I almost didn’t write this one. But writing it was surprisingly therapeutic. Leaving a parent behind is an incredible personal choice. I walked away from my dad almost 4 years ago. I still don’t feel capable of reconnecting. Leaving aside all my reasons, forgetting what caused me to make a decision that would affect my life forever, there are a few things I would love to tell people but also that I wish he knew. Things I wish I could say.
To the people who probe a little too much:
I don’t want people to be afraid to ask if I see my dad. But I don’t have to explain the ins and outs of my relationship with him if I don’t feel like it. The whys and wherefores don’t matter unless I choose to divulge them.
Yes I know you only get one dad. That hasn’t escaped me! I’m really glad you couldn’t live without yours or you know someone who reconnected with theirs (genuinely I am) but I’m afraid this doesn’t help me. I wish it was as simple as: you only get one dad so make it work.
To the people who still see him:
I don’t want to know. Without being rude, I don’t. It still hurts. Updates don’t help even when people are trying to be kind. Knowing what’s happening but not being a part of his life hurts. So I like to keep myself in the dark. And please no updates on me… I’m sure that could only cause pain.
There are a few things I wish I could tell him:
There will never be a part of me that is 100% at peace with this decision. Every now and again the wish to reconnect pops up. I want to reach out sometimes but remembering previous pain stops me. Christmas is the worst, not surprisingly. It wasn’t an easy decision, it wasn’t flippant or quick. It was a decision I made by myself for myself.
I don’t blame him for everything, I don’t see every pit fall or issue in my life as his fault. I don’t blame him for my faults or personal pain.
It was the best thing for me at the time. This breaks my heart every now and again, but yes, walking away was the best thing for me, my mental health and well-being. I had to stop my pain and that was the only solution.
I never wished him any pain. I know that cutting him off may hurt him. But I had to take care of myself. I made the decision based on my own pain. But I would never choose to hurt him.
I still love him. This one may sound untrue to anyone who hasn’t been through this kind of separation, but yes I do. I love him and always have but sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes a relationship doesn’t work. I know this probably confuses people, especially after all the pain, but love doesn’t just dissipate.
Being estranged from a loved one is never easy, but sometimes it’s the right decision.