Goodbye Letter

So it wasn’t just t-shirts that got me thinking the other night in my chocolate (and probably PMS) induced sleeplessness.

I’m behind in my correspondence.

It’s been years since I wrote dear old dad a letter, and him being (hopefully) close to his deathbed, perhaps it’s time to drop him a line.

I sent him a fathers day card a few years ago. I found one with a sappy saying “Thanks for a lifetime of happy memories”, crossed out the word “happy” and sent it to him, unsigned. I think he knows who sent it though. I’d planned to make it a yearly event (I figured if he gets to get away with raping me, then me sending him a nasty card once a year is certainly within my rights. ) However, like I said, I’m behind in my correspondence.

So let me rehearse my draft to him here.

Dear Dad (yes, I’m using the term, since well, he is my Da, and it’s what I called him last I spoke to him. The word ‘Dad’ just doesn’t have the same meaning for me as it does for other folks, I think. Then again, since a full 20% of all people in the US have been abused, my meaning might be more common than it appears.  )

So I hear you’re dying of cancer.


Hope it’s really really painful.

I wanted you to know some things before you die. First off,  the police MP have you in a database of sexual offenders, and have been watching you, so if you are thinking of getting in a bit more abuse before you go, know that they will pull you in and I’d be delighted to provide a character reference.

Secondly, you know all that Christian stuff about forgiveness you were taught? I didn’t buy it. As you may have heard, I’ve gone back to my Pagan Scottish roots, which make a lot more sense. I want you to go into your death knowing that I don’t forgive you for raping me and for insulting the honour of our family, and I never will. I won’t be laying flowers on your grave, and neither will anyone else.

However, I want to give you one thing, one secret, before you die. The only way to go into death clean is to feel remorse for the horrors you’ve done.  I suggest you get down to it right away. Our family doesn’t need a restless ghost.

I want you to think about your death, about your own soul, which you have dishonoured, and which surely must be a bleeding scrap by now. I know your father beat you, and I don’t know what else happened to set you up to believe that raping your daughter was an option, but I don’t care.  I know you think your drinking was an excuse. It’s not.

I assume you’re a sociopath, but who’s to know? I certainly have no sane fathers to compare you to. I remember when you found me on the highway, unconscious, after I was hit by that car, and you told me how you’d realized in that moment you loved me, with great surprize in your voice. Do you remember that? It actually makes sense, for a sociopath to be surprised at experiencing love, however briefly.

I told your mother you abused me before she died and she believed me.

Everyone believed me.

Right away.

They figured, yes, it was something you’d do.

Do you know that you are legendary for your selfishness? At my wedding, someone made a selfish, arrogant and self-centred statement and someone else said he was just like you. Go into your death knowing you are not forgiven, but you will be forgotten. You have done nothing of value.

I have lived my entire life trying to overcome the pain you inflicted on me, and I curse you for it.

I do not need to kill you. Mother Nature will do it for me. I would not dishonour myself by making myself a murderer. But know this. When you die, I will rejoice and I will claim your death as my victory. I declare victory over you now, for you will be dead soon, and I will be alive and happy.

I win.

4 thoughts on “Goodbye Letter”

  1. Hi,

    Yes thanks for the examples. You are right. Being a victim of a crime does not make you go to hell. I think this is something a lot of abusers do to the victims, spiritual abuse. Because the purposely misinterpret a religion to coerce a victim as a child and as an adult. I have seen it in some other survivors and see how devastating it can be on them and their ability to embrace a spirituality that is healing, loving, and empowering.

    Thanks for saying it is her crime. I agree.


  2. Yes, I think God/dess does know all the facts. Telling a survivor she/he’ll go to hell for being abused is like telling someone they’ll go to hell for being murdered, or injured in a car accident or robbed or something. It’s her crime, not yours.

  3. Hello,

    So righteous. Thank you for sharing this.

    “Go into your death knowing you are not forgiven, but you will be forgotten. You have done nothing of value.”

    This is so wonderful. My mother used to tell me that I was going to burn in hell for all eternity if I refused to forgive her. That was before I was able to remember the mother daughter sexual abuse. In the last few years of her life I told her well I have to rely on God knowing all the facts and understanding. I think God does.

    She also often admonished me to honor my father and mother. Towards the end I was able to start telling her that God knows that I am giving my father and mother as much honor as their actions have deserved.

    “When you die, I will rejoice and I will claim your death as my victory. I declare victory over you now, for you will be dead soon, and I will be alive and happy.”

    I love this. I think I will have to alter it to say now that you are dead…

    Thank you for your fierce warrior heart.


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