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A Letter to My Emotionally Abusive Dad on Father's Day

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Dear Dad,

Today is Father’s Day; a day where I should be celebrating you. I should be celebrating how much you love me. I should be thanking you for being my hero. I should be making you a special card and buying you presents. I should be spending the day with you. But I am not.

• What is PTSD?

You still refuse to fully grasp why I do not want to be around you; why I can’t be around you. You do not know why I stopped talking to you five years ago or why I blocked your number on my phone. You do not understand why I refuse to go anywhere you might be present.

Dad, you hurt me. Not physically, not in a way that could be seen by others. No, you hurt me emotionally. You neglected me unless I was playing the sport that you loved, and when I was playing that sport, all you did was yell at me to try harder or to do better. At home, I would never be able to spend time with you. You either were sleeping, on the computer or in your “man cave” and I knew better than to disturb you, as I did not want to be yelled at again.

Not only did you hurt me, but you emotionally hurt my mother as well. You would call her names or criticize her family when you were mad. You would be angry if dinner was not on the table right when you got home from work. You would lie to her. You neglected her, just as you did me. You made her your slave, making her take care of the house, the yard and her two children. And if things were not exactly right, or if you were forced to help out, you became so, so angry.

Because of you, I have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because of you, I am terrified of loud noises and go into a flashback whenever a loud noise occurs. Because of you, I jump every time a door slams or something is hit. Because of you, I completely dissociate, to the point where I will lose my memory for days, when I am around yelling.

It hurts, Dad. It hurts seeing my friends with their fathers. It hurts watching little children at the park with their fathers, laughing the day away. It hurts because I know it is something I will never experience. You should have been my hero. You should have cheered me on. You should have been my shoulder to cry on. You should be the one walking me down the aisle. You should have been all of these things.

Today, I have come to terms that I will never have a biological father that cares for and loves me. I accept that I will never be “daddy’s little girl.” And it still hurts, dad, but I’m not going to let it ruin my life. I am going to keep living my life, chasing my dreams and I will not let my past get in my way.


Your Daughter

Getty image via splendens

Originally published: June 17, 2018
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