- Richie Anne Castillo grew up embarrassed and ashamed about her father who has down syndrome.
- She posted a birthday tribute on social media for the first time, to “let the world know” how proud she is of him.
- She promises to celebrate her father from here on out — everything about him, both the good and the bad.
Richie Anne Castillo had a complicated relationship with her father growing up. Back then, she was bullied in school because her father has Down syndrome. She felt embarrassed and ashamed of her father.
Her perspective changed through time. On his 50th birthday, she shared about her father and the things she learned to adore about him. Her father is not on social media, but the post is intended to “let the world know” how proud she is of him.
“Dad, it took me so many years before I gathered enough courage to face everyone because not all may know the whole truth because it is quite confusing. Back in grade school, I would be picked on and bullied because they said you were different. As a kid I didn’t see you as different, I saw you as my dad. I didn’t understand why they were making fun of me and calling me abnormal.”
She shared her experience and expressed remorse for the things about her father she was embarrassed about. She called herself “coward”, unable to understand their situation, saddened about her standpoints.
“Here I am composing a birthday greeting to you because I’ve never done such a thing. You deserve so much more,” she said.
Richie talked about her father’s experience, with more problems compared to the next person. Her father endured numerous medical problems because of his current condition, but nothing changed about the brave face her father puts on every time. Then, she expressed remorse for her continued absence.
“If there is one thing I regret, it is hiding you from my life because I’m still the same little kid who was afraid of getting bullied.”
Today, she buried her embarrassment. From here, she promises to celebrate her father for everything that he is. Both the good and the bad.
“Everyone adores you and you know that. You could always put a smile and a laugh on everyone’s faces,” Richie continued. “You annoy people a lot too but we love you anyways. I understand that you have good days and bad days (your bad days are our bad days as well haha). You can be mean at times and you push everyone away, including me. But that’s just you and it’s okay. It’s okay to be different.”
“I am strong and brave because of you and I love you so much, dad. I think I’m big enough now to defend myself from the bullies. Lots of love, your daughter.”
Source: Tank’s Good News