An Open Letter to My Dad
I’m sorry I’m not straight edge.
I’m sorry I like to recreationally do drugs and drink way too often for your standards.
I’m sorry I’m not a homebody.
I’m sorry I live for crazy, spontaneous nights out.
I’m sorry I live off the energy that surrounds around me. That I always have to have variety in my life making me travel for long periods of time now. Because the life we thought we’d be happy in turned out to be the one that made me most depressed.
I’m sorry I committed suicide – it wasn’t your fault. You didn’t go wrong with me; there was something wrong with me. The decision to do it was all on me. I had a choice. And I chose to do it. Don’t put that burden on yourself.
I’m sorry that you had to tell me – three years after the incident – that you wish the family meetings were about my either of my sisters, and not me. But no, I was always the cause for all the family meetings.
I’m sorry I made so much trouble and broke our family apart.
I’m sorry you all felt like I betrayed you and made you lose trust in me, several times over.
I’m sorry I’m not like my sisters – I couldn’t fit into that cookie cutter our family needed me to be.
I’m sorry I wasn’t the daughter that gave you honors in school or made it to the dean’s list.
I’m sorry I wasn’t the daughter that obeyed your every word and was every bit like you that you got to get along with so well.
I’m sorry I was the daughter that was a headache, the black sheep, the one that gave you one too many sleepless nights where you doubted how good of a father you were.
I’m sorry I was the daughter that lived to break all those rules, the one who lived to annoy the shit out of you.
I’m sorry I didn’t turn out the way you wanted me to be.
But most of all, I’m sorry I thought you wanted me to be all of this and that it wasn’t the case. I’m sorry I thought so badly of you that I thought you wouldn’t love me if I didn’t play along. I’m sorry it took me a while to realize that all you wanted me to be was… me.
And I’m sorry – because I’ve come to learn that the real me would constantly still be butting heads with you.
I’m sorry I didn’t start to notice when you were learning to accept me as I am.
I’m sorry that I can’t live the life you're all living – that I can’t join the family business, that I wanna leave this city, that I’d rather be elsewhere but here. It’s not that I don’t want to stay and be with you – because you’ll always be home to me – but I can’t stand this place anymore.
In order for me to be my real self, I need to leave this city.
I’m sorry that I can only find true happiness for myself from places a bit farther from what we call home.
I’m sorry that for me to be good, I’d have to stay away from all that’s here.
I’m sorry that what we used to call home now became a toxic heap of negativity that pulls out the bad in me.
I’m sorry that the way I want to live my life is not the same way you would.
I’m sorry that some of the things I like to do is something you frown upon.
I’m sorry that you’re forced to accept this as a part of me.
I’m sorry that you constantly worry that I’m going off track with my life – but I assure you I’m not.
I’m sorry that I’m gonna have to ask you again to just trust me on where I’m going with my life – I really know what I’m doing this time.
I’m sorry that it feels like I’m leaving you – but I’m always going to be here, I’m just not as easily accessible anymore. I’ll always be your baby girl.
And lastly, I’m sorry I don’t say I love you enough. I love you more than you’ll ever know, dad.
Words by Martha Ignacio