Ok, I don’t have a copy of my letter to my father, but here is the basic jist of what I said (please forgive me if it doesn’t completely make sense because it is very late….):
I really don’t know what to say except that I appreciate your apology. I know that sounds harsh, but I never thought I would hear those words from you.
When grandmother died, what happened with you and my brother at her funeral really upset me. It was like watching every hateful moment you had ever had toward mom all over again, except it was through my brother this time. At that time, I decided that the three of us needed to sit down and talk things out.
Then, at Christmas, when you “jokingly” threatened to whip me, at the age of 26, for not wanting to be in a picture with my brother and his new family, I realized that things would never change. I could not believe that you would threaten me, joking or otherwise, with something that had hurt me so deeply as a child. It was then that I understood that, if I was ever to save myself, I had to walk away.
I know it hurts you to hear this, but I have been hurt by you many times too.
There are many things that you do not know, because I knew I could not trust how you would react. Because of your idea of love, you spent all your time trying to “fix” me instead of trying to figure out what was actually causing me to be broken.