To Those Who Hurt On Father’s Day

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And nobody sees the wound inside your heart that still bleeds long after the ones around it have healed. It is relentless, insatiable, this wound of rejection and abandonment that has sat upon your heart since you were a child. This belief you weren’t enough to make him stay. Maybe if you were prettier, lovelier. Maybe if you were less trouble. Maybe if you looked more like him; if your eyes and smile didn’t remind him of the woman he no longer loved. Maybe if you were just more somehow. Maybe then he’d have stayed.
Year after year you waited for him to return. Every birthday he was the wish you made upon candles of waned hope. You always imagined him to be your hero, your prince; the knight in shining armour that would come and rescue you from the hands of evil you had been forced into. You dreamed of what it would feel like to be protected by his strong arms, to feel safe. To feel loved. Cherished. Seen. Wanted.
You waited, but he never came, and you grew up believing you weren’t worth being protected. You weren’t valued enough to be loved. You grew up a small girl alone in a very big and dangerous world knowing the only person you could depend on was yourself. You become tough, hard, cold; all the while still searching for that pair of strong arms in every person you would meet, no matter how much they would hurt you, no matter how much the cost to your heart.
And still, today, the wound continues to bleed. No matter what vices you pack into the gaping hole he left, the pain is still there. No matter how much you try and distract yourself you still find yourself blindsided by moments of grief, of loss; of longing to be a child held in the safe arms of a loving father. It never becomes less. It never leaves.
Maybe there are some wounds that will never heal. Maybe there are wounds that slice so deeply into your core that no amount of stitches will ever hold it together long enough to stop the bleeding. Maybe you will always hurt the most in the place you were first wounded.
But maybe one day you will come to know it wasn’t about you, but him.
Maybe one day you will come to know how much you were wanted. The way creation longed for you; the way you were dreamed into being with wonder and awe and hope. The way the galaxies held their breath with longing the moment you were conceived. The way the stars spoke of your name long before you were born. How the entire universe conspired to bring you into existence.
Maybe one day will come to know how much you matter, even if he could never tell you that.
And even though your wound may still bleed, maybe it will begin to hurt a little less.

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