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I Learned That My Father is Uncommunicative

Joined: 5/30/2011
Posts: 4
To be honest, when I read the essay prompt for June, I became disheartened. I told myself I wasn’t going to even attempt this contest because there wasn’t a point. I’m not sure what changed my mind. It was probably a cocktail of optimism and hope. By nature, I am an optimistic person and when I read that perhaps such a simple question could help you come closer to the parent you chose to ask, I hoped that that was true.

At the very least, I hoped that my low expectations were undeserved.

Unfortunately, they weren’t. My parents and I just don’t communicate well. Life has been so unfortunate to them that they don’t understand that their criticism, that may seem of minimal of importance to them, is actually hurtful. And while I can see things from their point of view, I’ve just become accustomed to withdrawing inside of myself instead of opening up to them. It’s not like I’ve never tried to be open with them but usually I just got cold or mocking responses. So I stopped trying.

I chose to ask my father because I knew that out of my parents he would be the most likely candidate to answer my question. My mom would have either told me that she preferred not to think about the past or that she didn’t feel like talking to me. My father and I at least have casual conversations of minimal importance (when we broach serious subjects it turns into a fight). I didn’t really do anything to prepare for the question because he would have gotten suspicious about my intentions; I just asked. He didn’t seem stunned, he just started laughing.

“Well, honey, the stuff I haven’t told you stuff is stuff that I don’t plan on sharing with anyone,” he answered in an amused tone of voice.

“Alright,” I said, but tried not to give up. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve told me everything that you would be willing to share with people.”

“Fair enough,” he said and he thought about it for a few seconds. Then he told me a short two sentenced story about he fell off a mini-motorbike when he was thirteen in the middle of the road. He added no details preceding or following the event. I’m sorry to say, that this is pretty much a parallel to the relationship I have with my father. We talk long enough to share the bare minimum of what we think we’re supposed to say to each other. There’s no beginning or ending to make the story interesting or, dare I say it, meaningful, just a lonely, boring middle. While I’ve accepted it, I can’t help but think that maybe I shouldn’t have to accept it.

And while I wish I could give a happy ending, all I’ve learned is that my father doesn’t know how to communicate openly with me.
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
Hi, I'm the PR Coordinator for Stage of Life. I'm leaving you this comment to let you know that your essay for our Teens and Parents writing contest was one of the finalists. Congratulations!

Here's the link to the contest summary page. We'll be formally announcing the winner soon.

Feel free to share this news with your friends and family. To be named an essay finalists in our national writing competition is a big deal. Our previous winners have been talked about on and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 4:24:30 PM
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Comment by melissapasta

Joined: 2/1/2012
Posts: 7
hi,i just wanted to say i thought your story was really well-planned.
I'm not sure if the story is true or not,but i really agree it was nicely thought and planned:)
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 9:31:20 AM
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