A Response To My Biological Father, Even Though You Don't Deserve It

A Response To My Biological Father, Even Though You Don't Deserve It

But I am done hurting. I am through needing you.

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Nearly a year ago you came unannounced, unexpectedly, and unnecessarily into my life for the first time in what, 17 years? When I saw a Facebook friend request from you I felt nothing but anger.

So, I took my time. You took over 15 years to reach out to me so surely you could wait a few months, at the minimum.

I've thought several times in these last months about how I would respond- if I would respond. But it wasn't until today, at this moment that I found the words. It wasn't until I sat watching Miley Cyrus say a final goodbye to her father in "The Last Song" that I felt motivated to write.

Hot tears singed the light freckles on my face as the ran down my bare skin. Surrounded by a room of people, I tried to choke back the wailing my body desperately searched for. But I wasn't crying due to some marvelous epiphany about how I will regret not meeting you now when I still have the chance.

My lip quivered, and tears warped the neckline of my shirt because I could not possibly stand the idea of losing the man that stood by my side all these years. I could feel my heart breaking just thinking about how I would ever say goodbye.

I healed many years ago from the open wounds you left me as a toddler. 15 years ago, you could have had my heart. You were given a second chance when I was nine, but you signed your rights away. And I'm not mad at you for leaving. I'm mad because you think you are entitled to a third chance.

See my father was never handed my heart. He earned it. That is a love far stronger than you could ever imagine. He allowed me the time to hurt. He took the punches that should have been yours, willingly. He understood the anger I had long before I realized it stemmed from you.

Through the therapy, the breakdowns, the lowest of moments, he never stopped telling me I was loved. He has never given up on me. He has given me love far greater than I could ever return.

But I am done hurting. I am through needing you. I guess I never really did in the first place. Really, I should be saying thank you.

Thank you for teaching me what a real father should look like.

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An Open Letter To The First Man Who Never Loved Me

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

Love,
Your "Daughter"

Cover Image Credit: Zierra Treshock

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I'm So, So Grateful For My Dad

Ariana sings about being grateful for her exes; I write about being grateful for my dad.

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While Ariana Grande released a song about being grateful for her exes and what they taught her (love the song, by the way), I got to thinking about what I'm grateful for. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for so many situations in my life that didn't work out because, as Ariana says, they taught me a lot. However, I'm also super grateful to a man in my life who may not always get the praise he deserves - my dad.

I know people in my life who haven't been able to have a good relationship with their biological father, stepfather, adoptive father, etc. But they've had another man in their life who acted as a father figure for them, and I am so thankful for that because dads play such a big role in our lives.

Mamas typically have the image of being the homemakers and having such an emotional connection to their babes and I'm not knocking that at all, but dads are still a force that is very much needed. Even in a girl's life. Especially in a girl's life.

I was born into a family of girls. That means that my dad is surrounded by females. Even our dogs are girls. So there's a lot of estrogen in the house and it can get very hectic, but thankfully dad balances it out. He's not in the midst of battling hormones, so he can tell us when we're acting cray cray and need a breather. And he's right 95% of the time!

I'm grateful to my dad for so many things; so many good times and bad, so many memories, and so many pieces of advice and character he's instilled in me over the past 20 years.

He's taught me how to fish. Granted, I'm not very equipped for it or good at it. Can you even be "good" at fishing if it's mostly about picking good areas to cast out?

He took me to almost all of my dance classes from the time I was in third grade to high school. As long as he wasn't sick, he'd be ready to go before I was! And it wasn't like he just dropped me off and came back when he knew the class would be over.

Oh no.

He'd sit in one of the chairs outside the door reading a magazine or book, glancing up every now and then to watch my progress.

He's taken me on more Barnes & Noble trips than I can count. Before I started driving, it'd become such a tradition that we'd go and I'd get probably a handful of books then, a couple weeks later once I'd finished the batch, he'd take me again. And he never got sick of it! He'd follow me back to the children's section and sit in one of the chairs that were too tiny for my bottom, let alone a 6'5 dad!

But, hands-down, the best lesson he has ever taught me or shown me in my life is how I deserve to be treated by a guy.

My dad is a servant of those he loves. Not in a way that we put ourselves above him, but he's just got such a giving and loving heart that he finds joy in making others joyful. He's selfless and kind and courageous. I know he'd take a bullet for me if he had to, but he's also the kind of guy that'd buy me makeup if I asked him to.

I don't always need someone who puts others first; sometimes taking care of you is the best way to care for others. But I do want and deserve a guy that would take our daughter to dance class or our son to the bookstore to buy video games.

My dad may be outnumbered by a house full of women, but he's still the head of the household and he's still the provider that I'm so grateful to have in my life.

My family isn't super well-off, but we're blessed enough to have never gone without anything we needed, and I'm so thankful to my dad (and mama). They both work their butts off for me and my sister while knowing that what's even more important than money is love, care, and great memories.

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