An Open Letter to Shizhe'e (My Father): The Sins of Fathers Don't Pass To Daughters
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An Open Letter to Shizhe'e (My Father): The Sins of Fathers Don't Pass To Daughters

I hope you come across this one day because I don't know if I'll ever be ready to say this in person.

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An Open Letter to Shizhe'e (My Father): The Sins of Fathers Don't Pass To Daughters

Hey Dad,

How are you? How have you been? I can't remember the last time where we talked as if everything hadn't changed dramatically. I remember our last conversation and I'm not proud of it, but I don't want this to be a letter full of regrets or sadness (though it may leave both of us feeling that way).

I'm writing this to you because I'm getting older and you're getting older. I don't know how much time will pass where I'll be able to fully forgive you, heal, and feel comfortable around you again. In the past, I've written countless letters that I knew I would never send, but putting my feelings on paper and reading them later helped me understand how I felt and how to move forward.

It's getting to be that time where new beginnings are possible as the seasons change. Like the cottonwoods at home and the tall red oaks here, I want to let things go in a beautiful way and let the leaves fall where they choose or where they fall accidentally.

So here it goes... I will always love you. You know that and I know at one point, we both took that love for granted.

I can't imagine what you've seen, heard, or felt in your life. You only let me see so much and I think with good reason. I know you've seen some traumatic things. You've endured the trauma and you've never dealt or healed from it either.

You identify as a fighter through and through you've found yourself in this combative defensive role. I know you suffer from PTSD and other mental illnesses. I'm not calling you sick. I'm calling you in need of healing and of help.

You used to remind me that things happen for a reason. You always went between this philosophy of deserving something through struggle or pain, while advocating for a sense of fate or having a set outcome to something. I understood it but I find myself realizing that nothing is permanent and that is okay.

You taught me a lot and honestly, you put me through a lot. You put mom through a lot. You went through a lot. Regardless, I understand you and I don't understand you.

Your actions have shown me that you are just as confused about yourself. I see that. I see you. As your daughter, I know that you've played with forms of power and have succumbed to all types of it. Deep down, I know you crave solace and acceptance. It's why you stayed around home, it's what you know.

You stay in uncomfort with your demons and your pain because in a way, maybe that became your comfort.

But... no matter the state you are, no matter what you've done, no matter who has hurt you, no matter who you've helped or harmed, no matter the time passed, no matter where you are, no matter the infinite what ifs that plague you - you control yourself.

Honestly, the biggest thing I want for you to do is to heal. I want you to heal and grow into the best person you want to be. I remember you as that person as well. I'm going to show you the person I remember and the rest is up to you.

Shizhe'e,

I will love you because you played with me when there was no one else to play with.

I love you because you taught me how to fight - fight to defend myself, fight for my own beliefs, and fight demons that were never mine to battle.

I love you because you told me incredible, heartbreaking, and wondrous stories.

I love you because you were my best friend, my hero, and my unwaivering protector.

I love you because we had a genuine father-daughter bond that remains but is fractured.

I love you because you gave me my sister (that I've always wanted).

I love you because I know you loved my mother.

I love you because you gave me invaluable teachings.

I love you because you made me laugh to where I had to pee.

I love you because you showed me that anyone can change if they really wanted to.

I love you because you showed that even the monsters in the dark are afraid of something.

I love you because you saw my beauty before I did.

I love you because you showed me how even the strongest people can be broken, but have the potential to heal.

I love you because I know you still protect and love me.

I love you despite hurting you.

I love you despite the time passed.

I never called you shizhe'e, but I should have. The list continues, but you know the other reasons. I love you daddy. Please don't give up and know that you still have a lot of love for you despite everything. I love you but you need to get it together.

In the meantime, I want to remind you that you're not a bad person. You've done bad things, but you're good no matter what. I hope you can learn to love yourself. There's a purpose for you. There's a future for you. There's more to your story.

Ashiine' shizhe'e. Take care.

- Bubs

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