Demi Lovato Calls Letter to Late Father a 'Beautiful Release' of 'Resentments'
"I wasn't going to have daddy issues for the rest of my life," wrote the singer in a personal essay about 2020
Demi Lovato is ready to leave her "Daddy Issues" in 2020.
In a heartfelt personal essay for Vogue, the "I Love Me" singer opened up about a gratitude letter she wrote to her late father Patrick Lovato this year in an effort to put her mental wellbeing first.
"There was the anniversary of my father's death, which is a couple of days after Father's Day — a really hard time of year for me," wrote the singer, who has been open about her "abusive" and "mean" father. "But this year, something happened."
"I wrote a gratitude letter to him, thanking him for all the things that I got from him," she explained. "It was this beautiful release of all the resentments I had toward him. I realized, for the first time, that I wasn't going to have daddy issues for the rest of my life."
Lovato's mother Dianna De La Garza — who detailed several instances of domestic abuse in her 2018 memoir — and daughters Dallas Lovato, 32, and Demi had a complicated relationship with Patrick until he died in 2013.
"I was very conflicted when he passed because he was abusive," Lovato said in 2015. "He was mean, but he wanted to be a good person, and he wanted to have his family. When my mom married my stepdad [Eddie De La Garza], he still had this huge heart where he would say, 'I'm so glad Eddie's taking care of you and doing the job that I wish I could do.'"
"Initially, I was resistant, but because my fiancé is so positive all the time, I just started picking up on the things he does," she writes. "I started meditating and doing yoga. I started journaling, painting, taking pictures and being creative, and learning to appreciate nature, after realizing I'd been taking it for granted all this time."
Lovato explained she started to experience insomnia due to her anxiety, leading her to developing a nighttime ritual of lighting candles, stretching and putting on "an affirmation meditation tape."
"One positive thing about the pandemic is that it has shone a spotlight on mental health in a way like never before," the "Confident" singer writes. "For so many years, mental illness was seen as shameful. I certainly felt ashamed; I was made to feel ashamed. This comes from ignorance. People just didn't understand what it was, people were scared of words such as anxiety and depression."
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"If you look at my life, everything that I have — money, success, a roof over my head — it's because of the inspiration those Black women gave me," she writes after citing Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston as influences. "So here I am, sitting in a home that I was able to afford with the money that I have from singing, while people of color are fearing for their lives every day."
"I realized this was a lightning bolt jolting through my body, where I was reminded of my privilege," she continued. "I felt an overwhelming responsibility to help spread awareness about this injustice, so I began posting things that I thought would educate people."
Lovato explained that she at first felt "self-conscious" about speaking out and that she didn't know what to do.
"All I knew was that I hated that I shared the same skin color as the people accused of committing heinous crimes against Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many, many other Black lives," she writes, before adding, "What I've learned is that to be a good ally, you need to be willing to protect people at all costs.
In July, the former Disney star announced a wardrobe auction benefitting several causes related to the Black Lives Matter movement and launched a campaign in Breonna Taylor's honor on her own birthday.
"I want to leave the world a better place than when I got here," she ends the essay. "There are a lot of things that need to be done before that, but together I believe we can make it happen. You just need to be a little bit hopeful."