To the Man who Ruined my Life

Subject: To the Man who Ruined my Life
From: Your Daughter
Date: 16 Aug 2015

Dear Dad

You've apologized to me for some very stupid shit. You apologized for telling me Antonio Banderas was your age when I had a crush on him. You apologized for telling me not to be so sensitive. You even apologized for not looking hard enough for my cat after he ran away.

Let me tell you what you never apologized for.

  • For humiliating me by tickling me in front of everybody while I screamed and begged you to stop, then laughing at me when I peed myself.
  • When you used the tickle fights to grope me. Yeah, I noticed.
  • For making me feel guilty when I didn't want to play with you anymore.
  • For trading tickle fights for naked massages on your bathroom floor, and making me feel ashamed when I didn't want to because you "just wanted to help me".
  • For insinuating that my male friends only wanted to fuck me, and assuming I was putting out when they kept coming back. I was ten.
  • For making it impossible for me to say "no" to you, and then blaming me for my own molestation because I didn't tell you NO.
  • For ignoring me in public, only to treat me like your girlfriend at home.
  • For showing me that everyone's feelings and opinions are more important than mine.
  • For making selfish, forced love "normal" and paving the way for boy after boy after man after man to rape, use, and abuse me; and still leave me feeling like it's my fault for sleeping or walking or drinking or EXISTING AS AN ATTRACTIVE FEMALE IN A MAN'S WORLD.

I was never fat enough to be safe. You made sure of that, with your disgust and dismissal and mockery every time I put on a couple pounds.

When I tell you now how I was tormented at the hands of your golden child, you laugh.

For mocking my dreams, my goals and passions, my thoughts and ideas, everything in me that made me more than a broodmare. You dismissed it all.

You made me feel shame for daring to exist in a female body. You made me feel shame about how I wanted to dress it. I'm a dyke, I'm a slut, I'm an attention whore ... just for liking a plaid shirt or a red tank top or jewelry.

For never seeing me, just my body, overlaid by a personality you made up in your head.

I tried so hard to please you. Nothing I did was good enough. You were always looking for the scam, the lie, the ulterior motive. You thought I deserved the punishment and shame you doled out so freely.

I never did.

It's taken me over half my life to realize that. I didn't deserve any of it. I did nothing to earn your disdain. I never tricked you into touching me.

I spent my life trying to be who you wanted me to be. What you told me I would be.

You told me that I was manipulative, slutty, and worthless. You told me that in every interaction from the time I was four and wanted to be Tinkerbell instead of the Virgin Mary for Halloween, to the time I was 15 and pregnant with a rape baby and you didn't even ask what happened, because you thought you already knew. Obviously, I was just as loose as you always knew I'd be.

So now, here I am. I've been beaten, raped (repeatedly, and from multiple sources, because I couldn't read the danger signs because grown men touching me in my sleep was so GODDAMN NORMAL), stunted in my education and functionality as an adult, and I can't stand a clean house just in case someone sneaks in through my windows or doors and rapes me or my children.

I haven't slept through the night since I was FIVE. I can't hold down a job because just one male coworker with flirty eyes will send me into a panic-driven spiral of irresponsibility. I can't think straight because I'm always on high alert. I can't express my authentic feelings, because I KNOW they will be misinterpreted as manipulation. When bad things happen I don't cry because I need to be taken seriously. I drink myself to sleep every night because if I don't pass out I won't sleep at all.

You orchestrated all of this. It's my responsibility now, but goddammit it's your fault.

Until you acknowledge the trainwreck you left in my life and my brain, I don't want to hear another bullshit apology pass through your simpering lips.