Part 1 of this letter to my father can be found here.
Now comes the part that is really difficult for me to say. Being open about my feelings or opinions with you is not something I am used to doing. But I have come to a point in my life where I am not afraid to say what I think. I am writing to you instead of talking face to face because I don’t want any drama. I mean no malice, hold no grudge, just need to say it.
During the first three years of your marriage to Connie, I did what I could do be in relationship with both of you. I witnessed what I consider to be abuse in the form of belittling, Connie ordering you around, telling you to be quiet, even physically restraining you by grabbing you from behind and putting her hand over your mouth. But I said nothing because I wanted to stay involved in your life, and knew that if I spoke up Connie would yell at me as I had witnessed her yell at Jeff and at Ellen, and I wouldn’t be able to pretend that it was ok.
Although I never spoke about it with you, I was struggling in my own life, finally freeing myself from a marriage that was a bad choice from the beginning. I did everything I could do make it seem “normal” but it wasn’t. I allowed myself to be yelled at and emotionally abused, and will never allow that in my life again.
When you moved closer to me this past summer, I came to visit you often. I called or visited every day while Connie was in rehab after her surgery. I was “a good daughter.” When she came home, I continued to visit and tried to be of service. I didn’t know a storm was brewing in her heart.
Friday before Labor day you got attacked by the neighbor’s dog, requiring medical intervention. I didn’t find out until I called you a few days later. When I came over, I was relieved to see it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I listened to you, I listened to Connie, then it was my turn, or so I thought. I told her that this was the sort of situation that I expected to be called about, I would have come over and helped in any way I could. Normal sort of request, I thought, and you are only 9 miles away now.
Boy was I wrong. Connie, unbeknown to me, had been building resentment because I hadn’t called to check on HER. I called to check on you, visited you, but because I didn’t call HER, she wasn’t going to call me for ANYTHING. This was her response to me, and when she rose to her feet, yelling and coming towards me, I got up and left, as you may recall. I know you forget some things, but you have a lot of snap left.
I know how lonely you were after Mother died. I planned to continue to visit you weekly, as I had during the last months of her life, but you quickly started looking for someone to keep you company. When you announced that you were getting married 2 months after Mother’s death, it was a hard pill to swallow. But I supported you and Connie in spite of the emotional turmoil within me, and in spite of the immediate conflict with Jeff and her attempts to manipulate him through me. I was the one you called, crying, during that time. I was the only one of your children who came to your weddiing Not because I was happy about it, but because I felt it was the right thing to do as your daughter.
You have the right to make whatever choices you want in life, and so do I. All this to say, because of Connie’s actions without apparent remorse, I won’t be visiting any time soon. I can’t see myself in the same room with Connie without some sort of drama, and I don’t need or want that. If I can visit with just you some time, I will do that.
I do pray for peace and happiness for you and for Connie, in this life and in the next.