Open Letter To My Daughter, Hailey

Dear Hailey,

You sent me a text, asking if I called your father a violent psychopath.

You told me that he'd never raised a hand to you or his wife.

You told me I'd left you...that you didn't believe he kept you from me.

You told me our relationship was over.

Then, you told me when I called that your MOTHER was with you. The one that brushed your hair, held you when you cried. Cleaned your puke.

He took that from me, baby girl. He took that from you. I left to stay alive.

I've decided that the only way I'm going to ever get my side of the story out is to post an open letter. Maybe you'll see it, maybe you won't. You'll look for me one day and find this. Maybe a week from now, may a year or more. Who knows.

Your father was a violent alcoholic. He may not drink now, but his first wife and I know that he was prone to mental and physical abuse. The night he left her, she had to stab him to get him to stop. He very nearly put her eyes out.

I didn't believe it at the time, but I learned how true it was later on.

When I was 17, he and I broke up. I agreed to go for a ride with him, he wouldn't let me leave for several days. He threatened suicide, even took a bottle of what we used to call mini-thins. Legal speed. I was young and dumb, so I stayed believing he really 'loved' me. Who threatens suicide when they don't love someone? {I'm older now and know that, hey, that's what manipulators do.}

When you were three days old, he came into the bedroom and began slapping me. I put my head down to cover your tiny were in my arms, but he still slipped and hit you.

When you were 3 months old he pushed me outside nude and locked the door. It was winter. In a trailer park.

When you were 8 months old he cheated on me with a few women. I took you and left. He took the car I bought to the beach and had sex with another woman --he called me and put the phone by the hotel bed.

When you were 12 months old he slept with my ex-friend, left you and me at my great-grandmother's with no money, no car, nothing.

Until you were 18 months old my grandmother and great grandmother bought diapers for you and groceries.

I filled out the application for the quarry job AND the job at Waste Management, plus dropped them off. He would not look for work away from roofing with his friends.

I took over all of the farm work within a few months, while taking care of you and the house.

He came home every day, bought beer, drank until bedtime.

Everything was in MY name, because he had no credit. He used mine to get that trailer and say he gave up everything for you? I left HIM everything I owned. He was free to sell it or whatever. HE had a home for you both, because of me. You both had vehicles because of my credit.

He aimed a loaded revolver at my head and pulled the trigger while drunk. It were at your grandmother's. His friend went off at him, then left. It got worse from there. We yelled, we fought, he drank more and more, he twisted my wrist so hard that it broke. I finally got out of the house when he passed out drunk.

He called me in Chicago and threatened to kill me. He also threatened the cop that called him and told him to stop harrassing me.

He called me multiple times and tried to goad me into signing you over so your idiot of a step-mother could adopt you...I still wonder, why couldn't he have just allowed me to visit like the court agreement stated? He even removed my name from presents I sent via your grandmother! Who the hell does that? I tried so many times to fight to get you back, I just had no money for a lawyer. I did what I could with no funds. There was no legal aid to help, they didn't take custody cases. I called and called.

You only know his side of me leaving...and the hurt it brought you. I can promise you, that for every single tear you cried over my absence, I cried missing you. You are my first child. My heart and soul...there is not a single day that I don't feel the gaping hole in my life that you filled. You went everywhere with me, work, play...everywhere.

He took you by not allowing me to see or talk to you. He broke the court order and the law would not enforce it. He did everything in his power to make me feel like nothing when I lived there...but he only suceeded in hurting me by taking away what I loved

When you told me that you never wanted to talk to me again, I heard him in your voice. God, I'm so sorry I didn't just go to my mother's that night. I thought I could build us a better life, but as soon as she knew I was coming to get you, she called your father. I tried, baby. I tried and I failed at the only thing that mattered to me.

You can tell him he won. He finally hurt me enough. He made you and everyone believe that I was whatever it is he is telling people. I have nothing in me left for anyone down there. I don't have a family. I don't have you.

He won. I give up.

Take care, HayHay. I'll always love you. Nothing will ever change that. No matter what you do or who you become, the one thing he cannot ruin or take away is how much I love you.



Freya said...

This is beautiful and heart-wrenching. I hope some day your daughter reads this and learns something closer to the truth.

Parents play ridiculous mind games on their kids... And it is totally legal.