While you may not deserve that title, for all intents and purposes you are technically my dad; only in the sense that you took part in my conception. I am calling this an open letter as I plan to air it out to some type of public forum where it can be found and read by others who fell victim to abuse and struggles due to the lack of responsibility from their father and see it is possible to come out of the ashes a better person, also because I deserve to be heard.
You won’t find this letter to be one that ends in forgiveness, or me thanking you for doing me the favor of not being around because I turned into a better person without you than I ever would have been with you. While it is true that what I have had to endure has made me a stronger person, you will never be excused for deserting me. What I went through made me stronger but that does not make it acceptable that I had to go through it. Unfortunately for me, I still hold so much resentment and anger towards you and hold you responsible for so much pain I dealt with in my life. If a father should be anything, it should be a protector. And of all the many things you never provided to me, I could have used your protection more than anything else. I was left hungry, scared and abused for the majority of my childhood and you weren’t there to save me. While you decided to be there for your two sons, I was left with no father to protect me from all the people in my life who hurt me.
Sometimes I wonder how you can sleep at night knowing that you have a daughter that you never tried to take care of. I guess I should confess that “never tried” is a tiny exaggeration. There were probably less than a handful of instances where I remember you picking me up for an hour as if that attempt would make up for all the other times you broke promises or straight up lied to me about coming back around knowing you had no intention of showing. I spent so long wondering why my own father didn’t want to be around me….why you cared more about my brothers than you did me. Because of you I associate men with pain. I suffer from abandonment issues and thinking I am not good enough to be loved and struggle everyday getting over the constant fear that I will be abandoned by those I believe love me, because you introduced that feeling into my life from the start.
I have come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have an answer to the reason why you left. Even in adulthood you fail to even acknowledge what you are at fault for. I have been in contact with your side of the family for quite some time now with people who are constantly in the same house yet you haven’t even asked to reach out to me, or to relay a message.
The fact that the daughter you abandoned years ago is right under your nose and still you choose not to address her says a lot about your character and really cements the fact that I am so much better off without you. If you hadn’t chosen to walk away I would not have the morals and character that I do. You showed me so greatly what I need to make sure I never allow my future children to feel. You showed me how important it is to give a damn about being there for people because to feel unwanted by someone who is supposed to be there is the worst feeling imaginable.
All my life people have made excuses for you, even my own mother who you left to fend for herself told me my whole life you loved me the only way you know how. She let me decide on my own what kind of person you were, I was left to determine on my own how I felt about you. My conclusion is that even though I spent MY whole life thinking I wasn’t enough, the problems all reside in you.
I truly hope for the sake of others you have turned yourself around and are more than an alcoholic who knows nothing other than breaking promises, because this is all I could ever describe you as. I hope you are a great grandfather to those young minds you are surrounded by and I hope you are a better role model to them then you ever were to me. It may be too late for me but I hope you are a hero in somebodies eyes and you remain that way. I hope you no longer make promises you have no intention of keeping. I hope you value others feelings more than you did mine. I know I should forgive you, and I am working on it. Just know that when I do, I will do it for me because holding on to that hurt burns me more than it will ever burn you.
The daughter who made it without you.