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This is a letter I wrote to my deceased abusive father. My father died in 2000 of lung cancer. I am now, 46, but as you will see, I always called him “Daddy.” I never matured to the name of “dad” or “father”.  My therapist told me to write him a letter and it did help. I just thought I might share it.

Dear Daddy,

You shocked me, Daddy. You had me confused. Since I only visited you once a year, during the summer, and you were my real one and only daddy I would ever have; and boy did I love you, why did you do this?

That first night it happened, I was asleep and the pain awakened me. I’m guessing you felt my body tense up, so you quit and got off my bed.  Then, two nights later, you started again. Once again I awoke with a start. This time I faked sleep and rolled over away from you on the bed. This is when the confusion really set in. Because I didn’t know the rules of a father, I wasn’t sure if you weren’t doing a duty all fathers perform. I knew about child molestation already, but I was not sure that applied to fathers, I was so young.

After you left my bed, and you went to bed that night, I woke up one of my step-sisters; whom you raised full-time.  I pulled her into the bathroom with me and told her what happened. She just looked at me and shook her head knowingly. You had apparently been doing this to both of my step-sisters for a long time.

That is when it hit me! Daddy, you molested me! There was no so called “duty.” I may only have been a young girl, but I knew right then and there that what you did was wrong; and it would never never ever happen again.

I quit going to sleep before you did. Then, the situation changed to different offenses. I remember walking by the kitchen table where you were sitting, and I was wearing a tube top. You told me to lift it up so that you could see how my breasts were maturing. I adamantly and strongly denied your request. You just seemed to laugh like it was a joke. I was wary of you every day, for the rest of your life.  However, amazingly even at that young age, I felt empowered that I did not take the abuse any more. But I still loved you, you were my Daddy.

During the next 20 years I had set my boundaries and kept them. For those 20 years, I waited for an apology. Over the years, I only told a few very, very close, trusting friends.

Then you got sick, Daddy. I couldn’t leave your side and stayed 24/7 at the ICU. My friends, who knew the secret, questioned my loyalty. They kept telling me that I owed you nothing.  But you see, Daddy, I still loved you, all along. During those last few days, I thought just maybe the apology would come. It never did, even when you knew you were going to die.

I’ll never forget when the day came that you asked me to unplug the machines and let you go. We both expressed our love for one another. I did as you asked, and then crawled up in bed with you and held you until you died.

I know you did wrong, and I know you knew it too. But I always did and will love you. And I know you loved me.

If I hadn’t empowered myself so soon after the incident, I don’t believe we would have had the life-long love for each other. I believe the fact that you did not say you were sorry upset me more than the abuse. I didn’t realize your death would affect me so much, since you were mean and abusive.

But I love you and miss you Daddy.