Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A letter to my father's lover, or rather ex-lover


You are probably wondering how I know where you live, considering you were so adamant that dad not give any of your details away. I suppose if you make a habit out of messing up people’s marriages then you learn pretty quickly that you don’t want any of the family members knowing your contact details. Perhaps you have done this more than once? Anyway, the reason I know where you live is simply that when dad came back from overseas I had to drop him at your house so he could pick up his things.

So... You are probably thinking Why is this girl writing to me? Why should this girl be angry at me? Her father is the one she should be blaming. Well, of course I am angry at him too. But I just thought that it is ridiculous and unfair that you should walk away scot-free from the devastation which you helped to create.

Before you throw this letter away, please give me the respect I deserve and read it. You owe me this at the very least.

How can you live with yourself? How can you sleep at night? Oh hang on, I remember now, you sleep better at night when my snoring father is not there to disrupt your precious life. Yes, that’s right I forgot how you decided in the end that you only wanted him there with you on weekends to satisfy your sexual requirements, and then not at all.

Dad has told me you are a councillor, that you help troubled children. Actually he used to rave on about you – can you imagine that?! That I would have to listen to him droning on about you and your precious little “Bunky” and your wonderful, smart, pretty, headstrong daughter?! As if I care, when my own mother has just had her world ripped out from underneath her. Even if it was a difficult, unlikely, hard-going marriage – it was still a marriage and we were a family until you came along. Now dad is living all alone in a little flat in a horrible little town. How pear-shaped it all quickly became.

So back to your very important and stressful career which requires you get a good night’s sleep free from interruptions from snoring sexual partners... do you ever think, as you are counselling the troubled youth, that you have been an accessory to a terrible crime against the well-being of an entire family: two parents, their children, their children’s partners, and beautiful grandchildren? Do you feel guilty? Do you worry that you have helped to devastate all our lives? Do you worry that you have devastated dad's life. That he has been prescribed anti-depressants to deal with the loss of you! THE LOSS OF YOU!!!! Can you imagine how insulting that is?! That he should make the transition into lover/adulterer so readily and happily, but that when he loses his lover that that is the thing that makes him unhappy?!

Can you imagine the pain and devastation and trauma that my siblings and I are going through as we try to organise how to spend Christmas this year. Can you imagine that someone will miss out? That one of my parents will have to spend Christmas without their children and grandchildren?! Can you imagine that?!?!!? Can you imagine that WE children are the ones feeling guilty and worried and stressed about the person who will have to miss out??!?!!?!

I don’t care what dad told you when you met over organic garlic at the farmer's markets. I don’t care if he told you his marriage was essentially over. I don’t care if he told you that he and mum were not in love, that they should never have gotten married in the first place, that they should have split up years ago.... Whether or not these things are true is a 35 year debate that has absolutely NOTHING to do with you, or rather it shouldn’t. If the marriage was over then they would not have been living under the same roof. When a marriage is over, completely free of any emotional strings, both members of the marriage know it, have discussed it and have moved on in their own separate directions. (In your line of work surely you must realise this?) You know nothing about my family or my parent’s relationship. They have been struggling in their relationship for as long as I can remember... and that is no way to live... but it is pretty clear to me that dad didn’t leave because he suddenly realised he was unhappy... he left because of you.

I am not a fool. In fact, I know more about my parent’s relationship than any child should. And no-one deserves to be unhappy. But what were you thinking? That you would be his saviour? That you would come along and give this passionate man all the love and attention he was craving? Did you think it was the right thing to do? Did you think his wife wouldn’t mind? Did you think his children would be unharmed? Do you know what a mess it all now is? Can you imagine dividing up your belongings, the things you have shared with someone for 35 years? Can you imagine doing this by means of placing a blue sticker on half of the things and a red sticker on the other half? Can you imagine that your children would have to adjudicate this?! That your children should have to be there to experience the pain of tearing a single life into two?

I find it strange that you won’t eat meat because you are concerned for animal welfare, but that you would happily devastate an entire family of humans. By the way if you are really concerned about animal welfare, then you should not drink milk or eat dairy products. Dairy cows have a much worse life than beef cattle ever will. Most beef in sold in Australian supermarkets is from free range cattle, who essentially live a charmed life until that final slaughter day. Dairy cows on the other hand are enslaved and manipulated and bombarded with various antibiotics and hormone treatments for their entire lives; most of the male calves are killed before they learn to eat grass; and you should see the torment and pain experienced by a cow when her day old calf is stolen away from her. Oh it is a horrible thing to see the tearing apart of a family bond. Oh that’s right, you’re not worried about family bonds.

Divorce and separation are difficult enough. When there is a lover involved it is sickening, devastating and revolting. Do you care? Do you care? Do you care?

Do what you will. Live your life. Have as many sexual partners as you wish. Be as selfish and carefree as you want to be, but stay away from married men. I implore you: stay away from married men. You repulse me.

Regards, the daughter of your (now ex-) lover.

P.S. You will note I have included a return address on the envelope. I am not ashamed. I have nothing to hide. I don’t care if you know who I am or where I live.

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