It saddens my heart that the traditional family is now rare. It used to be Mom, Dad, and kids. Now it is Mom, Step dad, Dad, Step mom, kids, step kids, half siblings, and whatever else I missed.

I am part of the statistics. My mom and dad had me when they were 18. They were never married to each other. My dad left when I was 5. My mom married my step dad when i was almost 7. My dad married my step mom when i was 13 I think? Memories with him are a blur.

It will be two years in May since we have last spoken. He had told me time after time that he was going to fix things and be around more. Ever since he left when I was 5, he had only come home once a year for a holiday. I would only see him for maybe a day or two and then he would leave all over again.

This last time in 2017/18 he had sat me down and apologized for the heartbreak he has caused. He told me he wanted to try to fix things and be around more. This is something i had aways deeply wanted, so I believed him.

He agreed to come home 4-6 times a year instead of one. I know it is not much, but it was more than i had ever gotten from him so I was excited. He came home the first time and we hung out and it went pretty well. We hung out a second time and it went pretty well. The third time he was supposed to come home he texted me the dates he was planning to be in Minnesota. I told him those dates didn’t work because I had a basketball tournament.

He came home anyways and didn’t see me. I haven’t seen him since.

I have given him so many chances to be the dad I always knew he could be. I gave him so many chances to fix it and be there for me. Each time I got my hopes up for him, it broke me a little more.

I texted him and told him that I love him. I told him I am sorry about the choices he has made and I forgive him for them and for the hurt he has caused me. Then I told him that it is not healthy for me to be in contact with him right now. I could not mentally or emotionally handle the back and fourth and inconsistency.

Enough was enough for me. I wanted him so badly that I threw any boundaries out the window in hopes he would be there. I could not sit back and keep letting myself be hurt. Just because he is half of me does not mean he gets a free pass to be toxic and hurtful in my life.

This is one of the hardest things I have ever done. He is one of the two people in this world who were made to love me and be there for me, and he isn’t.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him or that I don’t feel his absence. Whenever something big happens I always want to call him and tell him. There is something in me that i cannot shake. No matter how much I tell myself not to miss him. To ignore that hole in my heart where he is supposed to be, I can’t. I cannot stop wanting my dad and his love in my life, even when it was breaking me.

I hope someday he will be able to be a consistent part of my life and I can learn to build trust with him. He has two kids now. A four year old daughter and a 8 month old son. It hurts me to think that that little girl gets to wake up to him everyday. But I hope he is a better dad to her than he was to me.

Maybe you have a similar story. Maybe one or both of your parents are not part of your life. I am so sorry. I am so sorry about that hole in your heart. I am so sorry about the constant questioning whether or not you are good enough and if this is your fault. I am so sorry.

I get it. For years I thought my dad not being here was my fault and maybe if I was perfect he would have stayed or would come back. I thought I was not good enough because one of the two people who were supposed to love me and be there for me, weren’t. Maybe you feel this way too.

I want you to know that no matter what your thoughts are telling you, it is NOT your fault. It is NOT your fault. You hear me? You do not have control over other people’s life choices. There is nothing you could have done or can do to make them choose you. Only they have control over their choices. I know this makes you feel helpless, I feel that way too. You are not helpless, you have control over yourself. You have power in your voice. No one can take that from you unless you let them.

There is nothing in this world that will ever make you not good enough. You deserve love, kindness, confidence and to be happy. You are allowed to struggle, hurt, and still try to be happy. Yes, their absence is a big part of your life, but look at you. You have worked so hard to be this person. You do not have to let this absence hold you back. You can feel the weight and still do your best to be happy.

You are here on purpose for a purpose. You are not a reflection of those who do not choose you. You are a reflection of what you choose for your life. Just because someone is half of you does not give them permission to treat you poorly or hurt you.

Your worth is not found in how others treat you. Remember that.

I miss my dad every single day of my life. It hurts. It is hard. It sucks. I don’t think there will be a single day that it doesn’t bother me. I am learning how to be bothered by his absence and not let it control my life.

I know that right now I am doing what is best for me. I am protecting my heart. Maybe in the future things will be different. But I cannot change someone’s heart and neither can you. Some people never change, and all we can do is love them from afar.

Some people will never be able to love you in the way you deserve to be loved.

I pray for restoration in all of our broken relationships. I pray that you will not let this situation make you hard and bitter. I pray you will not let a cut make you bleed on those who did not cut you. I pray that you will know that you are loved despite feeling unlovable. You are enough even when you feel worthless.

You are worthy.

You deserve love.

You are enough.

You are important.

From someone who struggles with an absent parent,

From someone who is doing her best to protect her heart,

From someone who is learning to love from a distance,

From someone like you,