An Open Letter To My Father Who Left

6 Min Read


I will not call you Dad because that is more than you deserve. A dad is someone who was there for you when you were trying to figure out life in high school. A dad is someone who goes to your basketball games even though he doesn’t like sports. A dad is there to help you take those scary steps after you graduate high school. A dad is someone whom you can count on for solid advice in the event of a mental breakdown. Unfortunately, for whatever “reason” you decide to give me, you were never there for any of those.

I remember a time when I thought that you were still wanting to be a part of my life. A time when I thought that I could look up to you. I learned the hard way that you had no intention of giving me hope for either. You would say things about my step-dad that made him out to be a poor father figure, but I feel like you knew that he was being a better father to me and you felt guilty. It’s fine. You can admit it. I know as much and there is no use trying to hide it.

The things that I went through as a child are not something I would wish upon any other person in the world. It is something that I feel destroys and changes the person in ways that make them see the world differently. I was lucky enough to have my mother, my dad, my friends, and God to keep me going in the right direction. I want to make it very clear that I will never forgive you for anything. But after much thought and consideration, I know it doesn’t do to be angry about it. That is what will make me turn into you if I let it. That being said, there are some things I would like to thank you for.

First of all, you have made me a better man by showing me what anger, fear, and jealousy will turn me into. That is something that I never want to be and it has served me as a well thought out cautionary tale that I will be sure to heed. Sometimes the best teachers are the worst people. With that said I don’t think you are a completely horrible person, just someone who has made poor decisions and has yet to learn anything from them. For that I pity you.

Secondly, I would like to thank you for teaching me to be resilient. Some of the things that I have gone through was with the help of my parents and other family who was actually there for me. Some of the things that I have gone through, I have dealt with on my own. You leaving mom and me was probably the best thing for this because I learned to not count on anyone to be there for me forever. You taught me that apologies do not matter because actions show the true interests of the person and if there was no action then the apology is empty and that made me more resilient to let downs. In this aspect, you were my best teacher.

Finally, I would like to thank you for allowing me to appreciate my dad more. You may be my father, but my dad has always truly been there for me, regardless of if I needed it or not. Some of my hardest times in college (especially last year) were only made possible by him and mom. To be perfectly honest, you probably didn’t even know about any of it. This is fine because my dad was there for me. He knew and was there for me and for that I can never thank him enough.

While I can never forgive you, I pity you. I wanted to keep an open mind and let you into my life. I really did. I tried so hard to believe that there would be some sort of relationship between us but you never even tried. Now that I am moving on with my life and looking at my career and where to go from here, I am also moving on from you. I wish you all the best and hope that you do find your path in this world. Just know that it will never cross mine in the way you may want again. I cannot put any more anger, sadness, pain, or pity toward hoping you will change. And that’s okay because I have a dad. A dad who knows me and all that I have done, all of my struggles, and all of my hopes, dreams and fears. You may be my father, but he is my dad.

All the best,

–The Son Who Has Moved On

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