To The Father Who Chose His Girlfriends Over His Children

To The Father Who Chose His Girlfriends Over His Children, I Wish You Well

After many moments spent in therapy, I don't resent you or hate you, I wish you well.

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I have written and rewritten this article a thousand times over and over and the words never really ever came out right.

As a kid, you have this image in your head of what you think the perfect life is supposed to be like. Usually somewhere along the lines of a nice two-story house, with two parents, that both love you and love each other, with a few siblings, some family vacations, etc. you get the point. Obviously, as you grow up, you realize not everything is going to be like this perfect image that is in your head.

As a kid, I thought you were a great dad.

You spent time with me, took me to the movies, out for dinner, on vacations, and other things that I thought you were doing specifically to be able to spend time with your daughter. Sure, you had your faults like any other dad but I always thought they were never deal breakers until they became a deal breaker.

When you and my mother split up, I believed that is was my mother's fault for tearing apart my perfect little family. She was the one that moved out and took us away from you so it had to be her fault. And you never let me believe it wasn't either.

When you first got a girlfriend right after you and mom split, I didn't think anything of it. I mean at that age, she just seemed like another sister to me.

At the age of fourteen, after you chose your eighth or so girlfriend over your own flesh and blood, that was the moment when it became a problem for me.

That was the moment when your unableness to function without another female in your life, really affected how I see the world.

I watched you yell at your daughter, the daughter that you chose to raise as your own by adoption, and tell her that if she chose to talk like that to your girlfriend, then she would leave. But I also chose to leave. However, I, unlike my sister, chose to never go back.

After that happened a lot of things made sense for why we did a lot of things as kids.

Your partners were the reason for just about everything we did. If we ever went to the movies, it was because they wanted to go. If we ever went out to eat, it was either because they didn't know how to cook or because they wanted to go. If we ever weren't allowed to come over for our every other weekend, it was because you had plans with them. If we ever went on vacation, it was because they told you to take them somewhere.

It was never about us and always about them.

As a kid, you don't care so much as to why you are doing things, but you are just grateful to be doing them. But as a young adult with their own developing mind, you start to care why you are doing things.

I realized that day that your kids would never be the first thing for you to consider, we would always be second to last.

After many moments spent in therapy, I don't resent you or hate you, I wish you well.

You are the reason the phrase, "but they're still family" has no meaning to me. That day was a giant lesson to me about how to carefully choose who I let accompany me in my life.

As a kid, I saw a man who constantly needed another woman to take care of him and who could not ever manage to be alone. I will say that is partially the reason that I choose to never need someone, and to live my life how I choose, and to never let the actions of someone else dictate my life.

I wish you well. You find no discomfort in the life you live and I doubt you ever will and that is OK because it is your life and not mine. I am not writing this for you to read it and change your life and find a new way of living. No, I am writing this as a child who was treated as the last option and who refuses to be treated as the last option again.

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11 Harsh Truths About Sorority Rush College Girls Should Find About Now, Not In September

For any young woman that is about to go through sorority rush, here's what to REALLY expect.

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There's a common theme of every sorority making it seem like rush is the best time in the world, and that Greek life is the best thing since sliced bread. While I'm not knocking the fact that some people probably really do enjoy rush, there are some harsh truths that I believe every young woman should know before heading into recruitment.

I gathered some quotes from different women from different sororities here at Jacksonville State to give you the most honest, unbiased, expectations and truths for going into recruitment.

1. Give it some time. 

"You're going to want a sorority that you're not going to get. 9 times out of 10 you won't go where you *think you belong. But-- where you end up is exactly where you're meant to be. My sorority was next to last on my list, but I decided that I was going to give it some time. Now, I've found my forever home. "

2. You have to be open-minded.

"Don't cater your personality to the sorority you think is best. You won't end up loving it because you won't connect with the girls. Be open-minded."

3. Be yourself. 

"My honest truth is that I thought I'd have to go in and put on a big smile and just be who they wanted me to be in order to get a bid. That's how I was in every single room except for the one that I got a bid from. I was only myself in the room I was sure I didn't want and because I showed my true colors, that's what made it my home."

4. Leave with no regrets. 

"Rush is about finding someplace that is your home and that you belong. I would advise girls not to be heartbroken if it turns out that a Panhellenic sorority is not their home here at Jacksonville State, because they can find their home in other organizations! Rush is also an opportunity to find friends. So, get out there and build relationships with the girls you meet because that's what I regret the most- not being open to new friendships and being too nervous."

5. They're just as nervous as you are. 

"Don't go into a room thinking that you're better than the women already standing in it. They've worked so hard all summer to perfect this week, for YOU. They are tired. They are nervous. They are excited. They might trip on their words. They might get uncomfortable if you act like you'd rather be dead than in their party. Even if you don't believe that sorority is your home, be nice. Your attitude in every room during rush will follow you."

6. Sisterhood makes it worth it.

"Recruitment is emotionally draining and you think it won't ever end, but it's so worth the sisterhood that comes from it."

7. Stay true to yourself. 

"Umm, I would say recruitment is probably going to be one of the most stressful times that a girl is going to go through coming into college! You will feel pressure from every aspect just trying to make sure you make the right decision and end up in the right one. While we are all fundamentally similar it breaks down to very different girls and you need to make sure you stay true to yourself so you will actually enjoy the sorority and girls that you end up around. If you can just make it through and not care what others have to say about where you wanna go ( because people will try to tell you where you should go) stay true to yourself and do what's best for you."

8. Trust the system.

"You don't always get the sorority you think you want, but it usually ends up being better for you in the long run. Trust the system."

9. Just breathe.

"With all honesty, my best advice is to be yourself. Recruitment can be very stressful and sometimes a little overwhelming, but just go based off your heart. Do not let your friends make the decision for you because their choice may not be your best fit. You can still be friends and be in different sororities. Now there is a possibility that you are torn between two sororities and that's okay. Just breathe and think about who you see yourself with more and figure out what YOU want."

10. Don't stress yourself out.

"While recruitment is very draining and stressful, take time for yourself to de-stress and relax after your parties. Get a good nights sleep, and think about your values and how you truly connect to the women you had met that day."

11. It's not for everyone.

"Greek life is wonderful, but it's not the only place to find belonging. If you go through rush and don't find your home, don't be discouraged. You're not going to lose any of your friends because they joined a sorority and you did not. There are tons of other opportunities to get involved and make friends in other organizations."

I'm not writing this to scare anyone away from Greek life. I'm writing this to give, the young women who are about to rush, real and honest expectations and opinions from women who've already been through the process. There are so many benefits to joining a sorority. Lifelong friends, job connections, campus opportunities, connecting with others who share your values.

Even though Greek life won't be a perfect fit for everyone, you can still get these same things I just listed by joining any other campus organization. It's all about finding where you really belong.

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