Monday, June 25, 2012

An open letter to my absent father ...

Phenom as a tot, circa the 80's
Dear Dad,

Let me start that again ...

Dear Biological Father, a.k.a. the sperm donor that makes my existence possible,

Using the word "Dad" brings up painful memories of lonely nights and years spent questioning why I wasn't enough for you, so I won't use it to address you or to describe you. While I am working to forgive you (forgiving my STBX, the manipulative, porn-loving douche canoe I made the mistake of marrying was a hell of a lot easier, I must say), the question remains: How on earth could you abandon me?

I needed you to be there, even if it wasn't all the time. Sometimes would have been better than not one time. In all of my thirty years, I don't have a single memory of you being there for me when I needed you ... in fact, I don't have any memories of you at all.

When I went through that awkward tom-boy phase, I needed you to tell me how pretty I was and later, I needed you to be the first man to tell me that I am beautiful.

When my life was dominated by females, I needed you there to help balance out all that estrogen. I needed you to be there to talk to me about boys so that I wouldn't have had to suffer through so many bad relationships and empty voids.

When I was in high school, I needed you. Thank God for me, I had my step-father, the man I am proud to call Dad on occasion when I am feeling mushy towards him, and I also had my Grandfather. Don't think that my more-than-enough replacements made up for the fact that you were never there. They did the best they could, but I still needed you. I needed to know you and I needed you to help me to know myself before anyone had the opportunity to label me.

I was supposed to be your "little girl".

I needed you and you didn’t care. How does one sleep at night not knowing if their own flesh and blood is breathing, eating, safe and secure? I’m not sure if your lack of presence was a blessing or a curse. My pain runs deep and as much as I've tried to deny it, your absence brought dysfunction into my life on more than one occasion.

You were the first man to break my heart and I’m struggling to not hate you.

A man that puts himself last does not abandon a living, breathing soul of his own flesh and blood. What would you have lost by being in my life? I was not a troubled child. I ate my veggies, was inducted into the National Honor's society and even put myself through college with the help of a full tuition scholarship.

Your non-existent contribution is an insult to who you could have been to me.

I’m sorry that you missed out on something and someone so great, but I guarantee that I won’t let your actions break me. I never have before and I certainly will not now. Instead, I pray daily that the STBX turns out to be the father to my C-man that I never had, despite our divorce. I find peace inside knowing that C will know the comfort of his father’s arms, his voice, his love, his care ... even if it isn't every day, all the time. Sometimes is better than never.

One day I’ll walk down the aisle again, and like the first time, I'll do it without you by my side. But then again, I’m used to it by now and I'm actually thankful for your absence somehow. I thank you, even if I don't have any other emotion for you presently ... I thank you for the pain of needing someone who was never there because without that pain I wouldn’t know healing, I wouldn’t know love and I would not know God.

- Phenom


  1. I can identify with this a lot more than I thought I would. My father was physically present through my whole childhood (and continues to be). He's even still married to my mother. But he's completely absent, emotionally, and always has been. One time I had a therapist who taught me ways to get him to open up, but the more I tried the more I got a stone face and a grunt. I am still trying to get over feeling like I don't exist, because that's how my father treated me.

    It is painful and sucky, but I'm definitely not saying it compares to having your father completely absent. It's just another possibility for pain.

    1. Part of me thinks that having an emotionally absent parent, regardless of them being physically present, would be even worse! (hugs)

  2. that really touched me. I lost my dad last year. so I miss all that you missed since childhood. you refreshed my memories with my dad. :(

    1. Awe. I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  3. I know some of the pain you have gone through, I know that all situations are different..I too was abandoned by my father and the pain is fierce sometimes. You are right when you say How could someone abandon their own flesh and seems impossible. It takes courage to share your story to the world. Some of the situations you have had to deal with groing up, it would have been nice to be able to have your father to lean on.

  4. You were a terribly cute little kid and you can see alot of you in C. Your post really spoke to me though. I had a very similar relationship with my father. He was there sometimes but mostly he wasn't and you really tapped into that deep raw emotion of abandonment that any child feels when a parent isn't around. I've forgiven my dad...he's gone now and maybe that makes it easier...I don't know. But having a child...a lovely and sweet little child of my own, I cannot even fathom how he walked away, how he couldn't even think to pick up a phone and call me, send me a letter. I can barely contain all the love I have for my sweet little girl! When I'm not with her, my arms ache for her, she is constantly on my mind...not being in her life just doesn't make sense to me...I wouldn't be able to breathe. Anyways now I'm rambling now, just wanted to thank you for your post. Your "dad" is missing out on something very special.

    1. Thank you. I look at C and think the same things ... I would rather die than not be there for him in all the ways that I possibly can as his mother. I would give my life for him so it is mind boggling to me , now more than before I became a parent myself, as to how any parent can abandon their kids.

  5. Hey, really related to your post ( you have no idea how much) I have no friends in this situation, so it's nice to find someone who is like me. You're an amazing person xxxx
    Thank you so much x

  6. I'm sorry your doner wasn't in your life. I have no idea how I would feel. Unfortunately I have a beautiful smart amazing little 3 year old whom hasent seen her father since her first birthday. He moved 700 miles away (on a beach) from Detroit. It sickens me that any man can do that. Sure he calls bimonthly but We're never home. I'm not going out of my way to try if he isn't trying. I must assume my baby will grow up to be wonderful like yourself and sister, but have the same horrible feelings towards her doner. Thank you for sharing. And your mom must be proud of you!

  7. "You were the first man to break my heart and I’m struggling to not hate you." --> I can relate to that so much.


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