Okay, I know you aren’t supposed to just dive into a letter like this, but every single time I tried starting this thing, all the greetings just sounded… Dumb. Like, kinda forced? It didn’t really feel like ME. And that kinda defeats the whole purpose of this thing, doesn’t it? So I’m sorry for how weird this probably sounds.
Anyway, I’m sure you’re already wondering what the hell this is about. I mean, you just saw me a couple days ago. What point is there to writing you a letter? And honestly, part of me is kind of wondering that myself. I can’t lie, it feels kind of silly. But I still think it’s the right thing to do.
This letter was actually Rylie and Devin’s idea. They came to see me yesterday, and I kinda ended up throwing a lot of stuff at them. I talked a lot about you, actually. And how there’s a bunch of stuff I’ve really been wanting to say to you. I just don’t know how.
So they told me maybe I didn’t have to actually SAY anything. Maybe I could try writing instead. And it didn’t really sound like the worst idea, I guess. I figured it was worth a shot, right? So… here we are.
I probably should have written this thing a long time ago. Actually, scratch that. I DEFINITELY should have. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. Maybe longer than I really wanna admit… I guess I was just too scared. Or too proud or something. Maybe both.
But I’ve made some really great friends in here, and they’ve been helping me figure some of this out. I guess I haven’t really told you much about them (You technically already know one of them, actually… But that’s kind of a long story). The point is, they’ve been helping me a lot, even when I don’t deserve it. Even when I screw things up and push them away.
And thanks to them, I guess I’m able to kinda see things more clearly now, if that makes any sense. Dr. Savage taught me a lot about how to start thinking about other people, instead of making everything about me all the time… Putting myself in other people’s shoes. Learning to feel compassion for them. It all seemed really dumb at first, but… Not so much anymore.
I’ve been trying to do that for my friends here. And in a weird way, putting myself in their shoes has kinda helped me learn how to do the same for other people too… Like Oma. And Mama. And Erik. Even you.
And it’s helped me figure out a lot about myself too. There’s a bunch of stuff I’ve been trying to hide from, I think. For a really long time. But maybe it’s finally time to stop hiding? Or at least, try to.
I just really wanted to tell you that I’m sorry.
I should have tried harder to be there for you when Oma died. I know how much she meant to you. I know how much it must have hurt to lose her. And I came up with all these stupid, selfish reasons why I shouldn’t try and reach out to you… But it doesn’t matter what they were. The point is, I was wrong. Really, REALLY wrong. And I hope you can forgive me for that.
I’ll understand if you can’t though. It’s not like I’ve done much to deserve it, have I? I mean, I’m sure you remember all the times you and mom tried apologizing to ME. And what did I do? I shut you out. I wouldn’t listen. I just yelled, or walked away.
If you’d tried asking me back then WHY I was doing it, I don’t think I’d have a great answer. Probably something stupid and whiny and totally bullshit.
It’s something my therapist used to love asking me about when I first came here. And I guess he kinda helped me figure out what my deal was. I know it sounds stupid, but I think it’s a lot easier to stay mad at someone than to forgive them, know what I mean? If you stay angry at someone long enough, I think you really start getting used to feeling that way. ‘Comfortable’, almost.
That’s definitely what it’s been like for me. I’ve been angry at you for a LONG time, Papa. And I’ll be honest — I still am. I know I’ve messed up a LOT. But I think you did too. There’s so many things I still haven’t forgiven you for.
But I think I’m finally willing to try.
And I hope you can try to forgive me too. Not just for how awful I was about Oma either. For… well, lots of stuff. I could probably fill up about twenty pages with a list of all the things I know I did wrong. All the ways I’ve hurt you and mom.
I know it probably seemed like I didn’t know I was doing it… Or that I didn’t care. But that was never true. I just couldn’t admit I was wrong, not even to myself. I just couldn’t. And that was never fair to you.
I’m sorry I was too afraid to say any of this to you in person… But you know how it is when the two of us get together. One of us starts yelling, sooner or later. We say a bunch of stuff we don’t mean. We dig ourselves deeper and deeper into this stupid hole we’re both stuck in. And I didn’t want that.
I knew I needed to find a way to tell you all this without it turning into a fight. But this letter barely scratches the surface. There’s a lot we DO need to talk about. In person.
So I was thinking… maybe when you get this letter you could try and come visit? But not with mom. And not with Phoenix either, much as I miss my sweet little boy. I think it might be easier if it’s just the two of us… As long as we can make it through a conversation without biting each other’s heads off (That might be easier said than done, but I’m willing to try if you are).
I don’t know if things will ever be ‘normal’ for us. After everything we’ve been through, that might be kind of impossible, huh? I’m sure we’ll always have problems. We’ll probably never get along the way we used to when I was little. And maybe we’ll never be able to completely forgive each other…
But there are so many things I never said to Oma when I had the chance. I never told her I was sorry. I never got to fix things between us. And I’m gonna regret that for the rest of my life.
And if anything ever happened to you… God, Papa. I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t know how I’d live with myself if I left things like this.
I know this isn’t something we can fix overnight. But I think maybe we can at least try taking that first step. Together.
Okay, this thing is getting a lot longer than I wanted it to. I’m kind of rambling more than I thought I would… There’s just a lot I’ve really been wanting to say. And I haven’t been able to until now.
I hope this letter doesn’t make you mad. And I hope you know that I really, really mean everything I said. I wanna change. I want things to get better. I’m just not completely sure how to do it yet. But I think maybe this letter is a good start.
Thanks for listening, Papa. And I know you probably won’t believe it… but I love you.
Even if I suck at showing it.
Hope to see you soon,