VERY long and VERY vulniez list that I made for myself. Every bullet has occupied most of my thoughts for 10 long months. I've never spoken about this publicly and I am scared, sad, comfortable enough and relieved to do it here, on THE LIST APP™✨
  1. Ugh. Okay. This list is 51 bullets long and you don't need to read it.
    There are many wonderful, delightful lists on here. This one is less so.
  2. I have felt really empowered by the sincerity with which people share here, and this was among the most true, healing and uninhibited things I have ever compiled.
  3. The written history of dissolving my relationship with my dad.
    Okay. Here it is.
  4. My dad and I were really close my whole life until January 3rd, 2015.
    It was a Saturday.
  5. Everyone always said it was as though we had our own language.
    We were always giggling, making incredibly dumb jokes, and watching jeopardy.
  6. He had picked me up from the airport the night before, where I had landed after visiting a boy who broke my heart in Ireland.
    I'll save this side narrative for a different, long, sad list.
  7. My mom wasn't home and I didn't know why.
    I had a feeling he had done something wrong and I was already so mad at him.
  8. My dad interrupted my brother and me to talk to us. We were watching Jane the Virgin.
    Episode 1. Great show.
  9. My typically thoughtful, eloquent, joyful dad was aloof, speaking in a disjointed, distant kind of way.
  10. He said weird, unapologetic things like, "haven't you noticed that things aren't good?" And, "I just care about someone else."
  11. I asked two questions, first: for how long?
    He ball parked 6 months. Six months! 6. Months. That's a long time to ball park.
  12. He rambled on, and then became quiet.
    I realized he was done talking.
  13. Next, final question: Is that all?
    He said yes.
  14. Everything that had ever happened to me up until then was one part of my life that was finished, and now, without wanting to be, I was in a new, immensely different one.
    Even then, this feeling was so strong.
  15. I didn't relate to what was happening.
    It didn't feel like it was happening or like it was happening to me.
  16. I'm not a child of divorce?
    These are sad, neglected, white children, which, I was pretty sure, I was mostly not.
  17. I'm an adult? Who feels? Tricked?
    Not sure if it's a prank. Still.
  18. I was JUST starting to realize that my parents were people. Adult people. With feelings, worries, fears. They make mistakes.
    And the universe was like, no for REAL. They are.
  19. I had JUST moved out of my parents' house.
  20. I had JUST started to try figuring out who I was apart from them. And suddenly, that foundational identity, the one I was supposed to use to help inform my next one, was gone.
  21. I was sad that he, my dad, as I had known him to be prior to January 3rd, was gone.
    He is a different person than the one I knew.
  22. I was really, really sad to think that he might have been "gone" much earlier than that.
    And that I had been fooling myself into thinking he was my same, reliable dad before then.
  23. It made me really uncomfortable that he had had so much power.
  24. He just decided one day that this is now the way he wants to live, and we, my family and I, are just supposed to live with the consequences.
    His prerogative, his way.
  25. It made me so mad that he was so selfish.
    There are so many ways and reasons he could have done things differently.
  26. What did he think the outcome would be?
    Did he just think his dope new gf would move in and we would all hang and that would be fine?
  27. I stayed in bed, friends' beds, for the better part of two months.
  28. My dad, who I knew so well, did not feel like my dad. And, my home, in which I felt (finally, after many years) at home, did not feel like home.
  29. I couldn't go to my house. I couldn't be at my dorm. I just wanted to feel at home.
    I craved normalcy, and didn't, and still haven't found it.
  30. My friends always ask whether it was a surprise.
    Did I see it coming? Did I think they were unhappy?
  31. It wasn't a surprise, but it was a shock.
  32. I know there are worse things that can happen. So many, much worse things.
    Death! I know there's death, too.
  33. I just wasn't ready for this one, and I kind of thought I would be.
    Other shitty things have happened to me. None of them ever felt like this.
  34. I also understand that he must have been deeply unhappy.
    Trapped, sad.
  35. And that he probably felt like he had to do this for himself. I get it. I didn't and don't want to be part of it.
  36. I just didn't think it would be so traumatizing. I was mourning.
    He's still alive but he was gone.
  37. I haven't seen or talked to him since January 3rd.
  38. He emails or texts me probably once every two weeks.
  39. Sometimes weirdly casual things.
    Hey is your phone working properly? The company called me. How's school going? Call your grandmother.
  40. Sometimes really sad, long emails.
    Saying sorry for what he's done and he doesn't know how to make things better. And that he thinks about me every day.
  41. I've never responded.
  42. We used to have our "own language".
    And now I can't even look at his texts or emails.
  43. Every time I hear from him, I feel equally guilty and victimized.
  44. I miss him and I never want to see him.
  45. When I think about not talking to my dad forever, it seems crazy.
  46. But, when I think about when I will feel able or willing to talk to him, it feels so far away.
  47. I'm still mad. I'm still so sad. But, I'm not not talking to him to make him feel bad.
    It often feels like this.
  48. I'm not talking to him because it's too difficult for me to do. I really hope it won't be one day.
  49. For now, every time I get a message from him, it feels like a derisive push further from where I want to be.
    Which, for the record, I don't know the location of.
  50. So I might just block him.
    On email. Because he's a dad. And emails are how dads communicate.
  51. Or, maybe not.