They were wrong

“I want to hate him, but I can’t.”

Those words I spoke during my therapy session yesterday have continued to stick out in my mind.

I told my therapist what I had been struggling with in relating to my memory, in a very general way because I wanted to avoid a flashback. I don’t understand how someone could do that. I don’t understand how you can reject your own child.

I tried so hard to hold my feelings inside. Anger, hurt, and sadness were swirling around inside of my heart. I tried to hold in the tears, but that wasn’t working as well as I had liked. Even my therapist could tell I was trying to hold back, and told me it was okay to let it out.

My therapist asked what I would say to my father if I could talk to him right then. My mind started going into overdrive. So many questions and statements started running through my head, and without really thinking, the first thing I said was not even a question or a statement to my father. I said “I want to hate him, but I can’t.”

Despite all of the things he has done to me, and now the rejection I am very much aware of, I still have trouble hating him. I want to hate him. I think he more than deserves it. But somehow, despite being raised by two heartless people, I have a kind and compassionate heart. It’s what allowed me to bury my feelings and take care of my father when he got sick so many years ago. He didn’t deserve my care, to be honest. But he got it.

My therapist asked me again. I ran through a list of questions in my mind, quickly playing out what his responses would be. Then I realized that, it wouldn’t even matter what I asked him or what I said to him. “It doesn’t even matter, he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.”

I thought I was right. Neither my mother nor my father would ever admit fault. I always just assumed that it was because they believed they never did anything wrong. That is how they (especially my mother) played it off.

But then my therapist asked what my father would say if I told him what he did to me. She asked, “Would he say there was nothing wrong with it, or would he say that it never happened?”

I didn’t even have to think for more than a second before I had my answer. “He’d say that it never happened.”

I grew up being told that people on the outside just wouldn’t understand, that’s why we couldn’t tell. But if that were really true, and nothing was wrong with what my parents did, then why would they deny it? If they really believed that they were right, they would say there was nothing wrong with it. They deny it because they know they were wrong.

All of a sudden, it started to make sense to me. I never thought of how contradictory their line of thinking was.

For so many years, I’ve been blaming myself for what happened. I have been carrying that guilt within my heart. Something must have been wrong with me, a child rejected by her own parents. The only reason that made sense to me was that something was inherently wrong with me. I was the wrong one.

Part of me still believes that. That is why it’s so difficult to work through shit in therapy. I hold a lot of shame because I still believe it was my fault. I need to stop carrying the guilt and the blame. I need to keep telling myself that they were wrong.

My father was wrong. My mother was wrong. They were wrong.

I was just a child, born to parents who didn’t deserve me. I was not wrong.


I have created a separate blog for PAFPAC:

From now on, any PAFPAC-related posts will be on that blog, in order to separate my professional identity from my personal story.

I will also be focusing more on posting about female-perpetrated abuse there: facts and figures, research, education, etc.

I would also consider sharing blogs and posts from survivors who would like to be featured on PAFPAC’s blog.

(I will be deleting this post in a few days).

Tears on a Thursday

I cried a lot today.

I cried at six o’clock in the morning. I had just woken up and I already wanted to go back to sleep. The amount of effort and energy it takes for me to get out of bed and go to the bathroom is draining.

The pain in my foot is excruciating in the morning, to the point that I cannot put any weight on it. I cannot even balance myself without holding on to something; as soon as my foot touches the floor, I am hit with enough pain to topple me over. One morning, I fell over and managed to at least fall into the wall, so I was able to push myself back to a standing position.

Since then, I’ve managed to slide out of bed and onto my desk chair every morning, roll myself all of the way over to the door, open said door, and take about three or four minutes to pull myself up and slide myself into the bathroom and onto the toilet. Sometimes I don’t even make it to the bathroom on time. That is how pathetic I am right now. I am 30 years old and can’t even manage to walk to the bathroom on time.

I couldn’t tolerate the pain anymore this morning. As I rolled myself back from the bathroom to the bed, I just started crying. I couldn’t stop. I just wanted the pain to go away, but I knew it wasn’t going to. I just have to deal with the pain. It’s what I’ve been doing all of my life.

After a while, I managed to calm myself down and stop crying. Then my mind started going into anxiety overdrive. What if I go to the doctor and it’s not a simple fix? What if I’m not able to work? I’m really fucked. Then I started crying again. I called several doctors in the last week trying to get an appointment. Every doctor I was calling had the earliest appointments at over a month out, until I finally found someone who would take me next week. But I am still so afraid to go.

I feel that this isn’t going to be an easy fix. I’ve had some really fucked up foot issues, including massive multiple bone spurs at the top of my foot. This, however, is by far the worst foot pain I have had in my life. That worries me. I needed surgery for something that was far less painful than this is, so what does that mean? Another surgery? How am I going to live if I can’t work? Disability takes (in the shortest) a month to get. I can’t financially handle not working. So I just kept crying, imagining all of the possibilities, imagining all of the horrible shit that could come from this.

I actually cried myself to exhaustion. I tried to distract myself from the anxious thoughts and I ended up falling asleep, which was probably a good thing anyway. I woke up and still didn’t want to do anything, but I knew I had therapy in the afternoon and had to get moving. I took some more pain relievers, wrapped up my foot, told myself I wasn’t going to cry anymore, and hobbled my way to the bus stop.

My therapy session started out alright. I knew the focus was going to be on my graduate school conundrum. I told my therapist before that I was likely going to drop out, as much for financial reasons as for the drama surrounding the anonymous reporting. I told her again that I just didn’t think it was going to work. I didn’t think through all of the financial shit before I jumped into starting this grad school. It’s not cheap, and there are less expensive options out there, although the quality is likely lower as well. But I really don’t have any other options.

I don’t remember exactly what set it off, but I felt the tears coming. I tried holding them in and that lasted for about thirty seconds; then I just started crying. My therapist noticed and asked me what was going on, and how I was feeling right then. All I could say was “nothing”.

My go-to answer, as usual. I don’t have feelings. I’m okay. Nothing is wrong. Why can’t my therapist just go along with that? Why must she insist that I connect with these feelings?

Then it all came out. “I made a huge mistake coming here. Why did I think I could make it by myself? I should have stayed. I wouldn’t be in this mess if I had just stayed.”

“You’re not being physically and sexually abused here. If you had stayed…”

By that point I just started drifting in my own head. I know what I escaped. But that was my normal. When you’ve been abused for so long, it just becomes your normal. I’m not sure the damage could have gotten any worse had I continued to endure it. When faced with overwhelming challenges, we go back to what we know. And that home is what I know.

I started having short flashes of memories from the recent past, reminders of how I made myself numb to what my mother was doing to me. Then I started to cry even more. What is wrong with me? I know what I went through and yet I still ask myself why I left, I still want to go back in time and forget I ever left.

My therapist told me that if I had stayed, it would have killed my spirit. “My spirit is already dead. That wouldn’t matter.”

“I don’t think that’s true. I still see the spirit in you.”

That’s not spirit. I don’t know what that is. After all of the shit I have been through, how could I have any spirit left? Shit, I don’t even know how I’m still living.

I think I cried for most of the session. By the end, I had a hand full of used tissues, neatly folded into little squares. I’m not sure why I kept on crying. I really try to keep that under control.

Perhaps it’s the physical pain I’m in. Perhaps it’s the sense of hopelessness once again creeping up on me. I don’t know for sure, but I do think I’m dehydrated now.

Why can’t I feel anything?

I had therapy this morning.

It started out okay. But I knew my therapist wanted to talk about my parts, a topic we haven’t been able to delve into much because my life has been a clusterfuck lately. Talking about parts is not the most comfortable thing for me, because parts come out and I hear things that I am sometimes not quite ready to deal with, or things I don’t want to deal with.

There has been an issue with some of my parts and therapy. Parts don’t want other parts talking. One part doesn’t want anyone (including me) talking about a particular event that several of us happen to share experience and memory of. It’s so complicated. And the problem is that this particular event was so traumatic even for me, that it is very prevalent in my life and I need to talk about it. But every time it comes up, it causes chaos on the inside.

I tried to explain to my therapist a little bit of what was going on without going into specifics, because I didn’t want to trigger myself into a switch. That didn’t work for too long, because I realized I was thinking about the event in question and it brought up feelings and feelings get you in trouble and off I went.

When you come out of dissociation, you ground yourself. You try to engage your senses. My therapist always tells me to put my feet on the floor. I’m able to bounce back pretty quickly at this point, without going through the entire process. She told me to feel the water bottle I had near me, and asked me what the temperature of the water was. I held the bottle in the palm of my hand, but I couldn’t really feel it. I tried to close off everything else going on around me and focus on just the bottle and my hand. I still couldn’t feel it. I think my therapist sensed my frustration. She asked me what was wrong. I told her, “I don’t know, I can’t feel the water.”

She got up from her chair, took the bottle from my hand, felt it, held it out in her hand, then held out her other hand towards me.

“Touch the bottle and my hand and tell me which is warmer.”

I grabbed the bottom of the bottle with my left hand, and reached out and held my right hand against her palm. I tried, and I still could not feel anything. I was frustrated. My therapist played it off like it was okay. She told me she thought her hand was warmer, and went and sat back down in her chair. I sat back and started to cry.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

I was hesitant to answer at first. I just wanted to tell her I was okay. My go-to answer. But she knew by my expression and my tears that I was not okay.

“Why can’t I feel anything?”

She asked me if I really wanted to know her thoughts. I already knew. I developed parts that shut off feelings because that is what they needed to do in order to survive. They believed that feelings were wrong. They believed that feelings resulted in pain and hurt (because they did). How horrible it must be to still be stuck in a world where you believe you cannot feel. The sadness I experience with not being able to feel the water, or my therapist’s hand…that doesn’t come anywhere close to what my parts (and I) have experienced in childhood.

While I was crying over not being able to feel a bottle of water, I was actually crying over a whole lot more.

The D Word

I hate the d word.


It came up recently because my primary doctor put Major Depression on my record. And I, of course, flipped my emotional shit.

Because that word has such painful connections for me.

And sure enough, for the last week, the memory of my father has been playing over and over in my head. I’ll give you a reason to be depressed. Pain. Pain was all I felt. And then I felt nothing at all.

I genuinely believe a piece of me died that night. In all these years I have never been able to get over it. I still can’t hear the word depressed without hearing him yell at me. I can still feel my head hitting the wall. I can still hear myself begging him to stop. Fifteen years ago and it still plays like it’s happening now.

And I’m afraid of that label. I responded in anger when my therapist asked me what was wrong. “I’m not depressed! I fucking hate her!”

My therapist made the connection rather quickly on why I was against that diagnosis.

“If I were to pick up the DSM right now and flip to, let’s say, Persistent Depressive Disorder, would you say you wouldn’t fit that diagnosis? You wouldn’t fit under Major Depressive Disorder?”

“No, because I function just fine and I’m not impaired so therefore I don’t qualify for those diagnoses. And while I’m at it, I don’t qualify for DID, either.”

“I’m not talking about functioning just yet. Aside from functioning.”

I hesitated. I grumbled to myself. “Fine,” I said, “I fit every criterion. Every. Single. Criterion.”

“And while you do get up in the morning and go to work, and go to school, you’re not functioning all the way like you think you are. You are good in some areas, and really severely impaired in others.”

“I’m not depressed.”

“We don’t have to call it that. We can come up with another word for it if you want. But you can’t deny that it doesn’t fit. And I know that you know that.”

Damnit. Sometimes I hate being smart. I do know that. But I want to live in denial. Let me live in sweet denial.

Denial. That’s a d word I can handle.

My mother, the sociopath

I’ve been having a rough time this week.

Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday, and a milestone birthday at that. I’ve had a lot of mixed emotions about it.

Birthdays are the most important holidays for narcissists; my mother was no exception. She believed she deserved the world every day, but even more so on her birthday. I always dreaded that day. I dreaded the obligation to get her a gift, and a gift that met her approval. I dreaded when she didn’t get what she wanted and went on a rampage.

And even though this is the first time that I don’t have to deal with her birthday bullshit, I’m still going through the same emotions as if I did. I’m also angry that she is still breathing. She’s still going on with life as if nothing ever happened, as if she never hurt anyone. She has blown out her candles every year and made her self-centered wishes, while I had spent the last 18 years wishing for my death. It’s not fair.

I hesitantly brought up my feelings in therapy yesterday. A part of me wanted so badly to cry, but another part was strongly resisting, leaving me in an uncomfortable position of feeling emotions on the inside but being unable to express them on the outside. But at least I had feelings.

My therapist then brought up my mother’s complete lack of emotion and feeling. My mother has never felt remorse, guilt, or empathy. But, as my therapist brought up, my mother has also never felt happiness or joy, she has never experienced laughter or love. I never thought of it that way, but my therapist was right. While my mother lacks all negative emotions, she also lacks the positive ones. She will never experience genuine positive feelings. She can’t. She’s a sociopath.

My mother can’t feel anything. Her emotional expressions, when they do occur, aren’t genuine. She can’t maintain any real relationships with people because she can’t connect on any meaningful level with another human being. She is aggressive and volatile, flying into fits of rage whenever she doesn’t get her way. She is impulsive, and acts without thinking. She has no empathy; she doesn’t even understand what empathy is. She manipulates everyone around her to serve her own purpose. And she lies. About everything. She would make the most blatantly incorrect statement and not care who went against her, because she believed that she was right.

My mother has no regard for right and wrong. She neglects and abuses animals, she abused (and likely continues to abuse) her own children and others, and continues to do whatever she wants without regard to legality or morality. She would often refuse to pay her bills and believed she was above any consequences. She didn’t understand why our electricity was cut off when she hadn’t paid the bill in months. The rules never applied to her. They still don’t.

I knew my mother was a sociopath as soon as I learned what antisocial personality disorder was. She fit nearly every criteria. Even worse, she is a narcissistic sociopath, a double whammy. She will never realize her defect. She will never get help. There is no help for people like her.

I struggle with what I want to do with this knowledge. A part of me wants to understand my mother and why she does the things she does. But I also don’t want her personality defect to become an excuse for her behavior.

I should be grateful I don’t have to deal with her anymore, but it’s not that easy. My therapist said that while I escaped the physical prison my mother created, I’m still inside the walls of the emotional prison she made through her programming. Those walls will take longer to tear down. I am free without being free.

My therapist suggested that I should celebrate myself tomorrow. I shouldn’t make it a day about my mother, but make it a day to celebrate me and everything I’ve done. Bake a cake, do something special. I told her I had homework to do, but she said that wouldn’t take the whole day.

I can’t get away with anything with that woman.

I was wronged.

In November 2014, my nurse practitioner called an ambulance to her office to have me escorted to the hospital for suicidal ideation. No one in my family was told the real reason why I was going – I said I was having tests done and to please leave me alone. Despite my mother’s endless calls to the office to find out information, my nurse practitioner revealed nothing. It made my mother so angry that she actually became threatening. Fortunately, my nurse practitioner knew that my mother was my abuser and saw right through her bullshit and kept my privacy intact.

My experience in the hospital, however, was a different story. Before I even made it to the psychiatric floor, my mother already knew I was admitted to the hospital and to which exact psychiatric unit. She had already placed several calls before I even got there. I did not want my family to know where I was. I needed to feel safe more than ever, and that was taken away from me.

My mother continued to call the hospital dozens of times a day, despite my outright denial to speak to her. Some of the nurses provided her with information on my status. This was after I made it clear that I wanted my family to have no information about me. I was 28 years old and a fully capable adult. My emergency contact was someone who maintained no contact with my family, and I instructed the staff that any issues concerning my care should go through that person and no one else. The social workers and nurses were aware that my mother was my abuser – I was open about that during our initial meeting the day after I was admitted. Yet still, my mother was allowed to call and allowed to gather information about me. The hospital would not release me unless my parents picked me up. They literally sent me right back into the hands of my abusers.

The same issues (and then some) occurred in my subsequent hospitalizations. The second time I was hospitalized, I admitted myself. I took a cab to the emergency room after work without telling anyone where I was going. As I laid on a bed in the hallway of the ER, I saw my parents approaching the front desk. I started to panic and asked the watcher if I could hide, but obviously I couldn’t. Within minutes, I saw my mother approaching my bed from the other side of the hallway. I turned towards the wall and hid myself in the sheet, refusing to talk, and struggling to catch my breath from the panic attack I was having. My parents continued to talk and I continued to ignore them, banging my head against the wall to make them go away. After a few minutes, I felt the anger in my father’s voice when he told me “I don’t know why you are doing this to us” and then walked away.

During that whole time, I just wanted someone to make them go away. Why did they tell my parents where I was in the first place? Why did I have no right to privacy or confidentiality? I wanted the watcher or the nurse to see my panic, to sense my pain, but no one noticed. Once again, when I needed to feel safe, that was taken away from me.

As my second hospitalization ended, I was released at night and the nurse called a taxi so I could get home. Freedom. I contemplated going to a motel, but I still had so much fear inside and ended up going home. As I walked up the last landing before our apartment, I could hear my parents arguing. Apparently my mother found out that I left during one of her many calls. My parents were furious. I could hear my father screaming that there would be no more secrets in his house. There was so much irony in that statement, since my whole existence and our family’s existence was built on secrets. He just didn’t like it when HE didn’t know something.

I knew as I unlocked the door that night, that I would be walking into a shitstorm. I wish so badly I would have gone to a hotel instead. I wonder if I would have been able to escape the pain and the heartbreak that continued for months after until I finally moved away. I wonder if I could have avoided that third hospitalization had I just not gone home that night and ran away forever.

I feel like I was wronged. The hospital continually violated my privacy and put me at risk by allowing my abusers access to me and to my information. Why is there an automatic assumption that, because someone is family, that he or she is a safe person and should be given access to information? Something isn’t right here, and I can’t be the only one who this has happened to.

If I was a minor when I was hospitalized, my mother would have never been given access once I revealed her as my abuser. People don’t realize that child abuse continues into adulthood. They didn’t see the severity of my situation. They only made it worse by handing me right back over to them, again and again. I will admit, my social worker was concerned about sending me back to them – but her hands were tied. There is no help for adult victims of continued child abuse. We continue to be abused by our families as well as the system.

I’ve been failed. We’ve been failed. Something needs to change.

Pardon me while I rant

There’s been a story going around on social media about a woman who makes her son take her out on a dinner date and pay as a way of showing her son how to treat a woman.

The story bothers me for a few reasons. One, I don’t think it’s right to impose expectations of sexuality on a young child. She is telling her son he has to grow up and take women out on proper dates. What if he doesn’t want to date women? What if he is gay, or even asexual? She’s not giving him that option; only that he must date women and treat them this certain way.

I could go on. But what bothers me the most about this story (and others) is that focus is centered on teaching boys how to respect women. We don’t teach girls how to respect men. Instead, we teach them what to expect from a man, as if they deserve something greater just for being female. Respect is not gender-specific. We should be teaching children to respect other people, regardless of their gender.

Most people ignore the fact that just as many women perpetrate domestic violence against men as men do against women. Or they say that men are stronger, so their violence is obviously much worse than what a woman could do.

This sentiment makes me want to put my head through a wall. Yes, I’ll agree that in general, men have the capacity to be physically stronger because they can develop more muscle mass. It doesn’t mean they all are. And it doesn’t mean that women are weak little creatures that couldn’t hurt a soul. I can easily overpower most of the men I come into contact with on a regular basis, and I (unfortunately) have before.

I watched my mother beat my father. I watched her hit my brother. I, too, was a target of her violence more times than I could count. It doesn’t take much strength to stab someone, to set them on fire, to beat them with a hammer, or to shoot them with a gun. My mother used her hands, paddles, pans, or even rolled up magazines if she was desperate (though those were mostly for beating the cats and the occasional whack to the face). She wasn’t gentle. She caused damage. My mother is not a fit person by any means. She hadn’t exercised in all the years I knew her. But she hurt. Just as badly as any man would hurt. Angry people like her find strength wherever they can pull it from. She didn’t need a penis.

Outside of my family, I’ve come to know many male victims of female-perpetrated violence. Very few of them ever admit in public what happened to them. Why? Because of that sentiment I mentioned earlier. Men are strong. You can take it. It was a woman. It couldn’t have been that bad. Suck it up. You’re just a wuss. Meanwhile they suffer in silence, not only from the physical damage, but from the psychological damage initially caused by the female attacker and perpetuated by society’s gender-biased views.

This exact sentiment and attitude pours over into female-perpetrated sexual abuse. It was a woman? It couldn’t have been that bad! I bet you enjoyed it! She was probably gentle. Women don’t do that. You just misunderstood. It couldn’t have hurt. You should feel lucky. I could go on, but I don’t have to. If you don’t get it by now, you won’t get it at all.

I can only speak of my own hurt from my experiences opening up about the abuse from my mother. Some therapists ignored it entirely. Other therapists outright denied my experiences as abuse. “She’s your mom and she cares about you, you’re just misunderstanding everything.” Yep. That’s it. I just misunderstood. All mothers should bathe their children into double digits and have special nighttime sessions. My bad. If I said it was a man doing it, or my father, EVERYONE would say “that’s abuse!” before I’d even finish my sentence. But for some reason, when a woman is involved, people automatically jump to the gentle, nurturing view of women and deny the legitimacy of the abuse. It was aggravating, disheartening, and saddening to have my reality denied by other people for years. I can’t even begin to imagine how others, including men, feel when their experiences are denied.

Woman continue to get away with domestic violence and abuse because of the attitude that women are weaker, more gentle, and less violent. I am telling you now that women are just as fucked up as men are. Stop letting women get away with crimes that any man would be imprisoned for years for. Stop making victims feel ashamed for being victims of :gasp: a woman. It happens. Let’s acknowledge it. Let’s deal with it accordingly. Because if we continue to teach girls what to expect from others, they will continue to feel entitled to things they don’t necessarily deserve. And if we don’t teach boys AND girls respect, women will continue to think they can get away with whatever they want to because they are a woman.

Perhaps I should have been a man, because women are going to hate me for this and see me as anti-woman. I am not. I am for equality.

PAFPAC Support Forum

The PAFPAC support forum for survivors of female-perpetrated abuses is up and running. There are a few members, but no one is really comfortable with posting yet. If you are a survivor of any type of female-perpetrated abuse, please consider joining the PAFPAC Support Forum.

It is a private forum, so you will need to ‘apply’ – I receive a notification and can approve you the same day. This is so members feel more comfortable sharing and it helps weed out people who may be there for the wrong reasons. The forum is really for anything, not just talk about abuse, but also healing and everyday struggles.

If you or anyone you know can benefit, please pass on the information.

Thank you.


A Letter to My Father

I managed to write that letter to my father yesterday.

I went through a whirlwind of emotions as I was writing it, but it didn’t stop me. I cried, I wanted to throw my pen at the wall out of anger, and then I cried again. And then it was finished. I didn’t read the letter over; I folded it in half and put it in my planner so I wouldn’t forget to bring it to therapy. Then I laid in bed for an hour and just let whatever was going on inside of me flow through. I was okay.

During our session today, my therapist asked if I wrote the letter. I told her I did. I told her that at first I was afraid that I would break down like I did so many months before, but that I did it and I was okay. She asked if I wanted to go over it, and I said yes. I thought I would be able to hand her the letter and she would read it to herself. But no. She wanted me to read it. My anxiety kicked in. I didn’t think I could do it. I started second-guessing everything. Writing the letter was one thing, but reading it out loud felt like I was putting everything out into the world, that I was voicing everything I felt. I struggle with having a voice because it still feels so inherently wrong to speak.

My therapist saw that I was struggling. She asked me why it was now so hard to talk. She knew why. She said I didn’t have to read it or talk about it if I wasn’t ready. I went back and forth in my mind for a few minutes. Then I told her I wanted to read it. I told her I didn’t want to be afraid of speaking for the rest of my life. I needed to start somewhere. We went over a plan to keep safe in case I started to dissociate or it got to be too much. Then I took a deep breath and started reading.

Dear father,

I have trouble just calling you father. Fathers are supposed to love their daughters. You never showed me love. You never hugged me or showed me that you cared. You only showed me disdain. How could you let me suffer for so long? I was hurting, and instead of making me better, you only added to my pain.

You and my mother should have never had children. Neither of you know how to be a parent. You brought me into this world to torture me. I don’t understand why you and she just didn’t drop me off in a ditch somewhere. Sometimes I think that I would have been better off if one of you just killed me. You would have saved me a lot of pain. But you couldn’t even do that. Instead, you killed my spirit. You made me dead on the inside.

It scares me that I can’t remember everything you did to me. I know that if I asked you, you would never admit to anything anyway. You and my mother choose to live in your own made-up world where everything is perfect and you are perfect. That is nowhere near reality. There is no way that you didn’t know what my mother was doing to me all those years. I have memories of you being there with her, but I told myself they couldn’t be real. How could you? You are no better than she is.

You’ve broken me, but none of that hurt more than that night you broke my spirit. Instead of being concerned about why I was feeling sad and depressed, you took all of your anger and hatred out on me. You told me I had nothing to be depressed about. Nothing to be depressed about? How could I NOT be depressed? I had every reason to be sad, to be angry, and to be depressed. But you told me you were going to give me something to be sad about, and you did. You broke me. The only way I could make you stop was to not feel at all. You made me believe that feelings meant pain, and I didn’t need any more pain.

I’ll never forget that night. I still cringe when anyone says I’m depressed because it reminds me of what you did to me. You taught me that feeling anything is a punishable offense. But you got your way. I wasn’t sad or depressed anymore. I couldn’t feel anything. I lived for years without feeling anything. It was the only way I knew how to survive.

Even after all of the shit you put me through, I dropped everything to take care of you when you got sick. Your wife didn’t care whether or not you died. But why? You would have never done the same for me. I still had hope that you would be a father, that you would see what a good daughter I was, that you would be proud. But you weren’t. I held out hope for something that would never be. But I know now that it is not my doing; it’s yours. You’ll never know what love is. You should have died years ago.

Now that you’re sick, I’m not sorry at all. I actually find it a little funny that your heart has been slowly dying all these years – I would have never known you had a heart. My heart may still be beating, but you broke it long ago. And now yours is broken, literally broken. At least my heart can be fixed with time. You’re shit out of luck.

I hope when you finally die, that it’s painful for you. Maybe you would feel just a fraction of the pain you caused me. You’re lucky in a way. You’ll die soon and you’ll no longer have to live with what you’ve done, as if you let it affect you anyway. Your pain will end while I will have to live with mine.

All I ever wanted was for you to love me. I never did anything wrong. I never deserved the pain you caused me. I did everything a daughter was supposed to do and more. It was never enough for you. I hate you now, and it bothers me to hate another human being. But you deserve my hate. You deserve my anger. You don’t deserve to be my father.

Thank you for showing me everything I never want to be.

Through tears and with shaking hands, I managed to read the entire letter out loud. By the end, I couldn’t stop crying. It was the first time I allowed myself to show my emotions to my therapist. As I folded the letter and looked up, I saw the sadness on my therapist’s face. Part of me felt bad. I’ve upset her. I knew this letter was horrible. I apologized, but there was nothing for me to be sorry for. There was nothing in that letter to be sorry for. Neither of our feelings were anything to be sorry for.

My therapist reminded me that all of my feelings were valid, but I had drifted back into my childhood beliefs that feelings were not allowed. I told her it was wrong not to love your parents. I’ve always felt intense shame and guilt for hating them, especially in childhood, when society seemed to push the idea that all parents must be loved and honored (an idea I still see presented way too often). My therapist told me I had every reason to be sad, and that I had every reason to be angry at him. She told me she was angry at him, too. And she doesn’t even know him. It was relieving to know that someone else was feeling what I felt towards him. It sort of pushed me out of that child-like state and back to my adult self.

I’ll never be able to get that validation from my father. Even in the extremely small chance he would ever provide it, I can never see him or my mother again. It will never be safe for me to go back. He’ll never know how I really feel. Maybe it’s better that way.