I'll never forget the way my heart ached as I watched you pull out of the driveway for what would be the very last time. You slammed the door behind you, and never looked back. I couldn't grasp the fact that the man who was supposed to protect us, was now the person we needed protection from.

Through the years, your absence became something I tried to get used to. Regardless, It doesn't mean that I never felt the pain that came along with it. I would see other kids get to have both of their parents growing up and I longed for you to come back. If only I had known what I was asking for. For years, you continued to enter my life only to leave over and over again. Eventually, this became a miserable cycle. My hopes of finally having a relationship with you became something I gave up on entirely. I was tired of trying, and being the only one to reach out for contact.

You were supposed to guard my heart, but you turned out to be the first person to ever break it.

You missed all the major milestones in my life, like teaching me how to drive, seeing me on my first day of college, and meeting the man I'm marrying. I didn't get to experience a Father-Daughter dance with you, and you won't be the one to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. You were supposed to be there for all of those things and more, but you walked away.

You will never know my relentless love for music and literature, or that I am majoring in English. I guess it has finally registered that we will never truly know each other at all. I finally decided that my heart had been through enough. For my own sake, I closed the space you left between us and pushed you out for good. I couldn't stand to be hurt anymore, and you being constantly temporary in my life hurt worse than you being completely absent. I deserve so much more than that. God sent fatherly figures in my life who have taught me my worth, and to never settle for less.

Despite my choice to push you away, I am no longer angry with you.

My whole life I've been told that someone who is truly hurting and broken will always hurt other people. You being broken had nothing to do with me, but I still blamed myself for years. I will forever be changed by the careless way you treated me, but I have chosen to be forgiving. It is the only way I can move forward with my own life. You had a choice to be in it, but you clearly chose otherwise.

I still have so many unanswered questions, and I'll never understand why things had to be this way. I don't know if you even think about me from time to time, or if you even realize just how much you've hurt me. I am still recovering from the damage done, and deep down I know I will never be the same. Because of your absence, I have suffered from separation anxiety for most of my life.

Even now as an adult, I still don't know how to let people in because you destroyed my trust at such a young age. I am always paranoid that someone could disappear from my life in an instant, just the way you did. You showed me how to never be as a spouse or parent, and for that I am thankful.

Unlike me, my husband and future kids will never have to deal with the pain of abandonment. I will choose to be a constant in their lives, rather than temporary. My mom had to raise me all on her own, with no help from you. It was so hard to watch her deal with the mess you made, but she is so strong because of it. She had to play both parental roles, and I know it wasn't easy on her.

You thought you were leaving us weak and defenseless, but we both survived just fine without you.

I hope someday you regret the choice to leave because you missed out on so much. I pray that you seek God to heal your brokenness and find a way to fill the gaps in your life.

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