October is tough for me: Here’s why

Blake Faith, Columnist

It’s October now. For most people, October is about Halloween and haunted houses. For me, it’s about trying to forget about my biological father’s birthday because of our strained relationship.

Last weekend was Family Weekend, and I had two days of visits. My mom and my siblings came the first night and we had a good time. My cousin came Saturday with his fiancée, and we had a great time. I was able to reconnect with my best friend.

While I was at church on Sunday, I saw a date for an event during announcements that really hit me. It was my dad’s birthday.

Now to give some background, my biological dad was physically abusive to my mother and verbally abusive and aggressive to her, me, my brother and my stepfather. So at the age of 13, after dealing with him being that way all my life, along with selfish intentions he always seemed to have, I remember I said, “I hate my father.”

When I first came to Eastern, I was lost. I had no friends here and I was leaving home. Everything I knew, whether it was my family or my brotherhood, was back home or dispersed. I felt like I was a failure in my first semester here, because I felt I truly knew nobody and I felt like an outsider.

That was not the feeling this weekend. Everywhere I went with my family, I knew one person and stopped and talked to them. I also have developed a close group that I have identified as my EIU brotherhood here in Charleston.

So, my biological dad has been the selfish person he has always been from the start of Eastern until summer. He took pride in my accomplishments when he had nothing to do with any of them.

As I sat around families and friends at a potluck at my church, I got to surround myself with the brotherhood I have formed here and their families. I told them it’s tough to be around this because I know that a family’s bond is one of the toughest and I know that with my dad, I will never have that tough bond.

Perception is always way less accurate than reality. The reality is I haven’t talked to my biological dad in a little over six months, and I have no intentions. I know he hasn’t changed, and I’m not bringing that back into my life.

Another reality is that I have made my family who they are and that is both my family back home, the brotherhood I have there, and the brotherhood I have here at Eastern.

Like the great Vin Diesel once said in his role as Dominic Toretto, “I do not have friends, I have family.” That’s what I have, and that is my reality.

That’s what will get me through this tough month of October. For others that feel this way, know that you are not alone and that there are people who do care about you.

Blake Faith is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].