The Letter that Changed My Life

This article is one that is very tough for me to write. At the moment, I have just gotten home from a long day of meeting clients and to be honest, the last thing I feel like doing is going deep in my heart and mind and remembering my stepfather…and our relationship. My feet are aching and I am unglamorously sipping on a cooling cup of hot chocolate. I have a script to memorize for a commercial audition tomorrow with George Clooney, and I still have to figure out how to squeeze in eight hours of sleep and pilates tonight. But this is the dedication I have made to myself…to continue my writing, at all costs, every day…why? Well, because frankly I owe it to myself. Yes, you read me correctly. I.owe.it.to.myself. I owe myself the self love of continual healing and appreciation of the current life I have…by remembering the pain of the past. And I owe it to the world, as a child of God, to share my experiences and hopefully help others. This is one of my biggest passions, a passion of my very soul.
And today, I’m going to write in whatever style I feel like, because the subject is so deep for me that I cannot really be bothered with the technicalities or grammar. So here it goes.
I am a victor, and not a victim. But this is only by the Grace of God, and the perseverance of always believing in my heart, that God has something better for my life.
My stepfather was the absolute demon of my life. I don’t think there was ever a day that went by that I wasn’t living in fear and sadness, depression and pain because of him. He was a very moody person, and my days went according to how bad or how good of a mood he was in. I remember one time, when I was around seven or eight years old, I got into my mothers perfume. I wanted to feel beautiful, to feel accepted simply by spraying the perfume on my neck, because I spent my entire childhood and young adult life being abused and criticized for everything. And I mean everything. My stepfather came home after work and decided he was not in a particularly good mood, and as soon as he smelled the perfume on me, he started to scream and tell me I smelled like a “French Whore.” I will never forget those words. Who calls a child a whore? I barely even knew how to spray perfume, nevertheless understood the concept of being a “whore” for doing so.

That day I was beaten and went to bed crying, like every day. I remember crawling in the bed with my brother in his room because I was too afraid to sleep in my own bed, for fear of my stepfather coming in and abusing me again. He had a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” mentality. He didn’t like my bedroom door to be locked. He didn’t like when I ate cereal and the spoon hit the bowl. He didn’t like the way I walked, the way I talked, the way I “looked” at him when he was screaming at me. He said one time that I had a stupid look on my face, and this was the reason he smacked me so hard across my face that my glasses I wore as a child…flew right off to the other side of the room. When I tried to go upstairs and call my birth father on the phone, he picked up the receiver on the line in the kitchen and said, “You are not allowed to call him, and if you do, you won’t wake up from your sleep tonight.” I was scared for my life. Fear. I always lived like this, day in and day out for thirteen years. I hated my stepfather. Hated. And I was angry with God. I hated myself, I hated my mother and I hated my life. And all the while, I was too afraid to do anything. Fear. And all the while, I loved my stepfather. For the hand that hurt me repeatedly, also fed me and occasionally made me feel like a worthy human being. I was safe in a nice home, a private education and the occasional gift he would bring to me. Although most of the time, even when my mother took me to buy school clothes, he would never let me forget how much the clothes cost. I better never forget. Fear.

I grew up with the image of my stepfather as a “tough love” character. He used to tell me, “Nikki, my mom and dad made me stare straight into the light first thing when I woke up in the morning for school.” Basically, he taught me: I’d better be one tough soilder because nothing he did to me was as bad as what he went through. Suck it up, Nikki. Be brave. Fear. Be perfect and if you are not, be my tough solider and take the punishments you deserve. Fear. The worst for me was not when he beat me, because by the age of four I had developed the art of flying out of my body and mentally avoiding the immense amount of pain. I hated…when he would come into my room and hold me down on the bed. I couldn’t breathe. Fear. I couldn’t move. Fear. I had…no identity…I was my stepfather’s puppet. Fear. And I had better be the perfect puppet.
The purpose of this post is to give you a glimpse into the abuse and Grace I have experienced, but not in great detail as I want to save that for my book I am working on.
This post really is about the before and the after. The before the letter I wrote to my stepfather. After spending my entire life inflicting pain on myself long after I was removed from his household, I decided to GET OVER IT. I did the biggest step and what really was, I believe, the catalyst to getting on the road to healing and accepting God’s Grace…the Most Powerful Gift we can ever receive. Grace is found in Salvation and God really saved me at the moment I decided to change my life for the better and stop living in the past. My stepfather was out in the world living his life, and there I was as an adult living in pain and suffering. Fear. Enough. Change. Grace.
I wrote a long, open, detailed letter to my stepfather. At the time I was living in Miami, Florida and my stepfather lived in the same hometown I grew up in. I told him in the letter every tear, every fear, every emotion I had ever felt from my life with him. I told him how much I hated him and how much I had screwed my life up because of the childhood I had. I played the victim part really well, but was being very honest with my feelings. I wrote and I cried, I stopped writing and continued days later. I questioned many times what I was doing…could he sue me for writing this letter? Fear…again. I then decided I was totally doing the right thing and I owed it to myself to write this letter and send it to him. I wrote down every single thing I had ever wanted to say as a child…I let it ALL out. I folded the letter a few times, sealed it in a plain, white envelope, and mailed it off…my entire life was in that letter. There was no going back. The postman picked it up and sent it to my stepfather.
After all of the anger that I expressed in this letter, at the very end I explained to him that even though he had killed a huge part of my valuable life that I could never regain, I simply had made the decision…to totally and utterly forgive him, and Bless him. I actually prayed for him and let him go. With the sending off of the letter, I let go…of fear, of control, of pain, and of him. He was no longer the man I hated and loved. He was simply the man in my letter.
I never heard from him after the letter and I never heard anything about the letter from anyone. And I never cared. I had taken what was the single biggest step in my life…to my recovery, my sanity and MY LIFE. No longer in fear, I live my life in forgiveness, Faith, love and Confidence.
I thank God for the Grace to become a victor, not a victim.

To Be Continued…

 

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