thank you for the insight.
Here is an updated one on the letter the i received from my father.
Father and Daughter
I never knew how much my father loved me, until the day I opened up a letter at my "Epatha" Confirmation Retreat. "Epatha" Confirmation retreat is a retreat where I go out to a place I have never been and stayed there for three days and two nights. "Epatha" Confirmation Retreat was located on the country side of Covington, Louisiana. During my stay, I am not allowed to bring any electronics, even if I did, it was pointless because I could not get a signal. We sang, prayed, and worshiped to God and Jesus Christ, Our Savior. Also I was assigned into a group that I had to consider as a "family." The group consisted of 6 students with two adults. Every "family" had to get to know each other better and throughout the retreat all the "families" compete with each other to see which "family" is the most spiritual. In the process of this retreat, every student received a letter from their parents /or guardians. The letter I got from my father was a life-changing experience. Although we did not have a great relationship, I was surprised that my father, who I hated, wrote a loving letter to me.
As I grew up, my relationship with my dad got worse. My father would always go to work, and I never saw him around, except for when I got into trouble at school. He came to my school, drag me out of the school, and whip my behind when we got home. We barely spoke a word to each other throughout my childhood. I remember one night; I was sleeping, and my dad comes into my room yelling at me because he thought I let someone through my window. I was sleeping! How could I have let someone come through my window? He thought I was hiding a boy in my room. The next day he felt the need to board up my windows. I was so mad at him for doing that to me. He was overreacting for no reason. I tried to tell him that I was not sneaking around with anyone. He made a big deal about everything from then on. I could not stand it anymore. As a result, I came to hate my dad because he did not trust me.
During my childhood, I had to attend Sunday school because I am Catholic. Sunday school is where Catholic students learn more in depth about the religion. 11th grade was when I could go to the "Epatha" Confirmation Retreat. "Epatha" Confirmation Retreat is a time for students to reflect on Catholic religion without electronics. I was not allowed to bring electronics because it would distract me from the activities I was supposed to participate in. I dread on going on the "Epatha" Confirmation Retreat because I have never been away from home that long. I clearly remember the beginning of the "Epatha" Confirmation Retreat. It was a Friday afternoon and I had to pack all my stuff in a luggage for a three day and two-night stay. When I finished packing, my dad drove me out to Sunday school for me to get on the bus on time. I got out of the car not saying a word to my dad, but I was hoping he would have encouraged me in some kind of way. All my friends were already there waiting for me to come along with them. Hugs and goodbyes were all I saw when I got there. As I was getting on the bus, I had a bad gut feeling about this retreat. I didn't know why I was feeling that way, but I ignored it and went on like nothing happened. Everyone on the bus seemed so excited to go on this so called, "life-changing retreat." During the bus ride, I was napping while everyone on the bus was playing card games and singing to each other. Two hours later, I woke up and realized the bus just stopped in front of the final destination. I looked out the window to see that I was not in the city anymore, but I was on the countryside of Covington, Louisiana. I have never been to the countryside and being in the countryside overwhelmed me. The scenery outside was beautiful because it was spring time. All the trees, flowers, and animals made me think about the important things instead of the materialistic things in life. Maybe God sent me to this retreat for a reason, to teach me something about myself.
During the retreat, each "family" had to go in a dark sacred room with a candle light to form a circle and sit down in silence. Fear and anxiety filled the room as everyone looked at each other silently. Curiosity filled my mind as I anxiously wait for someone to say something. As I sit in the circle waiting, my teacher said, "We are here to pray for others who are unfortunate. I will start by mentioning what I am grateful for and then we will go around the circle." Listening to everyone pray, I thought about what I was grateful for in life, but thought of nothing. It was my turn and I had to come up with something quick. I ended up saying, "I am grateful that I was able to live another day and to have everyone here encourage me through this time." Surprisingly, I did feel that way. Everyone finally finished praying and we had to go on to the next activity. My teacher handed me what seems to be a large white envelope. Clueless and curious, I sit there trying to figure out what it was. My teacher said, "Choose an empty spot of the room to sit at and read the letter your parents wrote to you. I automatically froze in shock because I heard "parents." My thoughts were all over the place. "What does this letter say? Did he really write this letter to me? I am so confused! I am scared to read this letter." All those thoughts were running through my mind so fast that I did not know whether to read this letter, or burn it. Since the room was too dark for me to read the letter, I grabbed a flash light and ran to an empty corner to read my letter. My whole body was shaking as I opened my dad's letter slowly. I slowly pulled out the letter and I could already see "DEAR JULIE." Tears started to flow down my cheeks as I read the first few lines. "I do not want you to think I do not love you. I DO LOVE YOU. I watched you grow up as a child into an adult, and it made me scared to let you go as a child." I could not read anymore because I could not stop crying. I finally pulled myself together and read the rest of my letter. My dad explained why he acted the way he did, and did it to protect me from dangers in life. My dad also explained that I have been making it hard for him to show me love, because I always shut him out. I also learned from the letter that my house was robbed and it happened months before I read the letter. I was in shock because I did not find anything missing in my room. The things that were stolen were my dad's belongings, not mines.