As a young child, I thought I was your world and you would do anything for me. As a young child, I thought that you would always be there for me to protect me from the boogey man. As a young child, I thought I was daddy’s little girl and if I was bad you would still love me. As a young child, I thought you were the greatest and any time spent with you was precious. As a young child, I thought you would be a part of my life forever, but I was so very wrong.
As a girl, I began to feel you pull away and I didn’t understand what I did wrong. As a girl, I began to wonder why you didn’t show up and was I that easy to forget. As a girl, I began to worry that you didn’t love me anymore and I wondered why you stopped. As a girl I began to cry more often as you moved onto a new life without me. As a girl I began to hope you would come back, but you only went farther away.
As a teen, your absence made me like I was unworthy since my own father didn’t love me why would anyone else. As a teen, your absence feed my emotional pain to the point where I had to cut to feel relief. As a teen, your absence stung when you weren’t there for so many big events. As a teen, your absence was unbearable and the pain was expressed so often in anger. As a teen, your absence gave my demons so much power and they held onto that for years and years.
As a young woman, I acted out recklessly in order to fill a void left by you and the love that father is supposed to provide. As a young woman, I self medicated in excess in order to numb the constant pain. As a young woman, my anger at you feed my demons even more. As a young woman, I believed I was not worthy of love or affection because I was unworthy of your love. As a young woman, I tried to kill myself multiple times to get away from the darkness. As a young woman, I tried to my best to write you out of my life for good.
As a woman, I started to forgive you for all the pain your choices had caused me throughout the years, even though I knew you didn’t understand the depth of that pain. As a woman, I started to forgive you for blaming me for some many years and implying that as a child, girl, or teen I was at fault for you leaving my life. As a woman, I started to forgive you for keeping my brothers from my life and denying us that relationship. As a woman, I started to forgive you because I thought if I could fix us than I could fix what was broken inside of me, but it didn’t fix anything.
As a mother, I wanted you to know your grandkids because my relationship with your parents had been one of my greatest comforts in life. As a mother, I wanted my family to be whole, even if that meant loving a father who never said he was sorry. As a mother, I wanted to provide an intake family so that I wouldn’t ever have to explain to my kids the greatest pain of my life. As a mother, I wanted to include in all aspects of our lives to make up for all that you missed in my life. As a mother, I had hoped that one day you would say you were proud of me, that you loved me, and that you were sorry, but that never happened.
Now I realize that your love is still conditional and how easily you can tell me I am not worth your help, love, or time. Now I realize that I was the one that put in so much effort to rebuild our relationship, and you may have been just fine if I had never returned. Now I realize that you do not respect me when you spew racist ideals in front of me and my kids, knowing how much that bothers me. Now I realize that the pain of the past has never really left me and continues to impact the warrior within me. Now I realize that your love for me as a father is conditional and has always been that way.
Today, I take my pain and I acknowledge that is interfering with my life to this day. Today, I take my pain and I feel it completely move through me as I put it into words. Today, I take my pain and I let it leave my body through tears falling as I speak my truth. Today, I take my pain and release it in order to allow more love fill its void. Today, I take my pain and move forward by letting the warrior take control and slay the demons who feed on that pain. Today, I refuse to allow the absence of my father, the absence of his love, the absence of his apology, the absence of his respect, and the absence of his trust to define even a small part of me. Today I take one more step towards healing my soul and being free to love without fear.