Yesterday was kind of a hard day for my family. Fathers day. See, its time I opened up about what’s been going on in my life. Alright, this is going to be a super long post but it might be worth reading.
I live in a 2 flat, which is basically a house with another house upstairs. My grandfather used to live here but after he passed away, my family moved in upstairs. We were finally was able to clean the downstairs apartment up enough to move in a year later. So that’s where I’ve been living. Once we moved downstairs we had that extra apartment upstairs and I was talking to a lady from my church a she said she was needing a new place to live. I told my mom and she thought it seemed like a good idea since we all loved her. I won’t use her real name so lets call her Ariel. So Ariel ended up talking to her best friend, Erika, who’s a single mom about rooming with her. (Again, not her real name.) This all happened in August.
Now, let me give you some background on these two ladies. I lived with Erika and her son during the time we were homeless and it was honestly an incredible month for me. I was in her cabin at my youth camp last summer and so much happened that week and she taught me so much. She was a real role model for me and so many people loved her. She always knew how to make people laugh and she taught so many people about being honest with one another about our struggles. Ariel is an amazing person. She has a weird new hair color every week and she’s one of those people with tons of piercings. She’s a ton of fun and we share a lot of the same interests. I look up to her as well. So look at that? Those people would be my new upstairs neighbors! Sweet right? Well, no. Things were already bad and I knew this would make things go from bad to worse real fast. But I had no idea how much worse that would be. See, my dad had always had a good relationship with Erika. A little too good. They both had the same interests and same sense of humor and what not. They hung out way too much and this had been bothering me since 3 years ago. But my dad was always one to talk bad about people who had affairs and he signed the Resolution (from the movie, Courageous.) and his favorite movie was Fireproof. (He also did the Love Dare a few years ago.) So I thought I was just paranoid and needed to put more faith in my dad. So I let it go. Well shortly before Erika moved in I was in my room with my sister and I asked where our dad was and she replied with attitude, “He’s with Erika..” She spat her name out. It was then that I knew it wasn’t just me. That night we sat up on my bed and talked about how much this had been on our nerves for years, it was good to let it all out after all this time. I told her I didn’t think they were having an affair, but their relationship was not God honoring, especially since they were both saved and knew better.
After they moved in, (In September, the month Mom found out she was pregnant.) I hardly saw my dad. Every night he would walk to 7-Eleven with Erika and Ariel after work. A few times I thought about going to my mom and even my dad about it, but I figured if it was really a big deal then my mom would say something to him. So again I let it slide. After their walks they would sit out on the front stairs and just talk, I could always hear them from my room and I would clench my fists and wish I could stop them. It got on my nerves so much. A few times my mom would go out there with them but she didn’t say much.
But there was one night I’ll never forget. I was laying in bed with my lights shut off and I could hear their laughter from my window but I never knew what was being said. I was just crying. It was late so all my siblings were asleep except my older brother and my other sister. Over the laughter I heard my mom scream something at my brother and burst into tears. I don’t know exactly what she said but I heard enough to know that it was about my dad and Erika. I opened my door to see my mom at our computer table with her head down and she was sobbing. My brother, Shane, was rubbing her back and hugging her and trying to calm her down. “They’re completely wasted!” I remember her screaming at us through her tears. I had no idea they had been drinking, let alone that they were totally drunk. I wanted to be so strong for my mom but couldn’t, so I ran into my room and wept. I was so mad. How could my dad just get drunk outside with this woman while his wife was right inside crying her eyes out?!? I didn’t understand any of it. That night was the worst night of my life to date.
They would sit out there every day and laugh and the days when my dad was off work the next day, they would get drunk. This went on for 2 weeks. I cried myself to sleep every night. I never saw my dad, none of us did. He didn’t care anymore and the worst part was, I didn’t know why. One night I remember so well. It was the night I realized that my mom might actually be a superhero. Mom, Dayle, Shane and I were in our living room while the rest of the kids were asleep and Dad and Erika were drunk outside. We were all in a sarcastic mood so we just laughed it out. But Mom went out there and was talking with Dad saying “Come on honey, you need to go to bed.” She spoke as if she were talking to a 3 year old. But she was so sweet with him and she tried to persuade him to come inside because unlike every other time this happened, he actually had work in the morning. She quietly took away his Jack Daniels and hid it inside. Of course, Dad didn’t like that very much so he through a fit and went to the store to buy more. So the 3 of us stayed up and talked. I learned a lot that night; like my dad had been smoking since before I was born and he always chewed tobacco. That really bothered me. Shane also left the Resolution he had signed on this bed we made for him on the floor along with the first picture he ever took with my mom from the day they met. But when he went for more alcohol he almost got arrested because he was so drunk and…yeah. It was an awful night.
In December, Erika was admitted to the hospital. She has depression issues and all this stuff. But my Dad blamed my mom for it. Because my Mom stood up to them and told them what they were doing was wrong and according to my Dad “Mom’s jealousy put Erika in the hospital.” Mom went to get advice from a wise woman from our church and she said that she needs to talk to my Dad and if that doesn’t work, they would have an elder talk to him. That month was the hardest of my life. I was upset all the time and stressed and always crying at night and the stress caused me to lose tons of sleep.
Christmas day came and since my dad had been drunk the night before, we had to wait for him to finally get out of bed before we opened presents. He pretty much forgot about me when he went Christmas shopping so all I got was a radio. Thought thats pretty good because all Shane got were a few packs of Magic cards. Dad put no effort into it. I gave my Dad the Fireproof book. (See what I did there?) So after all the presents were opened, Dad left. We didn’t see him until about midnight. Mom had finally had enough so she went out to confront him. From the living room I heard him. “I’m in love with Erika!” Later that night he collapsed on our stairs. I just cried as I watched my Mom, Shane, and a family friend, drag my Dad to his room. Needless to say, Erika moved out after that.
The day after Christmas an elder came to talk to my Dad. My family left the house for the day so they could talk. That day…I remember coming home to see my parents sitting together on the couch and my Dad came to me and gave me a very long hug. “I’m not going to drink any more. Ok? You guys mean to much to me. No more drinking, I promise.” It was over. I just sobbed. The storm had passed and it was finally over. We were gonna be ok. Right?
On January 2nd my Dad left. He just quietly packed his bags and snuck out the back door. I had kinda seen it coming, but that didn’t make it hurt any less. That night I was just…numb. He moved out and moved in with Erika and her parents. But soon after that she kicked him out and said to never speak to her again. So for weeks it was back and forth between staying the night at our house to moving back in with Erika. She was so moody she literally kicked him out every other week.
One day when my dad came to pick up some stuff I ran and hid in my closet because my mom just told me they were going to file for divorce. My Dad had been sleeping with Erika since December. Of course, he found me sitting alone in my closet crying and he made me come out. We sat on the end of my bed and he had his arm around me. He said how sorry he was and how he never meant for this to happen and how Erika didn’t want us to hate her, which I thought was an awful request to make, and he basically told me he just didn’t love my Mom anymore. “And its ok. I just don’t feel anything anymore. Ok?” He said he was done. “That’s why I did this.” I watched him pull up his sleeve to reveal a bandage around his wrist. I began to sob. I don’t mean I cried hard, I mean I couldn’t speak because my throat was so tight and I my body began to shake and I felt weak. Once he left I had to run to the bathroom because I was going to throw up. I’ve never cried so hard in my life.
There was a week in December where we had to live with a family from our church for a week because my dad was at our house drunk. I cried because he broke his promise to me. It was an interesting week and it was good to come home after that.
But it is what it is. Dad has been living with Erika and I could give you more details but this is already one novel of a post. I’m sorry for that. I cried at church on Fathers day because of all that. Because my father wasn’t really much of a father to me these past few months. But it was ok. Because God is my Father. And He is perfect. My earthly dad broke my heart, but my Heavenly Father made it whole again. Today we’re going to make cupcakes for my mom for being the amazing mom she is. She’s been taking care of us 9 kids by herself ever since then. Can I get a round of applause for my Mom?
And a round of applause for you if you finished reading this post.
My name is Faith. God is funny that way because He just teaches me every day that I just need to have faith.
My family, we’re doing good. God has blessed us beyond all we ever thought possible. We were broken, but God is healing. We may be weak, but our God is strong.