The first man to ever hurt me was my dad. I couldn’t decipher the difference between his absence and my worth, so I used the confusion to build my walls.
I was hardened on the outside, but within those walls I was just broken.
I remember feeling undeserving and unworthy of love – carried that lie for years. I searched for validation through the acceptance of others and when I didn’t receive it, I shut down even more. I began to punish myself with isolation and self-sabotage, to keep others away.
After carrying the pain around for years, I decided to deal and heal. That was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. It’s different when you only have yourself to blame for unhappiness.
Doing the work was hard, but so worth it because I finally saw, accepted, and acknowledged my greatness! To look in the mirror, and smile back at the reflection was a beautiful moment.
While that was pivotal to my transformation, the most important thing I did was forgive myself for believing the lie.
My dad being absent had nothing to do with my worth. It was about the issues he had. It took me many years to let go of the anger and truly begin to feel that hurt little girl inside.
Through therapy and my spirituality, I finally found peace.
One day I realized; I still had more to say to him. His sister sent me a message saying that he was diagnosed with Prostate cancer. I wasn’t expecting to feel anything, but I was overcome with emotion.
I knew that if I had the chance to speak with him again, it would be different.
This time, I had no expectations; I was free of the negativity surrounding his absence. When we spoke, he said, “I know I wasn’t a good dad and I have to live with the fact that I wasn’t a part of your or your brother’s life. I can only try to be better now.” I could feel that he was genuine; it resonated with my heart and spirit.
I took the opportunity to express the things I needed to and immediately afterwards I felt the shift.
The little girl who longed for her daddy finally felt whole again!
I couldn’t understand why I felt something for a man who was absent, but that night I realized that it is because he is a part of me…as I am a part of him. His absence was pivotal to the woman I am today.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m learning to allow people to be who they are without expectations or conditions.
We all make mistakes, and through this part of my life I learned some great lessons.
I learned that forgiveness was not for him, but it was for my freedom. I have 3 beautiful children that I encourage, uplift, love, and hug every day. So, in a way I say thanks to my dad for showing me how to be better.
I am worthy.
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