An Open Letter To The First Man Who Never Loved Me

An Open Letter To The First Man Who Never Loved Me

I'm sorry. I thank you. I hope you're happy.

Dear "Dad,"

I'm not bitter anymore, I'm just sorry. I'm sorry that you didn't want to be a part of my successes and would rather be my biggest failure. I'm sorry that you chose a life without me in it. I'm sorry that I accomplished so much in the past year and you've heard nothing about it. I'm sorry that you have no right to be proud of me. I'm sorry that you will never be a part of my life again. I'm sorry that I let you hurt me this badly. I'm sorry that I put so much trust and effort into building a relationship that you just didn't want. I'm sorry that I had faith in you. Most of all, I'm sorry that I wasn't good enough for you.

I look back on all of the times that we never shared together and I don't get sad anymore. Rather, I get a sense of pride in myself. I know how strong I've become just because of your lack of existence. I know that there were people in my life who took your spot and excelled in raising me. I know that you will never see the damage you've done to me, and I promise you that I will make sure you will never see my successes as your own.

SEE ALSO: Be Patient With The Girl Whose Heart Was Broken Before You Came Into Her Life

I remember all of the times I chose you over myself. I think back on all of the times that I tried to keep you, but you still ended up walking out on me. I would like to thank you for this. Thank you for teaching me that no matter how bad I want someone in my life, it doesn't always happen. Thank you for teaching me that I won't always get what I want. Thank you for letting me down enough times that I only view myself as dependable, and no one else. Thank you for standing back and letting me struggle when it was obvious that you could have helped me. Thank you for making me as independent and self-reliant as I am.

The credit that you don't deserve is given all to my mother. You couldn't even imagine the amount of stress that you put on her. She had to watch her daughter hate herself, believe that it was her fault and cry nightly because of a man who didn't want to be in her life. The first man to break my heart, before I even knew I had a heart to be broken, was you.

I hope you're content with your decisions. I hope you are living the life you wanted to live. I hope that you look back on the daughter that you never had and take this as a learning experience. I hope you learn. I hope you grow as a person. I hope you don't make the same mistakes you have.

SEE ALSO: A Letter To My Step Dad

If you ever wake up one morning and want to come back into my life, don't. I don't need an apology from you. I don't need to hear your voice again. I don't need to know how you're doing, where you are or "what's new." I don't need to answer your questions. I don't need to let you into my heart just to lose you again. I don't need you.

I'm sorry.

I thank you.

I hope you're happy.

Your "Daughter"

Cover Image Credit: Zierra Treshock

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We Live In A Numerical Hierarchy That We Can't Seem To Shake

Our society has diminished the importance of genuine characteristics without us even realizing it.

The other day in math class, my teacher went over the concept that a number higher on a number line has a higher overall value. Now to preface, math was never my forte and probably never will be, however before I began thinking back to my previous algebra courses and it dawned on me that this theorem is instilled in everyone, but not just in a mathematical context. I witness this system of judgement everywhere and at every stage of my life, where class ranks, number of retweets and Snapchat Story views are among the many worries our society has in today's world. I looked around at the students struggling to comprehend what the teacher said and pondered for a second. How can people lack the understanding of an idea that they unknowingly implement every day?

As members of society, we constantly identify ourselves by the number of likes we get on our Instagram photos, grade point averages, salaries and other quantitative factors. Additionally, we tend to stop at no cost to always obtain bigger, better, and more often than not, more due to the quantitative thinking everpresent in our daily lives. We allow these numbers to define our personal worth, claiming that the more popularity, A’s, and money we have places us higher on society’s scale, causing us to have a higher overall value than others and cause unnecessary disparity among our peers.

As a result of the underground prevalence of this notion society refuses to acknowledge, we suffer through lowering self-esteem, the concept of the fear of missing out (FOMO), and other methods of self-criticism that we've created for ourselves, disregarding other qualities about ourselves we often forget to consider. So when I am asked what I hope will change about where I live or the way I've grown up, I think of the constant talk of test scores in high school in order to get into the best universities, body measurements in the domain of beauty for both men and women, or how much we spend on the latest designer clothes in order to stay trendy and "in" and my answer is clear.

This overarching numerical hierarchy that exists in our society has diminished the importance of genuine characteristics of humanity like diligence and dedication without us even realizing it. Growing up, I've shed more and more light on my hope that those around me learn to leave the widespread obsession with numbers in math class and re-familiarize themselves with the concept of judging each other based on quality rather than quantity.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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No, Arming Teachers Is Not The Solution To The Gun Control Problem

In response to the Stoneman Douglas shooting, lawmakers in Florida finally passed a act supporting stricter gun regulations. However, they've gone about it the wrong way.

Almost a month after the mass shooting that killed 17 schoolchildren in Parkland, Florida, lawmakers in Florida pass the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, honoring the school where the shooting took place. In many ways, this act is an amazing step towards full gun control in the United States. They’ve raised the age required to buy firearms, required more thorough mental health background checks for those buying them, created the Office of Safe Schools within the Department of Education, and banned specific acts pertaining to the sale and use of bump fire stocks (additions to firearms that can make shooting in rapid succession much easier).

However, there’s one important addition to this new act that seems to have taken a step in a completely different direction – and that’s the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which honors the Stoneman Douglas coach that died protecting his students. This program lets each individual school district and their local sheriff’s department decide on whether or not they want to arm teachers. This could potentially have the opposite effect on school safety and could have devastating consequences, furthering the problem.

It’s been proven again and again that the only way to create a safe environment and prevent mass shootings is to create strict gun control laws all over the country, not just in one or two states, and to not introduce more guns into the country. Nations like Japan and Australia are among some of the ones that have the strictest gun control laws, and they are also among the countries that have the lowest rates of mass shootings and gun related deaths.

Introducing guns in classrooms are just going to make things worse. During an emergency, the teacher could be overwhelmed by their students and have the gun taken from them. Or, because of their proximity to students, they could accidentally shoot one of them, instead. Since people would know which teachers are armed and which ones aren’t, perpetrators could use this to their advantage and escalate the situation by taking control of those guns, too. And if the counterargument to this is that the guns would be locked away and protected by a safe or kept somewhere other than the teachers’ classrooms, then how can they even be grabbed in time to act in an emergency situation?

Furthermore, arming teachers is an even bigger threat to minority schoolchildren. Black children already face an extremely disproportionate amount of punishment than white children, and adding guns into the mix is creating more problems. If in the event of an emergency, a white teacher hears gunshots and looks outside of his classroom and sees one of his students, a person of color, running down the hallway with a hand his pocket, what’s to stop the teacher from panicking and shooting his student? Even the student’s hand was only holding his phone so he could text his parents as soon as he reached a safe area to do so? Many people are worried that poorer, more Republican school districts with white teachers and students of color will opt into this program, now creating further danger. Kids who aren’t white are already being taught to run away from police officers because of their unfair treatment to people of color. They shouldn’t have to fear their teachers, the people who are supposed to be nurturing and helping them grow, too.

Instead, schools should up security and make it much harder to enter into the building without an ID. Station police officers who are specially trained for schools. Teach students what to do in an emergency situation. Offer better mental health counseling. The country can do its part by tightening gun regulations, just as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act proposed.

Already, the act is under fire from the National Rifle Association. The NRA is suing because they believe that raising the age limit is a violation of the Constitution, and they will stop at nothing to make the most money and sell the most firearms. However, they had no protest against the possibility of arming teachers. Do we really want to do something that an organization like the NRA supports?

This Wednesday, students all over the United States walked out of their schools to protest the lack of gun control in the United States. Let’s not give them another reason to do so again.

Cover Image Credit: Time Magazine

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