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A Letter From A Daughter To Her Drunk Dad


I don’t know if you would want to read this. And even if you start, I do not believe you’d be sober long enough to reach the end. But even so I write to you… coz I have to. I have lost count of the broken bones, the blood transfusions, the rehab visits, the abusive outpour… and more than anything, the countless confrontations. I NEED to write this tonight, before you pour out another glass to numb whatever it is that you drink for – as you will your eyes to stay open to read this until the end and they glide down shut under the stronger will of the alcohol you so willingly pour into yourself.


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

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Even so, I write… to tell you of how I have felt all these years about your drunken stupor, about your irresponsible behavior, your evasive responses, your indifference to everything and everyone save alcohol, and the ways I had to contend with all the snide remarks, hushed whispers, and insulting jibes about my drunk dad.

alcoholic slave

Image source: Flickr

Dad – a relationship for most, a fancy term for me! I wonder if you understand what being a ‘dad’ means. From the moment my mother brought me into this world in a maternity ward from which you were miles removed, perhaps still shot down under the influence of one too many a peg you had downed the previous night, to this moment when I am carrying out the very responsibilities that are yours – as you continue to drown yourself in alcohol, I have never known what it is like to have a dad. A figure who beams with paternal pride when he takes his newborn in his hands for the very first time, one who cannot wait to get home so he could pamper the kids he had half a share in birthing with love and affection, someone who can never tire of classroom stories and never attend enough annual functions, someone who is a mentor and a guide for his kids, someone who directs them like the compass to the ‘right’ in life, yet never overrules their decision-making ability, allows them to learn by living, and then, sits and comforts them in the aftermath of their mistakes has all but been absent from my life. I have never known any of it. I have never known a dad; all I have known is a drunk father like you!

drunk dad

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

But talk of drunk dad, and I know the person inside out. You have been the drunk dad figure in my life – the person who has gifted me endless nights of crying my eyes out in the pillow as you screamed at and thrashed and hit my mother in the next room, the person who didn’t know any better than to drink himself into incoherence at family gatherings, public events, at home and at work, at bars, and on the streets – and make a public spectacle of himself and his family, one who’d not stop at anything to find and drain more bottles even when there wasn’t food for us in the kitchen and one whose spirit-induced insanity drove him to murderous attempts! THANK YOU – for all of THAT dad, THANKS!

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I know that there is no point in bringing up my angst, my agony, my misery, my shame, my anger, my hate, my disappointment or the dozen other complexes of a million emotions I feel about you and your behavior, and yet I don’t know why I am trying. I am fully aware that you will never admit to the error of your ways for you refuse to see it as a problem! And yet, here I am, venting, for some unknown, obscure reason.

Maybe I want to tell you that your absence too has had an effect on me. That it has changed me. It has made me the way I am. And for that and so many other things I will never forgive you…

mother and daughter

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

I will never forgive you for crushing the dreams of my mother, an innocent twenty-year-old who married you, thinking you were going to take care of her and protect her – little aware then that you’d use her and abuse her until she became all but non-existent to you. Of course, she has wised up over the years, fully aware of the beast she has for a husband, but that doesn’t take away from the ill treatment you have meted out to her. I will never forgive you for never being a dad to my little sister, who didn’t quite understand why her drunk father, who’d sometimes play with her to entertain his fancy was unlike the dads her friends at school had. Who was to tell her your ‘play’ was marked by alcohol! I will never forgive you for refusing to take on your responsibilities toward us – and leave me, at a young age with no option but to fend for fulfilling the very dreams that the untethered and younger spirit of my sister harbored, whilst I gathered enough ammo to kill those dreams that were birthing in myself. I will never forgive you for killing my dreams, killing my feelings, killing my heart – killing all of me.

woman thinking

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

You can deny it all you want but you killed me when you tried to kill my mother, and I, for the very first time, gathered enough courage to hit your drunken self! You killed me when you slapped me and called me a wh*re and told me you’d sell me off for a paltry sum! You killed me when you didn’t hesitate to extend the same treatment to my sister, who I protected whilst enduring the whipping! You killed me when you told your drunken ba***rds who you call friends, that a ‘wife’ is merely a body to you! You killed me when you declared you had nothing to do with supporting any of us and left us to fend for ourselves.

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And today, I hate you. I know there is nothing you can do to change any of the things you’ve done, and hence, nothing you can do to earn anything more than my hate. I don’t miss you dad coz I have never known what it’s like to have you. And I certainly do not love you coz you never cared enough to care for my love and earn it.

Coz for the dad I have never had, that’s all I have,


Your biological daughter

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Article Name
A Letter To My Drunk Dad - Your Daughter
Dad - a relationship for most, a fancy term for me! Coz my drunk dad would never put the bottle down for the love of a daughter - for the love of family!
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."