In the beginning he was the source of tremendous pain. Then he became the catalyst for my desire to awaken. Now, he's become my greatest support and my best friend.
In the mid sixties, after my father returned from the Vietnam War, he would occasionally fight with my mother. When I was six years old I remember seeing my father hit my mother in the head with a shoe, followed by a lot of shouting, shoving and running. I remember feeling uncertain and experiencing a great deal of anxiety and wishing that my parents would just be nice to each other. The arguments continued to spin out of control and by the time I was seven, my mother packed up me and my two siblings and moved us to the basement of my grandmother's house. Hence, the 35 year rocky relationship between my father and I had begun.
At the tender age of seven, my father, whom I adored, was now off limits to me and it broke my seven year old heart. I held onto that hurting heart for many many years. However, once I got old enough to understand the reasons why my mother left my father, my heart turned cold. I harbored deep resentment towards my father for not being able to control himself and do those things that would have kept our family together.
As the years went by, it was obvious to me that he really was the cold uncaring man that he demonstrated to his children through his behavior, or at least I thought it was obvious and that I was right. As I watched and was affected by my father's negligent behavior towards me and my siblings, I felt justified in disliking him, in hating him.