I sat next to my daughter today on a park bench. Funny how I see her today is how I left her crying. The song from Emile Sande blared from her headphones called Clown. She held a picture of me and the man who married another instead of her. I hung my head because her sorrows penetrated my heart. Her tears were a reminder of the fact that I broke her heart first. That I abandon her for the next one. I broke her instead of molding her into a confident child, teen, and woman. It was my responsibility to set the tone. I didn’t wipe away her tears that day she begged me to stay. In fact, I told my little girl to woman up. I told her I couldn’t love her because she resembled her mother. I taught her she wasn’t worthy of love and an explanation. I would later discover that she believes she should accept it because from the gate I showed her she didn’t qualify. I am the blueprint of her pain no matter that she is an adult. I created the beginning of her chapter. I take full ownership of damaging my daughter before making her whole.
I didn’t kiss her goodbye, so I taught her from the gate that a man would always walk out of her life because she wasn’t enough. I left her with questions about the authenticity of love. I taught her she was last on my list and that she should embrace her position.
I have to eat the shit that I was not the best father. I never taught her she was a princess, so she devalued herself as an adult. I heard her the day she called my name and I wouldn’t answer. I remember the days I walked past her and never spoke. I taught her that being abandoned was acceptable. I was no better than that motherfucker who broke her heart because I did the same shit. I had guilt running through me of how I had to hear a man she called daddy rape her. Had I been a good father, that wouldn’t have happened. I didn’t rescue her that day because I was an absentee parent versus manning up to my responsibility. I taught her she was forever unprotected. The nights her mother couldn’t hold it together and left her hungry. I didn’t provide for her, so I taught her to settle for less. No matter the source, I was at fault, too. I never once bought her gifts. I missed her wins and wasn’t there for her losses.
I never once uttered I was proud of her. So she believed she was irrelevant. No matter her efforts, she would believe she was a…