Absentee Dad Wants Daughter Back In His Life. So She Creates A Powerpoint To Tell Him To Stay Out Of Her Life. – ‘You failed. Go away.’
by Trisha Leigh
Parents disappointing their kids in one way or another is a tale as old as time. No matter how hard we try to get it right, there will always things that – from the perspective of our kids – we’ve gotten wrong.
Then there are parents who didn’t try at all, or so it would seem.
OP lost her mother when she was only seven.
My (24F) mom died when I was 7 from leukemia. I have very few memories of her from before she was sick and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her in her last year but she was an artist and until she couldn’t anymore she would make me little collages when she was in the hospital with drawings and photos and messages for me.
My grandmother put them all in a book for me after she died. I wanted to be like my mom and my counselor thought it would help, so I started a journal where I would do kind of a similar thing.
I’ve done at least one page a week all these years ever since my mom died, more when I miss her or have something hard going on. So, I have kind of a unique record of my mental state over the last 16 years.
Her father remarried not long afterward and OP had to deal with her pushy stepmother until they had a child of their own to focus on.
My father remarried when I was 9. My step-mother really leaned hard into the “I’m your mom now” and my father didn’t stop her.
It improved when they had my half-brother because she basically forgot about me then.
When that child got cancer, OP was pretty much forgotten entirely. Any bid for attention was met with “you can take care of yourself” or “suck it up.”
Unfortunately he got cancer when he was 3. And I pretty much ceased to exist for my father, he was either working or gone with my brother and I spent all my teen years mostly at home alone or with my grandparents.
The mantra was that my brother needed to be the focus because he might die so I needed to not be selfish since I was healthy. I stopped trying to talk to him when I was 16 and it was a dark time.
I moved out when I was 18 and cut them off completely.
This entire time she was keeping a journal of sorts, continued from a gift left by her mother. It kept her sane, and in it, she documented every last hurt and the darkness that threatened to envelop her.
After her brother’s death (years after) her father reached out, wanting forgiveness and to work on their relationship.
My grandparents let me know that my brother died a couple of years ago but respected my desire to remain NC with my father.
He recently reached out to them because he wants to see me and talk.
OP used her artwork journal to make him a presentation about why that would never, ever happen.
I went through my old journals and made him a PowerPoint with images of the entries where I talked about being frustrated and feeling abandoned and unwanted, some with literal quotes of things my dad had said to me during arguments. Even the really dark stuff from when I was seriously depressed.
Then I ended it with a photo of one of my mom’s collages where she had written “Remember that your dad and I are always here for you” and I wrote “You failed. Go away.” underneath.
I felt like him being able to see it from my literal perspective would communicate why I don’t want him back better than I could.
Friends and family are telling her that he’s in a really dark place and she didn’t have to be so mean about it.
Evidently it worked, but a little too well because I’ve been bombarded by family telling me that it’s understandable that I don’t want to see him, but what I sent gutted him and he’s completely fallen apart after reading through it and it was unnecessarily cruel.
Maybe it was, I know my bar for that is kind of weird sometimes, so AITA?
OP isn’t sure whether or not she went too far, and she’s relying on Reddit to tell her the truth.
The top comment says OP shouldn’t feel badly about telling the truth.
This person agrees, and says those who are voting against OP could never understand what it’s like to be her.
Just because it hurt him doesn’t mean she was wrong.
They say this whole thing makes the loss of her mother even worse.
And this person points out that OP’s dad has already had plenty of chances to turn things around.
It might hurt him to tell the truth.
But no more than it hurt her to live it.