I wrote this a long time ago, but I felt it was time to publicly share it. For those who may feel that their feelings towards a parent may not be legitimate. I promise you they are. Feelings are not trivial things. They are real and important. But it is also important to recognize and let go of things that are preventing you from growing as a person and a human capable of giving and receiving love. This is me, forgiving and releasing.
Dear E. M. aka my Father,
Today is Father’s Day and I’ve been thinking a lot of things about the person you are and what I may have wanted you to be. There’s a blur as to what that definition is, “father”. Or rather what your definition of it is. I’m honestly not sure.
But whatever it is, I just wanted to tell you that I forgive you. I forgive you for all the times you’ve promised that young bright-skinned, big headed kid you called your son that you’d do something, but never did it. I forgive you for the times you’d pick me up and we drive around all day with you showboating me to people I didn’t know or cared about as your son who scored in the 90-whatever percentile in some state test when I just wanted to spend some time with you that day. I forgive you for all the nights I just wanted to go home but couldn’t because you forgot to pick me up or stayed out longer than you expected. I forgive for you all the times you made a promise to my mother, but never came through with it, I forgive you. I forgive you.
I forgive you for how you treat(ed) my sister. I forgive you for not letting her be the woman she is and wanted to be. I forgive you for not letting her live her life. I forgive you for just not really knowing how to be a parent. I forgive you. I don’t know much, but I know being a parent is more about love and acceptance than anything. Loving your children for all that they are, and not trying to control them or conform them to the way that you “know” how to live. It’s just about letting them be people. Of course as children, you want them to be safe and healthy, but there comes a point where you’ve gotta just… let them be and live how they’ve developed how to live. And respect their values, even if they didn’t get those values from you.
I heard the way you judged my decision to leave my job today. I know that tone. But I knew that’s how you’d react. I’m not stupid. Fortunately for me, and probably you too, I’ve learned to not need approval for things that I do. Especially from you. But I harbor no ill feeling towards you, well I don’t now that I’m writing this, but I just want to release any that I have. I know you always intended to be a good man. It was expressed in some weird ways to me, but I know you just wanted to be a good father. Some people try harder than others, and some people are more successful with less effort. I don’t know really. I do know that I never wanted to be like you. I want to be worlds better.
But you should know that I forgive you. I love you, and I do forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you, dad. I forgive you. I release and forgive you.
I forgive you,