WRITING EXERCISE: DISCLOSURES AND CONFRONTSTIONS
Write a letter to your abuser. Do not be reasonable. This is not a letter to send, although you can send it when you’re done, or you can modify it and send a variation. Write it as if you weren’t sending it so you can say exactly what you want to say without having repercussions. Be as angry and hurt and blunt as you want. Let it be a cleansing.
You can write this letter more than once. You may have had more than one abuser. Your feelings about your abuser may change over time. You may want to write to a nonprotective parent or to another person as well.
I know you hate it when I call you that. I just am not ready to address this letter with the title you should have acted upon when your lifestyle clearly did not act upon that title.
I don’t know what all to say. I know the last letters I’ve written you were very nice, and sweet and so on. I know that we’ve hung out recently. I know that the phone is what kills us, and lately I’ve remembered personal contact that has killed us.
Remember when I came back to Louisiana and stayed with Pa-Pa? Remember how I had rules that you had to follow? Remember how stupid you thought I was, how stupid you thought the idea of rules around my own father was, and how dumb it was to think anything would happen? Well Dad, I have to say, I don’t feel as stupid about those rules anymore.
It’s been rumored my whole life, as you well know, that you have abused us kids. The courts took me aside God only knows how many times to ask me questions that no child should be asked. Mom had to use my journals for evidence in courtrooms, and I had to talk to lawyers as often as I had Open House at school. Ma-Ma always asked me, Aunt Kathy always listened to me, Mom always had to record every phone call I had with you until I was nine years old and she lost it. But this isn’t about Mom…this is about you.
I know that you have said that you’ll tell me “the truth” when I was an adult. Well, it’s a little bit past, and I’m sick of waiting. I went out Dad, and I found out my own truth. I call it my own because I don’t know how factual it is, I’ll wait for you to see how you feel about it. However, your feelings Jim, are no longer as much of a concern to me as they usually are.
The fact of the matter is, that I wonder if you abused me when I was younger. Sexually. And “wonder” is not the right word…I’m pretty damn sure that you fucked me up. That sounds better.
Kids are not supposed to take baths with their “Daddy” when they are nine Jim! It’s just not right. I should not have had to sleep in your bed with you. And not so that my brother and sister were safe-I should have never, never had to feel like I had to protect Allison and Alexander. Never! I should have not had to feel like I had to take care of you. I should not have had to feel scared to be alone with you. I should not have had to feel a lot of these things that I felt.
I don’t need to “get over it” or “snap out of it” either Jim, and it is a big deal. How I feel, essecially about you, is a big deal. I’m a big deal. I matter. And the only reason I have a hard time saying that to anyone, including myself, is because of you.
I don’t know what else to say Jim. I don’t except anything from you. If I spent my life expecting things from you, I guess I’d still be waiting on that plastic swimming pool from when I was five.
You’re not a very nice person. I don’t like you all that much. I’m sorry…wait…no, I don’t think I am sorry. I didn’t do anything wrong here Jim, you did. You were the one making the mistakes. I was a child! A little girl who had no control. You had the control, and you abused it when you abused me. You had no right to ever touch me Jim. You should have never laid a hand on me, let alone what else you laid on me. I was a good kid! I didn’t do anything wrong to deserve that. You were wrong. Not me-you. And you should be sorry. You are sorry. You’re one of the most pathetic excuses for a human being if I’ve ever seen one.
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that…I don’t want to be rude to you. I just don’t understand it all. I wish you had talked to me, and told me what you wanted. I could have fixed it then. Whatever I did wrong, I would have tried to fix it. I’m smart Dad, I got into a University. I did it. I could have done something to help if you had only told me what you needed.
I made in into UNO. I went to New Orleans, like I said I would. I did it. All on my own, I reached what I wanted. Now you can be proud of me Dad. I made it, like I said I would. I told you I could, and I did.
I miss you so much Daddy. I don’t know why you hurt me. I don’t understand what I did wrong…I’m so sorry. I wish that we could be like I’ve always wanted. Do you remember when I turned nine? You got me flowers. All different colors, with big yellow sunflowers too. I still have the note.
You were so different…you would be sweet to me, and then confuse me with what else you did. I remember you getting me that ruby bracelet, and telling me how I was a grown-up now. I also remember jumping from your car while you were on the highway…and going into the bars…and when you left me in the grocery store for four hours. Why were you so confusing?
Adults should know what is going on! Why didn’t you? What the hell was your problem? Why couldn’t I make you better?
I remember cleaning…I remember trying so hard to do anything I could.
Do you know what I don’t remember Jim? That summer when I came alone. I let you set the rules, because things were so bad at home. I called you, and tried to reason with you like you were an adult…maybe that’s where I went wrong.
We didn’t have any food in the house! Allison and Alex were hungry, and would tell me. Our lights must have gone out for three months in a row. I couldn’t get any more babysitting jobs than I had. I couldn’t get any more help than I had gotten! I was TWELVE, Jim, tweleve. My biggest concern should have been what to wear to school, not how to feed the kids. So I called you, hoping you would start the child support again. That’s what it did after all, support the children. The ones you “loved so much”, right?
And I let you set the rules. Five weeks, alone, with you at the house. Your timing, your plans, I got no say. But at the end, I got the money. Backpay and the checks would start again. I wanted so bad to make it through! I tried to stay for the full time Dad, but I couldn’t. I don’t even remember all of the two weeks I was there.
I remember being in trouble for calling Mom when it was against the rules. I remember you bugging the phone, and keeping all of my conversations. I remember you sitting on my bed, watching me. Jim-parents don’t watch their children like that!
Do you remember me calling Aunt Kathy? Thinking she would help me…I tried to tell her you were going to hurt me, but she said I was crazy. That was silly, you loved me, you would never hurt me. I remember watching the hall, sitting against my door, hoping not to hear your footsteps coming to get me. God I was so scared.
I still am you asshole! I am still, STILL scared because of you! I have nightmares, every week, if not every night, imaging you after me. What you’ll do. What you did.
You got to me Jim. You fucked me up, because you touched me in ways that children should not be touched. You hurt me, and you took sick pleasure from it. You were wrong Jim, you were wrong. And I’ll never forget it. And you’ll never outrun it. It happened, and I’m going to stand up for it now. I’m not going to hide out in the closet with my teddy bear, hoping you’ll walk by me, too drunk to look closely for me. I am going to not be afraid of you anymore. You can’t hurt me ever again. You can’t touch me. You’re not good enough to touch me. I am better than that. I am better than you. I am a big deal.
People love me Jim, and they are not hurt from it. I didn’t hurt you, you hurt me. And I remember.Get out of my memories Jim. Please leave me alone while I’m sleeping. I don’t want you in my life anymore. You’re never going to change, and I’m going to stop blaming myself for the father you never were. I was deserving of the kind of dad you should have been, and it’s your fault that I didn’t have that kind of dad. Your fault Jim. Only yours.