Dear Dad

By: Roba Djalleta

When I was two or three years old my dad had left my life, and it greatly impacted me in a negative light. From what I was told by my aunt, my dad was the best thing in the world to me. And the fact that he walked out was heartbreaking to her and everyone else. Usually, in a traditional household, the dad is usually the head of the pack. But I had no dad to lead my brother and me and my mom when I was a little kid. My mom was the big guy, and she was the one who made the rules in the house. She was the first person I knew that was strong and independent. Seeing a woman in charge at an early age of my life was so monumental because it enabled me to have more respect and more sympathy towards women’s right. Now, going to school and seeing the kids around me talk about things like: “how feminism is stupid” or “women aren’t treated unfairly” I always get mad, because it’s as if they are deeming the experiences that my mom had to go through (my dad walking out and leaving my mom to financially support two little toddlers on her own, and still having to have a stable full-time job). But then I realized that the kids around me probably didn’t just have a mom growing up, they didn’t have the same experiences that I did.

When I was younger, I was always sad about not having a dad, seeing all my friends have their dads at their soccer games or coming to school to pick them up was always a constant reminder of what I didn’t have. Now that I’ve grown my pain has grown along with me too. My pain has morphed into something like a virus. Now that I’m a bit more mature now, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to love someone with as much love that they deserve because I’m afraid that they’ll leave me as my dad did. The feeling of being left is the most undesirable feeling in the world. You’re always left with the most daunting questions like: “was it my fault” or “did he ever even love me” or “what’s the point”.

I’m afraid to let people in because I’m afraid that they’ll leave me, so I’m always guarded but I don’t want to be that way. I want to be as free as a bird, dancing in the wind. I always hoped and prayed that my future significant other would save me from the mess that my father made. But as the more I grew up I realized that no one can save me but me, and that’s just something I wish I knew a long time ago.

Although, I may not have everything figured, or know what exactly I want and/or need… something I always have to tell and remind myself is that “it gets better”. And I know that when you’re a teenager everything just seems so up close and violent. It may all seem so set and definite, but if you only remember to zoom out and look at the bigger picture you’ll realize that that there’s a big world out there for you.  It’s ok not to have everything figured out, just know that you’re never alone.

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