This morning I awoke to a phone call from my Dad. Usually he is cheerful, cracks a few jokes and then wants to know what’s going on in our household that day. Well, he didn’t sound like his usual self, he sounded annoyed.
I prepared myself, immediately becoming defensive and asked him how he was doing. I was shocked to find out he had been reading my diary from sixteen years ago. Apparently, he was doing a bit of late summer cleaning while my Mom is at my sister’s house, and came across my belongings from my move out of NYC. I will somewhat give him the benefit of the doubt, as the diary was not marked “Diary”, it was marked “Journal” (wink wink). Let’s just say at the age of nineteen, I was a young wild girl. My hormones were racing, I was trying anything New York City threw at me and was a bit angry as well. I don’t remember many of my thoughts during that time, but my Dad was pissed, and I think most of all hurt. I had apparently written about him and how much I hated him at that time.
Until my late teenage years, my dad was an alcoholic. Not the kind of alcoholic that drinks everyday and passes out at night. He would go weeks even months without a drink, and then he would fall off the wagon for a few days. To make matters worst, my dad would travel every week and would return home to hear what a monster I had been from my mom, and then have to be the disciplinarian. I am the first to admit, I was definitely not the easiest kid to raise. My parents might prefer the word “Satan” during those years. But the three of those factors together caused a lot of turmoil as a young girl growing up. Don’t get me wrong. I had a blessed childhood, and couldn’t ask for better parents. But like many families, there were difficult times. In 1994 my dad got sober and never looked back. It changed all of our lives, especially mine. My dad is such an inspiration to me. He always accomplishes every goal he sets before him…every single one.
So, this morning I felt a bit betrayed by him reading my private thoughts, yet most of all I felt sad that I had hurt his feelings. The funny thing is I couldn’t be closer to my Dad now, we are so similar its uncanny. In fact, during those difficult years, I believe our similarities caused a great deal of our challenges. However, over the past decade plus, he is who I turn to for everything. Happiness, sadness, triumph, defeat, it’s always my Dad that I run to. In turn, my Dad has always been there for me. The clear head that gives me great advice, and makes everything better.
The lesson to this story is a simple one. Don’t ever write something down that you wouldn’t want read, because you can’t take it back. Luckily, my dad knows how much I love him, and that I didn’t mean what I wrote. Maybe at the moment, but most certainly not now.