To The Girl Who Grew Up With A Father Who Didn’t Believe In Her

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sydneyleal_11

I see you. I know who you are.

I see you looking in the mirror and all you can see are the flaws he pointed out about your hair or your skin or your eyebrows. I see you struggling to see them as features rather than flaws. I see you trying to remember the last time he made you feel beautiful and I see you trying so hard to accept yourself.

I see you running away from any man who looks like him or acts like him. I see you lost trying to find someone who takes the pain away. But let me tell you something, you’re the only one who can take the pain away. You’re the only one who can undo what he did; not another man, not your friends, not your mother – it’s all on you.

I know you hear his ‘I told you so’ with every mistake you make. I know you see his smirk in every setback or failure you face. I know you remember the words he said about you when he thought you weren’t listening and I know part of you believes that these words are true, part of you believes that maybe he is right, but he is not. He is wrong. He is so wrong.

I know you’re scared to show people who you really are because he made you believe you’re hard to love and difficult to live with. I know you’re scared to share your problems with people because he told you they were stupid and not worth mentioning, and I know you’re scared to speak up because he always found ways to shut you up.

I know you’re still trying to figure out where you belong because you definitely don’t belong to him.

I see you looking at other fathers and wondering what you missed out on. I see you longing for a father’s embrace, for his wisdom, for his love and I see you convincing yourself that you don’t need it.

The truth is you do, but you will be fine without it.

Because let me tell you what I know, the moment you leave your home for a new country, or a new school, or a new trip is the moment you will be set free. The moment you start to be completely alone is the moment you will finally recognize your own beauty, listen to your own voice and slowly begin loving yourself again.

It starts when you one day wake up and you realize that he’s not there anymore, that you can look in the mirror and appreciate your features, that he can’t see you to tell you how you should look and what you should wear. You wake up and drink your coffee however you want it and eat whatever you want. It starts when you realize you finally have a choice. 

It starts when you make mistakes and you’re not worried about what he’ll say or how he’ll judge you, when you sleep at night without the heaviness in your heart. When you start to forget the words he said about you when he thought you weren’t listening; when you start to forget the sound of his voice.

It starts when people tell you that you’re beautiful and you actually believe it, when they tell you that you’re smart and you don’t doubt it, when they tell you that you’re a pleasure to be around and you don’t deny it, when they tell you they love you and you don’t question it.

It starts when you realize that you’ve been living with someone who projected his own insecurities on you, who saw you the way he saw himself, who decided to make you the victim of his shortcomings and the company of his misery.

It starts when you realize you didn’t choose him and you didn’t have a choice but now you do.

It starts when you decide to let him go; from your mind, from your heart and from your life.

It starts when you realize that you always sparkled but he covered you in dust.

It starts when you let other people love you the way you deserve, when you realize that you are a person worthy of love.

It starts when you chase your dreams without his fearful voice in your head.

It starts when you realize that he was too stubborn to understand you and too blind to see you.

It starts when you stop resenting him and start forgiving him.

It starts when you realize that you don’t have to be defined by the labels he gave you.

It starts when you see him again and he feels like a strangerTC mark

Rania Naim

Writing makes me feel alive. Words heal me.

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