The First Man to Break My Heart


The first man we learn to love is our father. Fathers are there for us the first time we fall and scrape our knees, they are there for us when our teeth are falling loose and when we get sick, and even during our “adorably ridiculous” school performances.

My dad was that man for me. He was my hero. I was his little girl. I was the youngest child.

My dad and I always had a special bond, but as I grew up, things changed. I was no longer his favorite – none of my siblings were. I remember the fights between him and my mom kept getting worse. I remember my uncle rushing my dad to the hospital after he smashed our dinner table, the glass shattered into a million pieces, and his hand was left bloody.

The smashed little pieces of glass symbolized what our family had become. The dinner table: a place where our family once gathered for meals, was broken, and so was my heart when I witnessed the whole thing.

Time passed, and as we were growing up, the more disconnected you grew from us. Sundays were always your day off, it was our time to spend together as a family. I couldn’t wait for Sunday to come, for us to be able to go to church as a family, but you hated it. You just wanted to stay home watching soccer. We couldn’t even stay around you while you were watching your games. You were so angry. You would shout at the TV so loud I could feel your hate in my body, almost as if we were in that game. Almost as if you hated us.

When Mom decided to take us out of that environment and to give us a better life, you called her crazy. You thought she was ridiculous and that we had everything we needed and that we were happy there.

We moved and you slowly removed yourself from our lives. You moved on and started a new life and Mom was happy for you. You guys were free from each other. I remember the only thing she would beg for was for you to spend time with us. She didn’t even want financial help from you. She just pleaded that you would be present in our lives.

Fast forward to when you “attempted” to get back into our lives, you had joined a local church in our neighborhood and told us you had changed, that you no longer cared for the games, and that the rage inside of you was gone. I couldn’t accept it. I felt that it was so hypocritical of you. How dare you? I was recently coming into my teen years and I was completely lost. Your hypocrisy made me develop raging hatred for churches.

On the day of my spinal surgery: a risky surgery that lasted eight hours, you didn’t even dare to show up until a day later, as if you were an estranged relative visiting.

I needed you there. I needed you to tell me everything would be okay. You weren’t there for any of our major accomplishments. You missed all of our graduations and birthdays.

You made me hate the idea of ever getting married. You made me lose hope that I would ever find anyone who would love me. How? Not even my own father loved me. How would I ever be able to find real love?

You made me hate the idea of one day having kids. I would be petrified to ever put a child in this same situation; to let the cycle continue and to break their heart at such a young age.

I spent years dealing with abandonment issues; years dealing with communication issues and not being able to find the right words to express myself. Still, to this day, I struggle.

Writing this now feels like a weight has been lifted off my chest.

I’m still healing, but over countless crying prayers, I finally forgive you.

I will not let that define my future, and I promise, from now, that my future children will never have to go through what I went through.