This year, I had to let go of my father.
For the past few years, my dad had been a negative influence in my life. Actually, he had been a negative influence for most of my life but it was just in the past few years where I had noticed how it was affecting my well-being. I began to see how it was making me doubt myself and my abilities, as he continuously doubted both.
We went a year without speaking. After my birthday in 2007, I decided to do a little test: see how long it would take my father to call me. Usually, it was me calling him, me making plans, with no effort on his part. He claimed he lost my phone number, but he had my brother’s and called him frequently. The next time he contacted me was through a Facebook message on his girlfriend’s page. (We weren’t friends, but she requested me and he wrote a message.) Thus started the process of repairing our relationship. I wrote him a nice, long e-mail telling him how he had hurt me only to receive a nasty reply e-mail, laying the blame back on me.
I knew he would never change. I knew he would remain a toxic, negative influence in my life. So I decided to end the relationship.
It’s been a hard, painful process, and I still don’t think I’ve fully wrapped my head around this. For the longest time, I wondered what I had to offer anyone. I mean, if the one man who is supposed to love and cherish you the most thinks you’re worthless, how can I have a successful relationship with a man? I’m slowly beginning to realize that my dad is the one with the problem. He has a gambling addiction and an immature attitude towards life. It has nothing to do with me. I am still an amazing human being. I am special. I am loved. I am incredibly worthwhile. His feelings towards me are false.
I’m not sure where to move on from here, but I do know I have a new purpose in life. I have a new attitude. I know I have a lot to offer and I’m ready to leave my dad firmly in the past. It still hurts to see women with incredible relationships with their fathers but I know a lot has to change on his part for me to ever welcome him back into my life. He no longer has a powerful hold over my life.
I had to let go of my dad this year. And, in turn, I am embracing a brand-new, more confident me.