Dad,

It's taken me years and a lot of tears to cope with the fact that you left. Your absence has burned a hole within me that will never be repaired.

You were a coward. You found a new wife and you chose her over your first baby girl who you gave life to. I was only a kid when this happened, so it seemed normal. I never really noticed anything until a baby brother and sister were brought into my life... with your new wife.

That's when the pain set in. I had to watch you raise two children while I couldn't even get a card on my 16th birthday. That's when all of my anger was taken out on mom because she was the only one who was there for me.

You chose when you wanted to be a part of my life, and being apart of their life was never a question.

I've built up so much anger towards you over the years. I'm angry that I've made excuses for you because you were young when you had me when in reality you're perfectly capable of being a good father.

I'm hurt that I have to call you first on holiday's when I should be the first thing you think of when you wake up on Christmas morning.

I'm angry because I've spent nights in my room with a pillow held to my face so mom couldn't hear me crying. Crying over the fact that I've never felt good enough, because how is a girl supposed to feel good enough for anyone else when she isn't even good enough for her own father?

I'm angry because I'm cynical about the idea of love. I've never felt loved by you, and you're the one person in the world who should love me unconditionally. But, that's never been the case.

You were my first heartbreak, and I still haven't gotten over it.

You should be there to pick up the pieces left by the boy who didn't want me, but that boy has become you.

Despite all of this, I do want to thank you.

Thank you for showing me that I don't need you to make it through life. Thank you for forcing me to learn how to grow up at a young age. Thank you for helping me realize that I can do anything on my own.

You never showed the support a father should, you just showed up to take the credit when it was convenient for you.

Thank you for doing all of this to me because now I know I will never ever make my child feel the way you make me did because no one should ever feel unloved by a parent.

So I'll leave you with a final thank you. Thank you for making me a stronger person, because even though I've always felt like I need you, I don’t.

Sincerely,

Your strong, independent daughter