I don’t even know what to call you; legally or personally because you’ve never been real before. Not real to me. You’ve always been just some person that I imagined. You’re just someone who abandoned me.
Who left me.
Even though you could take care of three other kids, I was too much. Because you didn’t think that you could fight. Fight to raise me as your daughter. You didn’t want the extra trouble. You didn’t want the hassle.
You didn’t want me.
So you gave me up to people that you didn’t even know, to a life that you didn’t have to be a part of. I wanted to find you. Run into your arms. To cry. To scream. To question you. I needed answers, even if I knew you wouldn’t have all of them.
“’Cause this is not about what you’ve done,
But what’s been done for you.”
For years and years I carried around this burden, not like a chip, but more like a mountain on my shoulder weighing me down. Because if I wasn’t good enough for my own mother, I wasn’t good enough for anyone. I was so mad at you, caught up in this place of anger and confusion.
But that’s changed. I never thought that I’d be able to be okay with all of this. I’ve healed a bit, maybe not fully but enough to feel something different toward you than before—gratitude.
Thank you for letting me go. You did the right thing.
“This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you to.”
It’s true that you left me, but it’s also true that you gave me away, and maybe in that you gave me a chance. If you hadn’t given me away, so many things would’ve ended up differently.
I wouldn’t have gotten this incredible education that empowered me to seek out new information and gave me a love for literature. I wouldn’t have spent my summers on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where I fell in love with sailing and learned how to be a friend and a leader. Without a doctor as a father, Graves’ disease would’ve taken an even greater toll on my body than it already had. I wouldn’t have become a swimmer and then never had the opportunity to go to boarding school to pursue college scholarships. I probably wouldn’t have gone to Auburn University, a place that stretched and grew me, where I learned to rise to a challenge and to love in a whole way.
“You are more than the choices that you’ve made.
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes.”
I almost blamed you for all of my darkness. It would be easy to do. I was raised in a place I didn’t come from and felt like I’ve never belonged. Truth is, my life wouldn’t have been guaranteed to be less hard or dark or difficult if you had kept me. Maybe I would’ve even been hurt more and not had the resources I needed to be healthy or the people who helped pull me back together.
Maybe, just maybe, you helped save me.
“You are more than the problems you create.
You’ve been remade.”
I forgive you. Forgiveness may not be something you need from me, but it’s something I’ve needed to give you for a long time. I am learning my way through this life, stumbling and growing and loving. Maybe we can meet, or just chat, someday, but if we never do, know that I’m okay.
Thanks to you, of course.