I never called you that. Never. Did you notice? I just couldn't bring myself to taint that word by using it on you. Did you notice those times you forced me to say it how hard it was? How I spit it out like poison? You weren't a father, a dad, a daddy. You weren't the things I wanted.
Fuck you. Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you. Fuck you for everything you ever did to me. I hate you. God, I fucking hate you.
You made me despise my body before I was old enough to read. You taught me how to make myself throw up after I ate and to hate myself when I got fat anyway. You said nobody would love me if I gained weight. And I believed you. You told me YOU wouldn't love me if I gained weight. And I believed you. I can never remember a time when I didn't hate myself and the way I looked. Never. My entire conscious memory is one filled with self-loathing. God, how I hate you for that.
You touched me. You molested me. You fucking molested me. I flinched every time you touched me, whether it was sexual or not. God, I hated your hands. You laughed. You laughed when you held me down in scalding water and listened to me scream. You laughed when I bled. Somehow it was all made worse by the fact that you were completely sober when you hurt me. That it wasn't a drunken rage. It was cold and calculated and you enjoyed every second of it.
For 10 years you touched me and when I finally asked the authorities for help you simply denied it and they believed you. I was just some crazy liar, looking for attention. I didn't even want you to get in trouble. I told them because I wanted therapy – because I thought of suicide every moment of every day. I just wanted help. Do you understand what I just said? You molested me for a decade and I still felt guilty when I told on you. I was terrified that something bad would happen to you. I should have been stronger. I should have been able to deal with this shit on my own. God forbid you be punished for what you did to me. For destroying me.
Men have terrified me my entire life. I avoided sex like the plague until I was in my 20s. I have trouble dating because I can't believe anyone would want to be with me. When I do date they tend to be assholes who use me or fuck me up in one way or another because that's all I think I deserve. I'm clingy and desperate because you taught me I had to earn love. I don't know how to take care of myself because you taught I don't deserve to. I have no boundaries because you ripped them down and burned them.
God, what did I do to make you hate me so much? You had to have hated me to have done what you did. I remember, a few years ago, you telling me you loved me. And I froze because I couldn't remember you ever having said that before. After a few seconds of silence I whispered, “I love you too.” And I realized I meant it. It had been years since you touched me and our relationship was...fine? Nothing more than saying hi as we passed in the hall but that was still the best it had ever been. It wasn't a lie. After everything you'd done to me, I realized I still felt love for you. It was simple and basic...the kind of love I have for strangers...but it still existed.
I never wanted you to be miserable. I used to wish I'd one day have the money to take care of you and mom. To buy you a house up north. To make sure you'd never have to worry again. I just wanted you to be happy. Something I never saw you be. The both of you were so unhappy and emotionally disturbed and I just wanted you to escape that.
Your death was the first time I ever felt safe. But I'm still sorry it happened. I remember every moment. Especially the smell of gunpowder. And the blood. God, why did you have to do it when I was in the next room? When you knew I'd be the one to find you. People say suicide is a selfish act. But I didn't see you as being selfish. I've been in that mindset too many times to hate you for following through. I'm sorry you felt that desperate. To some degree, I blame myself. As I always do. I think of the millions of ways things might have been different. But they're not and never will be. I'm sorry you felt that was the only way. And I'm sorry I found so much relief in your decision. But I did. I wasn't scared, for the first time in my life.
You killed yourself and I felt free.
But your death also meant the end of hope. Hope for a relationship with you. Hope that, one day, it would magically be all better. Hope that you'd suddenly become sane and healthy. Hope that you'd be proud of me and I'd be the daughter you wanted. Hope that you'd be the father I needed. But that was never going to happen. Alive or dead, nothing would change. If you lived to be a hundred, the past would never be erased.
You fucked me up in more ways than I can list. You made me broken and empty. You made me scared...so fucking scared. Of everything and everyone. But it's time to heal. You took my past and I can't let you have my future. I won't let you have my future.