Dad (Part 1 of 5)

This is the first in a series of 5 pieces that came pouring out…somewhat tied together.

I want to believe you were always doing your best. Let you be a victim of your circumstance. Your dad hit you, so you hit me. Your dad never said sorry, so you didn’t know how.

The feelings I associate with you are: scared, confused, hurt. I remember belts, bats, hot frying pans, and searing words that burned to my core. I am still anxious when someone pulls out a knife just to slice an apple.

My earliest memory of you was when you burst into the trailer you left mom, Lacey and I living in with no money. You were raging. Mom was screaming. I was confused. Lacey was just a baby. You pinned Mom to the wall, hands around her throat, her feet off the ground. I didn’t know much, but I knew you would kill her. I bit you, kicked you, tried everything to get you off until Mom begged me to go outside.

I took Lacey to the big brown car. We huddled underneath the seats like Mom sometimes let us do when she was driving. When I peeked out, I saw the cops pulling you out of the house in handcuffs and stuffing you into the back of their car.

That was the first of a string of violent memories. No matter how many good ones, how many gifts you bought me, this is what I think of when I think of you. We never talked about it, you never apologized.

I developed a shell of anger and resentment. I let you in time and time again hiding these stories, telling Mom it didn’t bother me…I was tough enough. I hoped you would change, even when I was sure you couldn’t.

The pain you caused me doesn’t hurt half as bad as the pain I know you caused Grandma, Lacey, and all the women who floated into and out of our lives. The wounds run deep, they’ve left scars that we cannot hide and we cannot make them go away. Trust me, I’ve tried just about everything.

For a long time I blamed you for my mistakes…until I realized that made me just like you. It gave me an excuse to hurt myself, to hurt others. It gave me a pass and let me avoid truth. Worst of all, it has kept me from being the best version of myself. I don’t want to be like you, I want to be the person God is calling me to be.

Your lack of remorse, and pretending things are OK during holidays still makes me angry. I am still working to forgive you, and to let out all those negative emotions I’ve shoved so deep. But I will no longer let your choices and actions define me. I will set boundaries and I will not pretend.

Why am I publishing this? I am writing this because I cannot forgive you until I face what really happened, tell my entire story, and give myself a chance to grieve all of this. We can move past this, and things truly can get better, but only if we are honest and face this head on.

And if not, then I wish for both of us to eventually find peace in all this.

With love,
Your Daughter

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