An open letter to the one who could have had it all but chose differently.
I have sat down to write this more times than I can count. It is like I have had the words swirling around inside my soul, and now it is time for them to find their way out.
There are so many things I wish I could say. There are things I want to be careful about; those things I know could be taken the wrong way. I do not want to seem like I am blaming you for everything. That is not my intention. I want you to know exactly the influence you have had over my life.
You have had a huge influence no matter how I much I do not want to admit it.
I like to make you out like this bad guy. I put you in this box of being a terrible person because it is easier for me to then justify the bad things you have done. If you are consumed by darkness, how can you make good decisions?
Truthfully, I do not think you are consumed by darkness. I think you run from light because it is easier.
It is easier to blame the world than to take responsibility. It is easier to focus on the negative rather than doing the work to find the positive. It is easier to fall into temptation than to take the steps to be forgiven.
My whole life has be one big outcry to you. I have tried to live in a way that I thought would be most pleasing to you. I have wanted nothing more than to feel loved by you, to know that no matter what you were on my side. I wanted you to be proud of me and to love me even though you did not understand me.
I wanted you to tell me that it was ok if I did not understand me.
Instead, I had to hear these things from other people. While the words were what I wanted to hear, they did not come from the person I wanted to say them.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my dad. I love that he stepped up to be the person I needed him to be. I love that he taught me the things that I have to work for are the most meaningful. I love that he taught me that the only person I needed to be is the best possible version of myself. But you should have been the one who taught me all of that.
I should have been running to you instead of running away from you. I should have never been afraid to be myself around you. I should have never had to put on a mask to try to please you. I should not have had to witness or experience the destruction that seemed to follow you.
My whole life I have dealt with the demon of addiction because of you. I have to constantly be careful of what I allow to enter my body. I cannot take an aspirin or Benadryl just like everyone else. I have to be held accountable. I have to tell someone. I have to give a reason. Which at twenty-four years old, it is starting to grow ridiculous.
I do not like looking in the mirror. When I do, I see you. I see your eyes and your nose. I see everything I have ever done to disappoint you. That is why it kills me to keep my hair dark. That is why I have so many tattoos. I am constantly trying to prove that I am not you.
Each day is one more step. Every hour is one more battle fought. Every moment I am that much more free than I have been.
It is scary to think about someone else reading these words. Putting myself out there and letting someone else read what I have held inside for so long. But it is time.
Why did I decide on such a public outlet? Why post these words on the Internet for anyone to read? Why do my words matter?
I am not famous. I am not even well known in my town. If someone does know my last name, it is not normally a good thing.
It matters because there are so many people who do not have a voice or who do not have the courage to say what I can say. It matters because I do not rely on myself for the words I put in print. There is no way I would have the strength to follow through with this on my own.
I did not write those words to build myself up or to show how humble I am. It is for the sole purpose of glorifying God. It is to show as many people as I can the change He has made in me.
I come from crooks, addicts, alcoholics, sexual deviants, and runners. There is probably nothing that anyone could name that is not somewhere in my family tree. When I chose to wholly believe and serve the Lord completely no matter the cost, my heritage changed.
I am no longer a scared little girl. I can write these things because now I am so much more. I am no longer the daughter of a felon. I am the daughter of the King.
Without my God, without my Jesus, I would be nothing.
I have set the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand. I shall not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8, ESV)