This is a letter I wrote to my father when I was twenty-one, when the awful truths were still being uncovered. I never sent it. It’s been in my journal for 14 years. *heavy trigger warning*

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There is no way to describe my anger. There is nothing I can do or say to make myself feel better, or even normal. I can’t fathom that my own flesh and blood could have such disregard for humanity. You have destroyed my faith in the goodness of mankind. You have taught me that even when someone loves you, they can still betray you in the most intimate sense.

I can’t have normal sex because my brain is so messed up; I’m suspicious of every man’s intentions. You’ve always told me that all men think alike, but you were only trying to mask your own guilt for your own disgusting thoughts. You were hoping it wasn’t just you. But it was just you – you are a horrible person.

Now your parents know too, because the dead see everything. They must look down on you and cry over the person you’ve become. They must wonder, How could you have so little respect for women? For young girls? Don’t you know they have minds, hearts and souls, just as you do? Don’t you know they want to be treated with respect, dignity, compassion? Does it make you sad to know they know?

I hate the way men look at me, and I hate that you look at other women the way those men look at me. I hate that you disrespect women so much. I used to feel guilty that when I was in high school I would sneak out of the house at night and that it caused you so much grief, but now I’m glad I did it. You deserve it. You deserve to be hurt by women, because you hurt us. You hurt your wife, your own daughters. But that’s not all; we’re not the only ones you hurt. When you disrespect any woman or girl you disrespect half the population of the earth. We are all one. The girl you molested is your mother, daughter, wife, cousin, niece, sister.  

Did you know that I was molested by my cousin when I was little? Would your choices have been any different if you had known? Does it make any difference to you that it happens ALL THE TIME to ALL OF US? Every second of every day, some girl is made to feel that she is nothing more than a piece of meat to be consumed, that it is possible to put a fucking price tag on her. Why are there whores? Because there are those who are willing to pay for sex. Sex is not that important to us; women don’t become whores because it’s a fun thing to do; they do it because they’re out of options.

How could some stupid fantasy be so fucking important that you would be willing to endanger your relationships with all the women in your life? You must think so very little of us. You must not care at all about how we feel. Or you must be one psychotic motherfucker.

I hope you don’t think you’re any better than the men on America’s Most Wanted; you are just the same as them. You don’t deserve to exist as a normal functioning part of society. Thank GOD you will not be at my wedding to walk me down the aisle; I will not allow it and I look forward to the day when I can tell you so.

You pity yourself. You cry and want my pity because your life is falling apart. Well you fucking did it to yourself – you did it over and over and over again. Even to me. Do you think I don’t remember the night I woke up because something was rubbing me between my legs and found you floating above me? I know you weren’t “fixing my covers.” You’ve never fixed my covers in your life. And do you think I don’t remember all the times you “accidentally” had your dick hanging out of your shorts while we kids ran around the house playing? Did you think I would never figure out that wasn’t normal?

My poor beautiful mother, she gave you so many chances to be a decent human being, but you threw them all away. You trashed everything good in your life by being a disgusting, lustful monster. You’re a horrible, subhuman nothing. You have no appreciation for anything that is real and meaningful. You treated the dog better than you treated your wife and children.

And poor Amanda – you destroyed that beautiful, beautiful girl. You stole away everything in her that was innocent, sacred, and special, and you turned her into a worthless whore. You can’t possibly understand the impact you’ve had on her life – on my life. There are times when I’ve thought I might be a lesbian, but I know it’s really only that I hate men so much – because of YOU.

You can cry and sob all you want, but you will NEVER have my pity.


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  1. Sarah Gilbert Reply

    Wow. This takes my breath away. My hope is that as you grew older this transformed into a deeply, compassionate love for yourself and other people like you. There are so many. So many.

  2. Whoa. I had to read this twice: once so my head could get it, another so my heart could catch up. I can’t even imagine what emotional chaos that must have caused. I hope that you’ve found closure for yourself as a woman, though it can’t be easy. Hugs, Mama. xo

  3. Oh man, I don’t even have any words, Kristen. Anything I’d say would sound trite. Horrifying that you and so many girls have gone through this.

  4. Wow, girl. Wow. I’m so sorry – that just must’ve been unspeakably damaging to you, though you managed to spell out exactly how damaging it was. This post was brave, honest, raw, visceral and very, very sad. I want to hug that 21 year old girl (and the 35 year old girl too).

  5. Searching for the words to say all of the things that I’m feeling right now after reading this post. I just want to give you a hug… you as a child, you at 21 and you now. You are brave and strong. Thank you for writing this.

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