Dear Dad,

Did you know that I was a miserable child? I remember you knocking on my bedroom door, trying to coax me to come out and play. You told me I was “the loneliest guy”, but I was a 10-year-old girl and mom frightened me. Did you know she hated me?

When I was 16, mom said she hated my boyfriend/future husband. Did you see the tug of war going on between them for control of me?

When I was newly married and 7 months pregnant, I came to you in tears because my insubordinate husband got himself fired by mouthing off to his boss. You told me not to worry because he was a “hard worker” and you were sure he’d find another shit job and “provide for me”, even though it was me who was the breadwinner at the time.

You told me that my abuser was “such a good father” because his kids were better behaved than your other grandchildren. But did you know that he fiercely controlled them the way he controlled me? Did you know they weren’t allowed to have normal toddler tantrums or they would be severely punished?

Did you know that you made me cry after I landed that fantastic job in HR? You told me my “real job” was to be a mother and that I was neglecting my kids.

Did you know that you slayed me when you called me “an attempt” because I wasn’t as successful as my siblings? I had spent years working full-time, raising kids and barely managing my abuser’s behavior to keep us safe, but I didn’t add up.

Dad, did you know you enabled my feelings of insignificance and servitude, and my emotional and physical abuse from both mom and John?

You didn’t live long enough to witness my near-murder at the hands of the monster you praised or the collective betrayal and rejection by your beloved offspring. But did you ever worry about my physical, financial or emotional safety? The red flags were all there, but like the rest of us, you chose to ignore them.

Would you have rejected me too, Daddy? Or would you have been the hero I always imagined you to be?

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