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Image by Haniel Espinal
  • Writer's pictureKeisha Schahaff

A Journey of Healing: Struggling with My Relationship with My Father


From the very beginning, you caused pain. Your presence deprived me of the joys from birth, shattered my mother's heart, and inflicted upon me the enduring agony of her suffering. In my infancy, your wrath resulted in a broken arm, denied medical attention, and now, in my middle age, the bones remain aching, never having properly healed. My mother resorted to secrecy just to provide me with a semblance of a normal life.

You dismissed the importance of education, robbing me of the chance to thrive academically and leaving me feeling inadequate among my peers. Despite it all, I forgave you. I sought your approval, molding myself into a pleaser, pretending to be strong just to keep you close. Fear permeated my heart, preventing me from sharing my true emotions and thoughts.

You imposed your beliefs upon me, judging me harshly and dictating my path. Despite your infidelity and constant lies, I strived for your love. You abandoned me on my 17th birthday, citing my independence, yet your departure was rooted in your unfaithfulness and the creation of another family. The pain inflicted on my mother compounded with the loss of you.

As a child of God, forgiveness was granted, and I opened my heart to you once more. However, the toxic relationship persisted as I absorbed your drastic beliefs, spiraling into a journey of spiritual seeking. God shielded me, but my manic behaviors harmed others, and the pursuit of your love led to mental health disorders that still haunt me.

Through it all, I loved you, celebrating my achievements with you, such as winning two seats to space. Yet, your pride was tainted by attempts to turn your children against each other. The news of your death, whether by your own hand or at the hands of another, pierced my heart.

I am weary, Dad. The time has come to let you go. I can no longer be a pleaser, living for the approval that was never truly mine. I release you in God's love and grace, seeking forgiveness for both of us. May you find peace, and may we all find redemption.

In my journey of healing, I reflect on the stories circulating about your death, even the unsettling possibility of murder. The pain deepens, and I realize that holding onto this burden is detrimental to my own well-being. Despite the hurt, I extend a final act of forgiveness. Dad, I am tired.

I recall the moment I achieved a dream—winning those two seats to space. I excitedly shared this milestone with you, seeking validation and hoping for a glimpse of pride in your eyes. To the outside world, you portrayed pride in my accomplishments, yet behind closed doors, you whispered poison about me to others, attempting to sow discord among your own children. Even after your departure from this world, the pain persists.

Now, as I contemplate the possibility of your tragic end, I must find the strength to let go. I offer my apologies, and I seek your forgiveness for choosing self-preservation over the incessant need to please. It's time for me to release you from the hold you've had on my heart for far too long.

In the embrace of God's love and grace, I bid you farewell. May you find the peace that eluded you in life. And for myself, may I discover solace in the release of this heavy burden, allowing space for healing and self-love to take root. The cycle of pain ends here, and I move forward with the hope of a brighter, healthier future.

As I let go of the heavy chains that bound me to the pain of our shared history, I also release the expectations and burdens that were unfairly placed upon my shoulders. The journey to healing involves acknowledging the wounds, accepting the scars, and allowing time for the scars to fade.

In this process of letting go, I am reminded of my own strength and resilience. Despite the challenges, I have found the courage to confront my past, understand the impact it has had on me, and make conscious choices for my well-being. It is a recognition that forgiveness does not condone the actions that caused harm but rather frees the forgiver from the shackles of resentment.

I choose to redirect my energy toward self-love and nurturing the relationships that bring positivity into my life. As I navigate the complexities of my emotions, I find solace in the support of friends and chosen family, those who understand the depth of my struggles and stand beside me on this journey.

In the silence of self-discovery, I am learning to redefine my identity beyond the shadows of our fractured relationship. I am not defined by the mistakes of the past, but rather by the resilience that allowed me to rise above them. Through this process, I am gradually restoring my sense of self-worth and reclaiming the power that was temporarily surrendered.

As the door closes on this chapter, I embrace the opportunity for renewal and growth. I acknowledge the pain, but I also recognize the potential for healing. The wounds may leave scars, but scars tell stories of survival and strength. In my release, I reclaim my narrative and pave the way for a future untethered from the chains of the past.

May we all find the strength to break free from the cycles that bind us and forge ahead into a future filled with love, compassion, and the unwavering belief in our own ability to overcome. The journey of healing is ongoing, but with each step, I am reclaiming my voice and building a foundation for a life filled with authentic connections and unbridled joy.

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