Dear Dad, I Deserve Better
I want to thank you for everything. I should say thank you, shouldn’t I? Without you, I would never have learned how to overlook so much. You taught me a lot. Don’t rely on others – they won’t be there in the end. Only let people close enough to feel like they know me, but don’t give them enough to hurt me.
Don’t believe that the word “family” means the same to everyone. It doesn’t. “Family” doesn’t mean what I thought. A family is optional. It’s there when you want it to be. It’s there when you’re lonely.
You taught me to hide things better. I can hide my emotions better. Under your roof, emotions were wrong. It felt like feelings were dangerous. They were something to be held over another’s head. It was a weakness. I never picked up on that, though.
My feelings always came through. For the longest time, I thought they were wrong. Trying to bottle up everything took a toll. There was always a wave of underlying anger. I wasn’t wrong, though. It took years for me to realize that I wasn’t wrong.
Your emotions were always fine, though, right? They were fake, but they were fine. Your anger was real. The hatred that you harbored toward innocent people? That was always real. You thought you were better than everyone.
You would take it out on your family. If someone you deemed undeserving got something you didn’t, it was our fault. We weren’t good enough. We weren’t successful enough.
I remember when I was younger. There are a lot of things I wish I could forget. I had hope. I had dreams and aspirations. When I expressed them, you would stomp them out. You had the cruelest smile. Always pretended that it was for my benefit.
You said I reached too high and was trying to get something I could never have. It was your way or no way. You were never a father. You were a tyrant. Nothing was ever good enough.
You taught me to put on the rose-colored lenses. It was easy. I could look over anything because there was nothing as bad as you. You don’t care, though.
You pretend to care now you’re alone. No one wants to be alone. You backed yourself into this. You left behind your family. That was your choice. Now you’re alone suddenly we’re good enough? I guess we were always good enough for the end of your cruel words. We were good enough for the end of your blows.
It’s taken years to unravel the truth. We were always good enough. My dreams were never set too high. You were the problem. You were the one that wasn’t good enough. I used to ask why I wasn’t good enough. I used to want to fix myself.
I am far from perfect. I will never be perfect. I know now, though; I wasn’t the one that needed fixing. I was always good enough. You were the problem.
I forgive you. I don’t forgive you because you deserve it; I forgive you because I deserve it. Know, though, you may have my forgiveness, but I will never see you as my “dad.” I deserve better.