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My Letter

I completely forgot to tell you about the letter that I received for my birthday.  It was from my dad.

So, I haven’t spoken to him since March of 2013.  I saw him in the spring of this year (at James’s graduation) and he said about three words to me.  I was anxious about seeing him again.  What would happen?  It turns out, I had nothing of which to be afraid.

His wife hasn’t spoken to me in about four years.  We had an argument the last time I was at his house and James and I never went back.  With my dad being the person that he is, he probably read her the riot act.  Now, whenever she sees us, she says hello and good bye.

Ever since March of last year, he’s called me on my birthday and sent me money and cards for the occasion and for Christmas.  He usually sends one card (sometimes he’ll sign his wife’s name as well) and my younger siblings send their own cards.

So, I was cutting him off for my own good.  I want to move forward for myself.  I hope to make a difference in the lives of others one day, but I’ll have to wait to see where the world leads me.

Back to my letter: he dated it on my birthday of this year and wrote the following.  Here it goes:

Dear [art23],
    Though you seem to have totally ostracized yourself from this half of your family, I assure you our love for you has not faultered.  The kids, especially [your sister], miss you dearly.  You probably never quite realized the pedastile you stood on in their eyes.  Unfortunately, they cannot understand your distance.  They cannot see the personal turmoil behind your actions.  Obviously you must harbour great anger that is steering your ship.  I feel sorry for you.  As I’ve pointed out; we think we can use anger as a tool to hurt other people; but anger is a curved blade; the hurt we do, we do to ourselves.
    We would love to have you back in our life.  We welcome you, whenever your heart can open itself to accept our love.  We keep you in our prayers and pray for the best for you.
        With great love and fondest regards,
                Dad

Firstly, the grammatical errors really annoy me, but I wanted to copy it word for word.

I have to be honest: I get a kick out of these things.  He makes it so much about him, but this really isn’t about him.  It’s about me.  He makes no effort whatsoever to be a part of my life.  Not to mention, I love the metaphors that he uses.

Although he’s my dad, I don’t consider him my family.  My siblings are my siblings, but I can’t really have any contact with them right now because my dad (my abuser) will get into the way.  I can’t save the world.  His family has barely acknowledged my existence during my entire life, so they’re not my family either.  His parents are deceased and, although my grandmother did think of me when I was growing up (his father died before James was born), I never really saw her.  And, no, my siblings aren’t going to understand my distance; however, I hope that one day they do.

I have to say, though, I don’t feel a lot of anger anymore.  I don’t care what my dad does.  He’s not a part of my life.  In the last year and a half, I’ve found my best friend (Abigail) and I’ve found peace.  I can tell her about how crazy my family is and she doesn’t care.

Anger is a curved blade, but I think that the anger that my dad sees is in himself.  He left us and had another family and now he’s mad that he doesn’t see his older children.  What did he expect?  Did he think that it would all just work out exactly the way that he wanted?  Life doesn’t really work that way.

Another thing was something that my mom pointed out that I didn’t notice at first: he said that they want me back in their life.  There’re more than one of them, but I have to wonder if he was actually referring to his own life when he wrote that.  Does he miss me?  He has a strange way of showing it.  He only contacts me three times a year (except for this morning, which I thought was odd).

Well, I’ll see what happens.  To be honest, I don’t plan on talking to him for the rest of his life.  He’s had cancer and I don’t think that he has that much longer to live.  Once he dies, I’ll already have let it go.  His issues are his issues: not mine.

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About Stacey Lannert

Stacey is free. In January 2009, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence of life without parole. She is currently speaking out about sexual abuse and sharing her message of love, healing and forgiveness.