A Fatherly Influence

Katherine - Loganville, Georgia
Entered on February 19, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Alcoholism and drug abuse are two terms that in no way define me as a person, but unfortunately these two characteristics help identify the one individual that most would never guess: my father. His selfish actions left my mother a single parent with one low income and two young children. For his acts of self-righteousness, I cannot stand this man I call father. Although at home my father is generally referred to as “dead-beat”, I have risen above the restraints of this affectionate allegation and come to the realization that you do not have to be defined by the people that bring you into this world.

On any given day, I come across those people that want everyone to know how the actions of their parents have sadly affected them. There is a girl I work with who gives no apologies for her actions, but everyone accepts the way she acts because of her “bad childhood.” When she argues with management, acting out against the rules, co-workers disregard it as “That’s just Tori”; however, if I or any other employee performed in the same manner we would lose our jobs. Tori has told everyone about her father the drunk and her mom who does not love her. Of course she has had no more hardships than me, but I choose to lead my life in a different manner.

One afternoon my frustration almost took precedence over my usual mindset. Tori was blaming one of her many flawed personality traits on her dad, telling a co-worker all about her terrible experiences. Her voice carried through the doorway to where I stood, and I became incredibly irritated. Why should she get to do and say whatever she wants because of her childhood? I proceeded to walk in the direction of her voice with every intention of putting Tori in her place. Apprehension grabbed me and I became quickly aware that if I told her about my experiences, everyone would know the secrets of my past, categorizing me with the same disillusionment I found in this girl. Let Tori hold her parents responsible for the path she is headed down; I refuse to do the same.

I feel that although my father took a path in life that has forever ruined his future prospects, those were his actions and not mine. I am my own person making my own choices based on what I believe is right and true. Only those especially near to me know of what I have regrettably experienced in my eighteen years here on this earth. While my father remains uneducated and substance abusive, I attend college in hopes of a good career and life. The reputation I uphold is not affected by my father and for this reason I stand by my belief that a person does not have to identify themselves by their parents’ actions and can follow a path of their own accord toward their own goals.