An Open Letter to My Father

It has been 9 months since I told you that I never wanted to speak to you again and I have had to think about you recently because of your actions toward my brother. Your actions bring my mother into the mix because my brother has to tell her everything and then she needs someone to vent to. The way you treat your children dredges up feelings of guilt in her that tear her up. She will never forgive herself for not getting us all away from you long ago… out of your demented grip. Even after being divorced for a year and separated for over three, you are still haunting her.

There are so many things that I would love to tell you – in email, face to face, on the telephone, but I can’t risk getting sucked back in, so this letter to myself is going to have to be enough. It is said that one of the most difficult tasks in life is removing someone from your heart. I believe that to be true especially when they poison your very existence with each contact they make. Maybe this will set me free?

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Where is the best place to start? Now? Childhood? I remember being a child and being beaten with a belt, wooden paddle, a hand because of things that children do. Mess up papers. Get in the way at a church meeting at the house. By far one of the most memorable of these was the time that I was 4 and was put in an upstairs bedroom with no bathroom close. After a dream (which I still have to this day) about big spiders that had blue and red veins on them being on the landing, I used a Folgers coffee can to urinate in and dumped it out the window. When that was found, I was not allowed to explain, I was just spanked for it and told that if I fought or cried it would only make it worse. Worse? You made my mother do it and when I fought you took over. My mother was never really one to hit us and what you did was despicable. What kind of experience was that really for a four year old to carry her entire life (I am 43 now)?

Let’s not forget the boozing and womanizing that was witnessed by my brother and I and in some way tolerated by our mother. In addition to that, she was emotionally and physically abused: A drunken night at the bar playing shuffleboard with the guys ended up at home with you yelling at our mother because she wouldn’t have sex with you or got upset because you were with another woman and the next day she would show up with bruises on her.  She tried to hide these things from us, but we weren’t stupid. We had bedrooms on the same level as yours and my brother’s room was right next to yours… in fact, I believe there is still a hole in the door that he punched his fist through during one of your famous fits.

I have to write this in pieces because this literally makes me sick AND pissed off at the same time. So, to be continued.

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