“I am not my resentment”

Project Description:

My dad left when I was about four. I don’t know him at all. I actually never refer to him as my dad; I usually just call him my biological father or Peter. For years I tried to convince myself that it didn’t matter, that he didn’t matter. I believed that I had a right to be angry with him for what he’d done. When he started to send me letters when I was a senior in high school, I became extremely angry. After years of neglect, how could he think it was fine to try to just waltz back into my life?

Sure, at times I wondered why he left, why I wasn’t good enough, why a person could so easily forget about their child. But I never dwelled on those thoughts. I thought it was best to just bury them. I was never worth his time, so why should I waste time thinking about him?

Yeah, I’m pretty good at holding grudges.

Now I think burying those feelings has done me more harm than good. I thought if I ignored my thoughts about him, they’d just go away and he wouldn’t be able to affect me. But whenever I start to talk about him, I start to cry.

That’s what pisses me off the most. I should be mad at him; I want to be mad at him. I hate feeling sorry for being mad at him and I hate that even after all these years, thinking about him makes me cry.

In a way, some would say that I don’t deal with the idea of being alone very well. The term “abandonment issues” comes to mind. And it’s true. I hate being alone and I hate the idea of people leaving. It’s something that transpired from him leaving and it’s something that has affected my relationships with other people. I never have the same friends for too long, I’ve never been in a relationship, and I’ve broken ties with most of the people from back home. I’m afraid that people will one day realize I’m not good enough or they’ll realize I’m not worth it so they’ll move on. I fear that if I get too close to people, they’ll leave, just like he did. And at that point, I don’t want them to come back because I don’t want to experience those feelings again. So I combat that by leaving first and never letting anyone who’s already left back in.

And I don’t know why I think these things. I think I’m awesome. But the fear and insecurity eat me alive most days. I’ve learned to accept myself more, to accept that I did nothing wrong. I’ve come to the conclusion that the right people will stay and the wrong people will leave and there’s nothing I can do to control that. I know now that I can’t blame myself and I have to trust that people will stay. I like who I am as a person and now it’s just about finding the right people who appreciate me for who I am.