It Gets Better

December 21, 2011
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Seeing him in that room, full of dark grays and browns, with pew like structures around the room. My whole, small being was ripped and shattered into nothing; broken like glass dropped onto a hardwood floor. It felt like someone grabbed onto one of those strings at the frayed edge and just pulled, never stopping. It was as if they pulled everything from me, except that one moment. As if someone didn’t want to forget this part because they enjoyed the pain and the throbbing in my chest, the numbness in my limbs.

He, my biological father, stood there, smiling like it was a joyous day, like it was someone’s birthday, or even Christmas. I frowned at him, grinding those little baby teeth of mine when I saw his new wife and daughter. I was his daughter. There wasn’t supposed to be anyone else.

If it hadn’t been for him, I wouldn’t have been there. But I was glad he walked out on me and my mom. That meant that my mom could find someone else. I hadn’t liked him at first. Maybe it was because I didn’t want another father figure since I had lost my only one. He grew on me though, inviting me into his family with arms wide open. And now, he was adopting me and allowing me to become part of the family legally. It was something nice, something that would change me for the good.

Earlier that year, I had written a letter to my dad, telling him how I truly felt. I had told him he was an *ss of a dad for walking out on me. I had said he was an *ss of a dad for not once calling, writing, or even coming to visit me. I told him that I didn’t need him in my life because he obviously didn’t have the courage to be my father.

We showed that letter to my counselor at the time, asking her what she thought about it and what we should do with it. She had looked right at my mom, telling her that we should send it out so that my dad actually knew how I, a small 8 year old felt about what he did.

So we did.

A few days later, my father called, asking me why I wrote that and if my mom let me talk like that in the house. It was odd to actually hear him over the phone but I told him that she didn’t. My mom explained to him that what I wrote was how I was feeling. He was surprised by it. He asked me if I really didn’t want him in my life anymore. And for being and 8 year old, I didn’t hesitate when I told him no.

I sat there in the Oshkosh courtroom, listening to the judge at the front talk to my mom and dad, telling them what this all meant. Being this close to my dad in such a long time, I had no words for him. I didn’t even have an “I love you” or an “I miss you”. I didn’t see the point for them since it wasn’t my fault. He had been the one to walk out on me, not me.

The one thing that stood out for that day was not meeting my dad again but the one man who worked with the court that came back by me, handing over a tootsie roll.
“Things like this happen all the time but it doesn’t mean that they are bad. Good things can come out these as well.” To this day, those words are always ringing in my head and I realized that he was right. Something good did come out of it. I gained another family and new siblings. What I really gained is a dad who cares about my mom and I, that won’t treat us like useless objects but actual human beings.

I realize now, that just because something seems bad at the time doesn’t mean that it will always be that way. That it can always get better. No matter what happens.





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