Fiction On Odyssey: The Crack In The Bathroom Door

Fiction On Odyssey: The Crack In The Bathroom Door

Even though a father should be in his daughter's life, I thought it was normal that he wasn't in mine. But let me clarify.

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A story I wrote when I was 12 years old, and now I'm revising to share my story as a child raised in a household of addiction

*Revised 2011-2018*

The Crack in the Bathroom Door

He is an active addict and has been for all my life. However, I just now got around to meeting the addict when I just thought he was a father. Even though a father should be in his daughter's life, I thought it was normal that he wasn't in mine. But let me clarify, he was there physically. The other parts went down the drain. I classified him as the guy through the crack in the bathroom door because that's where the pieces started coming together and from this day I saw the truth.

Every day he would come home from work, say hello, hug me, kiss me on the head, and go right to the bathroom. Eventually, somehow I caught on and would sneak down the hallway. Sort of like this little spy who wanted to find the person that was the bad guy. My dad wasn't a bad guy, he was like me except for this disease that made him not my father. Every time I looked my heart fell to the floor.

Every time I expected him to not be using, he was. Every time I looked I wanted to scream and just tell him to stop. Why didn't I just look away? Why did I try to hide the fact that he was using? Why didn't I open that door and say "you're busted." Every time I looked through that tiny crack in the bathroom door I knew something that he thought he kept all to himself. Little did he know the person who looked up to him was watching with tears streaming down her face.

Wanting so bad to save him from this monster who ruined our relationship. I tried to find a way to beat this monster down. Being this little girl I thought I had the power to change him so he could love me more to finally quit. I couldn't compete strong enough because this monster that took him away every time won every time. It got the attention. I competed with a substance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and however many seconds.

The man through the crack of the bathroom door then came out and acted normal, acted as nothing happened, acted like he was himself.

You see, no matter how many times I tried to get it in my head that he was my father, at that moment he wasn't. In those times he used, he wasn't. He was someone who didn't know my age, what grade I was in, and never had any intention of listening to whatever I had to say. He was someone who couldn't even stand up straight and his eyes began closing for however many seconds.

He was someone I couldn't even look at, and I just prayed he went to sleep so I could not deal with the damage that I felt. That when he went to sleep I could repress my true feelings. I could "just be okay.. just feel safe" because he was "resting." I made myself believe that I was the problem, that since I wasn't good enough for him I couldn't make him change and that was on me.

Apart of me understands now that he was sick, and is still sick. But, I can never replace those feelings and I am learning that repressing those feelings are not anything. They are feelings that are a lot of work and have to be worked through.

I want kids to understand that if your Mother or Father is an active addict they will never BE there in your life even if they are in your home. They will be there but they won't be. They are sick people who need help.

It's the addiction who wants you to think that they don't love you. It makes you think by their action it's all your fault, and it's not. Know that they love you the best they can, even if you have anger or you get hurt over and over and over again.

I will always remember my father by the Crack in the Bathroom Door. I had a front-row seat of who not to be.

My advice to you is to have faith and be true to yourself. It is what you do with your life and how accepting, grieving, and realizing the things you couldn't have those other kids had, you can start to find growth, groundedness, and a life that gives you purpose to know you are breaking the chain. Somehow healing comes, and it just takes time to start to forgive. It takes hurting and the pain to find the strength to see that there was a purpose for everything.

I'm here to tell you will get through this. If I did, you can too.

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Fiction On Odyssey: My True Colors

She had never once considered going outside her house with her natural looks.

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Layla Arnolds hummed softly to herself as she stared into the mirror of her bathroom. She had just stepped out of the shower and was getting ready to put on her face for that day. She had never once considered going outside her house with her natural looks. She thought of herself as hideous and figured that most people would agree with that. She was lucky enough to be able to change her appearance so she could look any way she wanted.

Layla spent a good few minutes planning her outfit for the day so she could change her body so that it looks best with the clothes. Once she had the image in her head, she closed her eyes and pictured the beautiful person that she had imagined. A frown crossed her face as she didn't feel her body change immediately. She opened her eyes and looked down and was shocked to find no change. She tried again, frantically trying to call on her powers and make them work, but she had no luck. She took a deep breath and determined that for today she would have to leave the house with her default body.

Her deep brown eyes grazed over her closet as she found a new outfit that might work with her default appearance. Of course, it was a little difficult to find anything that looked nice against her hideous blue skin. Orange markings spread across her body and they clashed horribly with her bright pink top. Finally, she pulled on a pair of loose-fitting jeans and pulled her midnight blue hair into a messy braid before slipping on white sandals and rushing out to work.

As Layla rushed down the street, she paid no attention to the people around her. There was no way she wanted to see their disgust and absolute horror. What she didn't expect was for none of that to happen. There was no disgust, no horror, no insults. People treated her like she was a normal person, despite how supposedly hideous she was. It was something that she had never imagined would ever be the case for her. There was nothing mean said to her the entire day.

Her day went on like normal. She even received compliments on the appearance she had supposedly chosen for the day. People appreciated how unique and different she looked. Her heart fluttered and she had a smile on her face when she was leaving work to go back home. The walk back was much like her walk to work, a few compliments were tossed her was, but no one showed her any kind of disgust or horror and no one went out of their way to insult her. It was honestly, a dream come true for her. Especially after her parents had insisted to her that she had to hide her appearance.

As she laid down to go to bed that night, Layla decided that maybe... Just maybe... She would have to use her default appearance more often.

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