Cali Kittana

Dear Father

I\'m not quite sure who to believe

I\'m told my views are wrong

That everyone else is right

That I\'m remembering things differently


The man I remember is not the same

As the one my mother remembers

Or the one her son seems to despise

My memories recall just the opposite


Were there days full of screaming

And were there days of fighting

Even days of physical violence

Maybe, but it wasn\'t often


You had a bit of a drinking problem

But I don\'t remember it being bad

I don\'t remember you drinking often

In fact, rarely around me


Mother found the Polaroid last month

She didn\'t seem overly happy about it

I sat on the bed, fighting back tears

It\'s in a frame now, sitting on my desk


The way you raised me seemed right

I learned \"no\" and discipline, respect

I was taught to stand up for myself

How to not take the abuse of others


You protected me from your son

I wonder if that\'s why mother hates you

Because she didn\'t want me at all

I still hear her calling me \"the mistake\"


You let me play Asteroids on your laptop

You showed me how to use the computer

I learned my love for technology there

Watching you build pieces for work


I remember learning so much from you

How to use a tool to determine battery life

Watching the solder as it fused things

I didn\'t like the smell, yet I loved the sound


People say my \"daddy issues\" are bad

They\'ll make me only want abuse

Make me crave older men\'s attention

I don\'t see these as being due to you


I don\'t remember much abuse

The worst thing was a rug burn

I was being stubborn, you didn\'t mean it

You apologized right after


Mother hates that I read Dilbert

You used to have a book of that comic

It would sit on the shelf in the headboard

I still remember when it got stuck


You were mostly mother\'s opposite

You wouldn\'t discourage my singing

Nor did you with my writings

You weren\'t telling me I was wrong


There are some bad things I know

You wanted to get rid of presents

Things we had gotten you

We were finding them trashed


After the divorce, things went decent

You played video games with me

We all went to the lake often

You even got me a cat poster


Then you met my step-mother

And things went downhill fast

I never did get my stuff back

I really do miss my dresser, those plates


You instilled my love for camping

My fondness of the water, too

Even though I couldn\'t swim

I still wanted to only be outside


Your family treated me better, too

My cousins didn\'t fight with me

My aunts and uncles didn\'t hate me

They didn\'t threaten to harm me


Sometimes I wonder how you\'d react

If you saw me now, how I look and act

Would you be proud, or disappointed

My bleached hair, my skinny frame


Would you like the way I am

The way I seem to save people

Or how I\'m always caring for others

How I never take care of myself


What about my writings, then

Would you enjoy my poetry

Or would you find it too sad

I haven\'t been happy in years, I feel


Would my love in music bring pride

Or would you be worried about it

My lack of commitment to one instrument

The way I push my voice to get better


How would you feel about my life

The way I act so happy and fake

At least when I\'m at work or home

The way I\'m not afraid to break


Or about my new found love for cosplay

The way the fabric flows and cuts

The sound of the sewing machine going

My feeling of accomplishment in a project


And what would you think of my health

The fact that I never seen to sleep

Or how my allergies are driving me nuts

What about my depression medication


I\'m still quite the same as I was as a kid

I still get very excited to go to the lake

Video games still make me gleeful

There are still stuffed animals everywhere


My love for holidays has died way down

I used themed stuffed animals to decorate

But I don\'t really like to celebrate

Not even my own birthday gets attention


You wouldn\'t be happy with mother

Always telling me how terrible you were

Even though I was old enough to know

You really weren\'t that mean, just concern


You seemed to see what she couldn\'t

Her son was highly abusive to me alone

You were the one to save me from him

I saw so much good in you


You\'d hate how she seems to treat me

I can\'t sing, she hates my writings

When I go into a breakdown I \"cry too loud\"

I\'m never the first priority at home


There\'s many things different in me now

I\'m much less shy when talking to people

It doesn\'t mean I have many friends still

I don\'t have many at all, I don\'t mind it


Birthdays and Christmases seem small

Despite being all I hear from you

And whilst I enjoy the attention

I miss every other weekend and more


There are currently two wonderful guys

One seems to love me more than anything

The other seems to really enjoy my company

Yet, I care deeply about the both of them


It\'s a hard situation to explain, the guys

This is something even I\'m learning

Yet I wonder if you would approve of this

Or if you would be close minded, too


This letter is getting quite long now

But that is just how my style goes

Everything gets said in one go

Or I don\'t feel like I\'ve said anything at all


I\'m thinking I got everything out for now

Another month could mean another write

But now, I believe this is all I can say

My tears have finally dried for the night


Sincerely is the sweet girl you knew

My name may not be the same

But that seems the only difference

Your daughter must say bye now, Cali