. . . does resentment, like pain, heal over time?

All I wanted was for you to accept me, all of me, every part of me. But I don’t feel like you accepted any part of me- not the inside, nor the outside.

I felt rejected internally.

Rejection of my outward appearance only severed the wound further. Made more blood come out of an incision that was already bleeding, pouring every day.

Every day I waited for something that would never come. But at the time, I thought maybe it would come. I thought maybe one day you would say something, anything, about my character. But you didn’t. I was left alone with my thoughts every day as a child. I was only a child…a little girl…growing into an adolescent- and even now, as adult, I feel you never came around with the words I wanted to hear.

I look at you and I see an empty shell of a person who did not give me anything.

You are my dad but you are not the dad I want nor the dad I need. You weren’t even a husband. You are a sad excuse of a husband and a joke of a dad. So you played with us as kids. And so you took us on trips. That’s all you did. I don’t give a shit about trips or playing games or any of that bullshit. I would trade all of that for one day where you tell me you love me and that you are proud of me.

Maybe you can’t say the word love. Sure, okay. Maybe it scares you. Sure. But you can show it right?

Wrong. You can’t show it. You can’t even pretend to show it. Oh, you’re not around for a whole week, going out late at night. Coming home, only to make a house erupt in turmoil. Only to exacerbate an already HORRIBLE situation that YOU caused. If you go out and cheat, at least come back with a good enough excuse to where your own children don’t know what you did. Jesus Christ.

You are a horrible liar.

You are a horrible liar at lying about your horrible behavior. You ruined my adolescence. You ruined my self-image. Not only because you were never around but because you gave me NO confirmation of good qualities I may possess. You gave me NO quality time. You were gone. You took off, came back, was rude as FUCK to mom, disrespected and even bullied a handicapped deaf person who happens to be your wife. You are sick. You are disgusting and I believe you have no heart.

To look at someone in the face, who cannot hear you, and turn around, make fun of them, ignore their existence for 8 years, while I have to stay and watch. I see you bully and emotionally abuse my own mother for 8 years. I feel you detach yourself not only from her but from me.

You run away. FROM EVERYTHING. I don’t even want you here anymore- when you are here, you just make everything worse.

I used to actually want your approval and quality time but now there is no room for improvement with you. If you have any effect, it is a negative effect on our family. Your presence actually manages to do more damage than when you’re gone. We don’t even care anymore.

Me and mom have given up on you. Why do you even bother to come back home at night…? Just leave. You come to my soccer games. Yay. Not. You’re not good at hiding disappointment the few games I don’t score. You criticize my performance, nit pick at everything I did wrong, and make me feel horrible, once again, at not having a dad who’s proud of me. And it never ends. Ever.

All the memories I have of your comments toward me are negative. And the ones that are verging on positive- those ones are conditional, they don’t last. They don’t suggest you love me no matter what, they suggest you like what I’m doing in the moment, but next time I fail, you show a shit load of discouragement on your face. And you don’t even try to hide it.

What am I supposed to do now? I’ve shed so many tears over a lack, over a longing that doesn’t cease, even with the approval of other people. Every time someone criticizes me- I’m already on the edge…and unfortunately for the people who spout, even ambiguously, offensive comments towards me- those people are IN for it. They don’t know that I have been on the edge of a cliff already- for so long- and that the simplest comment can tap me over that edge.

I am at risk.

And I feel sorry for the person who chooses to put up with me. The problem-the real problem- I think, is that you broke me down at my most vulnerable state: when I was just a child. Just a girl, growing up from age 10 to age 18- the most crucial time for building positive self-image.

I could’ve prevented all of this- I believe I could’ve combat your remarks- if only I were aware of the effect you had on me at the time. Your behavior would go on to affect the rest of my life, on my relationships with guys, even with my friends.

Thank you for looking at me in disgust when I came out of my room with makeup on in middle school. Thank you for giving me that look. For telling me I look bad, and then walking away silently, randomly. Thank you for that. Ten years later, I still think of your remark when I’m getting ready in the morning.

When it happened, I went in my room and cried. But I recovered because I thought some day you would take it back, apologize, or at least tell me I deserve a nice guy when I grow up. None of those reassurances were there to give me hope. And now that I’m adult, I know that you meant everything you said and, more importantly, everything you didn’t say.

Thank you for being silent when I was 11 years old, and I was crying because I had a bad day. You were on the couch and I was sitting on the side, trying to hug you. But I felt the distance you put between us. I was unsure you even wanted me as your daughter.

Mom told you to tell me you love me. She said, “tell your daughter you love her.”

You looked away and were silent. Thank you for that. Those are three words. Three words you had to say. But I didn’t even need to hear them- as long as you showed you cared, and then I’d be fine. You didn’t show me, you aren’t showing me, and now I know you will never show me.

Some days I feel like someone is sitting on my lungs. Moments when a person, most likely a guy that I like, makes a remark that mirrors a comment I heard from you. My breath becomes shallow, my body contracts, and my throat tightens as firmly as I’ve ever felt. My chest, shoulders, and upper stomach suddenly feel pricked with knives. The pricks immediately initiate a chain reaction to my arms, and to my fingertips. My fingertips are tingling with a surge of pain. Every part of me tells me to run away. My jaw clenches, and my eyes stare fixedly downwards. I feel them close…and then I know I am going to cry.

In me, this reaction is timeless. I feel controlled by an unseen force that bears down on me whenever it wants. As soon as I start to believe I control it…the force proves that it still controls me.

To a guy who wants to be my husband- I say to him, I’m warning you that I’m fatherless. I don’t feel worthy of love and I can’t promise you that my opinion of myself will change. But I promise that I will keep trying.