We all have letters we'd like to send, but know that we can't. A letter to someone we no longer have a relationship with, a letter to a family member or friend who has died, a letter to reclaim our power or our voice from an abuser.
Letters where actual contact is just not possible.
Do you have a letter you can't send?
Why not send it to The Band?
You’re the man I’ve never met. You’re ill right now, but this isn’t a letter to the Sick You - the Mentally Ill You. This is to the you I always tried to find, always knew was there—so very deep down.
I wish I had known you; I wish I could know you.
But it’s been 22 years since mom left you (to raise me). You never left, but you did make my life - our lives - hell. Even back then, when they did the psych profile, it suggested that you suffered from some undiagnosed mental illness.
Today, your Sick Self makes sense.
I know there is some personal responsibility that comes with managing mental illness. I myself have just been downgraded from the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) to Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). I’m working on me, I have to because no one else will.
But no matter how much work I do, no matter how many steps in the right direction I take, I know that you will never be the kind of person I enjoy spending time with. We’re just two vastly different people - I’m more like Mom.
I’ll never know because I don’t want to ask you. I don’t want to try and sort out what’s bullshit and what’s truth. I rarely hear the truth when it’s coming out of your mouth or about my mother. Sometimes I think you’re jealous, but then again...
You would have won sole custody of me if I hadn’t showed up to kindergarten with a HUGE HAND PRINT ON MY FACE.
You said I slept on my hand. My little four-year-old hand had somehow managed to cover one side of my little four-year-old face.
From then on out, I was raised by my mother and you had visitation. She let you tell the lie that you had joint custody. I let you lie.
I was just a kid; I didn’t know any better.
Twenty years later, I know better.
Twenty years later, I finally understand why I put up with all the emotional abuse. Why I kept going back over and over and over again until my self-esteem was so low that I only managed not to cry because it was easier than showing how I truly felt. Do you know how much that hurts? To claw your emotions back inside like if you let them out, you’ll die?
I bet some part of you does. I know life with Granddaddy wasn’t always easy and that it can become a cycle.
But that does not excuse you.
Today, when my therapist and mother gave me the idea and the little piece of proof, I had hope.
I had - HAVE - hope that there is a genuine REASON behind your behavior.
I have HOPE that there is an ANSWER.
That is so very important to me right now. I was in such a dark place these last few weeks.
I wanted to get your gun when you weren’t home, the one you don’t lock up and keep in your nightstand. That gun scared me enough to seek counseling. That’s what almost got me locked up in a psych ward against my will - but that’s another story. One you likely will never know.
One day, I want to meet the Real You. I know it’s not a guaranteed thing, but now I know why I’ve clung to fraying hope all these years. I have a reason. I have validation. I have hope.
I feel light.
Please get help, I want to meet you.
With love, for better or worse,
Your daughter3 Comments