Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles My story begins with my parents. They were both addicted to drugs and alcohol, and they lived in a small house. They got married after being together for maybe two to three years. My mother became pregnant with me and she truly believed that I was a blessing from God, so she got completely clean off any drugs and booze, and she also got a job working really hard to pay for me and herself while she was still pregnant. In the months she was clean, she became upset and distant with my father as he continued drinking and using drugs. They argued all the time and my father didn't pay any bills, nor did he have a job, nor did he quit any of his habits. But nonetheless, they stayed together. My mother then gave birth to me, my father missed due to his drug use and informed my mother at the hospital that he lost the house because, well, he didn't pay any of the bills for months on end. They were separated but still legally together, up until 2009 when my father went to prison for a violent crime. He was sentenced to a 10-year sentence with parole after having served five. So I grew up without him. I was almost in the fifth grade by the time he was released for good behavior. Then, he tried to get back into my life. I started going to his house sometimes when he asked me on the weekends. He remarried only a few days after being out of prison, and I didn't like that. I didn't like being around his house because, as far as I knew, my dad and his wife and his wife's family were just strangers to me. When I was a kid growing up without him, I really missed my dad, like a lot, even though I didn't remember him at all and I felt guilty for looking at him as a stranger. And then, across a three-year period of middle school, my father showed his true colors. The first incident that made me lose a lot of respect for him was when he continued having marital problems with his new wife. They would argue a lot and they both said hurtful things, and she even tried to grab me to keep me in the house when they argued, and my father tried to stay at a hotel with me for the night. Then, the second time he had divorced and remarried once again only a few days after his divorce. This woman already had three children and I was obviously ignored for the other kids when I went to his house. Then, they also had marital problems. He would tell me to put my shoes on and jacket so they could leave and then he would go back to argue, and then he would tell me to put my shoes and my jacket on and go back to argue. And this would continue for almost the whole night. Now, they both have two more kids and my father is struggling to provide for them. And at one point, I realized the same thing had been going on for almost four years of his freedom after being out of jail. So 13 year old me decided to stop going to my father's house. I would make excuses and only go when I had to, and my father would continue to get angry that I wouldn't go. So now, nearly a year after making excuses not to go, the next time he asked me to go to his house I'm going to say no and explain why I'm never going to his house ever again. Because he's done nothing in his four years of freedom. I haven't found the courage to say it to his face yet, so wish me luck.