With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, I grew excited about being able to see my family and spend quality time with them. I never get to see my dads side of the family very much lately, between school and living three hours from home, so time spent together is precious. However, a familiar anxiety grew deep inside me when I realized that my father might be there. We haven't spoken in 7 months, and with tensions being so high, I was extremely nervous to see him. I was then faced with the internal decision of having to choose to see my family for the holiday's, or hide from him once again. Past experiences and trauma surfaced as I began to reflect on our life together (or lack there of), and I finally made a decision.
As a little girl I put you on a pedestal. I was the "daddy's girl" and you were the dad that would always be there for me, or so I thought. It wasn't until I got older that I was able to see what you were doing all along, and our relationship fell short. Being so young and naive, I could never fully wrap my mind around what you were about.
So to the dad who never chose me,
Thank you for deceiving me. You always had a way of tearing me down, building me up, blinding me from what you really were, and then leaving me shattered. Broken. Because of your games, I now know how to say "no." I know what it means to be independent, and be cautious of who I surround myself with. My senses are heightened because of the way you messed with my head. Trust, is a word I struggle with, and God bless my husband one day, because he will have to work very hard to gain it. Because of you, I question everyone's motives to the point of paranoia. However, it has set my standards extremely high, and now it is not so easy to win me over. Whoever I have let enter my life, has worked very hard to get there, making my friend circle strong, and warm hearted. It has also left me a little more vulnerable, and more compassionate towards others for various reasons. A quality, my friends appreciate.
Thank you for wrecking my self worth. You always commented on my stupidity, my looks, and my goals. I couldn't take one step forward without you dragging me three steps back. I was never good enough for you, and my dreams were met with screams of dissatisfaction. I was scared of you. Of your words, your looks, and even worse, your actions. The way your jaw throbbed at the first sign of anger, that would quickly lead to rage, chilled me to the bone. Only because I knew what my fate was to become.
I never lived up to your standards. Whatever I liked, you stripped from me so quickly. For years I couldn't seem to shake you, and when you spoke, my body froze. This is the closest to paralysis I've ever come to know in my life. In the end, I gained my voice after losing it for so long, and as I enter my early twenties, very little scares or intimidates me anymore. Challenges don't phase me, and I am able to face them head on, and I have your wrath to thank for that. Those times you pulled me three steps back, has become my internal challenge, and instead of stepping forward, I leap. Thank you for building that wall around me, just so I could tear it down, it's taught me to be strong.
Thank you for neglecting me and tearing me down emotionally, mentally, and physically. In the end it has shaped who I am for the better. Because of you, I am so much stronger and wiser than I was. Not because of what you taught me, but because of what you did to me. I now know how to treat others, and how I don't deserve to be treated. I know what I want, and what I am worth.
Thank you for never showing up, when I thought I needed you the most. Luckily, I had a mother whose love saved me from your grip. She took your place for many years, raising me, and setting the example of the woman I was to become. Because you chose materialistic, possessive, things over me, I drew close to her. And she will forever have my heart. She put back all the pieces you broke, and this time....she sealed them with glue, making me indestructible.
Thank you for stepping out of the way for someone else to take your place. Because you chose to leave me behind, and broken, someone else filled your shoes. You stepped down from your title as "dad," and my real father took your spot that you never could seem to fill. Because of him, I am abundantly blessed. I have someone to walk me down the isle, to hold my children, and to bare the name "grandpa," one day. Things you will probably miss out on. Someone who loves me without condition, and provides for me without hesitation. Someone who chose me, and continues to do so each and every day.
I wish I could love you like the father I wish you would be. Unfortunately, I have to choose to keep you at a distance, and go about my life. I am not scared of you, I don't need you, and I will love you from afar, as best I can. This year I will go be with my family for the holiday's, and avoid conversation and awkward eye contact with you (should you choose to show up). I forgive you, but I will forever be cautious of where I walk. For now, I will remain forever thankful for the family I have and the person I have become. I have them because you never chose me, but they did.
The Daughter Who Never Needed You
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7