A Letter To My Biological Father

Below is my round three submission for the first Yeah Write Super Challenge.  I am proud to say I was in the top ten.

***

Dear Biological Father,

I have every right to hate you.

Most children need their daddies, and growing up I was no different. But I hated my weekend visits to your apartment after mom divorced you. Alone, I would stare blankly out of the small window with tear-stained cheeks wishing for the comforts of home.

I would think to myself, please come and get me, Mommy.  I miss you.

 You left me feeling abandoned, despite being only a few short feet away. I wanted you to take me out for ice cream; to push me on the swing as my hair floated freely in the breeze. I wanted you to play with me.

More than anything, I wanted you to hold my hand, to tell me I was beautiful, to listen to me, and to be there for me. I needed you to love me, but you didn’t. You didn’t do any of those things.

Eventually you moved to Tennessee, and found yourself a brand new family to care for. But back home, I still needed you. I wanted you to heal my heart after boys tried to break it, to remind me how special I was when girls bullied me, to hug me in pride when I was on the honor roll, but you didn’t do any of those things, either.

You were such a shitty dad.

As much as it sucked not having my biological father around, the vacancy in my heart was filling with memories that didn’t include you. I was numb to your absence. I was surviving by a thread.

When you left the state, I didn’t hear from you for ten years. You didn’t visit, call or even send a birthday card for ten goddamn years. After that, I washed my hands of you. With all that being said, you were somehow still surprised when you showed up unannounced on my eighteenth birthday, and I told you to leave.

I wanted nothing to do with you.

You missed everything important in my life: high school dances, my marriage, my college graduation, the birth of my children, my countless moves, the birthdays, every Christmas morning, Easter dinner and Halloween costume. Every laugh and every tear; you missed it all.

Despite all the shit you put me through, last year I shoved it deep into my belly, burying my distaste for you.  After my second child was born, I consciously decided to reconnect with you. I convinced myself that time must’ve made you a better person, so I called you.

The conversation started off great. “I have grand kids!” joy spilled over every syllable into my receiver. I could feel the wall I’d built over the years start to crumble. We reconnected on Facebook, and I shared some photos with you. Unfortunately, only weeks went by before you revealed your true self to me.

“Can I have your address? I’d love to send them gifts,” you said.

“Not yet,” I responded sternly, “I need to get to know you first.” I wasn’t ready to share my entire life with you yet.

Out of nowhere, you snapped.

“You’re a stupid bitch, just like your mother,” you shouted, throwing me off guard. Those words knocked the wind right from my lungs. You plucked a brick from the crumbled wall in front of me, and threw it at my chest. My eyes were wide, fists clenched, and heart bemused. What had I done to deserve this? How did I let you back to the place where you could hurt me so easily? I was alone, staring out that small apartment window, once again. Only this time, mom couldn’t save me.

I came to my senses and realized that no matter how much time, or how many chances, you offer to someone, they still might end up letting you down. Some people aren’t worth the love and time we have to offer. Sometimes we have to let go.

You were still a shitty dad.

I hung up the phone and severed each and every connection you had to my life, because I’m too strong to let your gravity weigh me down. I am desperately clawing my way past your negativity, thrashing my arms to find a place I where I believe your words are nothing more than letters strung together in a pattern, where I honestly believe that they mean nothing.

So here I am, letting you go.  I give you permission to forget about me and my family. You’re free to father and grandfather your other family without remorse. Free to say whatever you want to say about me.

No, I don’t hate you. Not even close.

For you, I have zero fucks to give.

Sincerely,

Your Unapologetic Biological Daughter

***

If you want to see my other entries, they are here and here.

This is also a response to today’s daily prompt, youth.

Photo courtesy of Kev Soto

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18 thoughts on “A Letter To My Biological Father

  1. I read the title and immediately started to get tears in my eyes. I don’t have children, so I can’t imagine how that felt. But he left, took my heart and left. Missed everything in the last 10+ years, graduations, marriage, moves everything else you mentioned. I thought I was alone, I didn’t know nor did I think about the idea that other people had the same heart wrenching experience, he was my dad and he left. I don’t talk about him or try to think about him even though he is in my memory. Using the term zero fucks is exactly how I would describe it. Thank you for sharing this, and thank you for letting me not feel alone anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It took me a decade longer than you to figure my bio dad out. I forced myself and my younger sister to interact with him out of guilt and by ignoring all the bad he’s done. I relate so much to the loneliness you felt and longing to get back home to my mom. Wonderfully written and a source of strength. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Danielle, this was painful to read but knowing that I am not alone in having a shitty dad I don’t feel as lonely. I watch my family and friends grow up with fathers who love them and fathers who care dearly for them but I never had such a dad. I would always admire the relationships they had with their dads and wonder why I had to be the one growing up without a dad who loved and cared for me. Im 16 this year and Im still trying to be strong as you are but everytime its Father’s day Im still put down. My mom is more affected than I am and Im trying my best to be stronger to help her but I don’t find it so easy. You’re right, you grew up like any other girl who needs a father. When my sister grows older, I know I will have to be the one whos there for her.

    I always think its unfair that Im the only child amongst my family and friends who had to suffer living without the parent they need beside them. I thought no one would understand how I feel but Im so glad you do. I know we’re better off without him. Much love 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Danielle, I am you. 5 years ago. It took me a therapist and myself moving out of his state and one very grown up, saying everything you want to say and have thought to say to him conversation (with him) to simply MOVE. ON. WITH. MY. LIFE. I know your pain, I lived the same pain. It was awful. For 35 years I let him get to me. What a waste of time. You are wonderful for trying again. Over time, I will say, that is what you’ll really come to be proud of-You and this letter you just wrote. From another Danielle without my biological dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This resonates with me on so many levels. A few weeks ago my father told me to get out of my house and swore at me in my native Gujrati. He forgot about me and my three sisters after my mom passed 4 years ago and takes every chance to insult us that he gets. Locked us out one time late at night when we came back from the hospital where my Grandma was staying. The other day he told my sister that she should clean toils instead of go to university. Not many people know what it is like to go through your youth; to pick yourself up after losing a mom at such a young age. Its even more unfathomable to know that people have enough cruelty to say such things to you. I don’t want to even get up every day, knowing my mom won’t be there. But I do, and he still has the will to say these things. I have never talked about my feelings about him (as I refer to him) or my mom online, let alone to others in person. But reading this article, I needed to reach out to you. Danielle, THANK YOU for writing this. I hope you know what you have done for me. I read approx. 10 blogs/op eds/etc per day and save maybe once every two or so weeks to come back to. This for sure, is going onto my reading list.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I never comment on anyone’s posts, but it was like you knew me, like I was writing those words, this was my life, is my life. I feel sad yet relieved that someone else felt the same, went through the same. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so sad to read this but also happy to see your strength. My girls’ dad has very little to do with them, has gone years in the past without contact but will act like everything is fine when he dies come around and see them. It’s always on his schedule and he lives in town. He only comes around when he needs something. I forged somewhat of a relationship between them over the years but he’s done nothing. People say I’m strong to take on both rolls and I try. I just feel awful that he was my choice. My girls will never know a good loving dad like I had. It breaks my heart. They are now teens and act like they don’t care.

    Liked by 1 person

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