I received a letter. A letter in response to my letter. I didn’t expect the contents to be any different. Still the words hit me in the gut. I began to shake. But I was in the car and my kids were with me. I had a choice. To go forward with our busy afternoon or go into the house and let my kids see me fall apart. Again. Something inside of me screamed…roared. NO. NO I will not let my life be dictated by you anymore. NO I will not have moments with my kids tainted by your words one more time. I am going to ignore your BS and move forward.
I called the husband and we talked. He was kind in his bluntness. He was willing to come home if I needed him, but he was incredibly busy. And he was tired. Tired of the hold this man has over my emotions whenever he writes. Tired of the way he can disrupt our lives with a FOREVER stamp. Tired of his wife reverting to the scared daughter.
I didn’t react. I didn’t tell him he didn’t understand. I didn’t tell him that I just need him to be supportive already. I sighed.It was if my husband gave me permission to tell this man to F-off. So I did. And I felt better. And that warrior princess inside of me started singing.
I owe my father nothing. I extended grace, mercy and compassion. He responded with manipulation, deception and more abuse. Every letter signed “An Old Dog on a Chain”. Every poem referring to the betrayal of a family who has “forgotten him” as he lay dying. I ignored his ranting about the apocalypse and government conspiracies. But it was his statement, “You will always be mine.” that pissed me off and made me write back in the first place.
You don’t own me. I don’t owe you a single word. Yet because my Abba loves me, I write you. I want you to find him. I want you to be honest. And I want you to tell me the truth. The truth I read on the pages of the police report. ADMIT to me what you did. I know…I just want to know if you’re man enough to say it. And like I thought, he’s not man enough to admit. Instead. I’m lying. It’s as if he’s in a cell because of some freaking conspiracy to keep him there.
I thought about all the people in my life who stand by me. My momma. Dad of Mine (my stepdad). My siblings and step-siblings. My extended family…aunts, uncles, cousins. My faith family. The homeschool community. The survivor group. I have an entire network of people who LOVE me. I no longer need to stay controlled by this man. I have extended grace and mercy and in doing so I have honored my father as the commandment states. BUT that commandment does not say I have to remain chained to his sin, his issues, his wickedness. There is no commandment that says I have to keep contact with him. There is nothing that binds me to my father.
He does. Not. Own. ME.
Realizing that. Is freeing. Knowing that I have done what I believe I should do is comforting. Understanding that is perfectly alright to protect myself from further manipulation and abuse is empowering.
I’m not angry.There’s a quiet acceptance that what is…is. I feel no desire or obligation to try to change who he is. He will always choose to believe that what he did was not worthy of being in jail. That what he did…didn’t hurt or harm us. He will always find ways to blame us. I can no longer try to change his mind.
This girl has grown up and she no longer needs a father. I have a dad. I call him Dad of Mine. I had a dad who was willing to adopt me, my other dad. But most of all, I have a father who is my true father. He is Abba and I am his daughter. He calls me Redeemed. That’s all I need.