An Open Letter To My Abusive Father (A Poem)

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 22:58 -- CNStone

We grow up hearing "stranger danger" but what do we do when the danger isn't a stranger but someone whose half of DNA lives inside you? 


I was seven when you first stole my autonomy, treating my body, this body as if it were not my own but yours.  

I was seven the first time your hands touched me, leaving their invisible marks and gaping holes and scars from the pieces you stole. And at first I didn’t understand.. I didn’t understand this situation, this sensation, I was confused but I knew I did not like this..  

I was seven the first time the thought crossed my mind that I wanted to escape and the way to escape was to die, a real but fleeting thought... a thought that I didn't give much thought to 


I was nine the first time I saw a sexual scene in a movie and understood. I was not entertained, I was not intrigued, I was horrified and the reality set in of what was happening. 

 And suddenly I was not nine, I was not young and innocent, I was a hundred years older and the more references I saw the more the sinking dread set in that this.. This was wrong 


You told me this was our secret and I felt special until I realized this was not a secret I wanted ti keep. This secret felt dirty like a discarded piece of clothing, heavy like an elephant on my chest, a weight pulling me down making me drown and goodness I wanted to breathe, I needed to breathe but every time I tried the water that is you entered my lungs and threatened to suffocate me. 


And one second it's ice cream for breakfast and the next its threats within an inch of my life... and theirs... and you're a paradox of things.. And I do not even know what to think nor what believe and the confusion of it all overwhelms me 


I was twelve the first time I took control into my own hands to bring my pain and scars to the surface. I wanted to feel.. Real.. I needed to feel real. 

 I was twelve the first time I tried to end my own life, but I didn't want to die.  

I wanted to escape.. I needed to escape. I felt so hopeless, so powerless, so lost, and so much pain.. So much pain I needed to run away.. And no... no I was not being a coward. I had been strong and hung on for far too long. 

I.. was tired..  


I was thirteen.. Thirteen when I got the courage to stop seeing you, thirteen when I took control.. Thirteen when I finally said no...  

I was thirteen when I thought this nightmare was finally over... 

I was thirteen when I stuffed all memories inside of me.. My brain protecting my body... protecting me... 


But I was thirteen when those suicidal thoughts got louder... I was thirteen when depression took ahold of me..  I was thirteen when I started therapy.. I was thirteen and confused as to why I felt this way... we were confused as to why I felt this way and why... was this not getting better 


I was fourteen when I visited you again.. I walked into that house, your house, the house that used to be mine too 

I was fourteen when those memories came flooding back... causing a panic attack.. Crippling me... making it hard to breathe 

I was fourteen when I learned that this nightmare, my nightmare was not over, the secret lived on 

I was fourteen and when you were softly and quietly asleep in your bed I was up dancing with the demons that play in my head, watching the memories on repeat, a personalized horror movie just for me.  


I was fifteen when I realized what I needed to do 

I was fifteen when I realized I needed to stop you 

I was fifteen when I finally did what I was afraid to . I was fifteen when I broke the oath of silence you swore me to.  


And I thought it was finally over, this nightmare that was you. But it turns out in protecting those you love, there are more things you must go through. And you continue to take things from me, even without trying to. My family, my dignity, my smile, my light... and the more that you take the harder it becomes to try.  

And I count out all my mistakes, blaming, shaming myself, looking for where I went wrong, second guessing every word, every action, every move, trying to figure out what I did to make you do this.... why... did you do this 


And I swear if you look real close you can almost see those fingerprints, your fingerprints littered across a body that is not yours breaking it, tainting it, taking with you the parts you choose and leaving behind a shattered glass with pieces never to be the same. 



I... I don't want to be the same, I cannot be the same, this glass may cut me deeply, but I swear you will not defeat me. This life is not yours this life is mine, and I will reclaim the power and pieces you stole. I did not choose for this to happen, I did not decide, but I will choose what happens next. I am a phoenix and you cannot stop me from rising out of the ashes and into the light because no matter how many battles I lose I will continue to fight and you will not win because I refuse to let this be the end 


This poem is about: 
My family
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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