A young girl, who I know and love, has been having a difficult time lately. She hasn’t seen her father in a long, long time. He doesn’t call. He doesn’t write. He doesn’t send child support. He doesn’t … do anything. He just disappeared. He’s not dead. He is living in another province, with another family.
Sometimes she asks me, “how could he do that?’ Leave her, she means. Her face twists in pain and confusion. Her eyes water. She is angry. She doesn’t want to care, but she does.
This child is young, but her eyes are old. A broken heart will do that to you.
I wish the child’s story were unusual. But it isn’t. I see it all the time. Active mental health and addiction disorder, don’t go hand and hand with healthy, happy families.
This little girl wanted me to share her letter with you. She hopes other Mommies, or Daddies, will read it.
But mostly, she hopes other children will know they’re not alone.
A child’s letter to her missing father.
“Dad, I want to know if you still remember me. Do you? Cuz I sure remember you. I feel like there is a BIG hole in me and it won’t get full EVER unless you come back to me. I think you left me because I’m not good enough, or you think I’m rotten, or just some garbage lying on the road. BUT I”M NOT! It’s been so long since I saw you. I can’t stop thinking about you. I thought you might call at Christmas, but you didn’t. Don’t you miss me??? I see you everywhere, with other children and families, I know it’s not you, but my mind is tricking me. Maybe it was all a dream. Were you just a dream dad? Please call me! Dad! PLEASE!!!!!”
My heart hurts as I post this. I can see her face, and know her urgency. I relate to her pain, and I know too, the destruction it will reap on her future.
The damage done to the psyche of a child abandoned by a parent can follow them for the rest of their life.
When our children don’t have the answers they seek, they make up their own. This sweet, precious little girl, is surely not rotten, or garbage,
I try reassuring her, this isn’t about her. Her Daddy, missing in her life, doesn’t mean she’s bad. It means, he’s sick.
This self-serving platitude tastes like shit.
Truthfully, I’d like to strangle the bastard.
Of course, I don’t tell her this.
Besides, if I strangled him, I’d have to reach back in time and find my own throat. I might not have abandoned my kids. But I sure as heck wouldn’t have won any parenting awards, either.
So instead, I’ll post this on her behalf and pray that just maybe, someone seeing this, will think twice, before putting substance, or other mood-altering behaviors, in front of their children.
You can help other children by sharing this post. Maybe together, we can make a difference. At least, it’s what I tell our kids.