this is grief . . .

I either see my father on-the-go at work

Or I see him exhausted. burnt out and fed up with his work.

In both scenarios, he is ignoring me.

Maybe ignoring isn’t the correct word, but let me tell you, for a 5-year-old girl, it sure as hell feels that way. And it feels that way for a 15-year-old. And a 25-year-old.

Everyone feels the liberty to comment on my life, or the way they believe I live my life. You may know a part of my father. But you don’t know me.

I love the way everyone feels like they know who my dad is, and all I can do is smile in agreement and indeed yes I am grateful, but no one actually knows my story. Because I am the oldest and only girl. And in everyone’s eyes, that’s the perfect recipe for “daddy’s girl.”

But I was never “daddy’s girl” because I grew up thinking that work was more important than the relationship my dad didn’t choose to have with me. I grew up neglected. And YES, I will use the word “neglected” because I’m tired of softening up my stories so that it doesn’t hurt your ears. Because I’m tired of making excuses as to why my dad didn’t want to have a relationship with me. I’m done making excuses.

MY DAD CHOSE TO NOT HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME.

Because he was too busy with work. And even when he wasn’t, he still didn’t have a relationship with me. And THAT. Is neglect! Get out of here with your justifications of money and materialism – I would have preferred 100 years over to have a relationship – a TRUE meaningful relationship – with my dad over any money in the world.

 …. How can someone abandon you and yet live in the same house?

I don’t know, How can they?

Stop telling me of your immigrant stories. Because I am damn well aware of the immigrant struggle. And I am proud daughter of immigrant parents – and yet, that’s only part of it. Because when I hear people my age talking about immigrant parents, at least they have stories and experiences with their fathers.

I don’t.

 So let me fucking have my raw emotions. And my anger. And my sadness. And my heartbreak. Because I grew up without a strong relational foundation. And it’s not until NOW that I am trying to un-do all the damage. So, let me grieve. As this is what I continue to do …

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