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Tina never knew what it was like to have a truly normal family. Ever since she was young, for as long as she can remember, she had a dad who was never there for her.
She has a wonderful and amazing mother, who has always been there to comfort and support and love her, but she simply can't say the same for her father. Her dad drank too much, and it was a real problem that has caused a lot of pain and done a lot of damage.
Having a dad with that kind of problem made it so that she could never act or feel normal, or do the typical things that kids do - like having friends over, because she was always nervous that her father would embarrass her, or being out and doing things that a lot of her friends got to do with their dads.
She was often jealous of her friends because they had dads who were there for them, who were a part of their lives, and her dad was rarely a part of hers. He was hardly ever home, and when he was home he wasn't in his right state of mind.
And even when he was in a "good" state of mind, he shut Tina, and her sister and mother out of his life. He would jus stay in his room watching tv or playing video games almost all of the time that he spent at home. It got to the point where she felt like she had been replaced by his gaming computer. This really hurt her and gave her low self-esteem because it made her feel so unimportant.
The way her dad acted and the way he was toward her, broke her down. Most days she was afraid and unhappy to come home because she knew she was just returning to a torn and broken family.
One night she was sitting at the kitchen table doing her homework while her Mom cooked dinner, and they suddenly heard her Dad teasing her little sister upstairs. His words were slurred and he was yelling.
But then a surprising thing happened, her little sister obviously couldn't take it anymore and she screamed at him to stop, screamed that she knew he had been drinking. Tina and her Mom were in absolute shock that her little sister had stood up to him. No one had ever done that before.
That's when her Dad really blew up - he yelled back at her little sister and accused their Mom of telling lies and turning them against him. He stomped downstairs and yelled nasty things at her Mom, then took a glass bowl and smashed it on the floor - looked coldly and angrily at Clementine - and stormed up to his room.
After that they all just stayed out of his way and he avoided them, for the most part.
But, a few years later he was taken to the police station. He had never physically hurt Tina or her sister but he had been so mean for so long, and said so many awful and damaging things, that by the time he was arrested she actually felt a huge sense of relief watching him being driven away by the police.
After he got out and had spent a month living with his own father (Tina's Grandfather, Grandpa) he came back home, and promised he was better and would be a good dad again. But that didn't last very long, and soon enough he was at it again.
This time though Tina felt stronger and she began to stand up to him when he was at his worst. She told him "This isn't okay and I would really appreciate it if you would try to quit!" But he didn't listen, and those few months after he came home were some of the hardest times of her life.
Then one day, her Mom had finally had enough and she kicked him out, right then and there, and then filed for a divorce. Tina thought to herself, my Dad was never there for me.
Mom and Dad divorced, and her Mother did all the parenting, and Tina has been slowly recovering, and, though it has taken months and months, now she knows and truly feels how important she really is, and that she matters, to her Mother, and her sister, and her friends. Now she could have a better life.
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