Dear Dad, I’ve Wondered If It Was All My Fault.


Time and time again over the past fifteen years, I’ve wondered what I did to make you leave (and stay away). I’ve had sleepless nights and days spent daydreaming, thinking, over- analyzing every single detail of our life together and I can’t come up with an answer.

I remember you as a quiet, tall, dark man. You were gentle with me. You rarely talked, and in my 8-year-old awkwardness, I never tried to make you talk. I remember the day that we laid on the playground grass, looking up at the clouds. Watching them move with the wind. Seeing your face, feeling your scratchy beard and your rough hands. I remember thinking to myself that was the happiest time of my life, and taking mental notes of the smells, the textures and sights so that I would never forget.

Every time I gaze up at the sky – which is often – I remember you.

I remember when my mother was in the hospital for a week and it was just you and me in the house. I only have one memory of that week, of us lying in the same bed. I was scared for my mom and I was lonely so I tried to hug you and you gave me your back. I felt so hurt and rejected.

I cried for you every night for a month after you left. I had dreams of you coming back. I couldn’t concentrate in school. I had no energy to make friends. I missed you the most when I started liking boys. I wished you would’ve been there to tell me everything was going to be fine the first time I got my heart broken.

At times I wish I wasn’t so soft. I want to be strong and move on. I do move on, I focus my energy on meditation, running, writing, working, yoga, going out, etc. I focus so hard. It lasts only a couple of months and then I’m back to being ten years old, feeling helpless and hopeless. I pondered suicide so many times during my pre-teen and teenage years and that truly breaks my heart. Do you know what effect you’ve had on my life? Do you care?

Life is weird. I suppose one day I’ll have answers as to why you left. Until then, the endless questions will linger.