Healing is in layers, healing is time. Healing is excruciating. Once you think it’s done, it’s not.Mary Demuth
Father, dad, daddy, those names can bring a boil to my blood, yet I am open to healing childhood wounds. Today as a grown woman I am open to healing and growing the relationship with my dad.
Being forced to call my birth dad, father, as an evil name and replacing my step-dad with the role of dad is the root of so many of my childhood wounds. With May being the month of Father’s Day, up surfaces the holes in my heart.
When this happens I ask myself, what is it I need to be healed in my life? Why do these feelings come up for me? These questions move me towards healing my inner-child wounding.
Healing Childhood Wounds
There were well over seven years in my childhood where I had minimal contact with my dad. Along with three sisters, we were taught to think our dad was a terrible person, who never wanted daughters in the first place. Needless to say, we were left utterly confused. And who were we to question the woman in charge of us?
But when I search my memory bank I draw a blank. Slivers surface and I see myself as little Michelle, freckles splattered across my face, yellow hair, sweet and innocent, and optimistic looking up to this giant man. My dad and his long legs, athletic build, and gorilla hands, I can even now feel his kind spirit from those childhood moments.
I have experienced the healing power of tapping into our inner child, so here I allow myself permission to go to that place as I write a letter to heal my childhood wounds.
A Healing Letter to My Dad
I miss you, there are mornings I wake up and before I open my eyes I can see your face. In a breath, I can feel your long arms wrapped around me. And how safe I feel inside of them. I am sorry I have to call you father, I hate that name. It gives me a stomach ache. I know you are my dad.
When I feel lonely,
I wish I could run away and find you, only I can’t leave my sisters. I imagine us going in the middle of the night like The Box Car Children, and we run and hide and go on a big adventure and it takes weeks, but we don’t give up until we find you. Me and the girls are tired but hardly care because you keep us and we get to live with you, how families are supposed to live, without feeling sad or scared, not knowing where we are going to be living in the next week or month or next year. I hate it, I don’t even know what it feels like to have a house that some people call home.
When I feel sad,
I close my eyes and here you are Dad. So even though we are so far apart you are always here in my heart.
Dad, I wish you were with me and the girls. Throwing balls and making dinner. I wish I could hear how you would read my favorite book while you snuggle me in my bed. And then the girls come in and we all pile up together into a giant snuggle ball. And then after you click off the light and pull all of my blankets up you tuck me in tight.
You even make sure Jingles is wrapped in my arms while you snuggle me and ask me how I am doing. And you really listen, and sometimes you do not say a thing and just hold me how dads hold their daughters. Not because you have to, but because you love me so much and want to be here for me. And then you kiss me and hug me tight and say sleep, my little angel. And I smile and close my eyes and drift off to sleep feeling loved and safe.
When I feel scared,
I imagine, the times where we would run together. I look up and there you are dripping wet and running like and lion, brave, and strong. And then you raise your hands above your head to catch your breath. I follow your lead, red-faced and heart pumping, and then up my arms go into the air. So I lift my hands up, on the playground when kids kick dirt at me calling me names. And I feel braver because you are with me.
There are so many things I wish we could do together. So for now I will close my eyes and imagine you. And we will play and dig in the sand and go swimming together. My heart feels all of your love, no matter what anyone says.
I know who you are,
You are my Dad. The guy I picked because of your kind heart, because of your fierceness, because of your stubbornness, because you are filled with wisdom, and because you are compassionate. And because you cry when things are sad and how you teach me that being a person means so much more than we think. It means being real and talking about the hard things, it means thinking positive. It means even when we are scared to walk into a dark room at night, that it’s okay to go into the darkness and see what is waiting for us.
I love you Dad, you are my Dad and I am your daughter no matter what because we are connected together by our souls.
With All of my Heart,
P.S. I like to be called Shelly instead of Michelle.
Healing Childhood Wounding with Truth
As you can imagine I was a confused little girl who longed for her dad. Life left my sisters and I torn by, lies, anger, and hate. After the divorce when I was seven, both parents remarried. Like a pack of dogs, my sisters and I were trained to believe he was living a happy life with his new wife and built-in three sons; while we were left in the dirt. We would endure the wrath of the mother figure if we ever questioned her. So we became submissive to the alpha. Only that was on the outside, she could never break what was happening inside.
This shows how malleable the mind of a child is. That if an adult says something, it becomes a memory or a subconscious thought we have no choice to think. Knowing this makes me be a better mom.
Are these lies? Does my dad hate me? Would he love me if he knew me? Does my dad even want me? I question everything. I seek the truth to find healing. As an adult, I am here healing my childhood wounds. I have found the healing power of writing a letter to my dad to help heal and grow our relationship.
Today my dad is now an active part of my life and an amazing grandpy to my children and nephews and nieces.
Thank you Dad for growing and healing our relationship, I love you so much!
Learn how to move from toxic relationships HERE in What is Wrong With You? The Damaging Dynamic of Familial Toxic Love
and click to read HEALING REQUIRES DETERMINATION
Different Faces of Trauma: My Journey to Heal from Childhood Wounds
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