An Open Letter To The Father Who Left Me


It’s been a while since I’ve seen your face. I’m not sure how I’d react if I saw you again. Would I break down in tears? Run to your arms and hope that we could pick up where we left off? I don’t know.

What I do know is this: I don’t need your acceptance anymore.

As I look back at the lengths I went to make you proud, it makes me so sad. I would make myself physically sick so that I didn’t fail a fitness test. I practiced hours upon hours so that I could score the game-winning goal in the championship game. I sacrificed relationships and events for the sake of the game. I drove myself into the ground to get accepted into SMU on a full scholarship. And as I look back, I don’t know if I did any of this for me.

As I picked up a soccer ball for the first time at the age of three, I didn’t know what was to come, but I think you did. I think you saw your younger self in my eyes. What you couldn’t accomplish, you saw me accomplishing. And I did. I set records in high school. I single-handedly won championship games. I went to your dream school. I know how proud that made you, to see me do the things that you couldn’t.

I remember all of the times I cried to you, asking if I could quit soccer. It didn’t feel fun anymore, it felt like a job. But I continued on, in the hopes of getting into SMU, and fulfilling your dream, of course.

Why do you think I quit soccer when you and Mom divorced? Why do you think I never wanted to pick up a soccer ball again? I fulfilled all your dreams. I did exactly what you wanted me to do. Then you abandoned me without hesitation.

All of those lengths I went… for nothing.

It all feels like a joke to me now. I tried so hard to be accepted by you, and for you to be proud of me, but you left so easily. You weren’t trying to make me proud. You weren’t trying to gain my acceptance. You were just using me to get the glory. You used me to have people say “Wow, look at what you turned her into! A soccer star! A full ride to SMU. You must be SO proud.”

Well, none of those were my dreams.

I don’t know where my life would have led if I didn’t focus so much on trying to make you accept me. I don’t want to turn back the time, because I am on the right path now, and that’s all that matters.

It still makes me cringe, the day I moved back home from being abused for a year. You didn’t make sure I was okay, you didn’t hold me and tell me it would all turn out alright. Nope, you pulled out a list of the ways I have disappointed you over the years.

And just to think, you could have never disappointed me.

People wonder why I feel so much anger towards you. Well, here it is.

I spent 25 years of my life looking for acceptance from someone who doesn’t deserve it, and I don’t feel bad for myself, I feel bad for you. It’s time for me to start accepting my life, and for you to let me live it the way I want to – which might not include you at all.

This is a choice I am making for no one else but myself. And although it might not be the one you want me to make, that’s not your choice to make anymore.

Your Little Star, My Own Star,