Her father would email her photos
to show that her childhood wasn't all bad.
Amity Bitzel writes about her life as a kid, which somehow combined a father's physical abuse, the actor Neil Patrick Harris, and her father's decision to adopt a young man who'd murdered his adoptive parents.
After I left at 17, though I could never be considered close to my parents, I called on birthdays and holidays and saw them every few years; I said I love you at the end of phone conversations with my father. Every Father’s Day, I would get nauseous right before I called him. It got harder and harder to even say the word Dad -- that simple little word would swell in my throat and choke off my breath like I was swallowing thorns. And still, I lied, I pretended. We never really talked about all of the past tragedies; we just acted like everything was fine.Read the rest: It Happened To Me: My Parents Adopted a Murderer, XOJane>>
And then, one day, I was talking with my sister, and we started walking down memory lane -- or rather, tripping and stumbling and dodging bullets and getting really, really pissed. We talked about our childhood, about how unbelievable it all truly was. And gradually, we came to the shared realization that we didn’t have to lie and pretend anymore. Our father couldn’t hurt us. We could sever our ties; no one could stop us.