Dear Abusive Father: You’re No Longer My Addiction

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“Dear Dad,

This is for me, not for you.

From the prime age of nine, the words ‘I hate our f*cking kids, I wish they were dead,’ curved and shaped the memory of my Limbic System. I don’t blame you for being mad; you did tell us to have the toy room cleaned by the time you were home. We just weren’t quick enough.

Age 10, quite literally over spilt milk I was kicked out of our home and slept in the tree house for four nights. I know the buttons of the remote stuck for a couple weeks, regardless of how well I tried to clean it. It must have been hard for you to watch NASCAR.

My 11th birthday, remember the nail polishes I had received as a gift? I’m sorry I spilt some on the kitchen table… You had every right to slap me.

In Grade 7, I didn’t do too well on my music test. I played the trombone and I hated the trombone. I couldn’t play soccer for the rest of the year until I could be ‘worth something of value’ again. I know you didn’t do well in school, you just wanted me to do better than you.

I was graduating, I’d ask if you remembered… but you weren’t there. You told Mom you weren’t going because it wasn’t important and it was a waste of time. In your defense, the grass needed cut…so you did that instead.

It was supposed to be the best summer yet. I made new friends in high school, we made so many plans and I couldn’t wait to go to Canada’s Wonderland for Amy’s birthday. A couple days before that, you got drunk at Ryan’s house. I had to walk across town to drive you home. I didn’t have a license yet, and accidently backed into the hydro pole and dinged the bumper. I know I should have been looking, but you punched me so hard in the stomach I had a big purple bruise.

I never went to her birthday party. I didn’t want anyone to see the bruise when we were at the water park.

It was the morning of my 17th birthday party. I was blowing snow out of the laneway so all my friends could have a parking spot. Jason was helping, he was a good brother like that. He hit the light post on an accident and the post broke. I told you it was me so you wouldn’t hurt him, you always hurt him more than me and my sister. I stood out in the snow in bare feet as you poured water on me. I left my Facebook open on the computer, and after you let me back inside I read my new status; ‘parties cancelled because I’m a f*ck up.’ I guess the light post was expensive.

The next year Mom asked for a divorce. I think after everything, we deserved one.

A life without seeing your face was a life worth living. So, I gathered some hope and held on tight. You threw her clothes out the garage door, my siblings screaming at you as you screamed back. I took down every family photo in that house and ripped your face out of them. I still feel the sting in my feet from when you chased us out the house with a shovel, threatening to dig up the guns buried in the backyard. My feet were numb from the cold, but my heart was worse. I shouldn’t have ripped the last of the family pictures we had.

You found us. Months later, you found us. You broke down the door, and then one by one broke us. You hurt Jason so badly, I wanted to take away his pain and make it mine. So I did, I called out ‘I hate you, I wish you were dead.’ You didn’t take too kindly the words I spoke— that you preached when I was nine.

I must have really hurt your feelings.

Seven years later and I haven’t seen you since. I worked endlessly, and fought constantly to beat all the demons along the way. In the midst of finding myself, I found Kenneth and then we created Hudson.

He is happy, and healthy and I provide him with everything you didn’t provide me with.

His father is nothing like you, but everything my stepfather is. You ruined us, but someone else put us back together. Filling every scar you left with worth, dignity and presence; leaving pain, discomfort and fear to nothing but a dark memory in the shape of your face.

So, here I am, admitting that my addiction is you.

Admitting that every thought formatted in my brain; leads me right back to you.

My addiction is despising you, my addiction is making excuses for you, my addiction is thanking you, my addiction is wanting to hurt you, my addiction is forgiving you, my addiction is fearing you, my addiction is loving you when all I want to do is to forget you.

I don’t know how I can feel such resentment… and then feel none of it at all. But maybe, just maybe it’s because you gave me nothing, when I gave you my everything.

That being said, this is my first step. From this day forward, you are no longer my addiction, but my recovery. I deserve to recover because I didn’t deserve your torture.


Your oldest daughter”

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