I have hardly been able to function today. Visions, images, memories of my father flood my mind and I can’t escape them. I can’t escape them. They make me want to die, to crawl out of my skin and scratch my way out of this world just to escape the pain. I smoke a cigar at the end of the night sometimes to connect to the girl I was at 18, the girl who was almost free. I know it’s not wise, I know this, but it feels like I can reach into the past through the smoke and teach myself how to breathe. One toxic breath at a time. Hatred in, hatred out. In, out, in, out, in, out. Defiance. In, out, in, out, in, out. Hatred is a hell of a survival tool.

My father murdered me when I was a teenager. In my mind and in my soul he crushed me.

I believe he hated me for turning into a woman, and he took this hatred out on me by shaming me every day, berating me, belittling me until I was nothing. Dissecting me. Telling me how silly I was, how little he thought of me, how uninterested he was in my opinions or the opinions of my “silly little friends”. Preaching fear. Fear reigned supreme in our house. Fear of talking, existing, speaking too much. I was constantly ashamed of my body, constantly aware of the way he looked at me. Every day, every time I walked through a room he made it a point to stop what he was doing and look at me like I was the most disgusting thing he had ever seen. Hi eyes told me, “You are wrong, you should apologize for existing”. They slowly burned over my body, head to toe, slicing, cutting, searing in memories that will not leave me. Often he never said a word, except “hmph”. Then he’s turn to his books, as if to say there was so much there worth thinking about when compared to me.

But he was reading? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Sometimes he was doingwhat so many people do, but taking it further and further as addiction took hold. He was disgusted by the sight of his teenage daughter because he watched girls degrade themselves in painful ways on camera. He watched them, not as a hero, certainly not and my rescuer. He sat and watched as a bystander. Silent in the women’s movement, silent on degradation, silent because he is guilty. If I could go back in time I would smash his computers against the walls until they shattered into broken pieces and parts, throw all his books on the floor, rip the pages out, and scream at him until my lungs were bleeding. I would make him look at me and see me for what I was then, and all the things I would become. That girl deserved a voice.

Sometimes he didn’t talk to me for days. I never knew why. I didn’t know why I was so disgusting to him. Other times he would looked at me and broke my body down into parts, and tell me where I was developing as if that were a good thing. Was I good? Was I bad? Was I an object? As an object was I an inherently bad object? He gave me this hatred, this burning hatred of women that I don’t think he knew he had, and he put it on my shoulders. He made it my pain, my suffering, and my burden to carry. What a horrible thing to do. I’ve been asking for answers from him since 2019, setting fire to my past and spewing venom from the places that make me scream in pain, like a never ending burning death. I want an answer, but no answer comes. Just more deafening silence from the man who has ruined my life in more ways than he can ever imagine. Yeah, I know some family that have guilted me about having kids and not bringing them around my parents. I think I’ll stick around home again this year.

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