Just for one moment.
Allow me to take you through this ride of your version of fantasy, but of my reality.
You need to really imagine, feel, open your mind and heart to the weight of these words.
But these words could never do justice to the you I’ve come to know and the pain I’ve come to feel.
They could never have all the right colors to paint the true picture of this scenery.
For no artists, no poets, no crafters of words would ever even be able to fathom it enough to pick up their paint brush, or start up their type writer. They would fall to their knees in their homes and no longer know how to go on. They would never want to take on the burden of turning something so heartbreaking into any piece of art.
Well, here I am. I am a writer. A poet. And I never referred to myself with those words before. If there is one thing I have learned about myself and my writing over time, it is that I am no liar. I write with raw honesty and real emotion. Everything I’ve ever written has always reflected me. I wouldn’t know how to write about a fake emotion, an untrue story. I am no fiction writer. I write of the true reality of the world I live in. The way I see things. And I always write about the things that hurt. The things that hurt spill out of me like ink rushing to the paper. If I tried to write something untrue, the words would stop flowing from me.
So, would you, humor me for these few moments. Read these words and pretend that they are true, in your world.
What if I am truly hurting?
What if my family is truly hurting?
What if every time I have showed emotion to you it has been real and not an act?
What if you truly have traumatized me?
What if you really did banish my father for 40 days?
What if you really did have an affair and make my sisters and I uncomfortable with his presence?
What if you really were wrong and had some part to play in all of the wrong?
What if you really did lie and call the police to say dad had hit you when he did not?
What if you really did lie to get me taken from him?
What if that hurt me? What if I still have nightmares?
What if you really did hurt me that day in the car when you lunged at me?
What if you did leave those scratches on my neck?
What if, you continually hurt me and I kept trying to forgive you and move forward but you continued all of the same things?
What if no one has turned me against you, I have seen things for myself and formed my own opinions?
What if my father tried to hold our family together and get me to forgive you and still love you?
What if by you keeping me in a harmful place such as soul steps, turning me against my father, constantly talking bad about him to people and to me, cheating on him, banishing him, bringing another man into our home, not doing anything when that woman hit me at the recital, constantly putting me down, calling the police on me and my father with allegations based on lies that I have formed my own opinion? It is not even an opinion. It is fact I’ve had to be hit with time and time again. The pain lives in my mind and flashes before me every moment and every word and every wound that still stays open.
What if you are now trying to allege things against my father and myself that are untrue? What if, you are disrupting my newfound freedom and my new start? What if, you are breathing poisons into this home without ever even being here?
What if all I want to do is be away from you because you have caused so much damage? What if I lock the doors in the house not because I am afraid of robberies I am afraid of you, of police, of invaders coming into my home by your command? What if every time I see a blue van I am frightened that it is you?
What if you truly have caused me, your daughter, all of this hurt? What if I lay awake at night crying because of all you have done? What if I have to see my father cry because of all you have done? What if I have to see my grandparents and my uncle’s health deteriorate before my eyes because of what you have done?
What if I have to see my grandmother not even wanting to come out of her room because of the emotional stress you have caused her? What if I have to see my sister’s eyes every time your name is mentioned and see the hurt, the fear?
What if, you have been the one holding the gun this whole time? Firing without care of who you hit, who you hurt, who you kill. What if you truly have left bullet holes in this family? What if you are the one who has caused the irreparable damage?
What if I loved you endlessly so I gave you endless chances but you were the one who kept sticking daggers in me and I allowed it? Why would I do such a thing? I believed you could change. I believed you were good at heart. What if that is truly how I feel?
How would you respond? How would you react? What would you do? If my “fantasy” was the reality? What if all of this were true? Would you care? What would you do differently?
Would it even faze you to know your daughter wants no contact with you ever again because of all the pain you have caused her? Would you even shed a tear knowing her mental health suffers because of all you did? Would you even remember the way she cried, the way she tried, the way she suffered?
What if, all of this hit you? One day it will, maybe by reading this, maybe on that day where you wake up and realize you truly will never see me again. When you realize that everything that happened was caused by you.
Maybe that day is today, maybe it’s tomorrow, months from now, years from now. But it will come. Because when you are all alone, wondering why you never hear from me, you will return to this letter and beg for my forgiveness. For my family’s forgiveness.
But what if?
We never accept your apology.
But let me give you a glimpse of my world. The good parts. And how I wish for it to stay.
My family. The Shaplyes. We survive. We are strong, not weak. We laugh. We eat together. We sit around the table and laugh at even the smallest of things. We don’t have a single care in the world. The world is trying to hold us down but we don’t let it. Because, no matter what, we have always, and will always, laugh. The world and its cold grips, you and your endless attempts to harm us, will never get to us.
We thrive. We keep going. And we don’t stop. Because that is us. That has always been us. And it will always be us.
You will never be apart of my perfect world, because you never belonged in it in the first place. You never deserved us as your family or me as your daughter.
And what if? I am okay. I am better for it.
And what if? No one has put me up to this. No one has influenced my words or my thoughts. They all come from me and my own mind, my own experiences.
You can do anything you wish, come at us with an army. But you won’t ever succeed. You can’t hurt me anymore.
And what if? This is reality. Welcome to the real world.