I’m writing this letter to you because there are so many times I have wished I could have had the courage to say these things to your face. It’s a letter that has been festering in the deep recesses of my soul to give to you, so you could know how I truly feel. It’s not going to be an easy letter to write or an easy letter to read. And here is what I want you to do, for me: read the letter. And then take a week to process it. Don’t send out a spiteful e-mail right away (I’m your daughter, half your blood, so I know this is something you would do — because it’s something I would do.). Take the week and come back to the letter. Read it again and then write me back, if you wish. Do this for me, Dad.
It’s been over 2 years since I last saw you. November 24, 2007 was the exact date. I remember this because we celebrated my birthday. And I just remember how happy I was! It felt like old times — going out to dinner, coming home for cake & ice cream, and playing games. I felt like this was a turning point in our relationship. But it wasn’t. Because then I gave you a test: how long would it take my father to call me? To be honest, I was fed-up with having to call you all the time and you never really putting in the time and effort for our relationship.
But you never called me, Dad. I waited for so long until one day I just knew you wouldn’t call me back. It felt like you were finished with me.
Mom has tried her best to be the father and the mother for Mark and I. And she has done an awesome job in raising us. Neither of us has ever touched a cigarette or tried drugs. We don’t even drink. We are both successful in our own rights. We have never been in trouble with the law and I credit everything to my mom. She went through more than most single parents go through in raising us and came out on top. Not many single mom’s can say that they raised 2 great, awesome kids who never kept her up one night, worrying about where they were or what they were doing. And we still don’t.
I’m carrying a lot of baggage from my past. And most of that baggage is from you. I’m going to be blunt with you – you were never a good father to me. You berated and belittled me, yelled at me at unnecessary times and made me cry, you never showed me the unconditional love of a father. I have grown up not knowing how to respond to male attention, nor how to have a successful male relationship — because I was never shown this from my own father. And the one man in the world whom I am supposed to know loves me uncondtionally didn’t. Do you know how that feels? To grow up, knowing your dad didn’t truly love you? It causes a girl to lose total self-worth in herself, to question everything she believes in, and gives her the avenue to berate/belittle herself.
I never quite felt like I measured up to what you wanted in a daughter. I never felt that I was pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, athletic enough, or skinny enough to be called your daughter. I constantly tried whatever I could to get your attention but always came up empty.
Our relationship was never strong to begin with. We had our moments, sure, and when I was younger, I was so proud to have you as my dad. You were the charming, funny guy that everyone felt at ease around. You played with me, acted silly with me, and made me feel well-loved. But then you and Mom divorced and it seems like things spiraled downward from there. We became an afterthought for you. Well, maybe not Mark but I know I did.
I miss you, Dad. I miss having you in my life so much sometimes that it hurts to breathe. I miss seeing you, I miss your smell, I miss your scratchy face when you have whiskers. I miss all the inside jokes we used to have. I miss hugging you. I miss watching TV and movies, curled up in your lap. I miss the fun we used to have together. I miss playing Monopoly (remember “Bankrupt on Baltic”?) and Blind Man’s Bluff. I miss your jokes and sense of humor. There have been so many times when I’ll say something funny or make a funny face and Mom will say, “That was your dad right there!” And I just get so sad, because you’re not here anymore. You have chosen not to be here anymore.
I want you back in my life. I want to see my dad again and rebuild our relationship. I want to hear you apologize and admit to your part in this failed relationship. I love you, Dad. l love you so much. First and foremost, you are my dad. You may not have been the best one but I’m your flesh-and-blood and there’s nobody else I could call my dad. I want to be able to call you dad again.