When I was growing up I was one of those children who was wise beyond their years. Not in the sense that I was some extraordinary genius, but because I was robbed of my childhood. I was “too young” to understand what was going on around me, so no one explained much; truth is, I understood everything. Because of that I had to grow up fast... too fast if you ask me. You see in my family there was problems, tons of them and the biggest one of them all was my father.
My father is a drug addict and the only thing he loved more than drugs was beating my mom. I had a hard childhood; I didn't understand why my father was always so angry. Most of the time I blamed myself, I felt as if somehow even as a toddler I was responsible for the reason my mother saw the back of my father's hand so often. I loved my father, and despite all my efforts to make him happy the anger returned to greet me often with a swift hand. It took me a while to understand that the problem wasn't my father, the problem was the drugs. It was like the drugs clouded his judgment and took over his life. When he would get sober things would be great, he would be the most gentle person around, but those times never lasted and again and again the monster inside him came out to play. My father's habit rid me of my innocence; I was forced to grow up quickly because my mother needed me. I tried to protect her from my father, I tried to protect all of us, but I wasn't old enough... I wasn't strong enough. I spent most of my childhood walking on eggshells, terrified that I might do something to set my father off. As I got older I learned how to avoid triggering my father's rage, and sometimes I was even able to direct the attention off of my mother and onto myself. I might not have been able to enjoy being a kid, but the one thing that gave me happiness was seeing my mother happy even if it was only the momentarily glimmer of relief in her eyes. As a result of my father's habit, I grew up afraid. Afraid of people, even afraid of myself. Every time I looked in the mirror I could see my father, and for a long time I hated myself because of that. Even after we escaped my father I was still ruined as a person. I let him haunt me long after he wasn't around, and it bared so much weight on my soul that it hurt to even exist. It remained clear that I hated my father, I hated him for everything he put us through. Sometimes I…