, I felt guilty. Like I hadn’t done enough to keep them around in my life.

But those feelings quickly faded, my co-workers had become my new friends and I didn’t have enough time or money to continue taking trips to San Francisco.

I partied and shared my frustrations with my co-workers for the next two years.

But then I started graduate school and had to quit my job.

Shortly after, I lost contact with the group of co-workers that I had befriended and my graduate classmates became my new friends. And so and and so forth, the people that I once knew and shared great memories with would come and go for brief moments at a time, only to be replaced by new people.

So, if you’re like me, someone who cares about friendships, understand that the group of people who you are friends with now, will look differently in a few years.

And that’s okay.

Don’t fight it. Rather, enjoy the time you share together.

Enjoy telling each other those secrets that you’re too scared to openly admit to others. Enjoy those late night drives down the beach, eating your favorite fast food burgers, listening to that song that will soon be a reminder of those wonderful memories.

Appreciate time and moments.

And please, try not to waste too much time on people who will drain you mentally.

LOVERS:

I made the mistake of falling in love with the first person who showed an interest in me.

I was a naive twenty-one year old in love with a manipulative twenty-eight year old. I spent months trying to get him to love me. And when he finally said, “I love you too,” I didn’t care that his actions didn’t reflect his words.

And when he stopped talking to me out of nowhere, I desperately went online to find him and when I did get ahold of him, he somehow made me feel guilty for attempting to contact him. And soon, his partner reached out to me. And the truth of him being in a relationship with someone else was a reality that I had to face.

Back and forth, hours, days, weeks, and years of my life wasted on someone who could not care any less about me. Yet, I still reached out, hoping and praying that he would finally come to his senses and love me back. But it never happened.

Don’t be like me.

Communicate your expectations at the start of every relationship. And if their actions don’t reflect their words, trust me, you are better off without them.

At the end of the day, try to spend time with people that will love you unconditionally.

FAMILY:

In my case, my family has always been a constant reminder of how much my life is a blessing. And I mean that with all sincerity.

And no, not all my relatives are perfect. Like me, they have their flaws and they stumble with getting by from time to time, but in my moments of weakness, I can share what is on my mind with them without feeling like I’m being judged.

And in those moments, they share their thoughts with me as well. And it is during those conversations that we have together, that I am reminded of how we have the same struggles, hopes, and dreams.

And I know not everyone has family that they can talk to when things aren’t going the best. But that’s the reason why I appreciate my family the most.

It took years of heartbreak and disappointments to come to that conclusion.

I guess, now that I’m thirty, I have learned to cherish living in the moment whether I’m with a friend, lover, or family member. I don’t know when our last moments together will be, so I just learned to stop focusing on what will happen in the future and just tried to share a laugh, a cry, or a joke with them. And when they end up leaving my life, or me end up leaving theirs, I will thank them from afar for the wonderful memories.

So whatever you decide to do, just remember one thing: Please spend time enjoying your life.

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My Life: Please Don’t Judge My Weirdness

I made it to Post #25 ya’ll!

Instead of writing something new, I thought of going back to the past. When I first started this blog and writing random posts. These posts were more simple and short. Kind of like me. They were before I had an audience who seemed to care about my life. Before I started writing more meaningful and longer posts. Not that there is anything wrong with that (Seinfeld reference). But I think it is fun to look back and read all of my randomness. So here are a few of my favorite posts that just didn’t garner much views. I hope you give them a try. And please, don’t judge my weirdness! 😛

My Life Through Daft Punk: All Time Views: 22

I guess people just don’t like the French. Haha. Just kidding of course. This post was inspired when I was going through a rough breakdown in the summer of 2013 and the only thing that seemed to help was listening to a song titled, “Fresh” by Daft Punk. The post describes the images that go through my head when I hear that song. I will admit that the writing is a bit choppy, but I was just starting to write! Geeze, I said not to judge. Anyways, if you like Daft Punk and pictures of the beach, you will definitely like this post.

https://mylifeinblogwebsite.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/my-life-through-daft-punk/

My Life In Story: All Time Views: 46

Okay now, I’m quite proud of this post right here. Not because I spent a month putting pieces of my interests together, but because the finished story feels perfect to me. I think this was when I decided that writing could be…like you know…fun! I hope you can spot all the references.

Music: Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, No Doubt. Deadmu5, Les Miserables. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Books: The Catcher In The Rye, The Virgin Suicides, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Fun Home. T.V. Shows: Arrested Development, HIMYM Movies: The Dark Knight, The Matrix, Up. Places: San Francisco, Orange County, LA.

https://mylifeinblogwebsite.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/my-life-in-story/

My Life Through My Thoughts: All Time Views: 44

This post gives you some insight into what I thought about when I was younger. The post reads more like a diary entry, but I like the fact that it also let’s you know what I was thinking about before I had a breakdown. It’s short and honest.

https://mylifeinblogwebsite.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/my-life-through-my-thoughts/

BONUS: The First Relationship Of My Life: All Time Views: 62

Okay, I have no idea why this post didn’t get many views. This was the start of when I started to write long and meaningful stories. And to be honest, this was a deeper reveal into my personal life. This post tells the story of when I was young and in love (as cheesy as it sounds). If you ever wanted to know about my relationships, then this will definitely give you a glimpse.

https://mylifeinblogwebsite.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/the-first-relationship-of-my-life/

Anyways, I hope you give these posts a try and enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them. Until next time my fellow bloggers. Let’s see what Post #50 brings.

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