Dad, I thought about you today.
There were so many things left unsaid before you closed your eyes in eternal rest.
You left before I got the chance to say thank you for all you had done for me in my life.
You would be proud of the woman that I have become, then again maybe not…but I still felt the need to thank you nonetheless. After all, you were my hero.
I decided to write you a letter because I had so much to say to you—things that were left unsaid.
Let me start by saying the road has not been easy but I made it! What the devil meant for evil, God turned it all around for my good and for His glory, so you did not win.
Back then, I remember I could not wait for you to come through the door so I would run from wherever I was in the house to jump on you and climb into your lap.
But sadly, you completely destroyed the image I had in my head of being daddy’s little girl.
What happened to us? When did your lap move from a place of comfort to a place of perversion and pain?
You were supposed to be “my first love” as the world says. But you got it mixed up because you should not have been touching me in the way that you did.
You were my first, when you stole my innocence and would have been my baby’s daddy, had Mommy not taken me to have an abortion.
Because of you, the relationship I had with Mommy suffered — she looked at me as “the other woman,” while I was growing up. Yet, she is still here and I thank God that our relationship was able to be restored by His grace. I discovered that she really does love me and I am glad that you can no longer manipulate her into feeling otherwise.
Would you have been pleased to know that I was beaten by a man in the same way you used to beat Mommy? Unfortunately, He did a better job than you. He gave me not one but two black eyes at the same time. One time he knocked me out cold while I was six months pregnant with my son. You failed to protect me from him.
And every time the father of my children tried to give one child a bath or change their diaper, I gave him a hard time. I feared that he would do to my children what you had done to me.
It got to a point in my life, that the pain became too unbearably deep. Many times, I felt like giving up and even contemplated suicide. I didn’t think I could ever get over what you had done. But thank God, that His hand was over my life.
Sadly, there was a void left in my heart from not having a healthy father/daughter relationship; this allowed me to look for love in all the wrong places. I looked for him to fill the void of an absent father, despite the fact that you were very much present in my life.
The little girl in me still feels somewhat injured whenever I watch my husband interact with his daughters. He is such an amazing dad, but I get angry because you stole all that from me.
Every day, you remained alive, I was suffocating knowing that you lived your life as if you were the victim. Mommy stayed with you until the end, when you took your last breath…
And you never really knew me. Yet, despite the way you abused and molested me, I grew up to be a really great person.
On Father’s Day this past June, you ran across my mind. But before I was about to get into such hard feelings, my True Father showed up and reminded me that he would never leave me nor forsake me and that I no longer had to dwell on what could have been because my future is brighter than I could ever imagine.
What you did to me was a distraction to keep me from my purpose. But guess what? You were just part of a plan that is so much bigger than the both of us.
So that’s why as I write this letter, I can truly thank you because it was my pain that birthed my purpose! I am who God says I am and am not nor will I ever be what you did to me.
This year, I can truly say that I forgive you because I have gone up a little higher through the love of Jesus Christ.
LaTonya Smiley wrote this letter last Father’s Day for the #lettertomyabuser campaign, and now encourages others around the world to join in.