"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow...the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or can only be accepted."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Letters from another life

I was talking to someone the other day about my dad and his addiction. This was someone who has struggled with addiction, and I wanted to really show them just how badly addiction can affect you later on in life. I pulled out some old letters that he wrote to me in jail…and I was slightly caught off guard.
                Sometimes I don’t realize how much my PTSD affects me. But in re-reading the letters, I saw all sorts of things that I had somehow forgotten. I suppose you can’t even call it forgotten…but there were words in the letters that I had completely blocked out of my brain. Reading the letters hurt me more than I thought they would…and brought out a sense of guilt that was more gut wrenching than ever.
                In the letters my dad would jump through feelings. One second he would be telling me how much he missed me and how sorry he was that so many things had gone wrong. He never really accepted full blame, but he would apologize that I was upset. Essentially blaming everything on my feelings instead of his actions. Then his thoughts would jump in the other direction. He would go to anger, telling me how horrible I was and how I was hurting everyone around me. He would tell me that I was a disappointment and that I would never become a good person with all the “hate” I carried with me.
                One of the craziest parts in the letters are where he shows "genuine concern" for me. He goes on and on about he just wants me to be mentally healthy, because I'm clearly not. Then he starts talking about how he wants me to stop using drugs, and stop stripping because I'm so much better than that. It was insane to me to re-read these things. If you all remember the posts about his accusations years ago ( ) you may remember. But the lies weren't that shocking as I've heard them before. What was insane was the fact that he truly seemed to believe what he was saying. The concern and confusion seemed so if he invented these stories years ago...and actually managed to brainwash himself. It's insane what happens to your brain after abusing it for so long.
                The letters broke my heart, because in some moments you could read the pain he felt. You could tell how horribly he wanted his daughter back in his life, and how scared he was. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to fix him…and re-reading the letters I remember how I sat in bed for days crying over trying to decide what to do.
                Once again I was forced to make a decision that broke my heart. I had to cut him out of my life, despite the psychological warfare. I was hurting, but I knew it could only lead to more pain and frustration if I didn’t get away from him.
                But back to the point of this post. The letters hurt to go through again. It brought back that guilty feeling that I hadn’t done enough to make things right with my father before he died. Seeing the candy wrappers he put in the letters (still don’t understand why) gave me a deep horrible feeling…knowing that whatever he ate was coming from jail. Knowing that he sat in jail…finally forced to be sober…and was still so crazy is mind blowing. He clearly had mental issues from the start…and the drugs ate away his brain.
                My mom’s mom mentioned something to me the other day about my dad. I responded to her in some fashion and completely forgot about whatever it was. She confronted me a few days later and asked me if I had realized that when talking to her I had called my father by his first name, and not “my dad.” It was strange, because it hadn’t occurred to me. Being my usual self, I started self-analyzing. I came to the conclusion that yet again, my sub-conscious is trying protect myself. I have unintentionally distanced myself from the memory of my father in hopes of keeping myself together.
                My dad’s story makes me sad. Some days I rarely think of him, but others I can’t get him off my mind and it’s hard to get out of bed. He brought havoc and pain to so many people…and that is an incredibly hard pill to swallow. But as always, being a victim isn’t an option. It’s always going to hurt…but if I use my pain the right way…I can keep others from getting hurt in the same way. No one should ever have to read the letters that I did.

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