This post is a little different from those I have written before. A few months ago my counselor suggested that I write letters to my family explaining things, or complaining, or just saying whatever I felt needed to be said. These letters were not meant to be given to my parents, but were simply an exercise or a coping mechanism. I wrote three such letters. I dug up the letters again today, and thought I’d share them. Today, I’m going to post the one which is possibly the worst for me: the letter to my father.
A note: these letters are not very high-quality writing. They were very emotional to write (let alone share with the counselor!), and I see that coming through in the writing. Therefore, please forgive me for transgressions in that area.
Sometimes I wish you knew how much I dislike you so I wouldn’t have to pretend that I do like you, do love you, because I haven’t for quite some time.
It annoys me beyond reason to see your two faces; the pleasant one that makes everybody think you’re a nice man, and the other one that I know which shows your bitter, angry, abusive side. When somebody mentions how you seem like ‘a cool guy’ it makes me feel sick because that side of you is so fake.
It’s alright for somebody to have some bitterness and some anger, but your’s consumes you. If you hate your parents so much then why didn’t you move far away and stay there instead of coming back? If you have so much hatred for my mother then why don’t you leave instead of making us all live in agony for a decade?
Your abuse has gone on far too long. To your credit, you weren’t physically abusive, but I still remember you pushing me as a little girl when I was only trying to comfort you, and I always took that as a sign of what could happen. Perhaps you weren’t even explicitly abusive to your children, but you were to your wife and that affected my brother and I.
Your son is afraid of you. We all dread moments where you go on your stupid and childish tirades. Even more childish is when you stop speaking to people, including me.
If I had to pick one moment in which you affected me most (turning a blind eye to the years of discomfort in the house), it would be the summer before I went to university. I was fully aware that there was no money to send me to school, so I had made appropriate plans: I would get OSAP (Note: this is a provincial student loan provided based upon need) and a line of credit in case I needed a little something to fall back on. I assumed that since you wanted a good future (and with that, education) for your children, you would be willing to cosign for my loan…how wrong I was. You ended up making such a fuss over it, I eventually had to ask a cousin to do it, but not before the silent treatment set in and I nearly had a complete breakdown. Never before had I actually come that close to institutionalizing myself, and I never want to be that close again.
You’re stubborn, a perfectionist, and controlling. You manage to twist everything around so you’re never at fault. I’m tired of your looming presence and the trouble it causes me. If it were practical to cut you and your side of the family out of my life, I would, and I would likely be happier for it.
Note: Dear lord, it’s hard to even read the things I wrote. It brings back every moment all to clearly. I just hope it makes me stronger to voice these things!