Dear dad,

So it finally happened, my dad saw my blog and decided to email me and talk about “his side.” Below is my response to him I thought I would share. I won’t be sharing what he wrote because he already asked me not to discuss this at all. I guess just not sharing his email is a decent middle ground.

——

Whenever I write blog posts about you I always know there is a chance you will see them, but I guess I just never really thought you would. And even if you did, I really never thought you would want to talk to me about it. It was stupid of me to think that though. I just find it interesting that you’ve had my phone number for almost six years and it isn’t until you feel the need to defend yourself that you reach out.

There isn’t anything you attached to this email I didn’t already know. You have no idea how much of a relief that is. All of these years I thought there might be something my mom wasn’t telling me or that I didn’t remember. I remember all of that. I remember the therapy sessions. I remember panicking every time I was forced to see you. I remember the angry voicemail messages you would sometimes leave on our answering machine. I remember the nightmares that kept me up every night, which is probably was I was always so tired. I remember my mom trying to convince me to go see you and not make a fuss. I remember Beevus and Butthead and still hate that show.

I’m unbelievably tired of everyone from your side of the family telling me I have no idea what I’m talking about. And it makes me angrier than you will ever know when my mom is blamed. She is not to blame for any of this. If you ever need someone to blame for the fact that your daughter wants nothing to do with you, start with you.

Yes, you tried to fight for rights to see me in court, but once you gave up that was it. There were no phone call attempts. No birthday cards. One letter written from Luke that immediately started out by saying my mom was a liar. Alan, I was there. I remember things. I still, at 25 years old, have nightmares about you pinning my mom against the headboard and trying to force her knees in the wrong direction. I have nightmares I don’t even understand and for the longest time I just ignored them. I used to pretend you didn’t exist. But I can’t do that anymore. You are part of who I am, good and bad. I am stronger because of you. I trust less because of you. To this day I can barely handle being yelled at without breaking down.

But thank you. I would not be who I am today without you. And I love the person that I’ve turned out to be. Biologically we are related but you are not my dad and I would prefer you never contact me again. I have been fine without you all of these years and I will continue to be. I have an amazing mom who has given everything for me and Savannah. I have a man who stepped up when you weren’t there and taught me how a real man should treat the people he loves.

And as for not “airing our dirty laundry,” I will do as I please. Ignoring my thoughts and what I am going through emotionally and mentally at one point drove me to the darkest place I have ever been. I refuse to be that person again. I will continue to be an example to people, especially Savannah, that no one should ever hide who they are, whether it’s pretty or ugly. It helps me to talk about you. It makes me feel better, like I’m not bottling up some poison that will slowly eat away at my soul. Opening up makes me less angry, which in turn makes me feel less like you.

I do not hate you. I simply want nothing to do with you. There was a time when I thought I wanted you to step up and be a real dad to me, but that has come and gone. I have learned many things thanks to you, but the most important is that family has nothing to do with biology.

Appealing your case to me will not take your guilt from what happened go away. The only thing that will ever help is to accept that the past cannot be changed and to move on with your life. I know I have.

Ciera

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One thought on “Dear dad,

  1. Michelle Burns says:

    I am completely speechless. …with some tears running down my cheek….good God in heaven – I’m sure your story is one of many, but becasue I knew your mother way back when, this seems like it’s right next door, and I feel your pain.
    What a lovely and wise daughter and woman you are. I am sure you mother is incredibly proud

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