To My Father, With Empathy

I am sorry,

For the days you stood before me, but were never really there—days that were so long, and left bruises. For the rainy days, when you let me stand—all alone. I feel sorry for those days when you did not know my face, or my name, just that you wanted to break me. For the times you couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t, wipe away my tears—and could not feel how small I was.

I am sorry,

For the endless seconds that choked me with fear that which you’d so effortlessly instilled—in the name of discipline. The days you  didn’t protect me. For those memories of your smiles vanishing in the wake of your rage. I feel sorry for those days when I was never enough, and you made me watch you, as you broke the only things I held dear.

I am sorry,

For the countless times you shunned me. When you pointed out my imperfections, and told me I’d never succeed. Those days that had my heart too hard to know affection, yet how I craved it every moment… For the days when you made me so angry, I wanted to cry, scream, and could do neither. I feel sorry that you could never love me, like you should. Like they all do. Was I so bad?

I am sorry,

For the all the years that I let my anger consume me—oh, how I hated you. For the years I have been but a stone. I feel sorry for hurting those I love on the days when I couldn’t stand the thought of you. For the years of bottled-anguish, after you’d lost it all—us all.

I am sorry,

That you will never know what you have lost. You will never understand what could have been, and what will never be. You haven’t the slightest clue, how wrong you were. I feel so sorry that you could not mend even your own ways, but thought you were mending ours—when you locked us up in closets and threw away the keys.

I am sorry,

That you will not be able to enjoy your own defeat. You will never hold me and love me, and see what I have accomplished all on my own. You can never know how wrong I’ve proved you to be. I feel so sorry that you won’t ever know how alone you really are. I am sorry that you will never fathom how that rage inside me you fueled, drove me to success.

I am sorry, for you.

But, today, this anger has left me. Today, this fog is starting to clear, and I am taking my first steps into a world that is foreign to me. I wish you were here to wish me well, and be proud. But you will never know… This rage that weighed upon my chest has lifted, and I can breathe.

Today, I am free of you.

And I think one day,

I will perhaps forgive you.

But right now,

I can only give you sympathy.

For now…

I will simply inhale my freedom,

And perhaps for the first time,

In a long time,

Be at peace,

With myself.

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2 thoughts on “To My Father, With Empathy

  1. This is great, Jess. I’m so proud of you! I’m glad you were able to overcome that writer’s block that had you so upset last summer. ❤

    1. Thanks! 😀 I’m glad I got over it too!! It feels nice to write!

      ❤ I'm very very proud of you as well! Love you!

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