Cutting Ties of the False Father

Today I thought "I'm grateful to not be around you anymore."
A dead weight, over the past few years, is lifting off of me.
Something I held on to, with a fear-filled grip...wishing and hoping.
I looked to you as a father but didn't get a father's love in return.
I tried so hard to make you proud. To do everything right.
When I did things right, it wasn't enough.
When I made mistakes, I was treated like I was the worst.

You treated me unfairly.
You put me into positions of having to choose when I shouldn't have had to choose at all.
I had to play sides.
I feared I'd say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing.

Who gets to love me today? You or my mom?
Who should I make happy? You or my mom?
Who should I be afraid of? You or my mom?

Did you even love me?
Did you ever respect me?

So much of my childhood feels fake when I look at the relationship I thought we had.
So much of my effort was laid to waste.
My love was not returned.

You cast me off. 
I was thrown into the metaphorical burn pile. Discarded.
Do you have any idea how that felt? I'm guessing not.
It hurt. 
The pain in my heart was great. My soul felt sad. I felt empty.
I was pissed off.
All of the years I wasted trying to prove I was worthy.
You made me question so much. 

I'll never have answers, and even if I tried to get them, would they be truth or lies?
It doesn't matter.
I no longer feel the need to be seen as your daughter. 
I no longer feel like I need to earn something that isn't yours to give.
I have nothing to prove to you, and I never had to prove anything in the first place.

The fact is, you were lucky to have me in your life.
You had something wonderful, and you chose to abuse it and let it go.
You did not treat me with respect, and your idea of love was skewed.
It's not what I wanted nor what I needed.

My life is, indeed, better off without you in it.
There isn't a shadow following me around anymore.
I can breathe.
I feel free.
I know love. Real love. Not the kind that's given under circumstance.

I'm sorry that I tried to make you something you weren't.
I'm sorry that I asked too much of you, but I was too young to know.
I'm sorry that I was too much for you. Wait. No, I'm not.

You served whatever your purpose was in my life. I'm grateful for the lessons learned.
I became stronger from the pain you gave me.
I can only hope that one day, you'll find a way to find love and heal.