I grew up in a blended and separated household. One household of stability, the other with an alcoholic, abusive biological father. From a young age, I had to learn to live two different lives. No one asked me to, yet I knew I needed to. Being naive led to me believing that being with my biological father was worth the struggles he put us through. Coming to my real home, with my mom, I felt like I couldn’t tell her the things that really happened when we were with my biological father.
At first, weren’t too intense when my brother and I were younger, at least mom was able to hide that side of his life. He was manipulative, would do something unspeakable to my mother, then tell my brother and me how horrible our mother was. His goal was to brainwash us and make him the “best” parent.
Things were far from that, as we got older, his drinking got worse. As his drinking got worse, his manipulation turned into mental and verbal abuse. It wasn’t much longer until that turned into physical abuse. Yet, I would go to Mom’s and never say a thing. I kept my grades perfect; I didn’t want to know what would happen if I got less than an A at my biological father’s home. I learned the best fake smile and happy face, something I still resort to during troubling times. All the while, I never told mom about the things he said, the things he did.
The other we got, the more observant we got. The more we listened. The more drunken calls he would leave messages for my mom, calling her every name in the book and denying me being his child. Too drunk to realize it was after school hours, I was sitting at home doing homework, listening to every single word. Listening to the horrible things he had to say about her, about me, about our life. I never heard anything in the voicemails about my brother. I thought he was the lucky one; until I was much older, and he shared that it stopped being verbal abuse with him at a much younger age.
Drinking, losing his job, drinking, losing his job, it was an endless cycle. That was the summer my brother and I stayed there the entire 10 weeks, the most challenging 10 weeks in my life. I was 14 at the time, I had the normal, hormonal attitude and push back. That combined with a violent alcoholic did not end well. He got aggressive, quickly. There was always a neighbor I went to. Later in life, mom said she wished I had told her sooner, then he would have lost shared custody.
At age 14, I made the most adult decision of my life and decided that my biological father was too toxic of a person to have in my life. I told him to stay sober for 6 months then call me. Naturally, he was too drunk to remember any of that. Rumors spread around the family that mom forced me to do that. Rumors spread that I was just trying to make his life worse. That side of the family only ever saw him drunk and fun at July 4th parties, they never saw what went on behind closed doors. Yet they all had very strong opinions, which were very inappropriate to share with a 14-year-old.
However, I was lucky, my mother remarried a very kind and stable man. This is the man who is my real dad, he raised me, he was there for everything. Including every off-key piano recital that my biological father was too drunk to show up for. My real dad taught me how a father figure should be, without even saying that he was. He was there for me, he was there for my brother, he made my biological father angrier and more aggressive.
Neither my real dad nor my mom ever said a single bad word about my biological father. However, if we asked questions, they never lied. The more questions I asked, the more I wondered how he maintained shared custody of us. In the ‘90s, cops would do high-speed chases, before it was known they end in more danger than finding the person later. My biological father had drunken high-speed chases with the cops on multiple occasions, with my brother and myself in the car. My biological father showed up at my mom’s house violently and making serious threats. The things I learned as I grew, as I questioned more, just confused me as to how we were ever allowed in his home.
My mom and my real dad provided us with a stable home. They provided us with structure, safety, rules, and consequences，they buy bracelet or necklace to me on big day,I like the colorful chakra bracelet so much,I like yoga so you know what chakra means to yoga lover. They protected us from our biological father’s dark side. They did their best to make sure we had the choice to have a relationship with him. However, as things got worse, my step-dad, my real dad gave me the love and support I never received from my biological father. He was there through all of it, and he is still his. I am 29, I can call him in the middle of the night, tell him I need him and he would do whatever he could to help.
Material objects are nice but mean very little. Having love, support and stability are the greatest gifts I have ever received. I am so lucky to have the mom and the real dad that I do.