Dear Mr B,
I don’t tend to write open letters especially to you, and especially with such a vulnerable topic. But I have been challenged to write something down. Perhaps something of a closure? Or the beginning of the end of closure for me.
At the end of 2017 I went to a Father Heart Conference somewhere in Europe where I was encouraged to lay to bed all the questions I had for you. Where I had to learn to accept I did not have an earthly dad that should have loved me a way a dad should love their child. In that conference, it was one of the first times in my life where I felt true freedom from all my wounds. When I travelled around Europe, it was another occasion where I felt true freedom from the pain inflicted on me. Father God taught me what a Father’s love should be through different people in my life.
I was challenged to write this letter by the leader of the Father Heart Conference, the countless counsellors I have visited over the years to come to terms with the abuse that was inflicted on me as a young child and teenager, and in my journey to becoming a counsellor I have been challenged to write a letter to you, to lay to bed everything that is stopping me from being the woman of God I am meant to be. To lay to bed the lies that you pinned to my body. The lies about me being fat, ugly, a failure and so many other lies. Some I dare not even mention. If only life could have been different.
You know how often I dreamed of having a dad? A dad that would love me? A dad that would be happy to see me when I came home. A dad that would allow me to lay my head on his shoulder. I have always wanted to lay my head on my dad’s shoulder. But I never got that chance. You were never happy to see me. You always had this ulterior motive. You didn’t want us kids to be happy so sometimes you would just wipe the smile off by what you said. You know words hurt right? They are sharp like swords. Maybe sharper. They cut deep. Its not just the words that hurt, it’s everything else that surrounds that. For years you chipped away at my confidence till I had none left. Till I became just an empty shell of the woman I was supposed to be.
I sometimes wonder if you ever miss me or wonder what it would have been like to have a beautiful healthy relationship with your daughters and sons? One where we saw each other as equals, but where your children would look up to you with respect and go to you for wisdom? How many of us come to you for wisdom? How many of us still talk to you? I know there is two of us that no longer talk with you, and I know the other two are heading that way.
You control us. You manipulate people to believe your lies. And you make us little ants and make us squirm in discomfort because you never wanted us to be happy. You never wanted us to get over the divorce. But we moved on, much to your horror.
Have you ever wondered why I stopped talking to you 4.5 years ago? Or what life was like growing up with you when we were little? Have you ever wondered what my life has turned out to be like since my son died? And whether I got over my son’s death or not? I know I stopped talking to you in the middle of my pregnancy. I had my reasons. I wonder if you ever stopped in your tracks to think about why I stopped talking to you and the pain you caused me over the years? Or whether you just carried on as normal?
I guess you could say that 2014 was the year of cataclysm in my life. A lot of things changed that year. I guess it was the year where I said: no more. No more abuse from you or from my ex-husband or any other man that would come into my life. In many ways it was a peculiar year, a year where I became assertive for the first time. I thank the Lord for my son Sebastian who gave me the courage to be assertive and to take a stance against the abuse. If it wasn’t for my son, you stupid old fool would probably still have control over me. But when I think back to it, it was my son that saved me. God and my son Sebastian showed me a way through the debris of a dysfunctional childhood and helped me to stand up for myself so that no other man could hurt me. Whether it was you or some other guy.
You know what it was like for me to come home year after year after year after year after year? For months beforehand I would become physically sick, I wouldn’t be able to eat because I was so afraid of going home. I was afraid of what you would do next. I never knew you. You were a manipulative and very calculated man who knew which buttons to press to get the reaction you needed from us, because we were too scared.
I bet it threw you when I walked away from you. I bet it took you by surprise. Perhaps you had hoped I would contact you again. But you made it clear in our last conversation that you didn’t want anything to do with me or my son. I remember you saying to me when I was six months pregnant to get an abortion. Over my dead body I said. You said my son was a monster. How can an innocent child be a monster? I didn’t want my son to be brought up, having to know the stress I went through when going home to visit you. I stopped talking to you so that I could protect my precious son from damage. I stopped talking to you so that I could protect my son and myself. At that point in time my son was more important than anyone else in the world.
Unfortunately my son died some months later. And I remember you saying to one of my siblings. Good he died. Now she can focus on her studies again. What a mean thing to say! My son was a deeply loved child. A much loved child and he was very much wanted.
I must admit too, that life is a lot easier since I stopped talking to you. It still has its struggles. But it is one less struggle. I am still on a journey. A journey of learning to accept me for who I am. I am learning to delete the lies that you labelled me with and replace them with the truths from the bible. Not an easy thing to do. I liken myself to a room that has been lived in by many people, sometimes abused, sometimes not abused. Left with many marks. And each mark that was left has to be filled up with God’s love. The broken debris in my life is slowly becoming whole because I am learning to allow myself to be loved by many wonderful people.
I may never had a dad, a dad where I can come running to for a hug, or where I can lay my head on his shoulder and just be me. But yet I still dream of having a dad, someone I can run to and have a hug, and rest my head on their shoulder and know that I am safe. I guess this will never happen. And even though I don’t have those things I think I know that I am a much loved child, a much loved person. God adopted me into his kingdom. He has brought me here for a purpose.
I write this letter because I know I need to forgive you. Because when I forgive you, I release myself. Forgiving you will enable me to move forward with my own life in a healthier way. I find forgiving you the hardest thing to do, especially after all the emotional and verbal abuse and much more you inflicted on me. But I must say it or I will never truly be free from this hurt. This overpowering hurt.
So, Biological Dad Mr B – I can never call you daddy because you aren’t a daddy. You never were a dad to me. Mr B I forgive you for all the hurt you have inflicted on me.