My Relationship With My Father

I’m not ready to talk about it yet, but I did the same exercise that I did about what I wish my mom could know – but written to my Dad.

And when I was done and cried out and finished writing, I read it.

And it was an apology letter. From me, to him. 

Wait, what? 

I wrote this rage and guilt and sadness and grief filled opus to my Mother encompassing all the emotions – the love, the sadness, the longing. But it was honest and true and said what I needed to say. 

I sit down to tell my Dad what I wish he knew – and it’s full of sentences like this. 

I wish you knew:

That I meant to do better. Im sorry for all the times I disappointed you. I tried so hard to meet your expectations, and I don’t ever know if you’ll love me for the effort.

That I’m sorry I couldn’t figure out how to love him the way you wanted. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be the sister you hoped I’d be. I’m sorry I’ll never be good enough for you to proudly announce I’m your daughter. 

That I love you so much and there are so many times I wish I had done better by you.


And these aren’t sarcastic apologies. I don’t mean them sarcastically. I feel like I’ve failed him. 

There are clearly, clearly, some deep seated issues here. 

And unlike the letter to my Mom, which I’m bringing in to therapy today to talk about with A, I think I’m going to avoid talking about my Dad for a while. 

It’s a sore spot. I just didn’t realize how bought in to that narrative of not being good enough for him I was. 

I’m bought in, a lot. 


5 thoughts on “My Relationship With My Father

  1. I wonder what would come up for me if I tried this exercise for both of my parents and my husband…I’m a little afraid to try. You have me thinking about this though. The goal is always to move towards healing, and you have discovered some important things by doing this. While I don’t like the pain you are feeling, I am inspired.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These sort of exercises bring up quite surprising things, whether it is in the content itself or the feelings associated with trying to write it out. I think that digging into that deeper layer to understand ‘why’ is very useful – but omg is it painful. I can understand why you might want to think about the whole thing a bit more on your own before delving into it with A, but in the end it will be good to have her support while you explore it.

    I had no problem writing this sort of letter to my father (and ended up sending him a very abbreviated version of what I wrote for myself when I cut off contact with him) but I completely freeze up at the idea of doing the same to my mother. The fear of engaging with her and becoming entangled in her justifications and blaming and anger is so strong that I just can’t bring myself to do it, even via letter (or something like the empty chair technique) and even though she is dead. I didn’t realise quite how strong those feelings were until I tried to do these exercises and couldn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Writing letters to loved ones is really tough and an excellent idea in therapy. Well done on writing the later. But never forget you are the child not the parent. Please don’t beat yourself up about it- you will talk about your father when you are ready. You are not alone in how you are feeling. All the best! Amy

    Liked by 1 person

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