Father: How Can I Love You When You Say These Things

Dear Father,

I want to trust you, confide in you, rely on you. I want to love you.

But how can I love someone who says terrible things with such conviction? When you say “faggots should all go kill themselves”?

How can I love you when you say derogatory, dehumanizing things about blacks and Muslims?

Half the time I’m not certain you believe these things. I tell myself “surely not”.

How can I love you when you only say the L-word to make amends; when it feels only manipulative and disingenuous?

How can I love you when you respond to my tears by commenting on the levels of estrogen in the house? When you dismiss my feelings and devalue my opinions?

You say you’re so proud of me. So happy with the way I’ve “turned out”. But I don’t feel that you value me for who I am but rather my appearance of a “good daughter”.

A role you paint me into that has nothing to do with caring for me but rather simply to bolster your sense of pride.

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