This is something I have been putting off.
I should really know better. Haven’t I always known I wouldn’t be able to truly move on by pretending I wasn’t still hurting? That my upturned nose and indignant sniffs of, “I don’t care at all!” were just more bandages on the cracks in the foundation? I’ve been seeing so many signs telling me it’s time, but I kept shaking my head and begging for it to not be right now.
Humanity is perverse. So many of us get so comfortable being in pain, that any steps towards healing are met with reluctance, if not outright hostility.
I’ll be honest with you. Even writing this has me wanting to put my laptop down and bolt up the stairs. I try find other things to distract me, so I can say, “I will get back to this later!”
But I’m more afraid of not saying what I’ve been holding inside all these years.
Dad, I forgive you.
I forgive you because I know you had to be in the middle of your own pain. I know someone must have hurt you; you didn’t know how to be loved or give love. I forgive you for not wanting a child, for making me feel like I was never enough.
I forgive you for the tightness in my chest when Father’s Day rolls around, and I know I will never be able to take you out to lunch and laugh with you as you tell me how proud you are. Because you never thought about me enough to be proud.
I forgive you for robbing me of ever understanding other females when they call themselves a daddy’s girl, because I never had you there to help me when I needed you, so I had to figure some things out myself.
I forgive you for not being able to show me love, and because of that, I dated some men who were not good for me, because I didn’t know what healthy relationships or respect should look like.
I forgive you for passing your poison on to me, so that I ended up punishing and hating myself in the process.
I release you from being tied to my pain. It is my own to work through and grow beyond. I release you from being my emotional scapegoat.
And to you, my own inner child:
I am sorry I wasn’t there for you, when you were in so much pain. I am sorry that I was so engrossed in my own struggles that I couldn’t be what you needed. I lost you, little by little.
I could write those two words, using a single-haired paintbrush, on every grain of sand and rice, and it would never undo the hurt I have caused you all these years.
I have done you a greater disservice than our father ever did.
Yet, over and over, I hear you say: “It’s alright. I forgive you, I forgive you. We will figure this out together, but you must let me heal and grow.”
All the years of feeling worthless and sad are beginning to leave from your eyes. I know, because they are my eyes, too.
Your hand finds its way to mine; we look at each other a moment longer.
Then we walk down the path, together.