An Open Letter To My Dad

Subject: An Open Letter To My Dad
From: Sheri Seal Furmage
Date: 11 Feb 2019

Hey Dad,

Wow, were coming up on 13 years since you died, but if were being realistic, you died way before 13 years ago.
You may have not died physically before then, but mentality, spiritually, and most importantly, emotionally, you were long gone before 2006.

And WOW, that's the first time I've ever actually said that other than in my head, and you know what, I guess, that's a big thing for me; for me to say that out loud and all.

It took me a lot to even begin this letter. I've tried time & time before to write this, but every time I tried....the words just wouldn't come out. Until now that is...

I have so much to say to you that I never got to say to you before you died...but don't get me wrong now, this isn't one of those I'm sorry, I miss you, I wish you were here letters... we're far from that... This is a I'm a pissed off at you letter, this is a WHY letter!!??

Why wasn't I good enough? Why was I such a bad daughter? Why did you choose to be in & out of my life my entire life, but you chose not to be involved in my siblings life at all? Why did you give them up for adoption but you kept me? A part of me feels like you chose to spare them of heartache and pain by not being there at all, but instead chose to relieve all of that on me by continuing to be in and out of mine. Why? They never had that chance to know you, and you know bad as this may sound...I kind of envy them for that. They never got to experience and feel the broken promises, the lies, the disappointment, the heartache and the pain & sadness that i felt. They were never told what a disappointment they were and what a disgrace they were. They were never told how ashamed they were by their father and for that I am jealous of them. They don't have the memories that I do... and you know what? A part of them may envy me for that...but that's because they didn't know you like I did.
I have so many memories, but they're not good memories... Instead, they're memories of shame, guilt and agony.
Don't worry though Dad, my mom loved me enough for both of you.

All I ever wanted was to be a Daddy's girl. My entire life I wanted that perfect father/daughter relationship you would see on TV. There were times though that I thought I was going to get it too, but you know what they say... When it is good, it's GREAT, but when it is bad, it's really really bad. And in this case, when it was bad, it was pure HELL!

You were less than a part time dad, you were a "When it was convenient for you" Dad! I spent a good part of my life not even thinking about you, but then you would conveniently pop up into my life... and as quick as you popped up into my life, you were gone. You were literally gone in the blink of an eye. There I see you, there I don't....

I'll never forget when I was 17 and my mom & I moved to Texas from California, I remember thinking "wow, I can finally have a relationship with my dad". I was sorely disappointed though. Instead of trying to build a relationship with me, you were too busy trying to control me. You thought after not being there for 17 years that you could just step up and tell me how to live me life and tell me who to be.... But the funny thing had no [email protected]&$ing idea who I even was!!!

I spent years after that trying to please you, but I quickly realized that it wasn't that easy. I was never enough, you always had some complaint about me. I should do this, I should do that. I should be this way, I should be more like that. My feeling's were always a joke to you, you always told me the way I felt was wrong and that I needed to feel this particular way. Who the hell tells their child their feelings are wrong?

You always would leave...ALL..THE..TIME.. You were always gone. Always.
You would leave and call the next day and say you were in Nevada, the day after you were in Alaska, the day after that you were in Canada...then the day after that you were back in Texas... and you know the funny thing about all that? I was 17 and so damn naive, a part of me actually believed you...but when I think back at it now, almost 20 years later... I was actually in denial, because even then I knew... I've always known...I just didn't want to know.

2005 was the year that you & I started to fix our broken relationship, we got closer. I truly started to feel like you loved me, something I had always wanted to feel from you. You wanted me to follow in your footsteps and be just like you, you wanted me to believe in your twisted & demented views and walk your way of life. I convinced myself if was ok and I could do it, and I tried... and believe me when I say I tried, I tried so damn hard...

February 2006 is when I woke up, it's when I realized YOU WERE WRONG!!!! Your views were wrong, everything you told me was wrong. You manipulated me into being someone I wasn't. I was so damn desperate to be loved by you and so desperate for you acceptance that I pretended to be someone i wasn't. I felt sick, I felt disgusted and most of all, I felt ashamed of the lengths I would go to for another human beings approval.

March 2006.... I remember it as if it were yesterday, mostly because it was my birthday..March 4th. I told you how I felt and how pissed off at you I told me on my birthday how much of a disgrace I was. You said you couldn't believe your DNA ran through me. You told me what a disgrace I was, what a disappointment I was. You reminded me how much you were ashamed of me, how much you despised me and you also reminded me how much you hated me and how much you resented me because my mom did not have an abortion with me when you wanted her to.
You told me I would never be anything or anyone, you told me I was a joke. You actually laughed at my existence. You laughed at the crackle in my voice that I got after hearing your harsh words.
That moment is when my heart truly broke into a million pieces, but at the same time... I also felt, could my heart really even break? Because it was never actually whole to begin with. You tore me to pieces over and over and over again. And those pieces that were on the ground, you picked them up and threw them on the ground again and stomped on them over and over and over again until they were nothing but fine dust.

April 2006 is when I received my last and final email from you, that email stated "I will die and it will be a cold day in hell before I ever see you happy" and you know what? Exactly one week from the date you sent the email I got the phone call that you had died.

Is it a coincidence that during that week before you died that it was one of the happiest weeks of my life at that time? I guess you stayed true to your word, you really would be dead before you seen me happy.

Now I'm not going to lie, a part of me felt a sense of relief becauseI knew your words could no longer hurt me. Never again would I have to hear how much you hated me, never again I would have to hear what a disappointment I was, never again would I have to hear how I was mistake. Never again when I have to be brought down to a level that I didn't think was even humanly possible. But most importantly, never ever ever again what I have to hear how you wished I never even existed.

Now there were some people in our family that were sad that you were gone but there were others who also felt the same sense of relief. And I don't mean this in a disgraceful way but I mean this as in a way that I wasn't the only person you brought down, you hurt so many of us, you hurt everybody who ever loved you. Every single person that ever loved you you pushed away to the point where it was really really hard to grieve over you.

I've spent the last almost 13 years trying to grieve over you, I've tried to miss you, I tried to feel sadness, but at the end of the day... I just can't...

Until today that is... Something hit me oh, it was like a spark, kind of like when there's a blackout and a lightbulb all of a sudden shines, it's kind of like that. I can't even begin to explain what this feeling is... maybe acceptance. I have finally come to the acceptance that I wasn't the problem , you were. It's not that I was unlovable, it was that you didn't know how to love. It's not that I was a disappointment, but you just weren't happy with your own life. It's not that I was a mistake, it was that you had your own regrets with your life. I have finally come to the realization that I wasn't the problem ,it was never me... It's taken me almost 36 years to realize this, it's not me and it never was but it was always you. I finally can see the light that you were too blind to see. Suddenly I feel this sense of relief and this big burden has been lifted off of me.

So in conclusion, dad, I may have been unlovable to you but I did find a man who thinks I'm his whole world and I have amazing kids who think I'm the best human being in this world... But...
....I love you, I've always loved you and I always will... And I'm sorry you spent your time on this Earth so lost and confused and so empty that you couldn't see the love that was in front of you....Im truly sorry...
If there's anything that I learned from you it's that I will not take anything or anyone for granted, and that I will not be afraid to take chances or take risk and I will not be blind to see the love that is a front me... I'm also no longer afraid to take chances, I use to be afraid of what could be...but I'm not anymore. My heart is no longer broke, but its more intact that it has ever been. I've spent 13 years being so angry because I couldnt let go of the past, I couldn't move on..I couldn't forget & I couldn't forgive... But, it's time I do. Im ready.

And with that....I am ready to let go...

So Dad..
It's time I say Goodbye
Love Always,
Your daughter Sheri (Seal) Furmage