Lifeaversary | 2 |To Sir With Love

That’s me and my dad over there. Cute, right?

My dad is the furthest thing from perfect. He’s made mistakes. Big ones. I’ve made mistakes. Big ones. But today isn’t about that. Not at all.

Exactly 2 years ago, August 3rd, 2009 was a day that I will never forget.

I want to say that I remember the day vividly, but I don’t. I do remember sitting on my dad’s sofa at 9PM at night and crying very hard.

After listening to me sob for hours, my dad came over, sat next to me, and buried his head in his hands.

“I’m sorry”, he said.

I couldn’t even muster up the breath to ask him why he was sorry. I just looked at him with what I’m sure was puffy red eyes.He kind of knew what I wanted to know.

“I’m sorry you’re hurting so badly. Am I a bad dad?”

Many of you only know my father from random stories about vibrators and personal lubricant in his hair. He’s more than that. He’s street smart, but not book smart. I have to buy cards with easy to read words so that he won’t be embarrassed that he can’t read it.  I have to read the menu for him. He knows I know he can’t read, but it goes unspoken. I kind of just know when he needs me to read a story, a letter, or a greeting card for him.

When my dad asked me if he was a bad father, I remember looking at him with the tears in his eyes, and all I could do was say “I’m sorry. I’m so broken. Why am I so broken?”

He didn’t have an answer for me. I assumed his decision to get up and walk away meant that he was admitting that I was broken, but he just didn’t have an explanation of why.  After a few hours of trembling, fever, and uncontrollable sobbing, I calmed down enough to walk upstairs to get a shower.

After I got out I walked past my father’s room. He called me in, and I sat on the end of his bed. My dad and I have a few little bonding experiences we share, including the rolling of coins into paper wrappers. He had a pile of coins on his bed, and we sat there for about an hour, in silence. He could have made small talk, but he just knew that silence was all I needed.

When the last coin was rolled, I tapped his hand and said goodnight. He held onto my hand when I touched it, and said the words that I remember everyday:

“If you go, I won’t let you go alone. I’m coming too. I promise.”

I never told my dad about the thoughts that were spinning inside of my head. I never told him how truly unloved, messed up, and worthless I felt. I never told him that I just wanted the pain to stop and I was exploring options from in-patient therapy, to more extreme solutions.

I didn’t have to say a word, but he just knew.

He might not know how to read a book, a menu, or a piece of mail, but he knew the thing that I was scared of saying, thinking, and believing.

After that comment from my dad, I submitted an anonymous secret to Brandy’s Secret Project.

2 years ago today. My dad made a promise to me that he’s kept. No matter where I go, I’m not alone. He can rest assured that I won’t ever be going very far away.  And if I do, I’ll send a postcard. No matter where I go, I will always, always come back home.

Today is my life-a-versary. Send gifts.

And even though my Dad won’t be reading this post ever, I still will be playing this song in his honor tonight. (I know. It’s Glee. But so perfect. Give a listen if you want a little bit of heart-filled-with-joy in your day!)

To Sir, With Love

Comments

  1. Absolutely beautiful, brave, blessed you’re here to share with us as well. Thank you.

  2. Absolutely beautiful, brave, blessed you’re here to share with us as well. Thank you.

  3. I know you hear this from a lot of great people, but I love you. I love you for being so open and honest and real. I love you.

  4. Wow, two years have gone by so fast. I still remember reading the post on Brandy’s blog. Happy Life-a-versary, Katie. Love you lots. <3

    • I know! Can’t believe it’s been two whole years! I remember reading the post over at Brandy’s too, and I was so out of it, that I was able to pretend it wasn’t me and leave comments. 

      Thanks for sticking by me. I know it’s easy to turn away from the ‘crazy girl’ who’s always negative, but you’ve been here, hanging out, and I love you for it!

  5. Katie…wow. That’s raw and true. Virtual high five for moving through your demons into a happier, healthier, more you-ier place. 

    • High five right back at you! Sometimes it’s the rock bottoms that enable us to build foundations. And I’m so grateful that I was able to be so lucky to do it.

  6. Beautiful post! Such a loving story about the kind of support that never leaves you, that sees you through the dark and the light.

  7. I’m reading this and I don’t have a lot of words, but I have a little lump in my throat and tears in my eyes because I remember this. I’m so, so happy we’re celebrating your second life-a-versary this year, and can’t wait for many, many more to come. I am so proud of you, Katie. I love you, and love seeing how truly far you’ve come. To many more celebrations 🙂

    • This means so, so much. I remember confiding in you when this happened and your support meant the world. Helped me realize that coming out with it was nothing to be ashamed of. And I adore you for that. Wine. Lot’s of wine. And dancing. If only we were in the same state. 🙂

  8. Streetfiregtp says:

    Always a pleasure to read your blogs katie

  9. This was really touching. Congratulations, and many many more

  10. This was really touching. Congratulations, and many many more

  11. Superawesomeashley says:

    Katie, you really are amazing, you know that? I remember reading that secret on Brandy’s blog and wanting to be able to reach out so badly. I’m so happy that you’ve made it this far and I can’t wait to see where you are next year!

    PS. I am totally sending you a present. 

  12. Superawesomeashley says:

    Katie, you really are amazing, you know that? I remember reading that secret on Brandy’s blog and wanting to be able to reach out so badly. I’m so happy that you’ve made it this far and I can’t wait to see where you are next year!

    PS. I am totally sending you a present. 

  13. This is beautiful.  And awesome.

    And your dad might not be able to read the whole thing, but he’d know that every word is absolutely perfect.

    • Thanks DeWolf-Pants. He’d recognize words like “Dad” and “Love” and “Vibrator”, and basically, those are the important words.

  14. I’m new to your site and all I can say is happy life-a-versary. I’m new here and I’m not sure about what’s happened in the last 2 years of your life, but it seems like you’ve been through a lot. I’m not sure if I can completely relate to your experiences, but it seems like you’re doing much better and hope that your life continues to take you down a positive direction!

  15. Anonymous says:

    You know how I feel about you, your bravery and everything you’ve shared. I’m beyond, BEYOND proud of you and everything you’ve overcome. Far away high-fives from me to you. I can’t wait to hear how much you’ve grown in the next year. 

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