A Different Kind Of Letter To You
You lost your eye in an attack from someone at your place of work when I was one.
I never got to meet who you were before that. I only knew you as the man who was changed by that event. The man who carries the pain that you carry.
I know a little something about carrying pain. How it changes and warps over time. How it can consume you. Break you down and build you back up into something unrecognizable.
My pain has forced me to react poorly and inappropriately to other people. It has forced me to push people away. It has been a burden and hinderance at every turn. And for some reason I have found myself unable to let go. Because this pain is mine. It belongs to me. In my mind I don’t perceive the change unless I look back. See who I was and find that self to be as foreign to me as a stranger on the bus.
I can only imagine what it has done to you.
I say that, mainly because you have never opened up to me. Not properly. You started to a few times. But something would always make you bite your tongue. You would become more aggressive afterwards every time. Unconsciously prompting me to never bring it up again.
Maybe you thought I wouldn’t understand. How ironic that your own trauma pushed you to inflict on me a trauma that had over time grown like a cancer. Attaching itself to everything. Decaying me from the inside out. In a way. You made it so that only I could understand.
I might understand. But I could never know. Because you simply won’t tell me.
I hope that one day before you go you find someone with which you can share the burden of what you carry. If only to lighten the load a little. I hope that you can give yourself that.
I want you to know that I am working on myself. Daily and constantly. It has become the main focus of my life. Not fixing myself. There will never be a point where I am good. It will be a constant effort on my part. One that my life has prepared me to face. Every trial and tribulation, although costly, has in some way served to prepare me for what I now face.
I am not afraid to die, father. And in many ways I have you to thank for that. I say that with only about 10% bitterness behind the words. The rest is earnest.
I don’t know how this will find you or how long it will take. But I have faith that if you are meant to see it, you will. And if that is the case and you are reading this now. I want you to know I forgive you. Not enough to talk to you again. But for me. So that I can finally let go. You have dominate my life in some form or fashion. Especially the years since I left. I have realised that that was on me. But I needed you to know that. I am sorry that my personal damage made it impossible for us to have something better than what we did. That I was so aggressive and angry. You are just a human being. With your faults and all. My inability to accept that or you is squarely my responsibility. And my choice. You have the right to do you. I shouldn’t have expected anything from you or held it against you when you didn’t give it to me.
In my worst moments. Your voice in the back of my mind stoked the fires of my determination and eternally burning rage to fight back and survive. Hating you became a defence mechanism that was as necessary to the process as breathing. And I own that.
Thank you for everything you tried to do. I am sorry it didn’t turn out like you wanted. But as an individual I am not sorry for expressing my individuality and seeking myself out without you. The hard choices I had to make. The mistakes I definitely made along the entire way here. It was all worthwhile for me. It had to happen this way.
Daily, I find more and more peace of mind. The last time we spoke without screaming at each other, you told me you were at a place where you had found a tiny fragment of that. I hope that free of me and my damage, you have yourself found a way to make that tiny fragment flourish into a serenity greater than I will ever know. And that is 100% genuine.
Take care, father.
A part of me will always hold onto that hate. At the current place I find myself I am still unable to untie that knot. It is still a necessary part of my process. It might sound weird. Or crazy. But there is no malice there. I hate the person you were. A vision of you from my past seen through the eyes of who I was then. Who you are now has as little to do with that as I do with my past version of myself. I hope you can see it the way that I do. That in a way. I keep a piece of you with me like this. That you in this way help me survive. Push me to push beyond my boundaries. I have survived nightmares you could never imagine, father. I have known endless pain and anguish. I have felt the hot faced truth of insanity. And leaned into it hard for years. But I have also known love. Kindness. And the unique beauty of the rising sun on a momentous day. My life has value. A value that I could never equate with monetary value. A value that I found myself. That I had to find myself.
And good bye.