Trigger/content warning: child abuse, death, grief, and anger.
Sometimes I hate my father for dying. I hadn’t spoken to him since 2005 (except through a few emails). Sometimes I hate that that bastard is dead. I guess he was drinking a lot toward the end of his life and it speaks a lot that he was dead for fifteen days before anyone found the body/realized he was dead. In some ways, it’s utterly heartbreaking that that’s the legacy a life leaves.
I hated him, don’t get me wrong. My protector had become my perpetrator. He was a despicable human being, and he’s better to me dead in alive. But in some ways, I hate him for dying. All four of my grandparents are dead, my father is dead, and I’m only 27. But I hate him.
Even though I know his suffering isn’t any longer on this Earth and his suffering is far worse now, I hate that I’m now in as much physical pain as I was before and left in an emotional clusterfuck.
I shouldn’t have had to turn him into the police at eighteen years old for possessing child pornography. I shouldn’t have had to cut him out of my life before I even graduated high school… to make it so he wasn’t even allowed to set foot on school campuses. It’s not something that a barely legal adult should have to do, but I did.
I’m taunted still. I know, logically, he’s dead and he can never hurt me again. But what abuse does to you is it twists your mind. It traps you within it. I’m taunted, haunted, devastated by nightmares. I wake up not knowing if he’s dead or alive, if I’m safe or in danger. I still live in fear of him finding me, of him randomly showing up some day.
I wonder if this is logical. I wonder if this is “normal”, for adult children to have this strong reaction to a death. I didn’t attend his funeral. I couldn’t dance on his grave (well, okay, if I did I’d fall flat on my face but that’s beside the point). I couldn’t yell at him for betraying me. And I don’t even know if that would bring me peace.
I think his dying was the closing chapter of a story – the fact that I will never have a Daddy, an adequate father. I never did. It’s a hard, such an incredibly hard pill to swallow. It’s hard to realize that it’s done, it’s over, and I just have to move forward.