Prayers That Keep It Real for: Children Whose Parents Are On Drugs
Real Talk: One day you are bitter. The next day you are angry. And the next day you are confused. No matter what each day brings. Some how you have this bottomless love for your parent. You believe in them even when others have turned their back on them. You manage to always keep hope alive.
I don’t quite remember when you two split and called it quits. But, my heart is reminded of it everyday. Because your absence left a hole, gap, void, in my life. My family blamed you for not paying child support when I was younger and they thought you should go straight to jail without passing go. I didn’t realize then that your absence would affect me for the rest of my life.
I would only see you sporadically through out the year. But when I saw you it seemed as if we had seen each other everyday. I would embrace you with a big smile and arms out ready to hug your neck. Being in your arms made me feel secure. I had so much I wanted to update you on. However, I noticed as I began to talk with you, you were there but something else had control of you.
You would gaze into my eyes and sometimes be repetitive in your words to me. You would sniff all of the time and secretly ask me if I had any money. I would reach in my pocket and give you all of the change I had because I wanted you to be happy. Your eyes were weak with pain. Your soul was vacant and dark.
There were many nights when you were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. You would knock on my window in the middle of the night on a school night. It would be 1 or 2am in the morning. Sometimes you would cry like a baby and all you could say is you were sorry and that you loved me. I always wondered why you had to interrupt my sleep and get rowdy that early in the morning. Mommy would always threaten to call the police if you didn’t vacate the premises and eventually you would.
I turned 16 and I am now a young lady. You opened a checking account for me and I would put my entire check in the bank. Proud to save money in the account my father opened for me. After a few months I wanted to take mommy shopping because I wanted to give her something for once. I stuck my card in the ATM and it said “Insufficient Funds.”
My heart dropped and I became enraged. I woke up and realized that you had taken from your own daughter. You had issues and I was going to let you know. I had worked so hard for that money and you hadn’t given me anything all my life. But, yet you take from me? I couldn’t wrap my mind around how you could justify it.
My mother was terribly angry. It was the first time she had given me permission to tell you exactly what was on mind. Even if that entailed a curse word her and there. I yelled at you to the top of my lungs and told you that I hated you.
I began to ask you questions like: “Where were you when I graduated from middle school?”, “Where were you when I had my first kiss?”, “Where were you when I was molested?”, “Where were you on ALL of my birthdays?”, “Where were you when I first had sex?” You looked at me with tears dripping down your face. You were intoxicated and all you could say was that you loved me. I told you I no longer wanted you to be apart of my life.
Time has passed. It is my graduation day and I look out in the audience and I see all of my friends and family. But, one person is missing and that’s you. I try to block you out of my mind, but I can’t. It saddened me to know that you had missed 17 wonderful years of my life and you couldn’t stay sober for the most important day of my life.
My conscious started eating me up. I started evaluating our family. It finally hit me. Daddy doesn’t know how to be a father because his dad was never there for him. Is this an excuse? No. But, it surely made sense. I started to open my heart again to you. I would ask myself what I would do if you were to die and I still had bitterness in my heart against you? That would eat me up. I embraced maturity and I called you and told you that I released you of everything you didn’t do for me. I prayed for you and told you that I believed in you.
It is “THE” biggest day of my life. I am getting married. Everyone is coming into town. We are having dinner, laughing, reminiscing, making sure everyone’s tux and dresses are all straight. And this familiar feeling overwhelms me. I am sitting in the room like most brides-to-be would. Waiting for the music to queue me on when to go out. And I realize, I am walking out alone.
I could have had my big brother walk me out. My uncles or other men in my life who were like father figures, but I wanted to do it alone. Because it was symbolic for me that although my natural father wasn’t there for me, my heavenly father was there waiting to walk with me down the isle as He had walked with me all of my life. To this day my family and friends say that they thought someone walked me down the isle. That was an angelic moment for me. I felt God’s presence surround me and it was as if He wrapped me in His arms and gave me a big hug. I cried like a baby.
Today, you have been free from drugs for a 1 ½ now. You relapsed this summer but now you are back on track. Daddy, I have nothing in my heart against you. It’s never to late to start over. I just wish you could terminate the guilt that is eating you alive on the inside. You have to move on. Your absence made me a stronger woman. Every pain, every tear, every void was filled by God’s pure love.
I now have a testimony. I can help other people like me. After all, that’s why God allowed me to go through all of that. So, that I could relate to others and keep it real. There are a lot of behavioral patterns I have because you weren’t there but I understand that this is something I will have to manage for the rest of my life. But, I’m good, I am strong and I love you.
Everyone deserves a second chance. I still believe in you and I hope you find true happiness and are able to get to the root, core, and source of your pain. You are a great man who took some wrong turns in life. Now you are in your lane going straight. Keep it moving! I love you.