My Father Died
With a weird mixture of sadness and relief, I am writing this about my father’s passing.
Dad, I haven’t seen you since 1996, the summer after I finished college. I haven’t spoken to you since probably 1998 or 1999 or so, shortly after my wedding. I don’t miss who you became, but I miss who you could have been to me. I miss the feeling I had when you were proud of me— when you had control of me— when I was a child living under your roof— and you approved of me because I hadn’t yet made the choices I later made. You even loved my husband when I first met him in 1993. Until we made choices to live our lives differently than yours.
I even liked the Rabbi with whom I grew up. You know, the one who SAW you abuse me IN SYNAGOGUE but kept quiet about it and only admitted it to me when I was later a grown woman.
I am grateful that you will no longer use my social security number to find out private medical and financial information about me. I am thankful that you will no longer squirrel money away under my social security number so that you keep the money but I pay the taxes.
I will no longer be hit by you— screamed at by you— called stupid by you. I made the choice to invite you and mom to our wedding but I am grateful you chose not to come and bring your screaming tirades. Breaking free from the abuse was a difficult but correct decision. Our wedding was beautiful. Most brides have either financial or emotional support (or both) from their parents, but I was grateful to have a wonderful mother in law to walk me down the aisle.
I chose peace instead of drama and fear. I chose PEACE.
Where usually children mourn the loss of a parent, abused children mourn the loss of the parent they wish they had and now for sure never will.
I never told you I was pregnant. You found out. I never told you I had twins. You found out. I never told you they each had multiple diagnoses and that I was living life as a mother of children on the spectrum. You found out. There is nobody left on this earth who enjoys stalking me on the internet. Mom is still alive but as far as I know, not an internet user.
My bereavement is complicated by unreconciled (and unreconcilable) issues. Baruch Dayan HaEmes in EVERY sense.
Following psak of a very well respected Rabbi, I did not sit Shiva traditionally (no visitors) but did tear kriah, didn’t wear leather shoes, sat on the floor…… it’s weird, but what in my life isn’t weird?
And the cycle of abuse doesn’t end here. Now I get punched, strangled, and bitten by my autistic child. You would say it serves me right. Rest in peace.