A Letter of Apology From a Regretful Father

Prelude:

In the aftermath of my marriage of 22 years coming to an end my son had a long battle with addiction to Meth Amphetamines ( ICE ). Seeing his parents break up and regrettably19 years of 'dealing' with me as his Dad lead to this.
A Letter of Apology from a Father

Dear Ciaran

Like with your two older sisters, I made a vow when you were born never to do anything to leave you damaged.

I failed you all on this vow, both directly and indirectly.

My breakup with your mother devastated me to the core, but my betrayal of you in its aftermath was unforgivable. You had needs that I abandoned by running away with the lack of resolution as to why a marriage failed that many, if not all saw as perfect lead you to this abyss of despair.

The main reason is I am a hypocrite

I preach openness and transparency, but the main cause of the split was my inability to be completely open with your mother.

The crux was things that happened in my past has left many scars on my being and seeped out in many ways. I had the perfect opportunity to work through them with her but never could make that leap of trust. With this inability to leave me naked and completely vulnerable by her knowing me leaving her feeling that I didn't completely trust her.

I paid the ultimate price by losing her.

The cruel aside for you was the lessons I taught you.

I preached to many how kids see everything and learn from what they observe, but I never fully took heed of this.

My heavy drinking night after night on face value was jovial, but you saw it for what it truly was. A man not facing up to his issues and choosing the combination of embracing denial while he hid in a convenient escape. My reputation of being a feared brawler gained respect but also comments about how I loved to impart genuine pain on others by going too far.

In a sense, letting them share some of my intense pain. #SeeMyWork

As you laid tethered and bound in a hospital bed with self-inflicted scars, my flawed teachings were complete.

Sorry #HappyFathersDay


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What Girls Said 22

  • Geez I'm so glad my dad isn't crazy and selfish...

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    • you are indeed blessed, make sure you tell him such

    • I will. I hope your son gets better. Ignore the people on here with negative comments. You can't fix the past but acknowledging your mistakes will definitely help your son.

      But also, as someone who has a sister who was an alcoholic for 6 years, don't think you are 100% at fault. My parents have a loving marriage and have been together over 30 years, but my older sister still ended up having a substance issue.

  • It sounds like it was the mom's idea to split, so why blame yourself? And I think the drinking was terrible but it doesn't sound like you abused anyone I think. I feel sorry for your kid, but I haven't known anyone to go into drugs because of divorce. It sounds to me like he would've been involved anyway from the severity.

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  • Would you not like to make me cry?

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  • This was sweet, and I could feel your regret with every word. Did you send this to your son?

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  • :( I hope your son is okay now.

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  • i wish the best for you and your family. it is never too late :)

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    • True, and thank you

      Just makes you feel bad that your 'crimes' are often visited by your children

  • I'm proud of you for doing this, it look great courage and I respect you for that

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  • This is so sad :( I hope you work things out with your son and daughters. Dads are just as important as moms. I know I love both my parents and would be devestated if I grew apart from one of them.

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  • I hope it Works out!

    Your son needs a father, I hope and pray that it will work out better for you guys then with me and my father

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  • "To err is human. To forgive, divine"

    I hope you are forgiven. Well done for writing this :)

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  • You have the gall to say apologize, a lot better than the truly heartless deadbeats.

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  • Only if my dad could man up and do the same 😔

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  • This is absolutely wonderful! It's really written with all the deep affection you have for your son. That reminds me of my dad who always has difficulty of expressing his emotions. For him our family faced a lot of troubles. He ran away from his problem once which cost us fortunes. But now I'm proud to see him facing his problems rather than being a coward. Also, I never ever told him that I love him a lot.

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  • Your Take is properly tagged, so it may not be recognized formally as the submission in the contest. The reason is that you did not put a space between the hashtag and the period. You may want to edit this Take, so that you can get credit for it and get a chance to win in the contest.

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    • Oops. I meant to say that your Take is improperly tagged. Excuse the typo.

  • This was beautiful and heartbreaking. As a parent I understand that constant deep love for our children is always there even when we do a horrible job of showing it. I hope the best for you and your sons and pray that with apologies like this and time tge wounds may be healed.

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    • Thank you for the kind words

      the killer thing is for the large majority of his life it was perfect between him and I. But, the only thing that will be remembered by him and I is how effected he was by the marriage split. And how immensely it effected him but i was blind to it

  • I'm giving you my honest opinion, my relationship with my dad is non existent because of the way he is, I just want to tell you a letter saying sorry is a good start but it means nothing unless you start acting like a dad and stepping up to that father figure role

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    • I think you misunderstand, my son and I have always had a great relationship, best mates. But, the marriage breakup devastated him, like they do for many children. My failing was after it ended I only saw my own needs and neglected his :(

      His pain led to lessons that he inadvertently learnt from watching me coming out. As in when i couldn't cope i drank, he found refugee in drugs

    • Ah right I understand now thanks for explaining

  • I hope he gets better soon.
    It s never too late to fix things so good luck and open up to your kid.

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    • We have always had a good relationship but the breakup devastated him and my failing was not seeing how fractured he was and where it took him too. I was only caught up about my own survival for i thought I would be married forever

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    • oh, we have a great relationship, he just couldnt reconcile the marriage breakup

    • sry then I got it wrong haha

  • Thank you for these words.
    I have witnessed my brother tied up also. My father left when things got too difficult.
    I don't think blaming yourself is going to help your son. Its the opposite. You can only help others when you have it together yourself.
    I was the little girl in the family, watched all of them break down but I stood strong and grateful. Its better to make mistakes then never have been born on this planet to make a difference.
    I begged my dad to come back and help. But he was suffering and blind. Saying my mother will never change.

    Its amazing you realized that no smart child will listen if you don't practice what you preach.
    All you can do now is earn the RESPECT back from your son and be a role model. You can't fix him because his issues are his own.
    All you can do is show unconditional love as if the past never happened at all.

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    • The tough thing with this is my son is so like me in regard to when he is really hurting he always says he is 'ok'.

      i should have seen through his false bravado.

      As for me, I left aFTER the split, not running away but going for myself and thinking it would be better without people constantly asking 'why'. For the marriage we had, all deemed as perfect and when we split it shocked all

  • Thanks for sharing your words. A lot of people don't do this..."forget about the past. It's too late. I move on", but it really hurts... you keep wondering why, if it could have been different, it hurts.
    I'm glad to see that there's people who go out of their way to just Let Them Know

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  • I saw you redoing to another comment that you actually sent this to your son and I just want to say. Good job. I am so proud of you.
    I had my own experience with drugs in the family.
    My father was a schizophrenic cocaine dealer... not a good combo. After going to prison for domestic violence my mother and I were left in a car.. just me, her, and her cocaine addiction. She went to rehab and I remember seeing her struggle so hard. She has come far and I'm sure your son has to.
    Blessing and the best of luck with all the love in my heart to you and your whole family.

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What Guys Said 14

  • damn dude brought a tear to my eye.

    where you may have lacked in the past at least you are able to see and work on repairing those issues. no human is without fault, to err is human. it's when we can't see our faults or refuse to acknowledge and work to mend them that I think we really fail as humans

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  • Makes me appreciate my Dad.

    His best friend, now deceased, has two daughters, one older than me and one a little younger, who have had ongoing problems with Meth addiction (that got much worse after his death) so I know how miserable it can be seeing someone you care about go through that.

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  • I am sorry to hear what happened to you.

    If you're unwilling or unable to identify and consciously acknowledge your negative behaviors, characteristics or life patterns, then you will not change them. (In fact, they will only grow worse and become more entrenched in your life.) You've got to face it to replace it.

    Acknowledgment means slapping yourself in the face with the brutal reality, admitting that you are getting payoffs for what you are doing, and giving yourself a no-kidding, bottom-line truthful confrontation. You cannot afford the luxury of lies, denial or defensiveness.

    Where are you now? If you hope to have a winning life strategy, you have to be honest about where your life is right now. Your life is not too bad to fix and it's not too late to fix it. But be honest about what needs fixing. If you lie to yourself about any dimension of your life, an otherwise sound strategy will be compromised.
    Don’t play the role of victim, or use past events to build excuses. It guarantees you no progress, no healing, and no victory. You will never fix a problem by blaming someone else. Whether the cards you’ve been dealt are good or bad, you’re in charge of yourself now.

    Every choice you make — including the thoughts you think — has consequences. When you choose the behavior or thought, you choose the consequences. If you choose to stay with a destructive partner, then you choose the consequences of pain and suffering. If you choose thoughts contaminated with anger and bitterness, then you will create an experience of alienation and hostility. When you start choosing the right behavior and thoughts — which will take a lot of discipline — you’ll get the right consequences

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  • If what you've written is a fact buddy, I wish you'd realized this before it affected your child :)

    Well nobody's perfect and guess we all have a life and responsibility to live with.

    A very touching take there my friend :)

    Being a separated man myself, not out of choice though but the decision was mine; I have been struggling to ensure my daughter who is 13 now doesn't go this way or similar. There are bound to be psychological situations though undeniably that I'm doing my best to mitigate.

    I'd gladly get back with her mom but that woman won't change (not intending to paint her in a bad light but a snake doesn't see itself as poisonous - trust you catch my drift :) )

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  • Thank you for sharing, not easy to write I'm sure. good and concise. It is amazing to me how many sad father stories there are... no positied ones yet that I've seen.

    If this helps... I know of kids who went into Meth addiction from perfectly stable homes in middle class homes. It can start from a Dr. s prescription, getting cut off from that and finding a substitute. Maybe not all on you.

    Sounds like you had your own insecurities and those bled into the marriage? It is not easy being a male. We receive terrible training if any, junk from our fathers if we are lucky enough to have one, and then expected to take on the most challenging of creatures since the T-Rex... the emotional woman. We are to bond with her, be open with her and vulnerable... all the while she can tear our insides to shreds.

    Add to it needy children that require us to give our all and handle the stresses of life... often taking on such responsibility so young. The job of a father is great and ideally left to the few who are ready.

    .. and the recipe for disaster is sown into the cake.

    Forgiveness is healing... of yourself, find grace and hope in God/Bible.

    I'm sorry for the loss. your life is not over yet, you may have much that you can give that is extracted from all of this suffering...

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    • we were similar, great family, very nice house and holidays twice a year in Barbados or the Canary Islands

      I guess this is what sent him under, failing to comprehend the 'why' behind the split of a seemingly perfect marriage

  • I'm not gonna lie, this brought a tear to my eye. This really moved me in a way nothing has in a LONG time.
    I hope you and your son are trying to re-conciliate from everything and I wish that you both can face the demons on both of your paths to becoming a proper family again.

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    • Thank you, my son and i have always had the best relationship, but I failed him by not fully seeing just how effected he was by the marriage breakup

  • I respect you for saying you are sorry to your kids...

    It really does suck growing up with a parent/dad especially who seems to want to do drink/drugs more than to inspire his kids...

    What can you do I guess, it's ultimately the kids that suffer the most...

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    • I think you misunderstand a tad, I inspired plenty, but in the shadows i was always a mess and they saw this. Sadly they learnt from it too

    • I think I completely misunderstood you then.

  • Young people, learn from the older ones.
    Thanks for sharing it.

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  • So what comes now?

    What makes you insist it's all your fault. The son can make this choice independently of you.

    Also having a hard time seeing how you "pay the ultimate price" by losing a woman you never fully trusted.

    It's a great sincere thought. Hope what ever it is you struggle with, you find an answer to.

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    • When your kids mess up, it is always your fault

    • Alas, relevant experience absent, can't see this from your perspective.

      While I can agree that your role is substantial, it doesn't mean he has blinds on and doesn't think on his own. He messed up, yeah, but you are mistaken in thinking it is automatically your fault.

  • Talk is cheap
    Actions speak louder then words
    You've down your damage
    There is no way to take it back
    You've destroyed a life, you'll find no sympathy from me
    I wish your son to heal and prosper

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  • Its all fine to let complete strangers know this but i sincerely hope you are helping your son and not exacerbating the situation. Best of luck.

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  • Great take - Very refreshing to see someone leave themselves so open - I think there is a quote somewhere that goes along the lines we study history to make sure we don't repeat the same mistakes of the past also that has a flip side to be aware of the good things that have happened in your life. Being self aware is sometimes not an easy process but it can be rewarding.
    Best of luck to you and your family in the present plus in the future.

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  • I hope your son is ok and gets the proper treatment necessary.

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  • We all have our demons that we choose to not let others see

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    • true but our kids often live them out again

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    • this is the killer catch for as a parent the best way to hurt you is see pain in your children

    • It really is the worst. You as a parent want to protect them , but with the detailing in the post it's a catch 22 ; how can one help fix it if they them selves are the problem.

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