To The "Dad" That Never Was, Today I'm Letting You Go

A girl's first heartbreak should be someone she can openly hate, someone she can easily cut out of her life and move on from. I wasn't so lucky. 

My first heartbreak was my dad and it nearly destroyed me. He was the man who was supposed to teach me how I deserved to be treated, to protect me from to harsh realities of love, to keep me from feeling pain. And yet he was the first to show me all of those things the hard way.

He caused my first disappointment in life, the first person to show me easily hope can be lost, and how much it truly hurts to be let down. 

Growing up, I thought mom was all I supposed to have. There was no such thing as ‘dad.’ 

But as I got older, I realized all the other little girls had daddies who were around, who took them to school, and protected them. Daddies who picked them up from soccer practice and cheered them on at ballet recitals. Daddies who scooped them up and threw them over their shoulder with the biggest smile on. The other little girls had a dad who loved them… but I didn't. And I struggled with that for the longest time. 

Don’t get me wrong, Mom was great, she was the rock that you never were. And she tried her hardest to fill your empty shoes, too. But there are some voids even mom couldn't fill. 

You were supposed to be there for me to teach me how to ride a bike, how to throw a punch, how to love sports, but most importantly show me how I deserve to be loved. But you weren't. I grew up with these gaping holes in my childhood, holes that I still try to fill up to this day, but the truth is I needed you to be that person for me. But I’ve come to the realization that you never will be. And maybe a few years ago I'd say this wasn't okay. I'd blame everything bad thing in my life on you not being there. But today is different. Today I'm letting you go and letting you know that I'm okay. 

It hasn't been easy, living without you dad. Times were tough, ends weren't met sometimes, and I've been bruised, manipulated, and cheated because I lacked the knowledge of how I should be treated by men. 

But in those years of you not being there I realized that your absence taught me the biggest lesson ever. 

I learned to depend on me. And to appreciate the ones who are there for me. My experiences have given me strength and bravery, and today I'm so much better off. You'll continue to not be here, but today I'm letting you know, I'm going to be fine. The little girl you abandoned before even getting to know, is going be A-OK without you. 

Your absence left a void in my heart, but now I know I don't need you to fill it. 

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