An Open Letter To My Birth Family, By David Dietle

I don’t even know where to begin with this. I guess “Leave me alone.” That’s the entirety of this in 3 words and pretty much everything I really want to say to you.

But I assume you’re probably going to read the rest of this regardless of what I say, so I will elaborate if you’re still here.

I only hear from you every so often when some tragedy happens, or rather, when someone dies. I know you’re upset. I probably would be too, but I never had any particularly close ties with anyone in our family, let alone the past 8 years. Growing up was a mix of good and bad. I tended not to focus on the bad, but as I got older and had a hard time being around other people, maintaining friendships or trusting people, I started exploring the bad.

Like my overly abusive and manipulative sister. I can trace quite a bit of my distrust of others and self esteem issues directly to the cruel shit she used to do to me growing up. I was left alone with her quite a bit as we got older and that did permanent damage. Remember my broken finger which I complained about for over a week before we got it looked at? That was from punching her AFTER she kicked me in the crotch over a fucking pizza pocket. Never mind that she seemed to be dealing with whatever demons she had in her life by torturing me emotionally and then scarring my physically once I snapped. I can remember her getting in trouble a handful of times for her drawing blood. I still have those scars.

By 11th grade I had been moved to my 4th home, spending my last 2 years of high school alone. I Was typically alone at the house from 2 in the afternoon until 5-7 every day. Being brand new to the school, I had no history with anyone and was surrounded by people who’d known each other their entire lives. I became self-reliant, which I am to this day. It made it easy to walk away from all of you.

Once I had an actual girlfriend, and then fiancée, things took a noticeable change. Our wedding was treated like little more than a family picnic and we had to take care of essentially every aspect of it. We had specific requests for the food that would be served, but Dad went ahead and did what he wanted (and that became a bigger spectacle than the two of us GETTING MARRIED.) This made it less surprising when we excitedly announced that we were having a baby girl, and it was treated with less enthusiasm than announcing we got a raise at work. Dad actually followed up with “Anyway” and started complaining about work.

Once she was born, the lack of attention to our requests as parents became disrespectful. We asked that no one put their fingers in her mouth the ONE TIME we trusted you to watch after her, and you not only had my grandparents over immediately to show her off (that was MY kid to show off, not yours) you didn’t stop your mother from sticking her fingers in her mouth.

It wasn’t long after that that we had to evacuate our house because of flooding. Despite having an exhausted new mother and a newborn in your house, you refused to change any aspect of your lives to accommodate us (‘we’re not going to change our routine for you’ is an exact quote), yet you were surprised the next day when we packed up and left. That was bad enough; we had also specifically requested Jenny NOT come by since we didn’t want to see her, so what did you do, Mom? You sent her over.

You were so put out that we packed up and left. I can only imagine you were completely disconnected from reality or so wrapped up in your own wants and needs that you were unable to comprehend that treating us like a new piece of furniture was inappropriate, thoughtless and NOT how one treats family, especially their child, and especially when he and his family think they could lose their home AND they have no job.

You acted like driving 20 minutes out to Rochester to visit your son and grand daughter was a terrible imposition and that wanted to keep our brand new baby on a schedule was just draconian and ridiculous. The last time we spoke about any of this was in 2006. That was when you, Mom, told me that while my daughter may be the center of the universe to me, “Don’t expect anyone else to think of her that way.” My sister’s first kid will always be considered “special.”

Why? Because she lied about being pregnant so “no one knew” she was pregnant until she was in labor? Because she didn’t abort or give THIS one up for adoption? Do you remember my complete lack of surprise at finding out she was having a baby? That’s because I am not an idiot. She’s not that clever, she spent 6 months looking like she was hiding a volley ball under her shirt. But denial is very powerful.

It was when I hung up the phone that I decided I was done with all of you. I put up with plenty growing up. I was a good son, I was around, I tried to contribute, and I put my wants and needs aside for my friends and family when they needed me (like when Jenny decided to leave Brian for a night). My thanks was being treated like a second class citizen when I was trying to be happy for myself. family supports one another; they don’t give minimal effort when they have no other choice. They don’t treat them like they are owed.

And they don’t tell them the kid they did everything to make and provide a stable life for is lesser because she wasn’t an accident. I walked away because it was what was best for me and my family. To me, you are strangers with the same last name and a distant, best-forgotten history. There’s plenty more I can share, but I imagine this is plenty to make you uncomfortable it’s out in the open for anyone to read. I think I got my point across.

Some people would say I should tell you in person. I say any explanation is more than you deserve. Leave me and my family alone. My in-laws have shown me more love, consideration and kindness in the past 10 years than I remember getting in the 10 before from my own genetically-related family. So forget about me. I’m not part of you and you aren’t part of me. There’s an entire portion of my family I grew up never knowing, and I feel the same here. Nothing. Just an empty spot where most people have something, but I have lived with for so long that it doesn’t bother me.

Enjoy what’s left of your lives and let me do the same.

“Good bye” happened years ago, this is just me shouting “go away” into the dark.



UPDATE, August 2016

Warning to 3rd parties, this is dark


To my former family: If you’re silly enough to still visit this page, I’d like you to know that all of this led to years of alcoholism that then lead to divorce and me eventually losing custody of my daughter. I am withdrawn completely, suffer from clinical depression, severe social anxiety, and PTSD from the physical, emotional and sexual abuse my vicious harpy of a sister dumped on me as a kid.

Yes, your favored child is a sexual predator. I hope she’s not hurting anyone else. Fuck off forever.

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