Should I call you that? Or is it a title too above what you are to me? My ‘Dad’ who hasn’t paid a day’s maintenance since the day I was born or prior. Who wasn’t there when I was born at 28 weeks gestation unable to breathe on my own. Who wasn’t there when I jumped off a wall and broke my ankle aged 7. Or when I got arrested aged 13, or when I was smoking weed and taking pills, acting like an antisocial yob aged 14.
The ever illusive Dad who wasn’t there when I kicked my bedroom door off it’s hinges or broke my heart after I split from my first boyfriend. Or when I finally got an A in my English GCSE. Passed my driving test. Had my daughter.
The dad who has NEVER been there for a single day my entire life.
Who was there? Mum, that’s who.
I’m now almost 31 years old, with a beautiful daughter of my own. Your granddaughter, who you will never get the pleasure of meeting because you are as pointless to us now, as windscreen wipers are on a submarine.
I used to deny I felt any ounce of hurt at your absence. I used to protest I didn’t need you. Didn’t want you in my life even, but realistically, I did need you.
I won’t deny my mum did a fantastic job of raising me alone and let’s face it with my track record, that couldn’t of been an easy task.
I had a wonderful Nan who helped, and whom I adored, but it’s (only) my opinion that girls need their dads.
At least I, needed a dad. I needed one to teach me boundaries, to help me understand male and female relationships that didn’t leave me confused. When I was just a teen men as old as you would say inappropriate things to me that I didn’t even know were inappropriate at the time. I had nothing to compare it to. I looked for father figures in every relationship and was royally disappointed when they all turned out to be narcissistic gas-lighters, just like you.
I don’t know why I was surprised to be repeatedly let down by men, when the one man who was supposed to never let me down had taken away any hope I’d had of a paternal relationship.
Nobody wanted the role of trying to fill your shoes, and who could blame them.
On the only three occasions in my entire life that I met you, you never once apologised for not being around. You did admit treating my mum poorly, and conveniently forgetting to mention you had a whole other family when you and her were dating, but they were the only honest words to come from your lips during our limited conversations.
You didn’t explain yourself and you didn’t justify your absence, it just was!
You have 3 other daughter’s, 2 with your wife, who have given you grandchildren and you’ve walked down the aisle, and one other out of wedlock. I wonder, what do you tell people when they ask how many kids you have?
You wrote me an email once, telling me that since ‘finding God’ you had ‘forgiven yourself’ for your sins and ‘with his help’ you were ‘combatting each tough, and beautiful day.’
What you didn’t ever do, was ask for my forgiveness.
Today – today, my mum received a letter from the CSA to say they were writing off old debt and that she wouldn’t be receiving a penny for the first 18 years of my life, from you. What a laugh. What an absolute corker of a joke that is. Ha ha ha ha.
In response, I thought I’d write this open letter to tell you, keep your money, and I forgive you. Not because you deserve it, not because you need it, but because I’ve chosen to give it to you. I am a better person than you are. I am a better parent than you have ever been to me, and I no longer crave your input or existence in my world.
My daughter will grow up with a dad who loves her unconditionally and two sets of grandparents that don’t include you.
Thanks for being absent my whole life, your absence has taught me two things, to respect my mum, and to let go of hatred. I refuse to spend a moment longer being upset over a man, who for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist.