An Open Letter to the Man Who Abused Me


Dear Bob,

It was Dwight Howard that motivated me to write you. I think that all men who are given the responsibility of caring for children should read this.

About a year ago you sent me a birthday card c/o my mother. I could never understand why you did that. I've had no contact with you for over 30 years yet you suddenly remember a birthday? I'd no idea you were even still alive. Surprising you would send a card and not even know my name. How could you imagine that I would have kept the name of my childhood, a name that included your name. I would never have carried around a daily reminder of your existence.

At one point in my life I would have cared; I would have wanted a card.

When I was very young I very much wanted your love, I wanted you to be my father, or at least pretend that you cared. Love was not what I received.

There was a time when I hated you for what you had done to me, to my family. I fantasized about the gruesome ways the universe would pay you back.

Eventually I realized that Karma is the dream of the powerless. I wanted Karma to exist to right the wrongs for me.

The only way to escape my past was to change my name and become a new person, I did that very successfully. Of course mental and emotional work were a big part of that process.

I ended up largely cutting ties to two of my brothers. I was toxic to them and they were toxic to me. When I wrote about this previously I learned how much one of them resents me, and not without reason. He has chosen to be a part of a religion that I cannot muster respect for, he has also kept your name.

You see, you damaged us all and we all responded in different ways.

I call my mother on Mother and Father's day because she had to be both, and once you were gone she did an extraordinary job of it.

But the take-away from all of this, what I want Dwight and all the other abusive men to hear is this.

At some point we stop caring.

The hate leaves, the desire for revenge leaves. All of the negatives are let go as we build own own lives.

The reason I did not investigate your motivation for sending the card is just that...I don't care.

I don't care if you are sick, homeless, starving to death, or being beaten by thugs in a prison cell.

To all the men like some point the child will grow up and no longer care, you will have no power to hurt any longer, and they will have no capacity to love you.

So men, think about this. Imagine being old and trotting around an oxygen tank. You no longer inspire the fear you could pretend was respect, and when you die no one comes to your funeral because no one loves you.

Sincerely Yours,

Karl Wilder
The son you never had