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A Dad’s Plea For His Daughter On Christmas

For a decade after losing you we still hang your stocking by the fireplace. I guess about four years ago we stopped putting stuff in it. Re-gifting after Christmas really started to get depressing. Same with your presents under the tree. Unwrapping them later was just too sad. We do still set your place at the table for Christmas dinner. Breaking it down is sad. I’m weird, I even wash it all with the other dishes and stuff. I don’t know why? Maybe I just pretend you were here. I found you were married a little while back. So I always have your husband’s place setting staged up and ready to go. So he’d feel welcomed as well.

Irene and your step-sister patiently tolerate me telling the same old stories about times before we lost you. They humor me, and even tell their own funny anecdotes about the funny stuff you’ve done. I like when they do that. Remembering you has become a family tradition. It eases the pain for me. A little anyway.

From what little we can find out, we know you’re healthy and happy. I take great solace in that. It’s all I’ve ever wanted for you. I’m very proud of you honey. From whatever little I can learn, you’ve grown into a remarkable young woman.

Folks tell me to reach out to you. Other Castlewood victims we know tell me that when their falsely accused loved ones attempted contact they were annoyed at first. But later it helped them realize that their parent's love for them is truly unconditional. After time, they say it aided in reconciliation, and ultimately clarification. But I’ve never tried direct contact with you. First, because you have always been a stubborn young lady. Even as a kid. Once you made your mind up, there was no changing it. Then, I don’t force contact with you because I respect you. You made it clear that you really want nothing to do with me or any of us. While I do know your reasons for that are incredibly untrue and preposterous, I honor your decision nonetheless. Instead for eleven years, I reach out here, in my forum. On our CVU Facebook page as well. My efforts to reach you are public and heartfelt. But not invasive. You deserve that.

I’ve spent the past eleven years exposing Castlewood. It’s become my life’s mission. It’s not hard to do. The place is such a horrible disaster that exposing Castlewood is simple. I just field the nightmare stories from other patients they’ve hurt, families they’ve destroyed, and therapists who worked there but jumped ship once they witnessed how horrible the place is. They find out about this victim forum here and on social media. We all connect and share our Castlewood nightmares. Some we post here. Many just want to chat privately about what Castlewood has done to them and their families.

I do all this for three reasons. To help prevent Castlewood from hurting more people and families. To support patients and families hurt by Castlewood already. Then I do it for you. Hoping that you’ll see that what happened is not your fault. Or MY fault! In completely discrediting Castlewood and exposing it as the awful damaging cultish place it is, I’m hoping you’ll second guess your very very wrong perceptions of me and us. I guess there’s a fourth reason. Kind or morbid, but honestly I’m getting up there in age and feeling it. If anything happens to me I’ve set all this up to stay live and online in perpetuity. So you’ll always be able to see that I’ve never missed a birthday of yours or holiday we used to enjoy. So you’ll see that I never stopped trying in life to show you I still love you and don’t blame you for what’s happened. Most of that stuff is on our CVU FB page. Irene put a link somewhere here to it. I think. YES! I see it over there.

We still do our humble Christmas stuff. This year Friday morning (Xmas Eve morning) I have to take my truck and trailer to get a load of firewood from a friend. Not the truck you remember with the yellow spinning roof light I used to annoy you with. At 190K miles I finally had to sell the ‘ol Colorado. But I stuck with Chevy, of course. Just a wimpier version. Oh, I digress. Anyway, it’ll be about a cord of wood. After I stack that I’ll join in the Christmas Eve stuff. Irene finally got her way. Yes, yes, after decades of being together we are going to do the tree HER way on Christmas Eve. It’s up now and lit with lights. But not decorated. Her family tradition when she was little is to do that together on Christmas Eve. So that’s what we are doing starting at sunset. Along with all our traditional snacks and beverages. Oh, and the fireplace thing. You remember me and fires. Fires are MY relaxation therapy. Meghan will be over with her Fiancé. They live downtown near where my tavern used to be. Pretty cool right!? Yea she’s engaged. Good guy too.

Christmas morning we do the present thing. Then around 4:00, we do dinner. Like six of us I think. Nothing truly vegan if you still do that. Sorry. But lots of non-meat stuff! I’m doing my bone-in rib roast, garlic roasted mushrooms, butternut squash, bacon-wrapped asparagus, twice-baked potato, and some Irene dessert. I don’t know what, maybe her key lime pie.

As always they’ll be a setting for you. This year, one for your husband too. The rest of the night Uncle John will be playing his guitar. Christmas and folk stuff. Hey, I still have two of your violins here. In your room. Eleven years ago while you were at Castlewood I took them to Alto music to be restrung and serviced. I wanted to surprise you when you came home from treatment there. Little did we know how that would turn out. My friend there who did the violin work has since died. But he said they both were in great shape when I picked them up. Only $80 each they charged me! The receipts are in the cases. But I bet by now the service warranty isn’t valid. I tried playing one a few times. That was a fail. Oh well, again I digress.

Daughter, you’re welcome to pop in. Pick up where we left off. No judgment. No blame. Oh, there would be tears. But happy ones this time. We all miss you so much. It’s an awful open wound for all of us, especially me. You’re my only child. You’re my future, but you are missing. It’s hard. It’s so hard.

If you have plans you can’t alter maybe call me or text me! You can’t comprehend what that would mean to me. I’m still at (516) 313-2288. Never changed it. Or maybe you’d prefer Irene. She’s at (845) 591-4823. You’d make a house full of people so happy on Christmas (or Christmas Eve) if you visited or reached out. Especially happy if you were up to helping me stack firewood! But that’ll be kind of early.

Whatever happens daughter, and I’m not expecting much, we all hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Your mom’s side always does it right. I always liked when they used to have me over. Good people.

Merry Christmas honey. I never stopped loving you and I always will.



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