Father’s Day is around the corner.
All the honorary sales advertising “Deals for Dads” sail across the television screen, fill the quarterly holiday void in our mailboxes and burn proverbial holes in our pockets.
Picture perfect families dress the windows of every storefront. Centerpiece dads beaming with pride in the affection of their adoring families smiling in my f**king face.
Why don’t I deserve that?
Memories of my own father balloon to the lip of the depths in which I’ve buried them, spilling into my eyes, knocking on the door of Acknowledgment—a door I have long refused to answer.
Pangs of neglect and inadequacy reverberate through me.
My chest tightens.
I hide my face when I can no longer dam the tears.
Refusing to be immobilized by the magnitude of the hurt, engulfed and tossed about by the mighty swell and rushes of my own River Pain, I choke down the lump in my throat and move on.
I’m so angry! Why wasn’t I good enough? Why don’t I deserve a dad? Why couldn’t you be there for me? I needed you! Why don’t I matter? Why? Why? WHY!
The good times hit the hardest. The unsettling nag of laughter shared and shushed.
The full extent of consolation anyone can render is,
“Your father loves you, his mind just isn’t right.”
Cigarettes, methamphetamine, Schizophrenia, apathy. Any combination of life’s vices, voluntary and else, keep the “Why?” behind my father’s noncommittal advent begging, unanswered.
We’re supposed to be able to accept apologies we never received.
23 years worth of extended hands and favor. 23 years worth of doubt and self-loathing. 23 years worth of emotional abuse and heartbreak at the hands of a man who never cared to recognize or reciprocate my love. 23 years as a little girl who just needed her daddy.
After 23 years, I love myself enough to withdraw my aching hand and misspent heart. After 23 years, I accept your apology.
I no longer need your validation. I can no longer allow you to focus the lens through which I see myself or the world.
Your little girl’s gonna be okay, Daddy, but you knew that already.
Hailing from Sacramento, CA, Miraj Simpson is a new face in the realm of freelance writing. An avid writer most of her life, she’s recently decided to pursue her writing endeavors full-time after an 8 year hiatus. This young woman is undeniably memorable: she stands a towering 6’2″, wears her afro proudly in all its gravity-defying glory, and her skin is ornate from the neck down with tattoos. She may even tell you she’s a long lost member of the X-Men as she was born with a genetic mutation commonly known as Albinism. A vagabond of sorts, she’s never lived anywhere longer than a year and half, and enjoys traveling to learn about people as they relate to their community.