Guest Blog by Leashya Fitzpatrick-Munyon: “Happy Father’s Day.”

In honor of Father’s Day I’d like to share this poem written by my dearest friend in the whole world– a woman of whom I am so very proud!  She possesses a strength and courage I can only hope to have someday and has made such amazing progress in her recovery.  It is an honor to call her my friend. <3


Dear Dad,

I wasn’t planning to send you a Father’s Day card (I don’t think Hallmark makes one that’s appropriate for you), but here I am, writing a letter to you just days before the day of fathers. Maybe it was the endless onslaught of Father’s Day-themed email I’ve been receiving all week. Perhaps the odd feeling I still get in the pit of my stomach when I hear the words “Dad”, “Father” and “Daddy” is to blame. Regardless of what sparked this fire- it’s burning now. So here is the closest thing to a Father’s Day card you will get from me.

Thank you, Dad,
for abandoning my mother
and five children you made
in favor of pursuing
the “real” love of your life,
but not before spending years
bathing your daughters
so thoroughly that I still wince
at the thought of Irish Spring
between my legs
and your hands,
not before you convinced me
that God and Grandpa
could see my naked body
just as you could.

Thank you, Dad,
for spending enough years
away from me
that I forgot what you
were really like,
for rescuing me from
the harmful hands of my step-dad
and replacing them
with your own,
for keeping me safely locked
in silence, secrecy and shame,
just as in the walls of your home.

Thank you, Dad,
for telling me that
you were in love with me,
that I was special,
that you wanted to give me
an orgasm.

Thank you, Dad,
for the pet names-
slut, bitch, whore.

Thank you, Dad,
for lying to me
about who I was protecting
with my silence,

Thank you, Dad,
for showing up
years later
when I called
to confront you,
for thanking me for
not having the police there (that wasn’t up to me),
for saying “I hope it didn’t screw you up
too bad.”

You see,
I’m strong.
I had to earn it.
You were a challenge,
a crisis,
a tragedy.
I overcame you.
I fight now
for the other daughters,
who have fathers to thank
for hurting them
until something inside them
and something else
is born.

Happy Father’s Day

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I lost my brother Brian, my only sibling, to suicide on October 13, 2010. I write about dealing with the loss as well as my own life-long struggle with depression and suicidal ideation.

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