Dear Dad,
Because of you, I grew up without a dad. Or what I think is "without a dad." You and mom divorced when I was one and you were always inconsistent in my life. You'd be there and then you wouldn't. This went on for years.

You weren't there through the bullying in elementary, or in middle school, or in high school. You weren't there to see me grow, flourish, become stronger. You didn't see me fall down on the sidewalk and scrape my knee, but you most importantly didn't see me when I got up and got back on my bike and rode even faster than before. No.
You decided you'd come when I was 16. You decided, since you always run away, you wanted to be in my life after everything I had gone through.

Going through sleepless nights wondering what my dad was doing in the other state he was living in. Going to meet him at the train every 5 years and then waking up the next day to see he had gone. It's difficult. Especially when you have to deal with bullying at school by kids who aren't even that much different then you. 

Getting slammed into lockers, pushed down several flights of stairs, getting ganged up on in the girls bathroom, talked about, and way more cruel things teenage girls are capable of doing.

But the thing I don't understand is how, even after all the years of never seeing you, you can waltz back into my life and expect everything to be alright. That's not how life works, dad. I love you, but you have to grow up. I know I have. I've been through too much and seen too much and gotten through every bit of it without you, so what does that tell you? I'm a strong woman without a father.

Yes, you're my dad. But when did you ever act like one? When you were thousands of miles away with your girlfriend and her kids? Treating her kids better than you treated yours? that's definitely being a father. I might be mad at you, and I might resent you for all the years you weren't in my life, but you're still my dad and you're here now and I thank you for that. For being there for me and supporting me now when you could just walk away. I can say that you've grown up a bit, there's more growing up to do and I'll be here for you like you weren't for me.

your daughter

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