A poem I wrote for my father; a man who, I do admit, made me who I am today. I wrote in on Father's Day; an unafraid declaration of everything that I feel for him.

What I should say is…

Thank you, Dad,
For all the years
Of giving and caring,
Of patient teaching,
And loving discipline.

Thank you for all the years
Of listening to my problems,
Guiding me into making
My own decisions,
And sharing my disappointments
As well as my dreams…

Thank you
For loving me enough
To hold me close
When I needed you most,
And for loving me enough
To let me go out on my own…
I am who I am
Because of all you've done
And been for me
I'll always be grateful, Dad,
And I'll always, always love you

But what I truly feel, is…

How could you take a 12-year-old girl's childhood away?
You left and she had nothing; no one, except me.
I was the one who stood by her, crying with her, fighting every day with her.

Every day was a battle; but how could you possibly know that?
With you there was no giving or caring; there was taking and callousness
Patient teaching and loving discipline? In my world, patient teaching and loving discipline stood disguised as Abuse.

Thank you, Daddy, for all the tears and problems, for guiding me into a slow insanity—forcing your decisions and beliefs upon me
And being the cause of all my disappointments and shattered dreams.

Thank you, for ruining what could have been a beautiful childhood
For holding an arms length away when I needed guidance
And for hindering my ability to trust others
In truth, I am who I am because of what you did to me

Because of what you didn't give me; because of what you took away from me
I became eighteen years old when in reality
I was supposed to be living the life of a twelve year old; carefree, happy, anxious to become a teenager

Dad, I will never be grateful for you.
Thank you for letting me down, for taking heartbreak and betrayal to a whole new level.

Dad, I will always have trouble letting people past the stonewall you helped me build around my heart
And Dad, that terrifies me

Because one day, I do want to be happy
I deserve it

One of these days, Dad, I'm going to look back and realize that everything you did, everything I went through because of you, made me stronger; taught me to put my anger down on paper—turn it onto words.
One day, I will admit that every tear made me a better person. I'll let go of my distrust of humanity one day, Daddy. And when that day comes, I'll reach every happiness.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

For you, Dad.

From your dearest daughter.