A Letter From My Dad In Prison

My dad has a friend who is obsessed with him. She has always been obsessed with him. She used to write him love letters while my parents were still married and while SHE was married. It obviously caused a lot of drama and I didn’t know about any of it until I was 17.

She messaged me personally to say she’s a friend of my dad’s and that he’s in prison. that’s why he didn’t come to my graduation. He’d be getting out soon on bail. (this was when he originally was arrested for sexual assault.)

I didn’t know her or anything about her, so all I could say was “okay… thank you.”

She is currently spending all of her time trying to get my father out of prison. I don’t really get her. She’s married and has children, yet she’s obsessed with my father and his case. She visits him often, and pays to have phone calls with him.

Anyway…

She messaged me two weeks ago asking for my address. She said my dad wanted to have it. I declined because I moved here to start anew, and communication between us would be on my terms, not his. I asked for his address and she refused to give it to me and kept pushing about my address, so I blocked her.

I thought that was that.

But then my mom sent me a picture of a letter he sent to her house. On the envelope it stated “THIS CORRESPONDENCE IS FROM AN INMATE OF THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS“.

Inmate.

Inmate.

That’s what my dad is now. I’m still befuddled by this. Shows and movies about prison just don’t feel right to watch anymore. Jokes about prison just remind me of my dad, and people asking about my parents went from being a difficult thing to answer to an impossible one.

Verbatim:

Dear Jessiquita,

Hi my Princess! How are you? I hope you are doing great. It’s been so long since I have seen you.

I just want you to know that I have been thinking of you always. There is never a day that goes by.

I miss you a lot my Princess, I pray to God each day for you, God knows how much I Love you and care for you.

I remember the day you were born, it was the most beautiful day of my life, I was very happy, I remember holding you in my arms, kissing you, telling you how much I love you, it was a magical moment. 

Some nights I couldn’t sleep cause I was afraid you were not breathing.

I know sometimes you probably doubt that I Love you, and I understand baby I do. 

I haven’t been a good father to you and I’m so sorry about that. I never meant for that, I just did things without thinking.

God is my only hope each day to keep my going in this Crazy place, I will keep fighting to the end I won’t give up.

This is not fair at all, God knows me he knows my heart and knows the kind of person I’m.

I hope to hear from you soon, it will make me so happy to get mail from you my Princess, remember I Love you so much, and please take good care of yourself, read the Bible, Pray, got to church, keep going to school until you are done.

I also want to wish a fantastic Birthday (22) wow, you were just a little Princess not long ago.

I love you my Princess.

I hope you like the card I made for you. 

Happy Birthday

                                                   Love Always,

                                                       Your Dad

If you want to read the backstory, you can here.

Right now I don’t really know how to explain myself. I’m sad, hurt, and probably the worst of all, I feel guilty. I know that my feelings are valid, and that I’m allowed to feel guilty even if i technically have no reason to feel that way.

The guilt comes from years of trying to cut him out of my life and always feeling like I’m betraying my father. I’ve been putting up with this for about 15 years now and I’ve got to say, I’ve never once let myself win.

I’ve never once let myself off the hook. My dad was always the one that I cut some slack. Even more than my mom, which I realize now was wrong. I’d try so hard to stop talking to him or just let things lie, and he never wanted to let me go. He’d let his true colors show and just when I had had enough, he’d reel me in with an apology. 

Granted this time is a little bit different.

His apologies were usually “I’m sorry I didn’t show up for our dinner.” “I’m sorry I haven’t called in a while.” “I’m sorry things turned out the way they did.”

Never “I’m sorry I wasn’t a good father to you.”

Either way though, I’m done. 

I can’t do it anymore. Having him in my life has only ever caused me stress, pain, and very intense flashbacks.

So soon I will be writing him a letter of my own.

I remember when I was 12 I wrote him a letter. It was a letter about all the things he had missed in my life the past 4 years. It was 14 pages front and back. I know that’s a lot, but it was 4 whole years. I barely saw him in that time. He was like a stranger. He still is like a stranger. The point is he never read it. I gave it to him, but months after that I found it that last place I saw it: his glove compartment.

It was unopened, untarnished…. untouched.

I took it back with tears in my eyes.

But this time is to be different. He’s in a jail cell now. I have the control. It is highly likely that he’ll read this one. He doesn’t have much else to do. This letter won’t be angry, it won’t be hurtful, it won’t insult him, but it will -and I mean it- be completely honest.

I’m going to say all the things I couldn’t, all the things I wished I had, all the things I need to get off my chest. 

It will most importantly let my Dad know that while I love him and wish for nothing but his well-being, I can no longer have a relationship with him because it only hurts me. The fact that he’s in prison is irrelevant. The fact that he claims he’s innocent is irrelevant. The fact that I know he’s guilty is irrelevant. I simply need to move forward in my own life. I have forgiven him, not because he deserves it, but because I do.

I owe it to my recovery and my own damn life to let go of the anger, the resentment, just as I did with my mom.

The difference between my resentment for my mom and my dad is that my mom is different now. She has proven to me time and time again that she’s there for me. That she loves me. That we can work on our relationship. My dad is – unfortunately – the same person he was all those years ago.

Finally, the letter will not have a return address. The point isn’t for him to read it, comprehend it, accept it, and let it go. It’s for me to get closure. Even if it gets lost in the mail, or he doesn’t bother to read it at all, I will know that I did everything I needed to say before finally letting him go.

This isn’t easy, but I’m slowly starting to accept the fact that that is what I want to do. I don’t know when I’m going to write it, or even when I’m going to send it, but I know it will happen.

I’m doing everything in my power to remind myself that the guilt I feel is due to the fact that I’m a good person who doesn’t want to hurt her father.

Unfortunately, my father has never felt guilty for all of the hurt he caused me.

The past is the past, and I’ll never get my childhood back. 

But I’m okay with that, because my future looks very bright.

-Jess

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One thought on “A Letter From My Dad In Prison

  1. Pingback: A Poem To My Father In Prison | Never Ask "What If?"

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