I always had many friends--they liked being with a happy, optimistic, problem-free person. However, it was all an act, not the real Angela. Deep down I wanted them to see me for who I really was. And yet, I was not ready to do the same.
I had my own problems; my father liked to drink. It was torture going home knowing there would be quarrels, tears and shouting. I resented my father for doing that to us. I used to dream of having a father like those of my friends, someone I could go out with and not be ashamed of. I had a picture in my mind of how I wanted him to be. Only then would I love him. I created an idol, in the comfortable world of my imagination, and expected him to be perfect. Never had I looked at the real man behind the drunken behaviour. He was just an ordinary man, making mistakes like anyone else. Moreover, he was the person to whom I belonged.
With no concept of his inner being, I had seen him only as the `machine' who had produced me. I had known nothing about the person I'd lived with since birth, not even his favourite colour or song. And all that time he was my father. No, he hadn't spent much time with me but he was the one who had helped me most through problems and trials. He had shown me how to value and appreciate people for who they are.
For the situation to improve I had to change my attitude towards him. I chose to love him for who he is with all his faults. I still do not approve of some of the things he does, but nothing will take away my love for him.
Angela Starovoitova, Ukraine