Goodbye letter rewritten.
I know that you have already figured out that Hailey and I are gone. I'm sure when you rode by the house on your way back to work and saw that the boat and the truck were gone you figured it out, because I never leave the house without telling you and that boat never moves unless you move it. I have to be honest, I kind of wonder if that stupid boat being gone isn't going to upset you more than Hailey and I being gone. At the very least it'll probably upset you about as much as our absence will because we're all just objects to you anyway. Yes I sound a little bitter about that, but it's coming from an honest place and you know it.
I don't know what to expect from you when you read this, and I know that there's no way I could do this if you were here so I'm doing it while you're at work. Part of me feels horrible because I know that you say you love Hailey and me. Even now I want to cry about it, I can feel the tears building up, because I remember you playing with Hailey and talking about how beautiful she is and how just looking at her breaks your heart. I don't ever want to be the person that would keep a baby from a parent that honestly loves them and just wants to care for them. As much as I want to believe that you are that kind of person, and as much as I was hoping that if she came into our lives you would somehow change, I know better. No parent that really loves their child would ever be too busy looking up porn online for three or four hours at a time to even pick up their baby when she's reaching out for them, and they wouldn't snap at their child because she was whining for them to hold her and they were "too busy" watching t.v. All she wanted was your love.
Even putting all the times that you neglected her and got ill at her because she was whining for you aside, no real parent, I don't care who they are, would ever ignore their baby for three days and break that child's heart because they were mad at the other parent. Even now, through the sadness, the fear and panic, through all of the emotions screaming and circling like a whirlpool inside my head, I get angry remembering how you treated her. How could you? How could you just get mad at me over something stupid and take it out on her? You know how much she loved you, and for three days you wouldn't even speak to her. I still remember sitting on the bed with her, watching t.v. and trying to keep her quiet while you were in the living room, hoping that you would finally get over your temper tantrum (and that's exactly what it was) when you came in. You had already ignored her for two days then, but that wasn't enough for you. No, you had to come in and stand so close to us that we were almost touching, and you looked at her, waited for her to realize you were there and reach for you, and then you turned your back on her and left without a word. You didn't come into the bedroom for anything, you didn't even pretend to have a reason to be in there, you just wanted to hurt me by hurting her. What kind of parent does that? I know she may not have been old enough to remember it (and I pray she wasn't,) but that doesn't change what you did. I've let you treat me so badly. I've sank so far from where I was before I met you, and at this point I almost don't care enough about myself to bother, but I can't let you treat this baby like you have me. I can't let her grow up being subjected to your temper, your perverse and distorted views, being broken and re-shaped into what you want before she even has a chance to learn who she is and what she wants out of life. I won't let it happen.
To be honest, I don't think you'll miss her all that much anyway. You came very close to making me get rid of her before she was even born but thankfully you didn't. You watched the sonogram I brought home when we found out she was a girl, you saw me getting bigger as she grew and you may have even felt her kick a few times but you still told me if she was that other man's (a situation that YOU caused) that I had to give her up for adoption when she was born. It's one thing to have someone get an abortion before you experience all those other things, but it's completely different to see the baby moving inside of me and watch her being born and still be willing to give her up for adoption if she isn't what you want. I'm sorry, I can't believe a person who would be willing to do that would miss her too much now that we are leaving you. Besides, I suspect most of your doting on her and talking of how much you love her is just for the "Nice Dave" act that you sometimes put on for me and everyone else in the world to help hide what you really are. And don't try to tell me it's cruel to take your daughter away, because I have a strong feeling that she's not even yours and I know you do too. I've seen it on your face and heard it in your voice when you've made comments about her curly hair or how people say she's dark-skinned.
Before she was born I used to be so worried about what she was going to look like because I wanted so badly for things to work out, you had conditioned me to make sure things always worked out. I would pray at night while you were asleep that she would be born the way you wanted and that everything would somehow be o.k. because I knew that if she wasn't you would try to make me get rid of her. I never thought that I would have another option in leaving, I never thought I would be able to. I'm so glad that things worked out the way they did though, and I don't care what anyone, ANYONE, has to say about my baby. To me she is the most beautiful thing in the world and I'll do anything to keep her safe, that's what parents do. You know I've always believed that a parent is someone who raises a child, takes care of them and loves them and is always there for them. It doesn't matter if they have the same DNA, plenty of people are biological parents but are never real parents, the way it really matters. You may not be her biological father, but she still wouldn't be here if it weren't for you bringing that man from up the street home with you. Even if you aren't her biological father, you had the opportunity to be her real father. You could have helped raise her and love her and take care of her, you could have been a parent in the REAL sense of the word. I should have known that you weren't capable of that.
There are so many things I feel like need to be said to you, so many things that I should have said along the way. I know I should have cared more about myself, should have been smart enough to see things the way they really were and walked away. It seems like I wake up sometimes and this big chunk of my life is gone. I still remember being in high school trying to figure out who I was and where I fit in before I met you. You were smart though, weren't you? Sometimes I think you have some sort of radar that leads you to the kind of girls that you know you can manipulate and mistreat, break down and train the way you did me. It's kind of like those big cats on Animal Planet that can always pick out the slowest or weakest from the heard, they just know. You could see that I was unhappy and lonely. You saw something in me that you could wrap your fist around and squeeze and twist and it would make me yours. I don't even know that I ever actually loved you. Oh sure, I thought it was love at the time, but when I really look back I think it was just this sad girl desperate for someone to love her and make her feel special. You were always good at that. You can make anyone feel special when you try, you're so good at reading people and knowing just what they need to hear from you. You can be so charming and sweet and funny that I think you could make anyone like you (probably even love you) if you tried. You're almost infectious with that charm and the attention you give that when your mood changes it's so hard to reconcile the ugly part of you with the one you show people first, we always seem to want to believe it's not even really you saying those things and acting that way. I don't know if it's something you learned over time like honing a skill or if it's just something that you were born knowing how to do, but you certainly know how to work your way in. I wanted so badly to believe that you were real, that the part of you that was so kind and sweet and looked at me like I was your world were real. I let myself believe you when you apologized and things went back to good for a while. It was a mistake I'm sure a lot of people make with you.
I guess I wanted to think that I could change you, that if you were with me you would be happy and the ugliness you have inside would go away. I wanted to believe you when you told me I was what you needed. I guess that sounds a little conceited but to a girl who's always felt like I was nothing special and I didn't fit in with anyone, it was nice to think that someone could want me and need me. I still don't even know what the real you is. There are times when I think that the "Nice Dave" act is just a mask you purposefully put on to hide the ugly, like it's all a game to you and you know exactly what you're doing behind that mask. When I think that then I can just imagine you calculating and executing everything without so much as raising your heart rate, like all the rages and rampages are part of your act designed to make me do what you want. Then there are other times when I think that even you don't understand what's going on inside you. To be honest that idea scares me more. And hey, both of those theories could be wrong, I mean who knows? You very well could be the sweet guy you show people sometimes and just have problems that you need help with, although if that were the case I would hope that I would have known it by now. Whatever the situation actually is, I don't think you are capable of letting anyone know the truth, and I don't have it in me to try to find it anymore. It sounds like a cliche from some movie, I know, but it's the truth. You took a lot from me, more than I realized until now and probably even more than that still. There are so many awful memories that come back to me when I think of our past that I can barely remember any good ones. I remember all the fights where you would get angry over something stupid that I didn't understand and I would end up inside the shower sobbing and trying to get away from you while you screamed at me on the other side, telling me I was stupid and so many other things, telling me that I had no reason to hide from you, you hadn't actually done anything to me. I remember the times that you would push me down on the bed or the floor, or even pin me up against the wall and have your fist balled up and ready to strike, sending me that message that although you hadn't hit me, you were more than capable and willing if I would give you a reason. I still feel afraid and ready to cry when I think about that awful night that you drove me out into the woods because you were angry about something that I still don't completely understand, and you had one of your handguns with you (loaded as always) and you were screaming at me to get out of the truck. It was dark and I was terrified, even to this day I think my instincts that night were right. I wouldn't get out because I could just see you leaving me there, somewhere in those woods, dead or dying, and never coming out again. Instead I sat in the passenger seat sobbing and quietly asking "please don't hurt me." Those memories and so many more make me wonder if the good times were actually that good, or were they just times when I was trying to enjoy the calm before you spun into another storm? I feel like I could go on for so many more pages, telling you about the things I remember and how they affected me, how they hurt me, but I guess those are things I'll deal with and hopefully overcome on my own. The only thing I think that I really have left to tell you is that I tried. I tried so hard to be good and make you happy, to be what you wanted because I thought that's what people were supposed to do. I wanted you to care for me so much that I didn't realize that things aren't supposed to be the way they were. I'm scared now, so scared that I almost couldn't do this, but fear isn't the only thing I'm feeling. I may not want to show it, but I'm hurt and sad. I feel lost and confused, angry and so many other things that if they were all different colors they would spin together to form something unrecognizable. And my heart is breaking. I don't even think I ever loved you and still my heart is breaking. There were times when you were cruel and mean, you were a monster and I didn't deserve it David. I didn't deserve it and Hailey doesn't deserve it, no one does. I sincerely hope that one day you get the help you need, but even more than that I hope you can never hurt someone the way you have me and the other people in your past.