Monday, March 10, 2008

Dear Dad,

I know you think I am a pretty courageous guy. I know this, because you have said as much to me. I can jump out of an airplane and not give it a second thought. I can walk into a room and KNOW that, one on one, I can kick everybody’s ass in the room. I can travel to third world countries, not knowing the language or anybody there, but still have an awesome time! I can look you right in the eyes and tell you that you are no longer welcome in my home, even though we both know you are the most intimidating man to ever walk the planet. And I can send this letter to you, even though I know you won’t believe a word of it.

But I do have fears. And they are so big and scary that even thinking about them now causes me anxiety so bad, that right at this very moment, my hands is shaking and my ears are burning red. At night when I am in bed and I feel like I have to urinate, I will do my best to fall asleep and hold it until morning. I am not scared that there are monsters under my bed and if I get up they are going to pull me under and eat me alive. I am afraid I am going to forget to put the toilet seat down.

The first time I forgot to put the seat down, I was 6 and you were away on a business trip. I remember her grabbing me by my hair while I was still sleeping and dragging me to the bathroom. She was screaming at me, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying because I was still half asleep. Then she opened a drawer and pulled out a neon yellow brush with black plastic bristles. By this time I was awake enough to fully understand what was about to happen to me. She cursed at me and told me how stupid I was for not being able to remember something as trivial as putting the toilet seat down. Then as she was still gripping me by my hair, she began to hit me with that yellow brush. She hit me so hard the brush snapped in two, so she pulled out her curling iron and started hitting me with that. I don’t know how long it went on, but what I can tell you is it was only the beginning.

Do you ever wonder about my strange disdain for potatoes? How I basically run out of a room full speed whenever someone even pulls one out to peel it. I think I was 8, I could have been 7. She always liked to make those scalloped potatoes, because in the beginning she wasn’t a very good cook and that was one of the only things she could make. One night, when you were away on another business trip she made those potatoes. I had just eaten at a friend’s house and I wasn’t in the mood for those nasty potatoes. She asked me to finish them, and I told her I was full. The next thing I remember she had grabbed me by my hair was slamming my face into the plate. Then she grabbed a hand full of those potatoes and she smashed them into my face. They got into my eyes and they stung so bad I couldn’t think straight. They went up my nose, and they filled my mouth and there were a few very long moments there when I thought I was going to die.

I could go on and on and tell you why to this day I refuse to let my hair grow out more than 2 inches. Or even if I am starving, I will never have a snack at your house. Or why I would never leave my room until I heard somebody else walking around the house in the morning. Or why I didn’t want to go on that camping trip with my friends in the 5th grade. Or a million other things, where there was a particularly rough beating attached with a very important life lesson for me to learn. But there’s no point, because you won’t believe it.

I was ecstatic when you told me that you knew I was gay and you loved me no matter what. I was willing to fool myself into believing deep down there was a little part of you that was finally willing to accept the truth about what happened between me and your wife. But in the end you still chose to believe her over me. This is something that has affected me in more ways than my sexuality ever will, and by telling me that I have never made things easy on your wife, you are hurting me more than my mother telling me I am going to hell ever could. When you tell me I have never made things easy on her you are telling me that I am a liar, and all those nights I spent crying myself to sleep (and make no mistake by thinking those nights are behind me) were all brought on by my overactive imagination.

I can’t move on from this and I can’t forgive you for all those years where you did nothing. I just don’t want to see you anymore. I can’t look at you without thinking about her, and when I think about her, I can’t function.

I love you.

1 comment:

stanw said...

Hi there RGB,

I can't believe no one has commented on this post. I cry when I read it. Your dad by not believing you or taking your side drove you away more than anything else could have. When I told my mother about the hired man molesting me she just turned away and wouldn't even acknowledge the question - I knew she was aware something had happened, that ignoring of my question (something I had to work up a lot of courage to ask anyway) took away any remaining trust I ever had in her.

I know the kind of tears you have and they bring on tears/emotions from very deep inside. They say we are to honor our mother and father but to me that means being brutally honest about how they treated us, especially as you relate. It has made me appreciate people more that are honest, truthful and open enough to tell the truth. Silence never was or will be silent - silence kills, we know that too well.

Take care my friend. Be very good to yourself.