Daddy issues.

June 30 2016

I’ve always thought if I won I would share the letter I sent my Dad in 2011 (ish) as a way to sort of get rid of it, emotionally. It is Father’s Day in the UK this Sunday so it’s a poignant time. Since winning I’ve questioned if I really do want to share it with strangers on the internet. People can be pretty hash, what if I get loads of people telling me I shouldn’t have done it? Then I thought that I don’t really care; It was *my* decision, and it was right for me at the time. So here goes…
Firstly, I want you to know that it is really painful for me to write this, and secondly that I’ve given it considerable thought.
I am writing to ask you not contact me again. Perhaps in the future I will contact you, but for now, I think this is for the best. There are a few things you should know that have led me to this decision.
In 2009, before I moved to Edinburgh I was really depressed and the Doctor prescribed me with anti-depressants and referred me to a counsellor. We talked quite a lot about things that happened when I was growing up, mainly between you and me. After discussing quite a few things that have always stuck with me and upset me, the counsellor asked me what I wanted to do about it, and we decided that I would wipe the slate clean and move on. I was scared of getting hurt again, and so decided that I would give you three more chances.
I made a promise to myself and [my partner] that I would stick to that. Sadly, I think you’ve had the three chances now.
[I then gave examples of those three chances which I don’t want to share as they are… private. I appreciate the irony of that sentence. They were along the lines of selfish behaviour, general disinterest in my life/achievements, bigoted/racist behaviour and general rudeness. I would disassociate with ‘friends’ who behave in that way, so why not a parent?]
Those three chances were intended to last the rest of your life, and they’re now gone in a matter of months. These three things are just three examples of times that I have felt sad, upset or angry because of something that has happened. This letter isn’t just about those three things; it is the sum of everything that has happened over the years.
I don’t profess to be an angel, but I think you should know I have always been loyal to you; I have always given you another chance. For as far back as I can remember, I get upset after almost every conversation we have, and yet I have always tried to have a relationship with you as I genuinely do want a Dad. Also, having the counselling made me realise that you had an unusual childhood, and perhaps you are now a product of that youth. That’s what made me decide to wipe the slate clean and try again, but I think that only worked once, and there’s only so many chances you can give someone, regardless of what kind of past they have. I’m really sad to say that I’m not capable of repeatedly feeling upset/pissed-off/sad/angry with you for the things you do, or more importantly, don’t do. And, I need to think about myself, I need to be my priority.
You seem to be really happy with [your partner], and seem to have a good relationship with [her daughter], although for years you told me you didn’t. I hope the same can be said for [her other daughter, husband and grandchild]. I genuinely hope that continues, and you maybe even one day get married. That would be lovely.
It pains me to send this, but I know I have to. I’m sorry.

5 (ish) years later, I have spoken to him a handful of times. Sadly there have been a few family funerals and so I’ve had to contact him to let him know. We’ve discussed meeting to talk things through, and I’ve said yes and left the ball in his court, but then never heard from him again.
Some things never change.

[email protected]
North England

comments powered by Disqus