“My father was incarcerated when I was at the age of five and I still remember it like it was yesterday.”
Brea was raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut and is a proud “daddy’s girl.” She admits to having an estranged relationship with her mother and definitely feels closer to her father. “Me and my dad had a really close relationship and when he left it really affected me a lot because I’m not really close to my mom.”
Brea remembers as a young child going to visit her father in jail, for the first year he had no contact visits where she could only see him through glass and talk to him on a phone. Around the same time as her father was incarcerated, Brea started having trouble in school. Behaviorally she would act out when her father was away. It got to be so bad that it looked like she might not graduate high school, but fortunately for Brea’s education her father got released in time to support her and help her find success again in school.
“The best thing was having my dad around when I graduated eighth grade, high school and hopefully he will be around when I graduate college.”
Brea struggles with trusting her father again after she felt such abandonment as a child. After his first sentence Brea’s father was released and returned home, promising Brea he would never leave her again. “To this day it still hurts me because he told me he would never leave me; he got out four and a half years later and went back [to prison] two months later.”
Brea recounts the day she knew her father was going to break his promise. She was in fourth grade and refused to go to school that day because they knew he was going to get picked up. She now regrets the traumatizing experience of seeing her father leave, “I should have gone to school that day because seeing my dad leave really, really hurt me.”
Currently, Brea is still torn between adoring her father and resenting him for breaking her trust. What she desires most of all is for him to admit what he did to break the law and be completely honest with her. “He doesn’t want to tell me because he thinks it will hurt me, but I already know, it’s just the fact that he won’t tell me. He’s still my best friend, but there is still a little side of me that- still can’t- I forgave him for what he did but I still won’t fully forgive him until he tells me why.”
As for keeping future promises Brea can only hope for the best. “I hope he keeps his promise this time and doesn’t go back, it scares me. I want to succeed in college because it will make him happy.”
It’s sort of the mass causality nature…that calls us to action in a way that other things may not.