To The Dad Who Chose Drugs Over Me

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“To the dad who chose drugs over me:

Still to this day I ask myself, ‘Why me? Why wasn’t I enough? Why am I still not enough for you?’ I have come to the conclusion I never was then, and I never will be now. And it’s okay because I don’t need you. Telling you when I was 10 years old that I never wanted to see you again was probably the best decision I could have ever made. I knew back then at such a young age just how bad for me you were. Just how toxic you would become.

Young girl with pigtails smiles at camera while sitting in wooden chair
Courtesy of Ashlee Mandeville

Since then, you haven’t changed. You’ve done nothing but continue to use and choose drugs over people who cared about you. You’ve chosen to use women and knock another one up, creating yet another child who will later wonder why he wasn’t good enough as well. Except this time, he has to wonder that from both parents, not just one. I was lucky in that sense, I guess. I grew up with a mom who chose me and still chooses me everyday. You see, unlike you, she chose to put me first. Her kids were and will forever will be her world.

Young girl smiles at camera while eating ice cream with her mother
Courtesy of Ashlee Mandeville

She did her best, but it wasn’t easy growing up with a single mom. I was always that girl growing up. You know, the one who wonders why she can’t have a dad. The girl who hangs out at her friend’s houses and becomes slightly jealous of the fact they have a dad. The girl who missed out on father-daughter dances. I had good male role models growing up, but it can never replace having a real father. I have so many issues because of you, it’s not even funny. I question my self-worth daily and if I’m enough for anyone. I have attachment issues and a fear of everyone leaving. It’s like I’m walking around with this huge label on my forehead that says, ‘Daddy Issues.’

Courtesy of Ashlee Mandeville

Why didn’t you fight for me? Why did you let me tell you I wanted to never see you again and just walk away without a fight? You could’ve tried. You could’ve used that to make yourself better. It could’ve been motivation for you, but no; instead, you chose to get high and continue to get high. You’ve stolen from so many people over the years. You’ve stolen from their homes and from stores in order to feed your disgusting drug habit. But, the person you’ve stolen from the most was me. You broke me and left my mom to pick up the pieces you left behind. But here’s the thing: there’s only so much a mom can do, even a d–n good mom, which is just what she is.

Courtesy of Ashlee Mandeville
Woman smiles and takes selfie with mom in kitchen
Courtesy of Ashlee Mandeville

You never paid a dime for me. She struggled constantly my whole life to provide for me. She did the best she could to make sure I was in all the sports I wanted, that I was well clothed, fed, and 100% provided for. She did all this while you sat at some drug house getting high or sat in a jail cell. I hate you. I hate you for not wanting me and I hate you for not knowing me. I have so much anger towards you. However, I think the most emotion I have for you is pity. I pity you for choosing drugs and letting it ruin your life. You’ve been given so many opportunities to get out, so many chances to get clean for your not one, but two children, and you’ve continued to be a user and abuser.

I know more about you than you know about me. You can’t even spell my name right. You don’t know the day I was born. You don’t know how old I am. You don’t know a d–n thing about me. You probably don’t even know I have a child. A daughter. A daughter who looks JUST like me. I look at her and I pity you even more because you don’t even know your own grandchild. This perfect, sweet, sassy little girl, and you’ll never know her.

There’s a song by Kelly Clarkson called ‘Piece By Piece’ and I will never forget the first time I heard that song. The day she sang it live on American Idol. It made me think of you and it does every time I hear it. I cry when I hear it. But I don’t cry because I want you or need you in my life. I cry because you missed out on some of the best and worst moments of my life. I cry because I have a daughter who you will never know. I cry because you are one of the worst human beings I think I have ever met. I cry for my mom because she had to struggle every d–n day and pick up the pieces. I cry because my mom I’m sure wondered at times why her love wasn’t enough to make me happy. I’m sure she wondered why I wanted and needed a dad so badly when she was doing all she could for me.

Woman takes a selfie with her mom outside during a walk
Courtesy of Ashlee Mandeville

At the end of the day, I look at you when you come up in ‘people you may know’ on Facebook and I feel disgust, anger, and pity. At the end of the day, I know one thing for sure – no matter how badly I wanted you growing up and no matter how much I’ve questioned my worth over the years because of you, I know I was so much better off without you. At the end of the day, no matter what, I know I will never leave her like you left me. I will never stop fighting for her like you stopped fighting for me. I will never choose drugs over her. So I guess one thing’s for certain: this apple fell way, way far from your family tree.”

Courtesy of Ashlee Mandeville

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashlee Mandeville. Submit your own story hereand be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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