Below, is a copy of the final letter that I wrote & would ever write my father…
I cannot recall whether I sent this reply, or if i just wrote it… I don’t think i sent it. I still have the hand written copy.
(No Title… Dear ‘Dad’ – just not appropriate)
Thank-You for taking the time to reply to my letter. Now that I know how you feel about me, there is no need for me to contact you anymore. It really was your words that i needed in order to move on. How could i ever have closure without hearing from you? You have never actually told me that you want nothing to do with me or my family, you just ignored me. I could not live wondering when and if you would contact me. I wrote to you SO MANY times, it was obviously what i needed. Did you think you were doing your best by ignoring me? Or had you already washed your hands of me by then? Yes, quite clearly, you had.
I even wrote to you when my daughter was newborn, I held an olive branch to you. A chance to rebuild our relationship. Still, I had no reply from you. Why wait to tell me that you want nothing to do with me? Why didn’t you just tell me then? Or at the hospital, 10 years ago?? You didn’t even come to see me. Lesley did, yes she laughed. Maybe shock. Yet, no apology.
Perhaps i was meant to realise your feelings for me, or lack of, from your absence at the hospital. I was 17 years old. It was only 2 years after i left your house, 2 years after the breakdown in our relationship. I was a mess, I was depressed. The overdose was clearly a cry for help.
I was only 15 when i moved out, a child. You said my teenage years set in and it all went wrong. I had too much of my mother in me. Do you mean the lies, deceit, selfishness, that you previously talked about? I was no different to other teenagers doing the same stuff as I was! It all went wrong because YOU couldn’t handle it. I was a child. Didn’t you go into a young offenders institute for vandalism and joy riding when you were a teen?? I was not causing anyone any harm, just experimenting with my environment and growing up. Funny, I have no memories of you giving me wonderful parental advice, or guidance…
You say that you tried your best for me! Shouldn’t i be the judge of that? As a parent myself, i can quite confidently say that, no you didn’t try your best for me, or us children, EVER. You must be very shallow, if that was your best.
Do you think that you were doing your best by me, by not contacting me for years? Or not coming to see me in the hospital after the overdose? Or not writing back to me right away after my last letter begged you to please reply? How about bringing the babysitter’s best friend, who was barely an adult herself, into your family home to raise your 3 children? Not to mention all the times that you kept us children from our mother. Yes I can see how all of these things were ‘best’ for me.
I also admire Lesley’s staying power. But, just because she stuck around doesn’t mean she was a great mother! Not at all. She was not mature enough to raise us 3 young children, being only 10 years my senior. It was fun at first, but as i grew and developed my own mind, opinions and views, we clashed. I needed my actual mother. All of us children all did. The best thing i ever did was go and live with her. I didn’t realise though, that it would cause the end of our relationship. Why would I? You were my father!!
You never invited me to talk about things. I NEVER got a call or letter from you.
Would I treat my own daughter that way? No. I’d be fighting for her. I breathe for her.
You seem to find it very easy cutting your ties, turning your back on people. I don’t find it easy. You don’t speak to half of your family for stupid reasons, so I try not to take it personally!
If i had known years ago that you wanted nothing to do with me, I could have moved on with my life a lot better. I would not have kept writing to you.
How can you say that i have rejected my own half-siblings? They are children! When they’re old enough and mature enough to make their own decisions, if then they want to see me, i will see them. How could I ever be a part of their lives without being a part of yours, while they’re children?
How can you say that you haven’t rejected me? I took the first step of writing you all those letters, years ago, that went unanswered. And I have taken the first step, again, sending a letter along with a photo of my newborn baby! I wrote to you many times.
Your explanation is, ‘I rejected myself, and you just went along with it’.
That is nothing but a cowardly excuse. Let’s not forget that i was 15, a child. You were an adult, a parent, a care-giver, the protector (supposedly)
Do you know how frustrating it was writing letter after letter and receiving no reply?
I think that Anger is a perfectly normal emotion and reaction to feel, given the circumstances. You must realise this? How does feeling angry and everything else that i feel make me immature? You cannot even grasp the concept! Burying my head in the sand, bottling everything up would have been the immature way to deal with things. That leads to depression, trust me, I know.
I am not still full of teenage angst, but I am still angry. You assume much about me, yet haven’t known me since i was 15, did you even really know me then? No.
You do not apologise to me at all throughout your letter. You only apologise to me for using me as a possible third party. Your statement to her is SO HYPOCRITICAL…’Thanks for denying me the love and contact of my father’
Isn’t that what you have done to me? Yes it is.
And, Isn’t what you did with our mother? Yes it is.
You say that you’re only guilty of being a loving a responsible parent. But then own up to not showing it well. If you were loving and responsible, we wouldn’t be in this situation for a start.
You say that my sister had a rougher upbringing that mine. That just shows your ignorance. Even I can see that all she needed was the proper love and attention. She needed her mother. Her attitude and behaviour mirrored this. But you chose to ignore it. And will never admit it.
In contradiction to that though, you also say that the breakup / divorce affected me the worst. Yes it did. My siblings hardly remember a thing, good for them.
To say that my mother should have backed you up is ridiculous. You two NEVER worked together as parents, as you were too busy hating each-other. I remember not even being allowed to contact her, not see her on birthdays, sports days, not even allowed to speak to her on the phone. You took my sister out of gymnastics because my/our mother went to watch her one time.
Did you do those things because you did not want to unduly upset our emotions? I wonder.
You said that it took my mother almost 2 weeks to contact us. Why would she do that? Well, i am guessing that she was probably in a right state. The childminder would not let her see or contact us, due to your wishes. So, how could she see us? I do not condone her actions, I am not defending them, but I can understand them. She had already done the worst and left us with you.
And, I must say- that is a bit rich coming from you, it’s taken you absolute years to contact me!
You said that too much time had passed between us. Yet the same could not be said for yourself and your own father huh?
You are such a hypocrite!
You said that my mother has done much harm to me, but do not once acknowledge the damage that you have done. If you did, then I’d assume that you would want to apologise! No apologies though…
You are right about one thing, I did want to be a vet…When i was like 11. I also wanted to be an archeologist, a barrister, a journalist like my Aunt… But when I left your house I was working at a Hairdressers. So, I’m wondering, what are you even on about? It didn’t all go wrong, i lost my way. You clearly had no idea what ‘way’ I was going. When i left your house, that day, i remember you said to me ‘Yeah go and live with your mother then, you’ll end up pregnant and 16 and working in Tesco for the rest of your life!’
You clearly, had no idea. Too busy shouting and grounding me to actually get to know me. I wonder, do you actually know any of your children? I wasn’t losing my way, i was finding it. I never found my calling until i was 18 years old.
You say that I haven’t really grown up. Thats ridiculous. Why do you think that? Because I haven’t been as good as you at disowning people and getting over being treated badly. That’s because, due to your parenting, I am left with serious and actual mental health problems.
You didn’t battle and lose me. You gave up and failed.
Your letter is full of contradictions, outright lies, blame, hypocrisy, and is absolutely patronising.
Now that I have seen what kind of man, parent and father you are, I can see that you have done me a favour.
What kind of father treats his own daughter this way?
What kind of father tells his daughter that he is dead to her? …If only that were the case.
What kind of father would not want to be a part of his only grandchild’s life?
What kind of father would not want a chance to rebuild a relationship with his first born daughter?
Keep telling yourself that you did your best for me and that everyone else is to blame, if it makes YOU feel better. If it eases your conscience (it must need easing!).
You’ve made your decision, it is and will be your loss. That’s it now. No more letters from me. You will never know me, or my daughter. I will do MY BEST to keep her away from your poison.
I’ve learnt much from your mistakes, even if you will not acknowledge them! At least I can take something from the nothing you have given me.
………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ……….
So, that is the reply to the only letter that my ‘father’ ever sent to me.
Everything in it, still stands.