I really wish things were different. Underneath it all, you are a sweet man, but that does not excuse the things you have done. It never will, and I don’t believe I can ever forgive you.
Do you remember that one time you were drunk? (Yes, I know that there is a multitude of them, but bear with me.) I was seven, dad, and I saw you burst into the trailer and start to choke my mother. How was I supposed to react to that? That scared me more than you’ll ever know.
Do you remember that project I did in second grade? I wrote something along the lines of, “I don’t think my daddy loves me at all.” You must have read it. I know you did. Eight years old, dad. I was reaching out to you then, but you didn’t want to make the effort to reach back. You ran away, back to your alcohol.
Do you remember when I was thirteen? Fourteen? Those were some tough years, dad, and I really could have used your help.
Do you remember last year? You promised you would go to my award ceremony. I was so proud of myself, I worked hard to get that GPA. But when I went up to the stage to get my award, I realized that you weren’t there. You were home drinking. I sat back down and feigned happiness towards my friends. My mom had to witness me breaking down. That was your fault.
You are the reason I avoid all male contact, I’m so scared of them. I don’t want to be brought down to nothing, the way you have torn my mother apart. She is everything to me, and when she cries because you cursed at her, or you cut her down, I lose it. You don’t know how to love anything but your alcohol.
But, if you care to know, I’m finally starting to come to terms with myself. I’m beginning to think that I’m pretty and worthy of happiness. I’ve come to terms with my bisexuality. It’s been challenging, but the suicidal thoughts are going away. Sometimes, I wish I could talk to you when you’re sober.
I’m trying hard to understand and forgive you. But I look at other fathers loving their daughters and I can’t handle it. You were physically there, dad. It surely couldn’t have been that difficult to talk to me.
You weren’t there, dad, and it hurts so much.