Dear Ms. T,
I am depressed. I am being constantly torn from my mom, my best friend. Not only that, I was being forced to stay with my abusive father, who has repeatedly betrayed my confidence and trust. He has yelled at me, calling me a liar and poison when I have done nothing wrong. He has called me rebellious when I have simply said I want to be with my mom, defended myself or my siblings from him, when I have tried so hard to be respectful. Because of his cold and cruel words and actions, he himself is destroying the friendship that used to be so important to me.
The only ways I have changed are that I have become more mature and that now I stand up for myself and those I care about. He has not changed at all. The only signs of “love” he has ever showed me came in the form of presents and physical “affection.” Yes, he has said the words “I love you, ” countless times but I can’t think of one time in my whole life he’s said why he loves me.
The moment I stopped wanting to see him, he became bitter and malicious. Though he has accused multiple people, including my mom, who has only encouraged me to be respectful towards him, it is entirely because of his actions and words that I am terrified, desperate to get away from him, angry, and heartbroken.
He has said himself he doesn’t care what we feel, and he believes he can do whatever he wants with us simply because we are his biological children. Because of how he terrifies and discourages and hurts us, we have asked him repeatedly and respectfully not to touch us, but he continually disrespects this under the excuse that he can do whatever he wants to us. He denies us the basic human right to our own bodies and the decision of who can or cannot touch us.
He insists it is ridiculous for us to be scared of him. But our feelings and fears are completely real and have very sound reason. We have all seen him on different occasions physically abuse our brother. I watched as he jerked him off the ground by his shirt front and scream at him, when he had done nothing wrong. We’re terrified because why wouldn’t he do that to us, too? He has shown he doesn’t care about us at all, so what qualms would he have terrorizing and physically abusing us? Our feelings are very, very real. We girls sleep together for the comfort and encouragement we get from one another.
We also know he has been physically and emotionally abusing and terrorizing our mom. He said so himself.
But after all this, he has never once genuinely showed remorse or even asked our apology.
It doesn’t matter if we have to live in a car, I want to –need to live with my mom. Away from Dad. For good.
Because of my age, next to no one believes me. They all believe Dad. They haven’t even talked to us and they’ve taken his word over mine. Because he’s 50 and I’m 16.
I need you, Ms. T. I need you to believe me. I need you to be my voice.
I need you, please. Please believe me.
words and art by “N” – girl 16