Dear You,

Starting this off by saying "dear" feels disgustingly wrong. Nothing about you is dear, nothing you have ever done for me has been dear, expect you got me into Eminem at eight years old but let's be honest- that would have happened anyways. As far as the "you" part, you have no title in my life anymore, your name means nothing to me anymore nor does your previous title.

You have fucked me over more than anyone in my entire life. You've hurt me, pushed me down more times than I can count- but I've stood up one more time than each time you've pushed me down. You'll never see me succeed, nor will you meet my wife or our kids. This letter isn't to bash you, I'm over that because I'm better than you now and I realize that.

I want to thank you for the one thing you did do for me. You made me a man. I was raised on my Poppa's mindset- a house is controlled by God, a man, the wife, the kids, then everything else. I highly disagree with this now, but from age four you made me a man. My Poppa taught me that there was supposed to be a man and there was nobody else besides me and my momma so it was all up to me.

You know last week I refinished a cabinet all by myself? Sanded, stained, and sealed it all on my own. Now that's not a man's job but it's also not my momma's job because she works two to take care of me since we don't have anyone else besides Poppa and Grams. I was so proud of myself and I would have given anything for my Uncle Raymond to see it, he'd be so damn proud of me. Poppa sure as hell is. I didn't learn that from you, I taught myself how to do it. That was my second time ever staining anything, the first time was two weeks before that cabinet. Poppa is too sick to teach me things now and I don't expect him to do it, Uncle Raymond is gone- I'm the only man I've got.

I'm still not strong, I don't workout because I hate it tremendously. I can fix almost anything you put in front of me and I know more about cars than any girl I hang around (besides momma because she chased for so long). In 19 years I've learned how to hold my emotions in like a man because I had to be the strong one when you broke us. The only times are cry is when my girlfriend and I fight or I make momma cry, or if I'm really sick. I cried today too because I didn't get a job, I felt like a failure and I don't want to let momma down like others have in the past; including myself.

I still don't eat meat- not because I'm a "stuck up bitch". I don't drive a truck, but I want to so I can fit all of my things in it. I have a lot to say but not enough time or space to say it. I guess what I want to say is you forced me to become a man from the time I was four years old. I've always told people that I had to be the man of the house because we didn't have one. You don't make me want to be a man, you make me want to be a person and a damn good one. You make me want to be a partner to my wife, a loving one that provides. You make me want to be the best parent in the world- one that plays with Barbies and race cars (with the same damn kid).

You might not have done much, but you made me a man. A damn good man.

Best,

C