Tuesday, September 7, 2010

30 Days of Truth - Day 14

So for the past few days I've seriously struggled with this challenge. Each day I did think on the prompt and wrote down a few thoughts from a place of truth, but I wasn't able to really get to the place where I was ready to post them. Because of that, I'm going to post them all now in a series with today's date. I am doing it that way because although many of these posts were conceptualized on the actual "assigned" day, it is today that I've actually been able to try and make them coherent to anyone but myself. 

Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)

I don't believe in heroes. I don't believe you should idolize any person so much as to make them a hero. I think you can look up to certain people for certain traits, but I believe that giving someone hero status will always cause them to let you down because they are human. That being said, I think there are people in our lives who we do look up to or feel we should look up to. I'm going to use that as my starting place for this post. I think it is in our very nature to feel like our parents should be someone we can look up to. Unfortunately for many of us, that isn't always the case. My father has let me down.

Dear Dad - 

This letter has been a long time coming. For about 5 years I've had said that I need to express to you why we do not have a relationship, but I have been unable to put my reasoning into words because I knew the pain, anger, and disappointment I'd have to allow myself feel in order to get this letter out. I still don't know if I'm ready to tap into all of it, but it's time to do my best. 

A father should be someone you look up to, someone you respect. He's supposed to protect his daughter, care for her, love her, guide her, and inspire her. Sadly, you have done none of those things. When I was little (up to age 6?) I got a brief glimpse of what a father could be. I experienced moments of you being loving and us being a family, but that was long before I was an individual and long before anything went wrong. 

When life got hard, you didn't want to face it. It was easier to blame others and look away rather than fight. Instead of protecting your family, you escaped to protect yourself. How am I supposed to respect a man who cared more about himself than the welfare of his family? How am I supposed to accept that you didn't love us enough and weren't willing to protect us? How can you look me in the eyes and ask me to accept your love now knowing that you were willing to abandon your children and leave your wife prey to a maniac? Do you have no shame? How can you not show remorse at all? It baffles me that you somehow think you're entitled to respect simply because we are biologically related.  

Despite my instincts, (and at the constant insistence of my mother), I tried to give you another chance in my teenage/early adult years. I knew I had anger and disappointment in you, but I realized it could have been skewed by having been a child and not seeing everything clearly. So I tried...

Dad, nothing's ever changed with you. You can't see beyond yourself. You only see your own perspective. Your way is the only way. And you use the Bible as a tool for manipulation instead of one of love. It sickens me to know that you believe you have a right to know me and that you think *I* am the one disappointing God by my actions. You are the worst example of Christianity because what you show the world is selfishness, self-righteousness, bigotry, hatred, and judgment. I can see I'm missing so much by having you in my life, right?

In all the years you have put on the show of "trying" to reconnect with me (and J), it is clear that you are more concerned with "how it looks" to others that your daughter(s) don't speak to you than with actually having a relationship. A real father would take the time to get to know me. Yet you have never once attempted to. In all of your "reaching out", you have only ever told me what's going on in your life, shared pictures of "your other family", and sent quotes on HOW I should be living and what I am doing WRONG. Yet you don't even know me to make these judgments. -- I challenge you to name just one of the best friends I've had over the course of my life. Name one person who has broken my heart or whose heart I've broken. Tell someone why I decided to get my teaching credential. Do I want kids? If so, why haven't I had them? And if not, what's the reasoning behind it? You see Dad, any normal parent would know these things about their child if they actually wanted a relationship with them. They would have asked me...or at the very least sought out the information from the other members of our family that do speak to both of us.

I have no respect for a man who insists he should have honor and respect simply "because the Bible says so" instead of taking the time to earn it. I have no desire to have a relationship with a man who has put in no effort to get to know his daughters. I am not willing to share my life with a person who consistently disrespects others. You've not only let me down, you've done this to yourself by the choices you've made. You don't deserve the right to be my father. You don't deserve the happiness that goes with sharing the moments of my life.

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