“As a kid I was beaten and often went for days without food. My dad left when I was 4 years old and he left with me a very abusive, psychotic, and substance-dependent mother. I didn’t see him again until I was in my 20s and by that time I wasn’t really in the market for a father. Swipe left.
My early teens were spent living with my mother and her new partner who also had a thing for being a colossal sack of shit. The two of them would drink and get high and beat me for fun. Then one day I decided that being homeless was probably a safer alternative to living in their house, so I left. I have not seen my mother since. I can’t even remember what she looks like.
I used to think that this was hereditary, that we Hughes might have this gene that turns us into absolute bellends when we have children and for years I told myself I didn’t ever want to be a dad. It turns out, I owe these people a world of gratitude. I struggled with a lot of things through my life, possibly as a result of a lack of guidance: alcohol, nutrition, finances, relationships… things I had to work out the hard way. But in all of this, I was gifted the blueprint on how to be the best dad I can be. I just had to do the opposite of what they had done.”
Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.