Honestly, I Don't Have Anything to Thank You For, Dad

Sometimes, we forget about all the things our parents do for us, or all the times they’ve been there, but when a parent isn’t around to be there or do things with you, it’s impossible to forget. Their absence is a constant reminder that something is missing. 

Growing up, I needed my father for so many things. Things that other kids’ dads did and didn’t even think about it. 

I needed my dad to make me feel safe from the monsters under my bed. To take care of me and bandage my knee when I fell and scraped it. 

I needed him to be there for me at the father/daughter dance at school, to protect me from getting my heart broken by guys I dated, and to teach me how a man is supposed to treat a woman. 

I needed my father. I just needed you there.

But your addiction was too strong. 

There were things that you needed, and you needed them more. Or so you thought. You needed the alcohol, the pills, and the needles in your arms. 

What you didn’t need was a kid who needed you.

Growing up with you as a father was unbelievably toxic and damaging. 

I never had any healthy self-esteem as a normal person should. It set my path for future relationships to look for guys like you. I always thought that because my own father didn’t love me that I wasn’t capable of being loved. 

So, I dated guys that treated me poorly, lied to me, cheated on me, called me absolutely horrendous names, I let them verbally and emotionally abuse me. I kept going back to them, knowing it was toxic.

But I don’t hate you. 

I don’t need anything from you. I stopped needing you the second I realized the fact that you’ll never be the father I always imagined you could be.

I don’t want anything from you. I stopped wishing you’d step up and be a father years ago.

And I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t still hurt, but I won’t let it stop me from moving on with my life.

You taught me by example of what not to be.

I’ll never choose drugs or alcohol over my child like you did. 

My child will grow up knowing that his parents love her more than anything. She will grow up knowing that she’s smart, loved, and capable of doing anything she sets her mind to.

She’ll never feel like her life is missing something, I’ll be there for her through everything that you weren’t for me. 

And I’ll do it because I know that she needs it.