Updated: Apr 7, 2021
We were so close
As I collected the post and opened the door, ready to leave for school. I saw a letter addressed to me. I knew immediately who it was from, my dad (second dad). I knew his handwriting as we used to write to each other when he was in and out of rehab. He would write such loving and open letters to me. We were so close.
I had been longing to hear from him for months, unfortunately this was not the same kind of letter.
The cruelest words I ever heard
As soon as I opened the letter, I saw “You are not my daughter”. These must have been the worst words I could ever have heard at that time. I was 14 years old. My body froze and my heart sank. It was the ultimate betrayal and rejection. As an 8 year old, I had put my trust in him, called him ‘dad’ accepted him into my heart and invited him to be someone important in my life. This hadn’t been easy, as I felt like I had betrayed my real dad by doing this. But after some time, it felt right. I had been vulnerable beyond belief and now my worst nightmare was coming true. As I stood in the doorway, my mum came over and saw the letter and said he had definitely been drunk while writing it. It was true, his writing was all over the page, but this gave me little comfort. I opened the front door with a pain in my stomach and went to school.
The power of words
I can’t remember ever talking about that again, but I know it somehow changed me.
He was with his new partner at the time who hated me, my mum and brother. I’m sure it was because she knew how much he loved us but he was weak. Alcohol had always come first and she let him drink as much as he had wanted.
Not being able to talk about this with anyone left me with a heavy heart and a dull ache that I carried with me for years and years.
The fear of rejection
As an adult, trusting people and showing my vulnerability has been a challenge, with the fear of rejection always haunting me.
Awareness is key
It’s only after working on myself, I am slowly connecting the dots and realising how some of my childhood experiences led me to make certain decisions in my life maybe I wouldn’t have made otherwise.
Increasing my self-awareness and finally talking about how I felt back then and realising what I needed has really been healing. Most importantly it has led me to finally set myself free. Free to be open, vulnerable and to trust again.
Feelings that are not felt can stay buried within you for years and years! This can affect decisions you make without you even knowing!
Feelings only go once you acknowledge, accept, and feel them, it’s really that simple! I’ve learned it’s much easier and quicker to feel them as they come up and not wait 20 or so years!
What are you not expressing? Or are suppressing? And what is the cost of that for you today?