There are people in our lives who love us dearly, but just don’t know how to show it. This I truly believe.
All families have their great times. Many have their bad times. In my family we have so-so times. My father may show his love in a different manner. He may let us drink on occasions or he may argue with us for what he thinks is right or wrong. He believes he is always right, but doesn’t want to believe that he is actually wrong.
There are times when I may be happy around him and I can see that he tries to take advantage of it. I can see that he is trying to show he loves us, but he isn’t sure just how to. It’s as if he is scared. He doesn’t know how we would react if he expressed himself in that way of affection.
He knows deep inside that my sibling and I have some kind of hate towards him. From as far as back as I can remember, my father has always hurt us with hurtful words and hurtful actions. I know I have been hurt.
I can recall from when I was young, that I had loved him so much. We used to have a song when I was around four or five years old. When the song came on, I would run to him and he would pick me up. Then we would dance together. Then I saw what I didn’t see before.
One afternoon I heard yelling and arguing. Slowly moving towards the sound, not knowing what I was about to see, I became scared. I never knew that my father was this way. I saw a side of him I never knew he had.
I witnessed the horrifying abuse that my father did to my mother. He saw me and my sisters going towards them to help my mom. But once we got there, he took her to the bathroom and locked the door. I just remember screaming and crying and banging at the door, trying my hardest and using all my will to get inside to help my mom and hurt my dad. Victoria, my older sister, took me to my room, where we were crying and just comforting each other.
After what seemed like forever, they came out of the bathroom. I don’t recall what had happened afterwards, but I do recall how hurt she looked with a busted lip and all.
Since then, I haven’t been able to get that incident out of my head. When he argues with me, I just remember that he hurt my mom, the woman I would die for, and it becomes so hard for me to forgive him for anything hurtful that he has done to me or my family. For a couple of years now, he has changed slightly. He hasn’t “disciplined” us physically, though he has his moments. On the other hand, as for disciplining us emotionally, he still needs to work on that.
My father, tall, strong, and misunderstood, just doesn’t know how he should express his love. He doesn’t understand that he just needs to tell us that he still loves us, that he still loves me, even if we reject his love.
It may seem as if I don’t love my father, but deep, deep, deep down inside I do love him. People may love us unconditionally, but aren’t sure how to express it. Yelling, hitting, disciplining, he will always be my father. Showing some kind of love, my father needs to express his affection towards me.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.