To the man who calls himself my ‘father’,
You made me feel as though I wasn’t worthy of a stable, loving family unit
Being half of the person that created me, you should have been half responsible for providing me with safety and security.
Yet instead, you took away everything that was mine.
You took away that stability, you took away that security, you took away that safety
You replaced it with rage, rawness, regrets.
From a young girl aged 6, I felt as though half of my identity was missing
It was almost like half of my DNA had simply disappeared – which in all honesty, it had.
How was I meant to discover myself when I was never really whole in the first place?
I never felt like you belonged in my life, as I’d gotten so used to your absence over the years that it was almost like you never really had a presence as far as I was aware.
You turned your back on your little family and walked away
Am I the reason you felt you couldn’t stay?
The love that you had to give was never meant to be mine to keep.
Grandma would always ring up and check on my safety, in case you had inflicted harm upon me whilst you were drunk.
Even when you had moved out, you were still lurking in the shadows for one reason or another
You hid behind a bush after coming back from the local pub one day and tried to speak to Mum and I.
Being so shocked and mortified, I wet myself there and then.
You have unknowingly left scars both on my heart and in my mind – no amount of time can ever completely heal them.
All you have ever really given me that has stuck is my last name – and to be truthful, I wanted to tear it away from myself like you egotistically tore yourself away from my existence.
All I can remember of you is scaring myself and Mum, time and time again.
A young girl needs her father to set an example. How else will she be able to understand the love that she’s worthy of when she’s matured and left to her own devices?
You were meant to be the man who never hurt me. Yet you caused more destruction than any other man ever could and you did it from before I was even born.
All I can remember is you shutting me in my room for what seemed like hours on end, keeping your own daughter a prisoner whilst you most likely drowned your sorrows in your favourite type of poison – your beloved booze.
No wonder all my encounters with boys who were once strangers turned sour and I turned to self-destructive behaviours.
I should have been able to rely on you becoming my saviour, shielding me from the rage, rawness and regrets – caused by the one man who was never meant to hurt me.
By Jade Millard