My Dad's Confusing "Death"

The truth is, I'm not sure if this even counts, because I'm not sure if my dad's really dead or not. I guess that's why I struggle with it so much, because I've never really known anyone who's had the same experience as me.

Five years ago, when I was fourteen, my dad went missing. I remember I was in school (I had just started high school) and it was Halloween and we were all planning what we were going to do that night. I got a call down to the office and there was a police officer waiting there, he asked me the last time I had checked my e-mail and I told him it had been around 10:50 that morning, he then told me that my dad had gone missing. I thought this was strange because my parents were divorced and my dad lived alone so them not being able to find him for a day did not mean he was in danger. He could easily have driven down to the States to visit my aunt or something. My mom called and asked if I wanted to come home from school but I didn't think it was a big deal and stayed in school. When my friends asked about it I told them that my dad had gone missing, but I clearly didn't think much of it.

When I got home my friend and I were planning on going trick-or-treating (my mom had said we could go as long as we were really careful, she kept stressing that point but I didn't understand why), as we were getting our stuff together I heard my little brother scream from upstairs, he was twelve at the time but I had never heard him scream like that. I ran upstairs to see what was wrong and found my brother crying and my mom holding him, she sent be back down and I hung out with my friend some more before realizing I needed some medicine from that room. When I went back up my mom asked me to sit down. She then took a computer and turned the screen towards me. On it was a suicide letter from my dad.

I remember walking that room for a while, my mind completely numb, before I broke down and started crying. I eventually pulled myself together (I don't like to cry in front of people) and went downstairs to tell my friend I couldn't go out tonight. She was angry but I couldn't bring myself to explain to her what had happened.

After she left the police came and took my family to a hotel, where we spent the night. We then stayed in a center for abused women and children for about a month. I guess I should add that my dad wasn't the best person, he had a temper, and could be a little violent at times. He had been incredibly angry at my mother for divorcing him and even angrier and my brother and I for choosing to live primarily with her. I found out from the police that they had a theory that my dad was alive, and was planning something else, something that put my family's safety at risk. I took me a year to believe that this was even possible, because even though my dad wasn't the best person, he was still my dad, and I couldn't believe that he would put me and my brother (fourteen and twelve years old, and his own kids) through the grief of believing he'd killed himself just to hurt us.

My dad had asked my brother and I to meet him at this house on Halloween night and the police found that someone had been waiting for us, they believed that his plan had been to kidnap us and then send out that suicide e-mail, but something had gone wrong in the process. It took me even longer to grasp the idea that that was possible, that my own dad was going to kidnap me and then, what? Lock us in a basement for the rest of our lives. I just didn't see how it could make any sense.

So the truth is, I guess I'm just very confused, because I love my dad but I also hate him. And I miss him, but sometimes I feel that I'm better off without him. And I guess I don't know how to feel because there are SO MANY unanswered questions for me. Is he dead or alive? Was he a bad guy or simply someone who was in over his head and unable to cope? Was he really trying to kidnap me? Will he still try to do it? Did he ever actually love me? Will I ever see him again (or is that even possible)?

I'm the kind of person who's always needed closure, and I think the hardest part for me is knowing that I may never get that. Some days I wish so badly that he could just come back and I could give him a hug and just have my dad, but then I feel guilty for feeling that way because of everything he's done to me and my family.

I had a close friend die last year and I thought it would be awful, seeing that body in the coffin and knowing that they were dead, in some ways I was grateful I never had to do that with my dad, but as awful as it sounds, it was actually easier. I found that while it was heartbreaking, I could move on from it. I saw her, I knew she had been an absolutely amazing person, and I knew she was now dead and would want me to move on. It made me feel horrible that I found her death easier to handle than my dad's even though I still have hope that my dad is alive (especially considering she was only nineteen and my dad was an adult). But, as horrible as it is, and as guilty as it makes me feel, sometimes I wonder if it would be easier if I just found out whether he's alive or dead. I grieved his death for a year when I thought he was dead, and then felt the anger for a few years when I thought he was alive, and I guess I just feel like, if I knew which it was, I could cope with the emotions, deal with them, and move on. Where as now I find that some days I'm grieving his death and feeling guilty for even thinking that he would be alive and deceiving me, and other days I'm convinced he's alive and feel angry, feeling like a fool for having thought he was dead and grieving his death when he could just be doing this all to hurt me.

Sorry, I know that's really long, I guess I just needed to get it all off my chest. I mean, most days I'm fine, I have a pretty great life, I know that, I have great friends, a great family, good grades, a bright future, and a whole lot to be thankful for. I know that I shouldn't be bitter and that there are people out there who have it a whole lot worse than I do, but I guess sometimes I just wish that I could have some answers, some truth that I could grasp, face, and move on from and at this point, knowing that that probably won't ever happen, I guess I'm just not sure what to do, where to go from here...
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18-21, F
Sep 20, 2012