I've known good fathers, troubled fathers, fathers who love so fiercely and bravely they change the very foundation in which kids see the world. I've known fathers who embody the term "dad jokes," and fathers who choose to put on ballet shoes and dance a duet with their young daughters at recital. My father was a monster, but he isn't the only father I know.
During my own healing I have been able to face the things my own father stole from me; my own father ripped from my innocent and beautiful heart through over a decade of incest and abuse. I've been able to mourn for my losses, crawl on my knees through the pain, and eventually walk out my healing...and that healing was the catalyst that invited me to see the term "father" with new eyes. Was I scared to learn new trust? Fuck yes. Was I willing and able after walking out my own healing? Yeah. Did I still have choice? Always.
I have known many fathers, mine happened to be a monster, but his actions will not steal the joy I get to feel when I see father's love their children well. I have known many fathers, mine happened to be a monster, but I am no longer trapped by my experience of him. I've known many fathers, mine happened to be a monster, but I love the beautiful and hilarious sass that I adopted from him. *snap, snap, snap, hair toss*
Healing doesn't inject you with forgetful serum, it just gives you the freedom of choice. The bravery of saying "I can acknowledge who my father was, and what he has done, without letting it rule me" It's possible. You are not alone if this is where your heart stands. You are not alone if this is how your children feel. You did not cause this, and I am sorry. I am so sorry. Hear me when I say: it is unfair and stupid and not okay, but this does not have to be your end. You. Have. Choice.
(Resource links below)
Today, I will rest in a Greater Love, as I honor the little girl within me who endured all she did. Today, I will turn my hands and heart up to a Father God I know, as I gratefully thank the many fathers who are being celebrated today. Today, I will honor those who mourn, and stand by those who are healing. Today, I will love.
National Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors and their Loved Ones
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The Brave Girls Club