Forgive me, Dad, if I am done having conversations with you in the darkness of my bedroom, knowing you’ll never answer back.
Forgive me, Dad, if I am tired of listening to everyone else tell me to just hold out a little longer for you. Believe a little harder that you’ll come. Make myself a little more vulnerable and open to having you as a part of my life.
What kind of dad are you if you want all that before you will be a part of my life?
What kind of dad are you at all?
Apparently you’re the kind of dad who doesn’t call me at Christmas, or on my birthday, or when my second marriage fell apart, but you are the kind of dad who will instead call my neighbor down the road whom I barely know, and tell him everything you would have liked to have told me if you and I had as good a relationship as the two of you have.
Apparently you’re the kind of dad who wants me to come and find you and be a part of your life, but you are not the kind of dad who will come find me and do your part to fix or build our relationship.
Apparently you’re the kind of dad who has a big enough ego to tell people everywhere what a good dad you have always been to me, but you’re not the kind of dad who will ever do anything except to publicly announce how awesome you are.
I’ve seen parents like you. Just get on Facebook. You’re a dime a dozen. You go around telling everyone how amazing a parent you are, and you practically beg the world to love you and respect you as a parent, and you think your parenting ideas are the only good ideas, but…
You never really do very much real parenting at all.
What’s the saying? All talk, no walk. That’s the one. All talk. No walk.
Except to me. You don’t ever talk to me.
I’m the one person you don’t talk to at all, because I’m the one person who will no longer believe the stories you tell about the amazing father you are and have always been.
You see… I have been here my whole life. I have wished you would be here, done what was asked to have you here, and stayed awake late into many nights just praying you’d show up like you promised.
An entire life without you, and somehow it is my fault.
Somehow it always my fault.
You are no real dad.
So forgive me, Dad, if I am done with you.
I am cutting you out. I am taking control of my own life. In fact, from here on out, I am refusing to call you “Dad” at all anymore. For all intents and purposes, you no longer exist and you have never existed. Not to me.
It’s not easy, but this is the end of this very one-sided relationship. I don’t want to hear about you, anymore. I don’t want to hear how you’re doing things for me and loving me from afar. I don’t want to hear about how this is somehow all my fault. I don’t want to hear about how all of my accomplishments and successes are because of you. I don’t want to hear how I owe you something.
I don’t want to hear another thing about you.
It is too hard. Too exhausting. And now that I am a dad myself, I know what a good dad is. And you, sir, have missed the mark completely.
Yes. This is the end. If you want to be in my life, you will put in the effort and you will build a healthy relationship where we both give and we both get. Until then, you don’t exist to me. I have no other choice for the sake of my own mental and emotional health. Thank you for understanding.
I think my therapist will be proud of me for writing this letter. She is always trying to get me to cut unhealthy and one-sided relationships out of my life.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW.
And of course, this letter (and tomorrow’s follow-up letter) are not about my real dad, who was very much there, but about God. Hopefully you picked up on that.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing