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Almost A Daddy’s Girl

I was four years old when you left. I didn’t understand why or realize that you were never coming back. Though you weren’t around and your visits were few and far between, the need to be daddy’s little never went away. Every time mommy would tell me you were coming to get me, I would be so excited but then you wouldn’t show up. The first few times I just brushed it off, by the time I turned 11 the years of inconsistency and broken promises made me feel so angry that I didn’t even care if you came or not. Why didn’t you want to see me? Why didn’t you want to love me? Why when you finally kept your word, were you too drunk to focus on our visit? What should have been “my time”, turned into “your time”, to argue with mommy again about what she wasn’t doing and not allowing you to do. Another argument, you cursing, hitting mommy, while I’m crying, yelling at the top my lungs and begging you to stop. Finally, the police get called and you’re gone again until whenever. Your inability to love, care for and protect me, left me with a hard heart, and distorted view of love and myself.

Years would go by, and you would not call or come around. It didn’t matter now because he came. At first it was just a date here and there that he and mommy would go on, and then the dates became more frequent, the house visits got longer and before I knew it, he started staying on the weekends, and eventually moved in. While you moved on, he gave me the attention I so wanted from my “daddy”, little did I know that the attention I would get from him would come with a cost.

He molested me “daddy”! He touched, fondled and kissed me in places that he should not have. He would wait until mommy went out or was in another room, to do things that no little girl should ever experience. Daddy, my first kiss was from a man “oh wait, old enough to be my father”. He took away my innocence and made me pleasure him in ways that a “grown woman” was supposed to. He took away my right to choose who I would give my first kiss to, hold hands with, feel that pit in my stomach when he came into the room kind of feeling. I didn’t get to do the little giggle all girls do when they hear a boy tell them for the first time they like them. He took my little girl experiences, because you decided not to protect them. He shattered my self-esteem, and for years I would struggle with feeling like nothing and nobody. While everyone looked at me and thought I was happy, I was so broken on the inside and everything I did was just fake and phony, like this thing I wanted, being “daddy’s little girl”.

Now here I am, 49 years old trying to deal with the broken heart of the 11-year-old girl I used to be. Still judging life through her eyes and hurt. Learning to forgive myself and trying to forgive you. I’m writing a book about this experience, and it is really helping me to release the anger, shame and guilt I felt. I never told mommy or anyone what happened. All these years I’ve kept this pain on the inside or so I thought, not realizing that it’s been showing up in my life in all kinds of ways, and I’m ready to face and let it go. I went to your funeral. I came before everyone else did, and left before anyone arrived. Finally, I had my time with you, just you and me. As I looked at you, I realized, I still didn’t have the daddy/daughter connection I so desired. I did cry, not so much because I would miss you, but because this is not how I wanted “my time” with you to be.

Daddy, I forgive you. I forgive you for leaving. I forgive you for not protecting me. I forgive you for not trying. I forgive you for breaking my heart. I really wish I could have spoken these words to you, but I know now that these words are more for me than they are for you. I pray you found the courage to forgive yourself, I did, and pray you are at peace, I am.

Almost Daddy’s Little Girl,

Andrea

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