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A letter to my "father"

(9 Posts)
Orchidaceous Tue 17-Jan-17 09:08:56

When we met again you told me that it hurt when I told you not to contact me again when you tried to contact me in my thirties, over two decades after you abandoned me. And I saw that it hurt you that I changed my surname.

Well, here is the list of things that hurt me:

*It hurt to be snatched up out of my bed as a child whilst my mother ran through the night in fear of her life after you hit her. Hit her so hard you cracked her teeth. I felt her fear and terror and that experience it has stayed with my throughout my life
*It hurt to see you pack your things, to hear you tell me that “your mother and I aren’t getting on but I’ll be back” and then you never came back
*It hurt to have to move home
*Then it hurt to have to see that roof sold from over my head too when you went bankrupt to avoid your responsibilities (but your wife and brother hid both money and assets for you).
*It hurt to see you settle so quickly and snuggly into a new family and forget about me
*It hurt to see the photographs of you playing Santa for other children when you never did that for me
*It hurt to see you arrange lavish birthday parties for your partner when yowhen you didn’t even see me on my birthday
*It hurt to read about ponies and holidays to Tenerife when there wasn’t enough to eat at home, when there was no heating in the house and I didn’t have a winter coat (I got pneumonia that year, and scarring on my lungs, whilst you enjoyed some winter sun)
*It hurt to be replaced, so quickly and so easily
*It hurt to know that the only person's health, happiness and wellbeing you cared about was your own, and that anyone else only counted if they were instrumental to that
*It hurt to see my mother cry and despair
*It hurt when she hit me, out of depression and despair, it would probably be diagnosed as PTSD now, after the abuse she suffered at your hands, but there was no help then. She hit me partly because I look like you, and she was so scared of you I scared her too.
*It hurt to see her depressed and unable to get out of bed for months on end
*It hurt to hear you dismiss all the years of struggle your financial and parental irresponsibility brought with a simple “well, the plan was always to let your mother take on the house but she could never earn enough” as if that absolved you of all responsibility for making sure your child was fed, clothed and housed.
*It hurt to get a bit of cake and a newspaper cutting through the post that you got re-married on my 13th birthday. Freud would have a field day with that one.
*It hurt that you did not see the depth of fear and hatred your new partner had for me, or that you saw it and ignored it, the hate that she directed at a small child. It is a shame that she had bad experiences in the past with men dumping unwanted children on her, but if it was anyone’s fault it surely was not mine. I think the word is “innocent”- she took all her pain and hatred out on an innocent child. And you stood by and did nothing.
*It hurt to hear that you thought my mother was so difficult and volatile somyou to have to leave, but that when it came to making sure I had a safe and stable situation “you couldn’t do that to her”. You don’t get to have it both ways. Which is it? Too difficult to live with? Or not? This is the crucial difference between you both- when she was in fear for her life she stopped to grab me, when you were escaping a difficult situation, well, you didn’t ensure I was safe did you?
*It hurt, years later to hear your wife say “well my children have looked after the things your mother left them when she died". When the keepsakes my grandmother left me never made it to me, but somehow I am a negligent brat for not treasuring them? And have you say nothing in my defence.
*It hurt to hear you say "I always thought your mother would have made a good geisha or concubine but she wasn't cut out to be a wife". How dare you say that to someone's child. That is the very definition of inappropriate. Have you no shame? If you want to bandy about words about inadequacy for sexual and familial roles, I can think of many for both you and your various OW, up to and including the one who is now your wife. They are far more accurate and fitting than "geisha" and denote somewhat lower levels of grace, learning and dignity.
*It hurt that you learned nothing from the years that we didn’t see one another, and just tried to force me back into the same uncomfortable situations that I fled from before. And yet again you did nothing to combat the belligerence and hostility of your new family.
*It hurt to hear of all the care and time you lavished on other people’s children when you did not care about your own
*It hurts to know that you are narcissist and it hurts to worry about whether I have inherited that.
*It hurt to read you say things like “at last I have found you” in emails when I was never more than a few miles and some evidence of decent, respectful behaviour away.
*It hurt to hear you blame me for the breakdown of our relationship and that at 6 years old I just rejected you, when the adults in the situation were the ones responsible and at fault for that. The infidelity, the violence, the secret gambling debts, the constant fighting, the divorce that took over a decade, the financial battle that lasted another 5 years on top of that, the sheer acrimony, the violence, the aggression. Never mind your actually kidnapping me one time. Keeping me long enough both my family and the police went out to find me. Or sending round some heavies to make menaces on my mother's doorstep when she persisted in requesting the child maintenance the court awarded her ( and which you stopped paying very quickly). None of those things had anything to do with the situation breaking down. But a small child who couldn't bear to see the hurt it caused her mother when you abused her, or wouldn't stand for hearing you and your new partner discussing my mother in the worst of terms in front of me and objected to it, that was what made the situation untenable. What kind of reprehensible bastard says that to their own child? You have no conscience, no insight, no remorse. You disgust me.
*So much of your behaviour disgusts me - your sexual incontinence, your financial laxity, your violence, your hypocrisy, your utter lack of insight into yourself and your sheer inability to notice when you are hurting other people, take responsibility, change and improve yourself for the better.

I even know what made you abandon me in part- I was out of sight, out of mind, you were caught up in someone else’s life, tied up in your own past mistakes, eager to overlook those mistakes.

But if you had any claim to call yourself a man you would not have let those barriers stand in your way. You would not have abandoned your child.

And if you cannot claim title to “man” then you cannot claim title to “father”.

debbs77 Tue 17-Jan-17 09:18:22

Wow. Sending a big gentle hug. Such pain. I hope you and your mum are some way to being okay now xxxx

OrchidaceousRose Tue 17-Jan-17 09:26:47

Thank you Debbs.

I wrote this a couple of years ago when I was going through therapy, trying to get a grip of my old demons. Found it this morning clearing out some old folders.

Thought I would post it in a "sunlight is the best disinfectant" kind of way- I don't need to hold this hurt in a little dark room inside myself any more.

plainjanine Tue 17-Jan-17 16:33:55

This made me cry. It has so many parallels with a girl I know and her feckless father, who once she reached 18 and was no longer legally a financial burden, could not get in touch fast enough.

I'm glad to hear you have come through it. Thanks for posting it.

Hissy Tue 17-Jan-17 17:13:33

Another huge hug from me too.

He lost out, big time. He actually makes my dad look angelic

I'm so sorry you hurt so much, I hope life manages to repay you with all the love and kindness you always deserved.

OrchidaceousRose Wed 18-Jan-17 12:57:00

Thank you PlainJanine and Hissy your kind and gentle responses meant a lot to me.

Blossomdeary Wed 18-Jan-17 13:06:00

Great that all this is "out there" and not festering inside you.

We cannot alter what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to it.

Well done for your bravery in putting that all down. You are your own person, not simply the product of all this pain - that is the past - you have shed this now and have to stride forth with your head held high. Your father did his best to crush you but you have risen above that and I applaud you for it. flowers

WingsofNylon Thu 19-Jan-17 06:49:16

Hugs coming your way. Well done for this. You are strong and you are worthy

sandgrown Thu 19-Jan-17 06:58:13

A big hug for you . My ex had some similarities to your dad (not violent) my daughter does not comment on how she felt. I really hope she did not suffer inside like you have. flowers

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