Best to read this post before you continue.
A letter to my Dad:
So, I guess it’s been a while. To be honest, this feels awkward to write, because I don’t quite know what to say. Half of me is scared to open up, the other half wants to go all in so you know exactly how you made me feel but we both know that won’t really get us anywhere, so instead I’ll explain how it has affected me.
You did a lot of cruel things Dad. You rendered us homeless, you deserted us, you treat us so badly and lead us to believe we were guilty of something. You made me cry, sometimes on purpose, you put me in situations that ultimately lead to my mental collapse a few years ago. You were terrible, and for years I’ve struggled to figure out why, or how you could do these things. Well to be honest, I’m done trying to figure it out, because I don’t believe there’s an answer I’ll be happy with.
So instead, I’m deciding that enough is enough. I’ve been plagued by your actions for far too long and I’m done with it. I want to let go, I have to let go, because that’s what is important to me. We both live different lives, you have the family you always wanted and I’m starting to build mine, and the broken relationship we have I believe will always be the same, but before I sign off, I want to take this time to let you know how your actions have impacted the person I am today.
Through it all, the lies, the deceit, the abandonment, I became a good person. I’m compassionate, generous and accepting of people. I’m open minded, honest and true to myself. I’m strong, independent, smart and funny. I’m a good role model to my niece and I’m always I’m there for her. I have a good job, I worked hard to be successful, I’m creative and imaginative. I have an incredible girlfriend who completes me, she’s everything to me and I’m dedicated to making sure she’s happy. All in all, everything turned out OK.
Your parting gift was to give me anxiety and a panic disorder which began to ruin me. Now though, I’m coping, and I’m able to use my experience to sympathise with other people in my position and offer support, guidance and inspiration. I have my ups and downs, but overall I’m coping because of the people around me and online.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, through all of the things you did, I made it. I survived it all and to be honest I’m really proud of myself. I can’t guess what would have happened had you not had an affair, treat us like dog shit and ultimately abandoned us. I honestly don’t know, but I wouldn’t change who I am for the world.
So what’s next Dad? Well, I don’t think we’ll have a relationship because I’m too different now. You won’t be able to walk all over me, or manipulate me, so a relationship just won’t work. Instead, we should focus on being happy. I do honestly want you to be happy. You have the family you always wanted, you all seem very close and that’s good, that should be your focus.
Me? I’m looking to start a family in the near future, and my biggest fear used to be whether I’ll make the same mistakes as you did. Now, I’m focusing on giving my child everything we didn’t have, and being the dad to them that I never had.
As for the past? Well, I’m leaving it there. It’s plagued me, and probably you, for too long Dad. We can’t keep living in the past, wondering what if you hadn’t done those things, what if I’d acted differently, what if I’d just let everything go. We’ve got to move forward and build on our lives. That is now going to be my focus. I’m sad for what you did, but it can’t consume me anymore.
It’s time to let go.
What a brave post. I loved it.
Thank you for reading, really appreciate it
What a powerful, deeply introspective and honest post this is.
I imagine it was cathartic to put all of this into words.
I really hope that writing it will help you in your recovery journey.
I wrote a similar letter to my father a couple years ago. It really is so refreshing. You should be really proud. This was an incredibly well written, heartfelt letter. ❤️ my heart goes out to you. My father is an addict and alcoholic who suffers from mental illness. Here is the letter I wrote to my father:
“I don’t want this message to be mean or sad. But I want this to be the last message that we have with each other.
I am happy. I have a wonderful little family, an amazing husband, and a bright future. What I have minimal of is stress and sadness, and that has been most of what us having a relationship has brought. I have spent the majority of my life, all of my childhood, my adolescent years and most of my adult years caring for you and being there during your darkest hours. You have not been there for most of mine and none of my brightest and nearest to my heart.
This message is not intended to be matter of factly, nor to hurt or discourage. Rather, I want you to live your life, to be happy and to do what you think would make yourself proud. That is a bigger accomplishment than making anyone else proud. Seek the approval of yourself, aim high and meet it. But you will need to do that without me by your side.
There were many days that I sat in sadness that you had left me without even a goodbye… there were many times you left. But I have become at peace with it all. Not because there is hate in me that stirs, not because there are unresolved issues therein… but because there are some things, no matter how hard we wish them, that will never be the way we want to be.
I cannot have chaos in my children’s’ lives. I cannot have unnecessary hurt or pain, or absence… I refuse to let any of those things touch the little hearts I created and aim to protect every single day. If it approaches, I will help them deal with it, but I will not bring it to them, and as so… I will prevent it from lingering around. This is the reason I do not talk to any of our family any longer, it is also the reason that I wish that you not be a part of them.
Life is a beautiful thing, and we are meant to enjoy it. Blood or not, there cannot be so much pain that life isn’t enjoyable any more. What I’m trying to say is that I choose happiness. And happiness does not allow others’ chaos, or anyone who creates chaos in my life. I want you to read this letter and instead of thinking of a response or rebuttal, internalize it. Take it in and breathe a sigh of relief.
********** and I are happy. We have found happiness. We are grown, we have started lives, and we are living them beautifully.
I only ask one thing of you… let us live them. We want to live them, without you. We have found happiness, and we want you to find yours. But we do not want to venture to the past, we do not want to revisit pain… to better understand or to set the record straight. We just want to live… for the future.
I don’t want you to think that there is hate in my heart for you. There is hurt. Hurt that I deal with every single day, but that I will have to deal with on my own. It is a hurt you cannot fix by being present nor righting wrongs… because we have tried so hard to do so before… it is a hurt that can only be fixed by my moving on, and being happy.
If there is anything that you take away from this letter, I want it to be this… I am a parent, I know that I can never ask you to give up, to stop trying. But what I want you to do with this passion, the drive to be a part of our lives and make things what they could’ve been… is to put it toward yourself. Keep the good memories, and wish all your heart that we have them as well… because we do. Buried down deep in us, we have them… but because you want us to be happy, to ensure that we never feel more pain from you… do not promise you will not bring it and never meant to… instead… ensure that we never feel it again by bringing happiness into your own life and letting us find ours alone. Forcing things upon people, these random messages and bringing of old issues only instill more pain and suffering on each of us… and that is more than anyone wants.
There are times in one’s life that there comes a crossroad… the past or the future. There are some things we can’t take from the past into the future with us. There are some people we need to let go of; maybe not emotionally… but mentally and physically. They leave remanence like carbon copies in our minds… the memories, the past, the good bad and ugly… but we have each changed and grown apart. This is one of those times. Your children are grown. They have lives of their own, and they have left on their own paths. Let them.
I will leave you with this. The only happiness that you have control over, is your own. Take it and make of it what you will. When the sun shines on your face, you can close your eyes and remember the good times… remember the good memories, then… keep moving.”
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Firstly, thank you for reading, I do really appreciate it. Secondly thank you for sharing your own letter, it was exactly the kind of letter I wanted to write, from a good place. I hope you’ve managed to find peace and live a life focused on you and your family
I have and do 🙂 However, I am now going through the exact same thing with my bio-mother and she is very insistent. Much more so than my father was. Eliminating toxic people from ones life isn’t easy, but it’s most definitely worth it.
I could not agree more. I hope it goes as you wish it to