Reader's story shows importance of fathering

March 14, 2014 at 5 p.m.
Updated March 13, 2014 at 10:14 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

My relationship with my father has always been difficult. Years of turmoil and confusion has made our relationship dicey. My stepmother did not help the situation. I would often hear her on the phone talking to my aunts fabricating lies about my mother. She always tried to belittle me and make me feel less than her nieces and nephews. One of my father's sisters noticed it along with others. My stepmother's agenda was never clear to me at first, but as I got older, I realized the purpose of her actions.

My journey started way back in the '80s, when the disco floors were jumping. Michael Jackson and Madonna were rocking dance floors across the world. I was sitting on my father's apartment living room floor in Lake Jackson bouncing my head to the beat. I was 5 years old, and I spent a tremendous amount of time with my father. My father didn't miss a beat. He was a strong presence in my life and made no excuses.

My father met his wife at the daycare I attended. They began a relationship that eventually led to marriage. It was also the beginning of the end to my father's relationship with me. As the years passed, I was weeded out of my father's life inch by inch.

I would be lying if I said I'm not bitter or hold a grudge against my father. My mother says I should put it behind me and let it go. It's so hard to look in his eyes and believe anything he says. He kicked me to the curb for her, and it left a deep scar.

My stepmother's manipulative ways went under the radar for years. Recently, I came out about how bad my stepmother treated me as a child. I could write a book about it. I have a son now, and I'm more than a presence in his life.

Don't wait till 15 years down the road to say what you should have done. Be a father now.

Jeremy Simple, student at University of Houston-Victoria, Richmond



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