I can’t begin to explain how difficult it is to collect all my thoughts together to write this but it has been long overdue. I feel a way about you that no young woman should feel about her father and it’s beginning to create an environment I want no part of. You don’t even know (or care) that I write in my spare time and even though you might not care enough to read this now, I’m hoping that maybe you take the time to read it one day before its too late to repair the relationship you have with others.
For as long as I’ve known, dads are supposed to be there for their kids. For their daughters. I grew up envious that the other little girls around me had great relationships with their fathers. Made me wonder if whether them or their fathers had two heads. It made me envious that they could open up freely and really say what was on their minds. Envious that they didn’t have to pretend to be someone else for their dads approval.
I always felt like you hated me. Like you wished you never had me and that, to you, I was nothing but a waste of space and resources. You certainly made it feel that way. You always used to lie to your friends about things I never achieved. I’m not sure if you were embarrassed and trying to save your face or mine. You certainly made me feel like a failure.
I remember when I told you that I wasn’t into graphic design anymore and I wanted to explore other things. I remember that it got to a point I almost needed an umbrella to shield the insults that you rained down on me. How dare I try to live my own life, right? How could I even try to do something that made me happy? Didn’t I know that I was supposed to live through you?
I used to feel like hating my father was like hating a part of myself. How could I hate someone that made me? You made it so easy.
For as long as I can remember, you never wanted much to do with me except when it came to pretending you were father of the year. I honestly believe that you put more effort into pretending you were a good dad than actually being a good dad. If it wasn’t for the fact mum always made a fuss about building a relationship with you, I would have never even began to bother. Not that I need the affection now, but at the time when I did, you never told me you loved me or even hugged me. Not even the time I was eleven and almost jumped out of a window to escape it all. What I did get though was “If you die, I’ll just take two weeks off and after that I’ll get back to my life as normal”.
If someone asked me when I started feeling like I hated you, it was probably around that time. That’s just not what you want to hear when you’re a suicidal kid, you know?
It’s weird that you didn’t and still don’t find your behaviour towards us wrong or damaging. You used to tell us stories about how your dad never cared about you and nothing you and your siblings did made him happy so why would you do the same thing to us? Why do you feel content making enemies out of the people that are supposed to love you unconditionally?
I remember finishing school or college for the day and not wanting to come home because I didn’t want to see you or hear you shout for absolutely no reason at all. I remember summer 2012 when I would lie that I had work just so I didn’t have to be at home with you. Anything to stay as far away from you as possible I guess.
Do you remember that time you kicked me out of the house for being too ill to go to church? Do you remember when you barked for someone to bring up black bags for me to throw my things in because “anyone that can’t do what you like can’t stay under your roof”? You’d probably claim none of that happened so I’ll refresh your memory for you, ok?
I remember it so vividly, it was a Thursday evening and you came in my room to ask why I wasn’t getting ready to go to church. You didn’t seem to want to accept that I was too ill to even get up and move around. You told me how useless I was. How I’m not going to get very far in life. You even went as far as saying I’m nothing like your friend’s daughter who only replies “how high” when told to jump. Robotic, just how you like it. I know I shouldn’t have responded but I did and I told you that you were free to take her in as your own if you wanted. Next thing I knew, clothes were flying into black bags. It was so loud and the noise was only coming from you. I remember feeling so angry and betrayed that my mum stood there and did absolutely nothing. I could see that she knew you were overreacting but I guess in that moment she didn’t want to be on the receiving end of your wrath. Whatever.
My memory recalls you snatching my house keys out of my hand and throwing me into the rain to fend for myself. I remember somehow finding happiness in being 17 and having a part time job so I had money to drag my one black bag into Primark to buy a £10 suitcase to put what seemed like my whole life into.
I remember my mum not knowing where I went or how I slept so she persistently called my phone to see where I was but I didn’t want to talk her. She needed to not talk to me either. When she SHOULD have been talking, she said nothing.
I remember dragging my suitcase to the council to see what help I could get at that moment only for you to lie and say that you didn’t kick me out and I had left all by myself so they wouldn’t help me. I remember mum’s text telling me to come home cause you had cooled down and you were ready to talk. I remember dragging my pink suitcase back home only for you to open the window, look at me and close it again. It was like you were purposefully trying to spite me. You wanted me to fail so bad but I guess that’s how it is when you see yourself as a god. You really did everything in your power to prove that I couldn’t do it on my own without you.
Why did you hate me so much.
I won’t touch on the physical. I have scars from 14 years ago that haven’t faded. Whenever people ask me about them, I lie about being a rough child. It’s not that I’m protecting you, believe me. I could care less. It’s more like there isn’t enough time in the world to tell my story. You and I both know this letter barely scratches the surface.
I never asked for much from you but love and to be a positive example but as I’m sitting here trying to round up this letter, I realise that this isn’t about how much I hate you, even though I know I do. It’s about how I’ve forgiven you and everything you’ve put my brothers and I through. Its about how I’m not mad about what you did anymore. All you’ve taught me is what to not accept in a man, or any human for that matter.
I read a tweet the other day where someone spoke about not knowing the power of forgiveness until you have to forgive someone that isn’t even sorry. I feel like you don’t even know how deep what you’ve done is, or maybe you do and you don’t care. Would not surprise me at all. It’s okay though because in my head, you’re not my dad anymore and you haven’t been for some time. In my head, I don’t have a father. David the sperm donor. Honestly speaking, it’s the love I have for mum that keeps me around. I can’t allow myself to leave her with you. I don’t want you to kill her spirit because she has been the gift from God that has been keeping us afloat all these years.
I forgive you. In the same breath though, I don’t want you around me. If I ever have children, I don’t want you around them. If I ever decide that one day I do want to get married after years of saying I wouldn’t because I could end up with a man like you, I don’t want you there and I don’t want your blessings. Keep it to yourself.
Every time you flare up, I always remind you that even though our ship has sailed, its not too late to do good by your other kids. You’ll need them. Don’t be the man with a family that is still lonely.
Good luck with it all,