I am writing to let you know that I am not going to be calling you, nor would I be smiling if we had taken those pictures for you. I did not think of you on Halloween – except of how you complained about driving us around or whined about having friends over for supper.
I don’t know what makes you think I would want to have a phone call with you when the last emails you have sent me are offensive and manipulative. You will have no part in the new home I have here. I’ve paid a very high price to have a fresh start and I can’t have your dysfunctional and reckless behavior destroying it again.
You’ve withdrawn from me. I understand that now. I gave you every opportunity to change – to apologize and keep your promises. I even left my email open to you, hoping that you would write to me one day and treat me as an equal, not the fool or five year old you seem to remember me as – and take responsibility for your behavior.
Already the hole where you should be is shrinking, it still pains me but I forget about it sometimes. Some days I don’t even realize it’s there. That’s not how it’s supposed to be when a child loses their father. It’s like the hole from a piercing. It just keeps getting smaller. Maybe one day it will grow over completely, but I doubt it. It’s too old for that.
I wish that you would see the hurt you have caused and remember when I was a little girl, still too innocent to understand that most dads took them out to do things or talked with them about the things that are important to them. (Or even knew what was important to them!) Even divorced dads show they care. I wish you would remember when you loved me more and feel remorse for all the times your own comfort and self-loathing became more important than your child. I wish you would become healthy again and we would meet by chance one day and I could have the relationship with you that I have craved my whole life.
But perhaps you will delete this letter and erase me from your little world like you did with your other child you had so long ago. Maybe you will get married again and take care of someone else’s daughter and you’ll love her more than me.
I cling to the few good memories I have with you – getting ice cream, hiking in Cliff Gilker and those few weeks when I thought everything was going to be okay with our family this August. I hang onto them so I can remember the father I love and not the person you have been for almost my entire life.
Dad, I love you so much. I despise myself for doing this because you are the one who is going to be missing out. You gave up on me – you abandoned me – a long time ago and now I have to abandon you in order to protect myself. I am choosing to permanently cut off any contact with you out of a desire to lead a different life than the one you have set an example of.
I would ask you to not try and have contact with me. I will not respond to any attempts. I will ignore your calls and delete your emails unopened. Do not try to contact me through anyone else either. You chose not to be a part of my life a long time ago, and now I am getting out of the way completely before I land in the center of your destructive path. I hope that you will respect this.
I’m not choosing this because of anyone else. Actually, nobody knows what I am doing nor will they until this is has been long sent. This choice was not made because of the divorce, nor will any attempt to reconcile with my mother change anything. I made this choice because I need the protection you have never been willing to offer.
This happened because of the way you have treated your only daughter. This happened because of the harsh words you threw at me. When I asked you to come home you belittled me and ignored me and then weeks later you email me as if you were explaining the whole situation over again, as if I were simple minded or forgetful. I made this decision because you put me in the position where I could do nothing but sob thinking that I was the one who had failed you, wishing that every car driving by was you – coming home to tell me it was a bad dream. I hoped that on thanksgiving I would see your car in the driveway and you would be downstairs having breakfast at the table.
Your abandonment wasn’t the divorce. It was the way it was done. It was all the years before that when you ignored or seemed to hold me in contempt. It was the fear that one day you would lash out at me in a way that would leave bruises like the ones that still cover my mother – a fear that I’ve had for as long as I can remember.
I wish I were enough. I wish you loved me as much as you say you do – or loved yourself a little less. I wish you would remember who you were and strive to become the best you could be and not settle for what you think is all that is left for you. I wish you would trust God a little more and listen to him.
I love you so much, I can’t express it but all the wishing in the world won’t make you a better person. Only you can do that. It’s too bad you drove me away before I could witness it.