As time went by, I learned to hide how I felt about my father. At school when the word "parents" was brought up, I'd always think "I only have one." But I never let anyone know how much his absence destroyed a part of me. I stayed tough. My motto growing up was to never let the world know my weaknesses and not having a dad was my biggest weakness. I feel vulnerable when I think about him to this day. It was later in life that I learned he never left. My mother took my brother and I away from him. I was angry until I was told that he was a drug addict. I was confused then. How could I feel so much hate towards someone I barely knew and feel sorry for them at the same time? Then I got angrier, thinking of how he could choose drugs over me when he was the one who wanted a little girl. Of course I'm grateful to my mother for getting us out of that situation but I still felt a hatred so raw in my heart towards him that I could barely stand it some days. Family is supposed to be the most important thing in life. He crushed that dream for me.
Suddenly he recently pops back into my life, expecting me to run to him with open arms screaming "Daddy I missed you so much!" Of course the little girl in me wants to do that. I didnt though. I rejected him the way he did me. It felt good. Like I was teaching him a lesson. A life of having no father around makes it hard to trust people. It makes it hard to trust family. So many years I've debated whether it's worse to have a father who died while you were young or one who left while you were young. Knowing that I had a dad who was still alive but didn't want me, that hurt more than anything. I've never forgiven him for that. I could never trust him because he's a stranger and it's his fault for wanting to skip past my childhood and get to the part of being a proud parent.
A movie has never touched my heart before. I've seen plenty of sad films that I could relate to but none of them hold a candle to the Indian. When I first saw Matt Dallas in the trailer for it I instantly thought "Gosh, he's adorable." but as I watched the movie I couldnt help but be amazed by how accurately he portrayed a kid so similiar to myself. It wasnt his good looks that had me glued to the TV screen, it was the way he knew exactly how I felt.
There's acting like a kid who hates his father and then there's Matt. Watching him be Danny felt so personal. It was like watching my own thoughts and feelings. (Except my father never wanted an organ from me.)
"You don't want me. You never wanted me. Everything about you is a lie."
I got angry, wanting to call my father and express how frusterated he makes me.
"Why did you do this to me? Why did you take everything away? Why? Why did you leave me? What was wrong with me?"
I broke down. That was the question eating at my soul for years. What was wrong with me? I often thought something had to have been. Matt's performance in this film was so heart felt. As a child who didnt have a father I couldnt have depicted it better. He was so believeable and it always stuck with me.
This movie is like a best friend. If I'm ever feeling vulnerable or my facade is slipping, I can always turn to this movie. To me, Danny is the one person I can share my pain with and he wont think I'm weak for crying about it even though I think myself weak for crying. Even if he's just a character, he's a well played character and that stands out on Matt's part. It also gives me hope of having a relationship with my father in the future. Life is short and I've been trying to forgive him for all of the emotional stress his absence has caused. Not only for his own conscience but for my own soul as well. Even after 16 years of not having him in my life I'm willing to start over someday. I'm hoping to have closure and forgiveness the way Danny and his father finally had.
Ever since I first watched this movie, I've been a big Matt supporter and he may not know it but he's impacted my life in a way no other has or ever will.