Breaking the (bad) silence.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Break the Silence.”

Dear Dad,

You’re an asshole. There, I said it. It’s been a long time coming, too. Don’t deny it. You know I’m right. You might never admit it out loud, but you know you can’t deny it. Not after what you did to us. Not after the way you walked away from us, never looking back. But I’m getting ahead of myself here because, let’s face it, you checked out emotionally long before you did physically. Know what I think? I think that you never wanted to get married or have kids in the first place. I think you felt pressured to do it by your family so you went along with it. But I’m of the opinion that you had absolutely no business getting married or having kids. You weren’t the relationship or fatherly type. Even I picked up on that and I was just a kid.

You could have been more honest about it, though, and you could have been a little bit nicer, too. Because, honestly, you were a real asshole to us all. You were always getting angry at the things we did. You yelled, a lot. And let’s not forget the numerous times you hit us with your belt because, apparently, we had done something so bad it warranted that kind of punishment. In fact, Angry You is the only you I can really remember now. Not that I remember much of you anymore. It’s been so long now since I last saw you that even the idea of you has gotten fuzzy. I’ve often wondered how that makes you feel. To know that, over the course of the last 20 years, the memories your own children have of you have faded into oblivion. Do you even care? I’m thinking no.

While listening to a podcast today I heard someone ask themselves if they were ashamed to love their father (who was gay). I found myself thinking that I don’t feel ashamed that I don’t love my father at all. Did you catch that? I don’t love you. At all. But then I wouldn’t know how to. I don’t know who you are and I don’t think I ever did. I was afraid of you throughout my childhood. That’s not normal. In fact, I’d say that probably lies somewhere on the dysfunctional spectrum. I never felt any kind of support from you. I never got any praise from you. In fact, all you taught me was to accept whatever the men I would meet in the future would give me. And let me tell you, it was never much. It still isn’t. But don’t worry, while it may have taken me a while to get to this point, I finally figured out what I don’t want. And surprisingly enough it’s actually more than I had imagined.

What I don’t want is you. I don’t want anyone that resembles you in any way, shape or form. I won’t even date a man who has your name. Did you know that I won’t date a Latino man because of you? You pretty much ruined that one for me. In fact, I steer so clear from them that I’ve only ever been attracted to “white guys”. Not that it’s worked out for me, but whatever. It is what it is.

So in case you were wondering how I’ve been doing I just wanted to let you know that I’m fine.  But I know you don’t care. I know this because I haven’t gotten so much as a birthday card from you in the last twenty years. (Do you even remember my birthday?) It’s fine. I never cared much for my birthday either.

Sincerely,

Your daughter

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