An open letter to their deadbeat dad

14 Min Read

Dear deadbeat

When I met you at the im­pres­sion­able age of 16, I had stars in my eyes. Wow, I said. Look at that cute mid­dle 20’s guy drink­ing straw­ber­ry hill and smok­ing weed. Lit­tle did I know, you were a dead­beat dad to your old­er chil­dren? Lit­tle did I know, you still lived with your par­ents? Lit­tle did I know, you were im­ma­tu­ri­ty wrapped in ir­re­spon­si­bil­i­ty? I was too busy be­ing ex­cit­ed that you would want me.

I was aban­doned by my moth­er and in line to be thrown out by my fa­ther. You, be­ing 10 years my se­nior, looked like my knight in shin­ing ar­mor. My teenage re­bel­lion against au­thor­i­ty fit quite well in­to your world. Your re­fusal to ma­ture and my lack of ma­tu­ri­ty were great bed­mates. You, 26, nev­er stopped to con­sid­er that dat­ing and sub­se­quent­ly im­preg­nat­ing a 16 year old, was even the slight­est bit wrong. Of course you loved my ad­mi­ra­tion. Of course you loved my de­pen­den­cy. I was quite a tro­phy for you to flaunt. The letter continues on the next pages.

I can thank you for very few things.

The first be­ing, when I had no place to go you gave me a bed to sleep in. Yours in fact. I had no idea how to live on my own. I had no way of ac­quir­ing ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties for my­self. You housed(at your par­ents), fed, and clothed me when no one else would. Sec­ond be­ing, my for­mal in­tro­duc­tion me to hard drugs and how to use them prop­er­ly. (drip­ping with sar­casm)

It was my plea­sure to fol­low­ing you around like a pup­py. I cleaned your room. I washed your clothes. I was too young to legal­ly get in­to bars, so you were kind enough to take me to bars that you knew the se­cu­ri­ty so I could watch you play pool. I thought get­ting to go to out of town jobs was awe­some. I sat in the ho­tel room for days and nev­er com­plained. When my moth­er sent me a plane tick­et to vis­it her, you were pissed. You didn’t want me to leave. I did so any­how against your wish­es. From the mo­ment my feet hit the ground half­way across the coun­try you were check­ing up on me. You want­ed to make sure I didn’t speak to an­oth­er man. You want­ed to make sure I didn’t act like a teenag­er. When I told you I wasn’t com­ing back, you sent me a dozen ros­es and a cheap wal­mart en­gage­ment ring. You asked me to mar­ry you over the phone. I said yes, still not in­tend­ing to fly back to Dix­ie. You drove to get me. You drove 15 hours straight, be­cause I went out with some teenagers I met on hal­loween. The day you ar­rived, you got me preg­nant in my moth­ers ex­tra bed­room. Be proud grown man. If my moth­er would have been even half the moth­er that I am, you’d have been in jail for statu­to­ry rape. Lucky for you she wasn’t.

I was a good lit­tle house slave.

You would leave for work for weeks or months at a time and I would save all the mon­ey that you sent home. I was a child, yet, I was re­spon­si­ble and trust­wor­thy. When you would fi­nal­ly come home, the house was clean and there was mon­ey in the bank. I thought life was per­fect. It was a pleas­ant fic­tion, un­til you would stop work­ing. Un­til you would quit jobs for no rea­son. Un­til you would ride un­em­ploy­ment to the point of us los­ing our apart­ment. How many times were we forced to move back in­to your par­ents?

I won’t fail to men­tion that you were thou­sands be­hind in child sup­port to you first wife. There were times when we had so lit­tle, that I had to share a pack of ra­men noo­dle with our in­fant daugh­ter for 3 meals a day. You, would go to your par­ents and eat and leave me and your child at home alone.

You nev­er helped me with Brooke.

You wouldn’t even hold her so I could use the re­stroom. You sat on the In­ter­net. I was mis­er­able. I tried go­ing to church and pray­ing our life bet­ter. I tried fast­ing away our prob­lems. Then I dis­cov­ered your on­line chat con­ver­sa­tions with oth­er wom­en. At 17, I asked my pas­tor for his bless­ing to di­vorc­ing you. I hadn’t let you touch me in months. I felt like you had cheat­ed. When my pas­tor told me that maybe we need­ed a more in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship, I left church and rushed home to “be” with you. I cried for days when I re­al­ized that was the day, I con­ceived our son.

At 18, I had our son 8 weeks ear­ly, while liv­ing with your par­ents. At 18 I was a moth­er to a 13 month old and a sick­ly new­born. We were so poor. I was so over­whelmed. I was sleep de­prived and suf­fer­ing from crip­pling de­pres­sion. While you slept, not car­ing about me or the chil­dren, I sat awake, cry­ing, con­tem­plat­ing sui­cide. I worked up the nerve, and made the best choice of my life. I walked out of yours.

Sure I have made mis­takes.

What par­ent doesn’t? I nev­er asked you for a pen­ny. I al­ways let you know where we where or how to get in touch with us. On the rare oc­ca­sion you reached out, it wasn’t to be a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence in the kids life. It’s was to call me a whore or a bitch or a los­er. I didn’t get re­mar­ried for love. I did it to give my chil­dren a chance at nor­mal­i­ty. Whether or not you ap­proved of how I was rais­ing or pro­vid­ed for our 2, you nev­er once of­fered sup­port or sought in­volve­ment in their lives.

I have not had it easy over the last 12 years.

I have done what I could with what I was giv­en. I have clawed my way through some deep val­leys. I nev­er spoke ill of you to our ba­bies. I have al­ways fig­ured that your life and ac­tions would, one day, speak for them­selves. You have rev­eled in any op­por­tu­ni­ty to in­sult me. You refuse to re­spect me for the good par­ent that i am. You have lied to peo­ple and told them I stalked you. You have lied to peo­ple and told them I hid the chil­dren from you. You have lied to peo­ple and told them you didn’t know how to con­tact them. I have ig­nored your ig­no­rance. Ev­ery­one in your life knows that you have noth­ing on me. Your anger comes from your jeal­ous­ly over me mov­ing on with­out you.

You sure as hell had my num­ber when you texted me and told me you hoped me and my sick ba­by rot in hell 2 years ago. You sure as hell knew where we were and what was hap­pen­ing when I asked that you cov­er our son, Jarred, with your med­i­cal in­sur­ance so he could be seen by the best car­di­ol­o­gist. Your showed how much you cared when you said that it would be too ex­pen­sive to add the chil­dren to your in­sur­ance. That 200 ex­tra a month was an un­rea­son­able amount to as­sure Jarred was healthy. You were self­ish 13 years ago, and you are self­ish now.

It is the end of an era and the be­gin­ning of an age.

I am not a lost lit­tle girl any­more. I make all the rules now. I will not al­low you in their lives. I have raised my chil­dren alone. I have pro­tect­ed and pro­vid­ed for them with­out you. I have taught them ev­ery­thing they know. They are tal­ent­ed hon­or stu­dents thanks to MY par­ent­ing. You don’t de­serve them. You will NOT take cred­it for how amaz­ing they are. You will NOT stroll in all these years lat­er and at­tempt to be a so­cial net­work fa­ther to my pre­teen daugh­ter. She may have your eyes and your last name, but, she acts just like me. He may walk like you and have your last name, but, he looks up to me. You are NOT wel­come here. You are NOT want­ed here. I am NOT a scared 16 year old now. You will NOT push me around. Your in­sults will roll off my back. I know I have done the right thing for my chil­dren. You have NO POW­ER over me or them.

It would be wise for you to leave us alone.

Most dead­beat dads would be thank­ful for an ex-wife who nev­er sued for child sup­port. Most dead­beat dads would be grate­ful for an ex-wife who didn’t ru­in any of their week­ends by forc­ing them to see their chil­dren. What you fail to see, what you have al­ways failed to see, is I’m quite clever. In the love­ly state we re­side, if you do not con­tact your chil­dren or of­fer any sup­port for a full cal­en­dar year, you lose all parental rights to them. It called aban­don­ment. Google it and you’ll see I speak the truth. When I made sure you, your par­ents, your broth­ers, your aunts, and your cousins knew how to con­tact me, you told peo­ple I was stalk­ing you. When in ac­tu­al­i­ty I was giv­ing you just enough rope to hang your­self. That forty dol­lars you gave me when our 11 year old son was 3 months old, doesn’t count as sup­port for all those year in-be­tween. Those hate­ful emails call­ing me a slut, don’t count as parental con­tact. What you have failed to re­al­ize, is that I was pre­par­ing for this day. What you fail to re­al­ize, is that I knew this day would come. I knew all along that you would look around one day an see that the cul­mi­na­tion of your mis­er­able life is you be­ing 40, alone, and liv­ing with your par­ents. What you fail to re­al­ize, is that I have al­ways been 2 steps ahead of you. You are not on­ly un­want­ed, but, now you are un­able. A lot has changed since I was that naive teen. I have grown 3 inch­es, my eyes turned from brown to green, and I have reached a lev­el of bitch that you couldn’t pos­si­bly have an­tic­i­pat­ed. You helped cre­ate the beast that you now pok­ing with a stick. Your taught me how to hate. Now you reap the ben­e­fits of your ac­com­plish­ment. I have won. I have suc­ceed­ed. I have over­come. The chil­dren and I will be fine. Not that you ev­er cared. At one time, I thought you were a knight in shin­ing ar­mor. Now I see you were just a los­er in tin­foil.

The best thing that you nev­er re­al­ly had

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