Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Daddy - Facing My Incest Abuser

June 29, 1992

Dear Daddy,

You used me and sexually abused me when I was just a child.  You betrayed me when you were supposed to be taking care of me and helping me to grow up.  I loved you and you used that to hurt me.  What you did was wrong.  I was just a child.  I couldn't stop what you were doing.  You were the adult and responsible for your own actions.  Nothing you did was ever my fault.  You, as an adult, should have been in control of your actions.  Instead, you took advantage of a little child who did nothing to encourage your actions.  I never wanted you to be anything but my Daddy.

I never wanted to be your sexual partner.  I loved you, but I also hated you for what you were doing to me.  Did you know that I hated you?  Did you know that I was afraid of your temper?  Did you know that I don't sleep well at night because of you?

No longer can you be a part of my life.  Your influence is too painful and too destructive to those I love.  I will not let you hurt me or my family.

I give you back your shame and your anger.  I refuse to accept any part of it.  You are alone because you use and hurt people who try to love you.  I refuse to feel dirty or bad or guilty because of what you did.  I did nothing wrong.

I am putting my life together and becoming who I want to be and you have no place in my life any more.  Right now I don't feel any love for you, I only feel anger toward you.  I feel sad for the life that we could have had when I was a child and for the relationship we could have had as adults if you had just loved me instead.

Your kind of love is too sick and I won't have that in my life.  The price is too high.  I am learning to deal with my own pain and anger just as you will have to live with yours.  Please stay out of my life.  I don't need you.

I feel sad that my children do not have a grandfather that they can love and who can be there to watch them grow up to be adults.  I intend to tell them why you are not in their lives so that you can never abuse them.  I can protect them as I could not protect myself from you and your so-called love.

I wrote this letter with the intent of reading it to my dad face-to-face but that didn't happen.  He suddenly disappeared when I started trying to track him down.  Then I decided to mail the letter to him but nobody had an address for him.  I held on to the letter.

Finally one evening months later, I got called to the phone by my husband.  My dad was on the line wanting me to do something for him.  I told him I was glad that he had called because I had something that I wanted to read to him.  I went and got the letter I had written.  When I started to read, he got angry and interrupted me.  I got angry and told him to just shut up and listen.  He said okay.  I was shaking so hard that it showed in my voice as I read the above letter to him.  When I finished, he said that if that was the way that I wanted it to be, then fine, that is how it would be.  We hung up.  I didn't talk to him again until he was in the hospital sometime in 1999.  His sister had called me and told me that Dad had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.  Surgery was done but all of the tumor could not be removed.  He died early sometime on the morning of January 6, 2001.  He died as he lived - alone.


Colleen said...

Wow. You wrote a letter that I could have written to my father, but didn't. Now I am in that position of not wanting him in my life. We have not spoken for a year now. I felt guilty at first but finally decided the guilt belonged to him, not me. And so I have let it go. I think of him, I pray for him, but I have no desire to see him or speak to him.
I think I feel relieved.
Thanks for sharing this letter. You were very brave to write it and read it to him. Hugs.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen,thank you. Sending you hugs and hoping you are well.

Anonymous said...

Patricia -
You are such a great mirror for all our journeys, and I'm glad you got to speak your truth to your Dad before he passed, even if it didn't seem like a very fulfilling outcome. I think our inner child needs that more than anything - that you validated her experience and spoke her truth to him, so that he might have some remorse and comprehension of his actions when he faced his death alone.

My father I do not believe ever faced anything, even on his deathbed, and I couldn't stand to be anywhere near him, so I live vicariously through you in that letter. Thank you. Lara

Patricia Singleton said...

Lara, thank you. As I was reading your comment, I was remembering the great support system that I had in place at the time that I wrote this letter and my Dear Family Member letter. Without that support system, the counseling, and 12-Step programs that I had at that time, I would not have had the courage to write or share those letters.

grace2244 (a/k/a Maggie) said...

I had lived in fear of my father my entire life without knowledge of the incest, let alone all the other crap. But when the amnesia loosened it's grip, the memory that came through was f*ther violation. Suddenly all that fear made perfect sense. My parents had retired to FL and oddly my adult sisters migrated to be closer. I'm the only one who stayed away although I visited.

When the memory broke, I called to tell him I knew but mom answered and I switched for the first time co-consciously and young "tattletale" blurted out why I called. Mom refused to let me speak to him.

So I found out I could send a telegram where it could be delivered to only the recipient and they did it on a Sunday. It said "I know what you did. You are officially dead to me."

Now if he had been innocent, he would have been concerned why I even thought such things. Instead his response was to forbid my mother from speaking to me again and he removed all my pictures from the home..I learned later.

It has been a huge relief to have done that from the beginning. I realize now the fear of seeing him again was warranted and maintained my safety. I still fear him showing up on my doorstep one day to kill me. Such huge issues.

Thank you for sharing your story. Before knowing of the abuse I had tried to make amends with him just to have an adult relationship. Now I cringe at that. I admire all grappling with this communication with their abuser(s).

Patricia Singleton said...

Maggie, taking care of yourself and cutting him out of your life is commendable. I remember shaking on the outside and inside as I was reading this letter to my dad over the phone. I am glad it worked out to be over the phone instead of in person.

Most abusers never admit to what they did when confronted. You are very courageous to live your life on your own terms. I feel sad that you experienced this as a child. Parents are supposed to love and protect their children, not sexually abuse them.

Dragonheartsong said...

Wow. What a powerful, empowering piece you've written! Bravo for insisting that your father listen to what you had to say. I would do something similar for my primary abuser if only I knew how to reach him. But then again, I'm doing the work to clear this energy; I don't need his help or validation.

Patricia Singleton said...

DragonHeartSong, thank you. Write your letter for yourself. I wrote mine for myself, not for my dad. I didn't get any form of validation from my dad after I read the letter to him. He was very angry that I would dare to say something like that to him. The older my dad got the meaner he got. His drinking didn't cause his behavior. It just made things easier for him to do. I never used the drinking as an excuse for the incest. He wasn't always drinking when it happened.

soulsurvivor said...

i feel blown away and inspired by your courage at putting this on your blog
thanks for the mirroring

Patricia Singleton said...

Quantum Phoenix, you are very welcome. I am glad that I could be a mirror for you in your healing. I love it that we do that for each other. Have a glorious weekend.

Patricia Singleton said...

Quantum Phoenix, yes, you are a phoenix rising from the flames of destruction. I can feel your pain through the poetry that you write on your blog. I tried to leave a comment but am not a partner on your blog so here it is.

The best revenge we can do to our abusers is to survive and do it well. Today we can tell about the abuse, no longer hiding it inside our shell of a body. We can feel completely and live rather than die because of the abuse. (((Hugs))) and prayers for healing are being sent your way.