There’s no guide to writing a letter to a man who you’ve always wanted in your life and never has been. It’s hard to do. It’s tough to deal with. Usually, the advice I get is, “Screw him, he’s a jerk.”
Was he a jerk? Yes. A thousand times, he was a jerk.
But it’s classically easier said than done. To not want someone you feel invariably connected to in your life. It’s so hard to not have that person. And when they are in your life, it seems to always, always, always, go bad. That “check-up” phone call when you were 13 went south so quick you didn’t even know what happened.
I have asked myself so many times why it seems to be impossible to just drop him. Totally and completely. Without hesitation or remorse. Why is it so hard?
I think it’s because I know that nobody is all bad. Call me stupid, idealistic, weak-willed, whatever. There’s just a tiny thread of hope in me that doesn’t want to disappear. It’s hard for me to give up on people that I’ve always wanted so badly in my life. I wish I had the will to just not give a shit. To say, “I don’t need you” and drop the mic.
Well, this is step one of my plan to forgive and let go.
This is not a self-pity, “woe is me” post.
This is a thanks.
Thank you to my father, who stepped out and made room for an incredible, hard-working, and hilarious man, who I can proudly call my dad.
Thank you to my father, who taught me when I was young that some people don’t want help and you can’t fix those people.
Thank you to my father for teaching me to recognize a toxic person.
Thank you to my father for teaching me that when someone tries to manipulate you, you hang up the phone.
Thank you to my father for showing me that without compassion and kindness and love, we have absolutely nothing to live for.
Thank you to my father, who showed me all of the things I don’t want in any relationship.
Thank you to my father for instilling in me the drive to do and be every single thing you never did or were.
And a final thank you, not to my father, but to the wonderful men in my life who have done his job.
Well, this one is my final thank you I guess. Thank you to my mom for having the strength and the brain to get us all out of a shit situation and for working so hard to ensure that we had everything we ever needed.
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” -Anne Lamott
Thanks for reading this Monday, even though it’s not our usual happy, live your life post. Some things need to be talked about, and if there is any possibility at all that someone in a similar situation will read this and realize that they are better than the people who weren’t there, I’ve done my job. That’s worth potential discomfort to me.
Don’t ever take shit from people who have lost the privilege to know you.