Dear "Father,"

I say it that way for many reasons. I still don't know what I ever did to you. I honestly, truly don't know what made you not care about me at all.

I kept my grades up. I stayed involved in school activities. I was chosen as a Student of the Month. They held a dinner and my sister and I were the only ones without parents there. I made Class President. I kill myself in these AP classes. I do and did the very best I could. Atleast I thought I did. So what made you decide you didn't want me anymore?

You rarely asked how my day was. You never asked how the cross country meet went. You didn't want to take me anywhere but I wasn't allowed to have a friend drive me. You didn't care about my feelings and you still don't. I could come home singing and laughing and you'd yell that something was wrong with me.

I'd pace for hours wondering how to word a question. "Hey dad.. can I..?" "(So and so) was wondering if.." "Would you care if..?" and most of the time, I'd pretend that I asked and I would tell my friends you said no anyway, because you usually did.

I began to start my questions with, "You'll probably say no.. but..," and ending my questions with, "it's okay if not." But I didn't understand why I wasn't allowed to do things because you didn't talk to me anyway. I just stayed in my room.

We got a new couch and I think I sat on it for two seconds once. That's how much I went in the living room. I hated being "home." You scared me.

I hope you still get tons of letters for us in the mail. I hope you see that I'm doing SO much better without you. Even this letter to you is almost not worth my time.

Sometimes people ask me about you but I don't say anything. What do you tell people if they ask about your kids? You won't tell them you kicked us out, right? And don't forget the reason. "I don't want the responsibility anymore." It's pathetic. I never asked you for a thing. You didn't do anything for me. Some BIG responsibility you had. Thank you for keeping a roof over my head. But I easily found better roofs to be under. Anywhere is better.

But that's okay. I forgive you.

You helped me become the person I am today. I don't put up with anything I don't deserve. I don't feel bad for sticking up for myself. I am going to continue to prosper. I know that one day I'm going to have my own children and I'm going to give them only the best.

Thank you for not being in my life anymore. I don't have to be sick to my stomach coming home. I don't have to pace back and forth wondering how to ask a simple question. I can actually hang out with my friends. I don't have to hide in my room in fear. I don't have to be kept awake at 3am because your friends are over and you're being ridiculous.

You showed me exactly what I never want to be. I never needed you. I don't ever want to see you again. I am forever grateful for the people I have.

You aren't a dad.

And I don't feel bad about hating my own "father."