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A Letter To My Father

by Chris B 7 months ago in parents

To the person, I never called dad

"Whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free . . . your true self comes out." – Tina Turner


To the person I never called dad—the person who stalked his family and caused much terror. For a while, the pain and trauma were impossible, but we made it without you. The first memory that vividly comes to my mind was you chasing me with a knife. You called mom, who ran away the night before, as you ripped the blade out of the butcher’s block and said, “I’m killing our son if you don’t come home.” You proceeded to chase me through the living room with that knife. I didn’t know what to do. I ran outdoors screaming for help, crying for my mom to get me. Finally, the police came, and I remember lying to them. They saw the terror in my eyes and knew something was wrong. How would you have felt if that knife met my flesh?

You ask my sister and me to visit you and catch up. How can we catch up when we haven’t backtracked and revisited the trauma that you caused. Constant stalking had my mom and me in a high state of anxiety, wondering where you would be next—breaking into our home that should be our safe space to rearrange things and leave a green marbled journal about us. You watched us a laundromat once. You were writing about how my mom spoke to the stranger of a white man. From your perspective, you believed this was mom’s new love interest. To us, it was a man who wanted to borrow detergent.

Your love was conditional. You loved us when we obeyed you. You loved us when we let you do anything with our belongings. It was always what you wanted and how you wanted things. The 10-year-old in me remember you taking my Sega Genesis console and saying, “This belongs to me.” Visiting my home and cleaning my room looking for my sports collector’s cards to sell for money in your pocket. You took so much from us—my childhood, our dignity, and our safety. My sister and I both know that you treated our moms and us with the same abuse, trauma, and domestic violence. The lies and mistreatment were all the same.

What did we do to you to make you believe we deserved this mistreatment and trauma? Was I not a good enough son? Did mom not fulfill her vows of being a wife? Was this how you were raised? Tell us what went wrong.

No, you will never receive my kidney for a transplant because you do not deserve it. Many people have informed me that I will be going to hell for this sin, and I am at peace with this decision. You want us to be a family again, but I don’t need that from you after thirty years. Too many chances have been given to you to be a friend, father, and grandfather.

I have forgiven you. I had to for the sake of my soul, mental health, and sanity. You still have time to ask forgiveness for yourself. Eventually, the endless list of transgressions will need to be lifted from your consensus. We will always continue a relationship with our baby sister, but it’s too late with you. It is too late to become our father in our thirty’s. You missed many milestones and joys in our lives. We celebrated without you. We survived without you, and we for sure will live and thrive without you. Please, love our sister unconditionally. Pour into her what you did not pour into us. Teach her about self-respect, personal growth, and treating others with kindness. We will always be there for her unconditionally.


Chris B

Just a middle school chorus teacher making his way through adulthood.

Musician | Educator | LGBTQ+ | Fraternity Man

Read next: My Past

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