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Writing by MisterTotality

Literature by 12bubbles12


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Submitted on
February 16
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dad was an alcoholic
by the time he was twenty-two.
he was thirty-three
when i was born.

-

i am eight years old.
dad is drunk on the couch.
he wakes up and tells me to buy him food
and i tell him i’m his daughter.
he gets up to yell at me
then, as if realizing, starts laughing.
hard.

i am scared.

-

i am nine years old.
there’s a picture i don’t understand
printed out on the table.
i look at the web address and type it in
and there’s a site full of them.

the men look like they’re hurting the women.
they call them mean names
and tie them up.
in the one my dad printed
there are no faces. just genitals
and i am nine
and i understand.

i don’t tell my mother.

-

i am nine years old.
every night i get up when dad leaves
to close the browsers open on his computer.
one night,
there are seventeen open
and i close them
one at a time.

some of the pictures are scary.
one woman is screaming.
another is one who looks young,
like a high school girl.

SIXTEEN YEAR OLD SLUTS,”
the picture proclaims, with the girl sprawled
without underwear.

i stay home from school the next day.

-

i am ten years old.
dad slips on the porch stairs
and hits his head.

the next morning, mom pours all of the whiskey
down the drain.

she tells me that dad’s moving out.

-

i am ten years old.
dad still lives with us
and the landlord kicks us out.

-

i am eleven years old.
dad still lives with us
but mom tells every landlord we meet
that her sister will be moving in with us.

dad calls this summer his “dark period.”

-

i am eleven years old.
“what’s your daughter’s name?”
the officer asks.

“katherine,” dad says, and it is
and no one calls me that.
definitely not him.

he’s too drunk to remember my name
or that he was the one
who called the police.

they tell me that no one’s in trouble
but there’s still a suitcase on dad’s bed.

dad still hugs me goodbye.

-

i am eleven.
dad is sober and says to my mother,
“i hate these guys that say
‘i was an alcoholic
but i was still a good father.’

because i was a shitty father.
even when i wasn’t drinking.”

he was.

-

i am thirteen.
i say, “my dad was an alcoholic”
for the first time.

it hurts
like coughing too hard
or smoking for the first time.

but i have to do it.

-

i am fifteen.
a girl in my drama class
who used to live across from us
tells me she remembers my dad.

“my dad backed into his car once,”
she says,
“and your dad was cursing and screaming at him.
like he was crazy.”

“is. he is crazy,” i say,
“and he was an alcoholic.”

that shut her up.

-

i am sixteen.
they tell me i am also crazy.

-



i am almost eighteen.
i say, “my father was an alcoholic” out loud.


it still hurts.
This was harder to write than "things i want you to know."
Dad stopped drinking in September 2007.

I'll put up a mature warning if anyone asks.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwitchoftales:
WitchofTales Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've read 3 of your poems and ALL of them are very powerful, vivid, and expressive pieces of art. You write so beautifully!!
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:iconcolbalt-rain:
colbalt-rain Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014   Writer
Thank you! :D 
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:iconnotensmsk:
NotenSMSK Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I cannot understand why it was hard to write - because I cannot at all comprehend your state of mind. Saying I understand would be a lie. Well It has been a long time I have seen you but it is sad that the first work I read is this. However I hope that the term remains "was". I would (hug you) if I could, but if I couldn't (hug you) I will still try :huggle:. Ah... don't tell me - I know it was a bad spin at playing words :dummy:

Anyway. I can hope that you are doing well, and all is fine. It is at times better to cry than to keep things inside. I won't comment on this from a technical perspective - it is your out pour. :heart:
Reply
:iconohio-nerd99:
ohio-nerd99 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's good that he stopped. I have the same thing but my mom and heroin. 

This made me tear up. 

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:iconcolbalt-rain:
colbalt-rain Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014   Writer
Admittedly I had to stop to cry a few times writing this.
Reply
:iconfairytail1o1:
FAIRYTAIL1O1 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Student General Artist
My parents don't have drinking problems but one of my close friends, he step-dad does 
Reply
:iconcolbalt-rain:
colbalt-rain Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014   Writer
Alcohol touches everyone somehow. :iconsadhugplz:
Reply
:iconraylaopal:
RaylaOpal Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My parents never had drinking problems, which I should be grateful of. But I've had MANY friends who have had their childhood very similar to yours, and I understand in how that effects people in the long-term. Reading this almost made me cry, and some people are very insensitive, such as the commenter below this one.
Reply
:iconcolbalt-rain:
colbalt-rain Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014   Writer
I did cry while writing this. (I have a habit of doing that.)
It actually makes me sad that so many people can relate to this in some way. 
Reply
:iconraylaopal:
RaylaOpal Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah. But it's always good to see that they get back on track, and stay strong. :)
Reply
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