I say sort of because while this post isn’t about writing or my stories, it is still somewhat related. For a long time, I’ve felt my purpose was to help people who don’t have anyone else. The teens that go to parties and drink and smoke and cut because no one at home cares about them.
For most of my life, up to about a year ago, I didn’t even know these teens existed. I was sheltered. So, with her permission, I am posting the letters a friend of mine wrote to her father, to help raise awareness of what these teens go through.
Names and places have been changed for privacy.
I hate you! I hate you for not being there for me through the Adam bullcrap. I hate you for abandoning me when your own daughter was taken advantage of. I hate you for letting me come here!!! I hate you for not coming to see me when you visited Tommy. I hate you for all the fake ‘I love you’s. I hate you for keeping Uncle Bob’s death from me for three days! I hate you for marrying Judy and replacing your kids. I hate your for always being offshore. I hate you for always being gone. I hate you for all the laughs and Christmas presents. I hate you for making me miss you. I hate you for all the tears. I hate you for moving to Houston. I hate you for the big house in the suburbs. I hate your for all your hugs and goodnights. I hate knowing you’re my father. I hate you. I never wanna see or hear from you ever again! I hate you for taking me to the shed that night, after the first time I ran away and beating me! You left welts and bruises on my ass! I hate you for slapping me in the face. I hate you for ever having me! I hate you for all the times you made me smile. I hate you for never coming to church with me. I hated your cowboy boots but I knew you loved then so I never said anything. I hated your cooking, especially your hamburgers, but I never told you because I saw how proud you were of your food! I hate your wife but never told you because I know you loved her! I miss my dad! That person is long gone now! I hate the man filling in his shoes now. You are NOT my dad. I don’t know who you are. I am not daddy’s little girl anymore because “daddy” left! I hate you! Because of you I am pushing away everyone who tries to get close. Because of you, I don’t even know who I am! I hate you. You should have just let mom keep us when we were growing up. You have no idea what I go through, nor do you even care. What was the point in getting custody of us?! You don’t put people you love, you don’t put your children through what you put me through! You don’t put people you love through what you put me through. I look in the mirror and see your features and I hate myself. I bring up your name randomly when talking to mom. Memories come back! Like the Monsters Inc. hat I bought you and how you rode all over town wearing it! Like how I used to love watching you play Metal Gear Soldier. Like how we got picked up from school in the big Lincoln! I loved that car. You used to not care what people thought or how you looked or how I looked. I remember you used to always volunteer to coach our school sports teams. I remember you took me and Kimi to Burger King for Oreo pies after a game one time. I remember going to the park and watching you fly remote control dragonflies and planes. I remember when Tommy fell off the bunk bed and landed straight in your arms. I remember creating our rooms in that little apartment and ripping up the carpet. This one time me, Ashley, Stacy, and Tommy were on the floor watching Grudge and you snored and scared the hell out of us and we didn’t even know it was you. You had fallen asleep. We all four kids ran up to Jane’s house scared as can be. Jane walked us back, and there you were, still snoring. I remember when we were camping out in our yard. You were telling scary stories and got Jane and John to shake the tent and y’all scared me and Tommy so bad. Where did that man go? His daughter misses and loves him very much.
So my singing gig is this weekend, and I’m pretty sure you won’t be there. That’s okay. I’m learning to not let your actions and decisions that you choose to make affect mine. I’m trying to get a career in music, I go to a non-denominational church with my best friends. Mom and the kids are gonna start coming. I go every Sunday and Wednesday. The music is great. I quit smoking a while back, I have an art class and I’m doing great. I’m getting A’s and B’s but mom’s pushing me for all A’s and so that’s my goal. My teachers love me and I have lots of friends who come from all sorts of backgrounds. I sit with different friends at different tables every day at lunch. No rumors are going around about me. And from what I’ve heard, I’m the pretty girl, who talks a lot, and always smiles. I’m also the girl who at times is a nerd and can’t concentrate on one thing longer than five minutes and who happens to have a pretty strange laugh. Even though I no longer have my dad at my side, life goes on. I’m pretty lucky when I compare myself to what some of my friends have. In a way, I wish you were here to actually see that what I’m saying is true, but in a way I’m glad you’re not. I still can’t stand the thought of your face popping up in my mind. I still get angry and disgusted with myself and you when I think about everything that’s happened. I don’t understand your choices or actions and I don’t think I ever will. That’s okay because I don’t want to. It doesn’t even matter. I still hate you, but you’re my dad and I’ll always love you. I meant it when I said I didn’t want to ever see or talk to you. I just really don’t wanna see you. I know I hurt you, but you hurt me much worse. You were supposed to be the adult. Judy was supposed to be the adult. But y’all both just turned highschool and honestly y’all remind me of the teenage preppy rich couples that I hate. They never make it. Maybe I’m wrong. Idk. But maybe my dad, the man I love and miss will come back, maybe not. I no longer sit around and wait to hear from you. I don’t let you control my actions. I don’t let our recent past control my decisions. I do what I do for my current family, but most of all for myself because I have to do what’s best for me before I can help others. I learned the difference between selfishness, and confidence and independence and much more. I don’t go around pretending to be something I’m not. I’m not afraid of what people think. Maybe you’d be proud of who I’ve become, maybe not. Either way, I’ll be okay. I’ll never have your support, but that’s okay with me. I can’t replace you with some other dad, nor would I want to, I just have to make do with what God’s given me. I’m still your daughter. I’m still Jennifer. I look no different and I talk no different. I’m never gonna accept you and you’re never gonna accept me. We will always disagree. I love and miss you lots. I’m always gonna be your little girl. I just hope you actually think about me sometimes. I was your firstborn child, your first daughter. I’m pretty hard to forget, I hope. Just remember I came first. Before you had your new family and new kids, new cars, new house, before all that you had me.
P.S. I love you.
Since I found out that you and Judy laughed at me ‘being Mormon overnight’ I thought I’d explain. I am not Mormon. I am going to try to get back in church and try the Mormon Church out. I am trying to be better for myself and had long talks about church with Jesse and Robbie. I read the Book of Mormon every day now, and I haven’t drunk tea or coffee in a week. It’s a start. I don’t go around saying I’m Mormon. I simply say I’m a Christian and would like to start attending the Mormon Church again if people ask me. Once again, I see how much you support me. You mock and laugh at me wanting to go back to church. Going to church in Utah was the first time I had gone to church since I left Houma. And the reason for that is because you made me feel so horrible about my faith, what little I still had at the time. Thanks Dad, you always knew how to make me feel great about myself. (sarcasm) I don’t really care what you and Judy think about me anymore. I’ll prove to you one day just how great I am. Do you even miss me? Or did Judy’s daughter take my place already. I never understood how someone could hate and love someone at the same time until you abandoned me. And honestly, I hate you more than I love you at this point. I wish you the best and hope you’re happy. Congrats on the two new cars.
August 5, 2011
Well, if you’re wondering why I haven’t called in a while, it’s because honestly I was hoping you’d call and ask to talk to your daughter. Mom told me you wanted us to make the effort and call you, but I was angry at you for a long time. I called you that once and you didn’t say ‘I love you’. Second time, when I invited you to my acoustic gig, you actually did. But when I talked to you it was as if I was talking to a wall. It felt as if you weren’t even there. I even tried Judy’s cell and the house phone several times and no one answered. I stopped calling. I even stopped emailing Juliette. I went from being daddy’s little girl, to nothing. You won’t take any of the blame. It’s halfway my fault but also half yours, between sleeping, playing video games, and working offshore before marrying Judy you were in my life less than six months out of the year. Then you met the woman of your dreams, Judy. It was great at first, wasn’t perfect but it was what we needed. She completed you and I hadn’t seen you that happy in a long time. Remember the second time I ran away? You asked me if leaving Judy would solve the problem. I am not selfish enough to tell you yes! She made you happy, so when things got rough I just dealt with it. I went through the relationship with Josh and you were there for me when he broke my heart, so was Judy. But then I dated someone, who reminded me of him, Adam.(he reminded me of you, too) Is that why you were so against me being with him? Is that some of the reason? It’s like you forgot what it was like to be a teenager. I know you smoked cigarettes and weed and one point in your life and I know for a fact that you had sex before you were married because if you hadn’t I wouldn’t be here. I’m a teenager, I was gonna make mistakes. It’s how I learn. You told me to come to you with anything; that I could talk to you and Judy about anything. So I did. I came to you and told you I was taken advantage of and you acted as if you could care less. You only cared about the fact that I snuck out and was with Adam. Judy wouldn’t even take me to the doctor after I told you I was hurting. You abandoned me when I needed you the most! Why? And your wife called me a skank! And you, once again, slapped me in the face. Not even me and Adam’s break up hurt more than that. I love him, he was my first ‘teenage love’, but if it makes you feel better, you won, you were 100% right about I him, but I wanted to learn that on my own, and in the end, I did. He went to jail and come to find out he was an immature punk and was cheating on me the whole time. He broke my heart and I no longer speak to him and I’m no longer his friend. Are you happy now? Is this what you wanted? You have a daughter who has never felt more vulnerable and disgusting in her life. You never noticed any good in me ever. When I was on my period, you were the first to tell me about my pimples, or how I looked like crap. Like I didn’t notice my face looked like crap. Believe me, I did. It’s my face, I can tell when it’s broken out. You never liked my clothes, my hair, my makeup. Just because I wasn’t like Judy’s family and didn’t wear American Eagle or some expensive prep brand. I went to church 3-4 times a week, I helped Brittney and Juliette, I cleaned. Nothing was ever gonna be good enough for you, was it? Who was the one who took care of your wife when she got sick while you were offshore? Who made sure she was okay? Who watched the kids? Who helped cook dinner? Who went to find Tommy when he took off after school almost every day? Who picked up your phone calls every time her cell phone would ring? Me. I was not a problem. I wasn’t useless and I wasn’t a skank. I was, and still am, a teenager who had a few problems, who helped family when help was needed, and who happened to think she was in love with the boy who took her virginity. Even before that we had problems. Me and Tommy no longer came first. Juliette, Brittney, and most of all Judy, was all that mattered. You never saw what I saw sometimes. Like Judy’s comments and noises at the police station or even her facial expressions, she did all that at home too. And what made me mad as hell was how you were threatening to slap me again right outside of the police station but when we got put in front of the detective, you were putting on this “good parent” act. You also called me a hypocrite for going to church and doing teenage things days before. I am a practicing Christian. I’m not Jesus. I’m not perfect. I’m going to try to go to the Mormon church again. I always went to church alone, never really had any family support, when I asked Judy to come with the kids, she’d say yes, but in the morning say sorry can’t go. All I would say was ‘It’s okay’. I never complained about that, ever. All I wanted was for you to just to accept me or something. We used to sing and cook together, but then it was all about Judy. I bet you’re happier without me and Tommy. About five weeks ago I went on Facebook, on your page, and saw just how happy y’all’s family is. Y’all went on vacation and there’s statuses about how much you miss and love your wife and the kids are having so much fun. It’s like they’ve replaced us. Tommy needs his father. You’re gonna end up losing him. He never had the chance to have father/son moments because I was always daddy’s little girl. That’s half the reason he always acted out. You’re the reason he joined football in the first place. I don’t understand why you chose them over us. You even tried to throw your own daughter in jail. There is nothing wrong with me. It was not all my fault. IDK how long it will take for you to see that and talk to me. But I’ll wait, I made my effort. Now it’s your turn. I love you and always will. I’ve made goals and a life here. I’m gonna take driver’s ed. I have an art class, a computer web page design class, and I plan to make straight A’s. I’m gonna graduate high school and travel studying religion after for a year, then go to college for art, design, fashion, etc. I no longer do drugs or drink or party. I have five best friends and like to hang out at the mall or beach, or the river, or the movies. I’ve been single since the beginning of April and plan to stay that way. I don’t have a favorite color, I’m a vegetarian, I have a great relationship with Tommy, and going to the dentist terrifies me. Music is important, I love to cook, and education is very important. School’s huge, and I love tacky big rings. There, now you know something about me. I can’t go back and redo it all and even if I could, I wouldn’t. I love you and hope to talk to you soon.
P.S. Thank you for letting me go to Utah. It was a great experience. I’ll send pics. Oh, I sew again so I made Judy and Juliette a burret. Hope they like.