Until the end, Michael Jackson said that he was scared of his father and wished that he had changed earlier.
Not all people are blessed with good parents. Some suffer for years because of indifferent parents but then there are those who are terrified of their parents. They never received a hug or an assuring word from their parent. Instead, their parents' hands just inflicted pain on them. When you suffer for years, it might become hard to ever forgive and move on, even if the parent changes. The scars are too deep by then to ever let go.
The king of pop, Michael Jackson was one of the most unfortunate people, who had a father, Joe, who reserved the worst of his behavior for his youngest and most talented. He was not just a distant parent but an abusive and violent one too, according to Alexis Petridis, the Guardian's head rock and pop critic. Jackson had nine siblings and five of them were in the Jackson Five band.
According to the Guardian, Jermaine, Michael's brother and a member of the band, once said, "None of us can remember him holding us or cuddling us or telling us 'I love you'."
Joe would regularly beat his children, make them rehearse for hours after school, and stop them from playing outside with other children. The Thriller singer may have received the worst of his bullying attitude towards his children. "If you messed up you got hit, sometimes with a switch, sometimes with a belt," Michael wrote in Moonwalk, his 1988 autobiography, according to Yahoo Entertainment. "Dad would make me so mad at him that I’d try to get back at him and get beaten all the more."
Eventually, the most famous Jackson child distanced himself from his father. He fired his father as his manager and the papers were sent to Joe when Michael wasn't around. "It’s not easy firing your father,” Michael later told a biographer, according to Yahoo Entertainment.
Michael spoke to Joe in the presence of an adviser, as per J. Randy Taraborrelli’s 1991 book, Michael Jackson: The Magic, the Madness, the Whole Story. "The fact you can’t even talk to me unless you have this guy here," Joe said. "It hurts me, Michael. Do you know how it makes me feel? You know how I feel about you. Why do I always have to say it?"
The Beat It singer told his father that he had never heard from him about how he felt about him. "After all I’ve done for you and your brothers?" Joe asked. "Think about it. It’s always been about you and your brothers. That’s how I say it."
The Man in the Mirror singer, who had been put to work since he was a child, told Rabbi Shmuley Boteach that he missed his childhood. "It’s like being on a ride you can’t get off and you think, 'Oh my God. What did I do?' and you are committed and you can’t get off. It hit me before I was a teenager. I wanted so badly to play in the park across the street because the kids were playing baseball and football but I had to record," he told Boteach, according to Today.
The popstar had also indicated that he had been coerced by his father into signing contracts and Joe saw him as a moneymaking machine. "One day he said, and God bless my father because he did some wonderful things and he was brilliant, he was a genius, but one day he said, 'If you guys ever stop singing I will drop you like a hot potato.' It hurt me. You would think he would think, 'These kids have a heart and feelings.' Wouldn’t he think that would hurt us?" MJ had said.
His relationship with his father remained tumultuous till the end. In the interview with the rabbi, published in 2009, the same year he died, the Black or White singer said that he was still scared of his father.
"I am scared of my father to this day. My father walked in the room — and God knows I am telling the truth — I have fainted in his presence many times. I have fainted once to be honest. I have thrown up in his presence because when he comes in the room and this aura comes and my stomach starts hurting and I know I am in trouble. He is so different now. Time and age have changed him and he sees his grandchildren and he wants to be a better father. It is almost like the ship has sailed its course and it is so hard for me to accept this other guy that is not the guy I was raised with. I just wished he had learned that earlier," the King of Pop said.