Here is a home movie I just found on my computer. It is from the early 1960's. I am the little guy in the red blazer making faces. The other guy in the red blazer is my amazing brother Mike. My father is filming. At the end, you will see him.
I love my father dearly. Yes, when I was young, he was pretty horrible, but when my parent's divorced when I was 12, something happened to him. He saw the type of abusive man that he had become, and he vowed to change and to dedicate his life to his five children. He went back to the church. He studied scripture and he did everything in his power to bring joy into our lives. We became his "raison d'etre" - his reason to live...
...and he became the father I always dreamed of.
The hard part for me was the acknowledgment that my Dad was bad. I always blamed myself. I was why he hit me. I brought it on. I egged him on. But that was my child self bullshit. There is no reason EVER to beat a child, or to hurt a child in anyway.
I love him forever. He passed away in 1989 of a heart attack. I will always love him and I totally forgive him for he was simply trapped in his father's legacy.
But that doesn't make it OK.
Enjoy the show.