A Savior and a Monster?? **May Trigger**

This is my first Father’s Day without my dad and I am conflicted. My dad was the person who took me to have surgeries. He was the person to buy me ice cream. As I got older, he was the one who would defend me to my teachers and make sure that I was being treated fairly. We often joked about who would have the last of the custard or bread pudding. When I was in high school, we went to the same junior college. People around us took half of the semester to realize that we were related.

Then there was the other side of my dad. The side that seemed to not be able to reign in his anger. The one who beat me beyond a spanking. He often told me that he could not stand the sight of me and to go to my room. At times he put me up against a door or a wall by my neck. There were other things that he also did when he was angry that made me feel like he hated me and wished that I would just go away.

Then there was the frail man in the hospital bed. The one that was in so much pain that he could not even pay in the same position for a few minutes. At times, I would need to ask the nurses if he could have anything more for the pain. I was there for the last days.

I feel like I should only be preserving the good memories, yet there were both and I feel like my life is flat without both. He was my greatest advocate who also happened to be one of the people who hurt me the most. Luckily, I have my therapist to help me work through all of this because I know that I could not do any of this by myself.

So on this first Father’s Day without him, I gruels that’s I need to begin to accept that he was both. That is the problem with working through childhood abuse. Often the abuser is someone who is also a caregiver. In my case one that I just wanted to please.

A Noncustodial Mom’s Struggle

Thirteen years ago, I lost my children. My ex had one of the top lawyers in the state and I could barely afford the phone bill. I tried to speak to my kids almost everyday. They were so little, that they did not say much and were often distracted. I hoped that the magical age of 18 would come quickly. The age that they could choose when and how often to stay. The age when it would be their choice instead of a legal document.

My oldest stopped speaking to me 4 years ago. To this day there is no reason given to myself or anyone else. A lot happened over the past few years. He has a girlfriend and went through his senior year. He graduated a few weeks ago. He wants nothing to do with me. As far as he is concerned I do not exist.

This is a disadvantage of being the noncustodial parent. There is not enough time with the children to form a strong bond. Alienating the other parent or turning them into a villain is easy. I wonder if I will ever see or speak to him again.

Now I Understand How Privileged I am

Ok. Let me just start off for apologizing to anyone that I may have offended over the years. I used to really believe that class was what defined us more than race. Than the upper class did not respect or give as many opportunities to the lower classes as they had, causing oppression.

After, the past few weeks, I can honestly say that my views have changed. From not informing an entire black community about the possibility of an increased risk of a virus to the death that did not have to happen to a young man.

I did not realize that a person could be treated so badly just because of their race even though they were calm and cooperating. That being black, often led to the police following innocent men and women down the street.

I was in my Masters program program when I first heard the hundreds of names of the black men and women who were killed. Some shot in the back and others just because they happened to be in the same car that was stopped.

If that had been my son, he would have been treated differently just because he is white and that has to end. People need to stop moving over and getting off of elevators just because someone of another race gets on. We do not know each other’s stories and what has happened. Maybe listening and learning how to change the perceptions of some people may help.

All police are not malicious. There have been many who have joined protests or talked with the people in their district who were protesting. There are neighborhood patrolman who get to know the people on their route. They talk to people and may even play a game with the kids.

As a human being, I just want to know how I can help. How I can do something about this in my community. Education and learning is a large part. Thank you to those who have shared their stories of oppression. Speaking up and protests may be the only way for change.

Please let those of us who want to stand by you and support you know what we can do, because we can never truly understand what each of you has been through. Please do not stop sharing your experiences. They are a valuable tool for change

As for me, I am going to see how I can support change and stop the oppression of an entire group of people. Now, because of another son yet lost, I understand that race is more important than class.