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Dear “Dad” : A Ten Year Letter

Dear… “Dad,”

For ten years I’ve wrote this letter over and over. For ten years I sought out words that would perfectly describe how much it hurts, how hard some days are, or how angry I was with you. And for ten years those words always fell short, and left me feeling angrier, and heartbroken. Finally, after a decade of trashcan letters, I discovered the words I had been so desperately seeking.

I forgive you.

I forgive you for not being in my life. I forgive you for not meeting my first boyfriend, taking pictures of my first prom, or helping me find the right school. I forgive you for all the missed dance recitals, late nights of homework, and parent teacher conferences. I forgive you for not teaching me how to drive, change a tire, or check the oil. I forgive you for all the missed holidays, birthdays, and milestones.

I forgive you for creating the girl with “daddy issues.” I forgive you for instilling the fear of abandonment in me. I forgive you for making me question the loyalty of every person I meet. I forgive you for making me fear the idea of letting someone in.

I forgive you.

For ten years I’ve been infuriated by you. I’ve spent days hating you for leaving. I can’t tell you how many thousands of tears I have wasted on you. As I’ve grown into the woman I am today, I have finally learned the most important lesson in all of this. Forgiveness feels considerably better than hatred.

While you created a damaged, love-fearing woman, you also created a woman who knows her worth. You created a woman who won’t stand for a love less than she deserves. You created a strong, independent, tough-minded woman, who doesn’t rely on anyone but herself.

The last decade has been the furthest thing from easy for me. But ten years later, I can finally see why life ended up this way. As I’ve matured, I realize that I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, without you. While it hurt like hell, and some days it still does, I needed you to leave in order to discover my true self.

And for that, I forgive you.

Sincerely,

Your daughter

Kaitlyn is a recent grad the University of Wyoming, where she got her degree in Marketing. She has been the Campus Correspondent for a Pink level chapter, a Chapter Advisor to some amazing chapters, and now has the pleasure of being a Region Leader. Born and raised on the Western Slope of Colorado, her love for nature and the outdoors comes naturally. Kaitlyn lives for football season, but finds way to stay preoccupied during the off-season. She enjoys long walks in the mountains, beer as cold as her heart, and bacon on her burgers. You can follow Kaitlyn’s adventures on Instagram, @kaysoup.
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