This is supposed to be a day of good memories of fathers. Or of when we made them proud of us.
But this isn’t one of those stories.
I remember back when I was 19 or 20 years old. I had just gotten out of my first psyche ward and I was living in an experimental world-famous house for schizophrenics. I had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but I was still in denial that I had it. I was in a phase where I blamed all my problems on my mom, I’m sure many of you can relate, even though we were mostly wrong.
But I was visiting my parents one weekend and it was nighttime and I got in a huge ugly rage-fueled fight with my mom. I also said a few words to my dad but it was mostly directed towards my mom. We lived in a small apartment. Well I said my piece and then I slammed the front door and stormed off into the night. I forget what I did outside that night but I returned an hour later.
And I saw a scene that I will never forget. I entered our apartment and it was my mom laying on the couch sick with her physical problems and heartsick with my behavior, just laying on the couch quietly weeping. And my dad was half-sitting on the opposite couch a few feet away. And he looked more miserable than anyone I had ever seen.
I’ll never forget that look on his face. Both of their conditions burned into my heart, I felt so bad for them. And I never want to make anyone that unhappy ever again. Sorry for the downer, but I wasn’t always the nicest son and my recovery was not always smooth. But much later I actually did make my parents happy and they were proud of my accomplishments. But it was much later.