Apr 26, 2017

A Long Letter to a Lousy Father

     When I was a kid I used to adore you. You bouncy belly was the best pillow. You built the best and most amazing sand castles. But thats not enough, is it?
     I'm sorry that you couldn't understand that what makes a good father isn't how many presents he puts under the Christmas tree. To be honest, I've recently started to question if you always were a lousy father and I just never noticed or if you actually were a good dad at some point and something just went terribly wrong along the way. Whatever happened, you are not a good father. You will never understand, because you're one of those people that will just never admit to themselves that they are wrong. You just can't bring yourself to think that what went wrong in your life might be your fault. Or maybe you don't even think something went wrong. I don't really care anymore. 
     I couldn't have written this letter two years ago. I was too angry and too confused as to why someone who should be loving me and taking care of me would say such mean things. But you know what? I'm not really angry anymore. And I'm not scared like I was before that. However, I don't think I've forgiven you either. Oh no, I think that what I feel is much sadder: indifference. My friends sometimes ask me things about you, especially new friends, like why we don't talk anymore. And then they suddenly look really worried and they add "Do you mind me asking?". I've always said no, but when I look back I'm not sure how much of that was true. But nowadays it certainly doesn't make a difference. You certainly don't make a difference. 
     Before starting to write this, I had decided that I would not tell you what you've done wrong, because I've told you countless times and I'm sure you can't recall any of them. If you still don't want to see it, I don't think you ever will. However, it doesn't seem fair that I don't tell you (once more) when I stand behind this letter saying what some people might say are terrible things to say to a "father" (if you still call yourself that). Not that you can complain about anything being unfair, when you live alone in the house I grew up in when you never even helped to clean or cook. But still, I'm gonna tell you for the last time. So pay attention.
     You are a bad person. I don't give a shit about how crappy your childhood was, I was your fucking daughter, just like my mom was your wife before that, and you still treated both of us like a piece of garbage. When you talked to me, I could see you calculating everything you were gonna say, trying to  find that comment that would destroy me on the inside. And sometimes you hit right where there was a crack and everything shattered - don't think I couldn't see you smile when you saw that my eyes started to shine when I tried not to cry. I saw.
     All the things you said about my mom, all the comments you casually made, as if it was normal for you to talk badly about someone I loved - those I excused. I was scared and wanted so badly to be okay with you, so I stayed silent. But I never agreed with you either, and you saw that as you see everything in life: if I wasn't with you, I was against you. So you attacked me, you pushed me more and more against the wall with your nasty comments until I couldn't breathe, and instead of pushing you back, I shrank, to make more space for you. Oh, you took so much space and I was just a tiny little kid. For a while I thought it was normal for you to treat me like that. I thought I deserved it - after all, as you had reminded me countless times with you nasty subtle little comments, I was fat, stupid and a bitch. At one point you even told me that people just pretended to like me. If no one else liked me, why would i, right?
     Do you wanna know how I knew you didn't give a shit? You stopped bothering to have dinner with me and my sister. You didn't give a shit and you probably never knew that most nights I threw my food down the toilet or through the window because that day you said I was fat. Shit, I would go days without eating. You never knew why I spent all my time out of school sleeping, why my grades went to shit or why I would spend recess alone because I didn't want the few friends I had finally made to see me cry.  
     How do you think I felt when after practically a year in therapy insisting that everything was okay, something suddenly clicked and I realised the problem was you? You had been screaming at me for panicking about going in by myself - you probably don't even remember that, do you? That day probably didn't mean anything to you, because it was so common for you to scream at me when I panicked. Anyway, the psychologist saw and started asking me questions about you and suddenly I lost control and everything came out: tears, relief and the truth I didn't know I knew. I was trying to clean up a giant mess without knowing why it was there or why it kept coming back, but when I found out I could finally clean it. And I knew for sure you didn't give a shit about me when you tried to take me out of therapy because "I didn't need it" - I'm not stupid. I knew you were fucking pissed off because you realised I was getting better and that meant I was conquering the space you had stolen from me. 
     All of this, all of it, is a shame, because you have influenced me in more ways than I would like to admit. Not just the good stuff, like your love for music - I have some of the messed up parts of you in me too, which is something that I'm trying to workout.
     Towards the end, things got a bit bitter, I admit, and I didn't behave as I would like to have when I look back, but then again, how could it have been any other way? I excused you a thousand times and it was never enough.
     Mark my words: never have I ever thought that what happened was my fault. And sometimes this made me wonder if I wasn't just like you, incapable of admitting that I can be wrong. But that couldn't be true either, because I've apologised for being wrong a lot in my life, even when I wasn't, but I can't recall a single moment when you said to me "I'm sorry, I was wrong". The idiotic half-excuses you make up when you feel lonely or when you need to show off your "perfect family" somewhere don't fucking count, because those only last until I remind you that I have not forgotten what you've done. And then we go back to the start again, in an endless loop. Well, fuck that. 
See you around, I guess. 

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