I’ve started, and stopped, this letter so many times that I have to use my age as a timeline for the drafts. You can see it if you look back at all the drafts, a slight shift in words, in tone. My vocabulary grew, as well as my curses. Mom wouldn’t let me send a letter once because I cursed you in every sentence, and I was angry at her because she was censoring what I really felt at the time. She said she didn’t raise me to have a sewer mouth, but a part of me hasn’t forgiven her for stopping the letter, and another part is glad. I’m glad because I got to tell you straight up how I felt for you. I told you that you were a piece of shit. I told you that you were nothing. I told you that you were dead to me.
Hate is a strong word. I was told all of my life it was a strong word, even though I used it with relative ease and fluidity. I did because I knew the exact strength it had, because I felt it. I felt hatred so deep within my heart that I don’t doubt it did actual physical damage. Hatred is poisonous, and vile, and you taught it to me when I was 3 years old. You taught it to me the send you slapped me across the face. You taught it to me when you refused to fight for me. You taught it to me when you walked away. I hated you…I hated mom…I hated myself. Charlie, I hate you. I hate everything that you are. I hate the air you breathe, and I hate that a part of you will always be a part of me. If I could, I would even change my blood, because I hate that my blood shares your blood.
I also hate that, no matter what, you are my biological father. My shoulders, which have held the weight of my world since you left it there, are the same as yours. We both have knee problems, and we both participated in the same sport…although I did better in it than you ever could. But what I hate the most, what weighs more upon me than anything, is that even though I hate you…a part of me will forever be that 3-year-old girl who loved you more than life itself.
That three-year old girl has spent the last 21 years hating herself for believing in you. She’s hated loving you so much because you didn’t deserve that kind of love. She hated herself because she allowed the last breath of hope that you would fight for her, protect her, and love her, exist within her for years. The same girl who no longer sits by windows waiting for people to show up because it reminds her of all the times she waited by the window for you, only to watch the day disappear outside of the glass, and you never appeared in it. The same girl who sat in the corner of her bed and sobbed into a pillow, or the fur of her cat, because she was so overwhelmed with the darkest emotions that she wished for death; this girl that you created from hatred, who once believed in the magic of love, I decided to finally kill her. I killed her and I turned into the woman now writing this letter to you. I may be angry, hateful, spiteful…but I am a fighter. I am a fighter because I had to become one in order to go from being that little girl, to a woman, and trust me I am no longer a child.
In a few months I will be 25. 25…22 years after you left that girl wondering what the hell was so wrong with her that the one person in the world who was supposed to love her refused to give her the time of day. 22 years, and I daydream about the chance to hit you. Just once, hit you the way you hit me that day when I was three. To hit you for every single tear I cried. For every single day that I believed that I was wholly unlovable because her own father couldn’t love her. I want to hit you, beat you, for poisoning me…for poisoning my siblings. I cannot wait for the day I get to just hit you…but I know that I won’t because I am not you. I am not going to sink down to your level. I will not become the abusive fuck-up that you are. I almost went there once, and I made sure I got out of that situation because I would rather hang myself then ever be anything like you. These demons I have thanks to you? I will fight them till my last breath, because I am better than you. I will always be better than you, and it is about damn time I got the chance to say my piece in this whole mess you created. You owe it to me, and you will listen.
Granted I know you won’t, and I do have people telling me to get over it because my time isn’t worth being wasted on you, and for the most part of truly have gotten over it. I used to think about you everyday…now I can go weeks, months, without letting my thoughts drift to you. Yet, every once in a while you pop into my head, and it all floods right back, usually when I think about my future; when I think about my own children, Well, my future children since I don’t have any yet, but that is irrelevant, because I already know my children will never experience what you put me through. They will never see my back because I would rather kill myself than to ever put a child through the pain of knowing that their own parent, their own flesh and blood, didn’t want them around. My children will never go through that, and when I think about what their lives might be like, I smile because I will do whatever it takes never to have them experience what my life has been like.
I also take great pleasure in the very likely chance that my partner will be a woman. Great pleasure, ultimate pleasure, because I’m going to wait till the opportune moment to break that information to your mother. Oh, the absolute glee I get is astounding, because after what that bitch did to my siblings and me, revenge will be sweet. Now, I’m not saying it is right to use my status as a woman who happens to enjoy the company of other women as a tool, but the look on that woman’s face will be too good to even dream of taking the high road. You should have seen her face when she tried grabbing my hand and introducing me to you at the girl’s party; when I ripped my hand out of hers’ and I told her no, dear god the anger was priceless. Who the hell does she think she is? My grandmother? I have one thank you very much. That woman stood by me through thick and thin, put a roof over our heads when we had nowhere else to go, and fought for me when I couldn’t fight for myself. Nope, your mother will never be my grandmother. She is just that, your mother, and I can’t wait to tower over her, look her dead in the eye, and tell her about the mother of my children. Tell her about what it means to love someone, to fight for them, to be with them even when it is hard, because that is love. Love isn’t saving face, or keeping up with the neighbors, and it is certainly not abandoning your own grandchildren. Love is fighting for what is right. Fighting for what is true, and trust me, you will lose.
Wow, I have a lot on my chest in regards to you and yours. Bitterness, anger, hatred. But as I read back through this letter, I just feel sorry. I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry that you missed out on amazing things, but then again you didn’t deserve them. Hell, you don’t deserve anything and I am damn proud I changed my name, because your name will never live on. Chaz is changing his, with glee, and Cass, well when she gets married hers will change too. But you named me. You named me after my mother and I turned around and chose a new name for myself, because my legacy will never be tied to yours. Although I have to admit, the meaning of my name you chose? Very fitting. And that off-beat comment you made about me being exactly like my mother? You’re damn right I am her. I am strong. I will not let anyone beat me down the way you tried to beat us both down…the way you and your family beat my sister down. Dear god you are fucking lucky I wasn’t around for the shit you pulled on her. I would have killed you right then and there you sorry excuse of a man.
What kind of father refuses to take in his own child when she is homeless and has nowhere to turn?
I am just going to leave this letter as it is right now because today is an amazing day in my world, and you don’t deserve to be in it. I’m going to leave you knowing that your children despise your existence. I’m going to leave you knowing that your name will die with you. The tattoo on my shoulder in honor of my siblings? It is the constant reminder of what was put out into this world, what you put out into this world, and what you are now receiving times 3. Understand this Charlie, and understand it well, because I am no longer that little girl you left abandoned in a dusty driveway. I am not the little girl you slapped across the face.
I am the woman who will make you rue the day you met my mother, and I will do it with a smile on my face, a hop in my step, and a song in my heart….Asshole