It’s funny, I don’t even know where to begin.
As I begin to type it’s like I’m hit with a cloud of thoughts, all clumped together, that I need to strain through a sieve.
Let me start with why. You left two daughters under the age of two and a wife who you made a promise to two years prior that you’d be with her till you two parted ways in death. So why did this all come crashing to a halt after two years? I hate that number… two, because of you. Continues on the next pages…
Did it ever occur to you how your family was doing after you parted ways?
Not a single card or letter telling your daughters how you miss them and want to try to be a part of their lives. How you’d wish you could be there to see them grow up. Now we can’t even look at men with daughters without bringing tears to our eyes. Those fathers show their daughters a love that’s unknown and foreign to us.
When we did try to reach out to you after 20 years of being estranged from each other, you told us that you weren’t our father, that my mother was not faithful to you, and to leave you alone. Even though we’re almost clones of you. My sister has your nose and height, while I have your face shape and the same habits as you. It’s funny how personality was passed down without you there for me to witness it. I guess I just held on to stories of you and followed those habits just to feel close to you. Do you think I enjoyed smoking cigarettes? No, I only did it because it always reminded me about you. How on those lonely dark nights when I would try escape into comforting arms of a father, but was greeted by the cloud of smoke leaving my mouth, an exhale like a suffocating short hug floating away into the sky enough for you to get by.
I have put myself into the hands of men that just wanted to use and abuse, and I let them.
I never knew what real love between two people was like. You were never there to teach me, so I was easy to crawl into the arms of any man willing to take me on. The regrets of many beds I’ve shared with different men all tell a story of how long I’ve been searching for a love that I didn’t know, but somehow was searching for.
This is just my experience, what about my mother’s or my sister’s? I don’t even know if I would be able to live the same way if I heard their stories. I can only image how horrible you’d feel if you heard them. I can only hope they weren’t full of as much pain and shame as my experiences were.
Do I blame you for what you did?
Or do I take into account my own actions as a fatherless daughter? Raised by a mother who tried her best to fill both roles on top of providing for two children. Who didn’t have enough time to make sure we were both on the right path and staying out of trouble. No, I don’t blame her, she’s tried her best. I can’t say the same for you.
But here we are.
I’m wrapping up this letter. I don’t think I can pen anymore feelings or thoughts. Writing this was emotionally draining and exhausting. I want you to know that I’ve always tried to hold on to you for as long as I could until I heard from you that I wasn’t yours. And so, to my father, wherever he is or whoever he is, thank you for making me into the woman I am today. You’ve taught me how to be a woman that can thrive and survive without the need of a man. I’ve seen this in my mother, who has made it without the help of a man. How to be in charge of my emotions and actions, because even though I’ve never learned what love is supposed to be like, I’ve been through enough to know what it’s not. Even though I’ve learned it the hardest way possible, it’s made me into the woman I am today—and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Your daughter, whoever she is