Last May, my mom sent me a link to a scholarship that she wanted me to apply for. The theme of the scholarship was to write a 1500 word (or less) essay describing when you found out the true meaning of Love. I contemplated for a minute because I wasn't really sure whenever I really "found out" the true meaning, but as I started writing, it just started to come to me. The letter goes as follows......
Dear Father of My Child,
Throughout these past two years, I have yet to pursue the opportunity to express my feelings to you in a mature, well-thought manner. We’ve had a countless amount of arguments and petty debates and only spoke out of anger. I no longer want to argue and would like to make my peace. After all, we made a beautiful child together and will have to communicate for the rest of our lives. For the sake of Addy, we need to come to terms with one another, accept that we are no more, and work together as parents to raise Addy the best that we know how. Before we take those steps, there are a few things I want to get off of my chest.
At the age of 16 when we first met, of course I thought I was in love. What young and dumb teenage girl didn’t swear up and down to their parents that “he” was the “one?” You were my “one” that I cried to my parents about; You were there when I fought constantly with all of my insecurities; When I always thought anything that caused me discomfort was the end of the world. That was the time where I convinced myself I was so in love that I accepted the negative treatment from you. Not so much as physical abuse, but the lack of attention; lack of care for the things I sought admiration in; for making me feel unworthy when another facially-appealing female would cross your path. I spent many nights in high school with tears passing my chin, and my mother’s concern for my wellbeing and my father ready to grip your neck for hurting his princess. I thought this phase was painful.
Needless to say this went on for four years. I always questioned why I chose to deal with that situation. Knowing the same pain I felt last week I would feel again this week. Even knowing that as time passed, we continued to grow worse and worse. The only logical (what seemed logical at the time) reasoning I could come up with is “he took my virginity and for me to let him do that then I must really love him. This too shall pass. I’m just too emotional and take things to heart.” I figured if I told myself these reasoning’s then eventually I would believe them, and for four years that logic worked. No one could tell Alana anything because she was in love; so much in love to want to have your child at the age of 18.
This confession is something that I am far from proud of but it’s my reality and my purpose is to be as honest as I can be. The truth is that I convinced myself I was so much in love that I wanted us to create another life; totally disregarding that we would break-up and make-up every other Tuesday, argued daily, basically lived an unhealthy relationship. The fact that you concurred with the idea to have a baby was the match to my lighter fluid. Not once did we take into consideration the wellbeing of our child. This was supposed to be our “plan” for us to grow closer and stay together, considering we were both about to leave for two different schools. The fear of us being no more was just too overwhelming and having a child was our solution.
I got what I wanted, or at least what I thought I wanted when we discussed it face to face prior to leaving for school. January 20, 2009, Obama’s Inauguration to be exact, was the day I found out I was 3 weeks pregnant. I was sitting in the Student Health Center at my University and I had indifferent feelings. I knew this is what I thought I wanted but it was so surreal when the nurse actually told me that I was pregnant. I could practically see the words roll off of her lips. It was now official that a life was growing inside of me and that anything I ate, said, or did would now affect not just me but the two of us. I always had to be leery of any outside factors that would cause me to be upset because after all, the baby can feel what the mom feels, or so I’ve been told. I had never really faced adversity before but little did I know how much of a rude awakening I was in for with this pregnancy.
For the first trimester, it was a mediocre ride. My biggest challenge would be telling my parents that their baby girl is expecting their first grandchild. Of course I didn’t admit that she was conceived on purpose, but at that point it didn’t matter because Addyson was already on her way. To my surprise, they embraced me. They didn’t praise me for my childish actions but accepted my situation and became the great support system that I prayed for. The very same support system I would be in dire need of a few months down the line.
You remember, just around my 4th month when I found out about you and “that girl” that attended the same university as me. “That girl” who was involved in the same pageant as me at that time; who rubbed my stomach and told me I was cute pregnant; who selfishly made the decision to involve herself with you knowing that I was with child. If you don’t remember, I remember like it was yesterday. You lied to me about even being aware of her existence and so did she. After finally coming to the conclusion that this is one lie you just couldn’t get out of, you took it upon yourself to tell me the words, “Alana, I don’t want to be with you anymore. I want to be with her.” My limp body lay across the floor after hearing those words; incessant tears formed stains on my carpet as I held my pregnant belly constantly saying sorry for making my baby feel my pain. All I could think was, “How? How could you just up and decide to leave your pregnant girlfriend for someone you don’t even know? For someone who isn’t even carrying your child?” This was by far the worst pain I had ever felt in my life. I never met another person who hurt me as much as you. To this day that’s a situation I would never understand but at this point, I have no desire to seek understanding.
The most logical thing for me to do was hate you. You deserved to feel the hatred that had formed inside of my heart. You deserved retaliation. I never understood why God would make me endure all of this, especially with another life inside of me. I even spent mornings considering purposely falling down a flight of stairs just to end it all. I thought God along with you no longer loved me.
It wasn’t until recently when I realized that God wasn’t trying to punish me; that he didn’t seek joy in seeing me in so much despair. But rather preparing me to be the great person I am today. I realize that God loved me so much, that he used the one human who I had so many emotions for, break me down to a pit in order for me to seek my true father and rebuild me. I had never prayed so much in my life until this happened to me. So all in all, I want to say Thank You Addy’s father. Thank You for provoking all this pain and making me love my daughter all the more. Thank You for forcing me to seek God for strength, wisdom, maturity, parenting skills, and so much more. Thank you for making me want to overcome adversity when everyone said my life was over. Thank you for provoking the drive to complete school, in which I graduate in six months. Thank you for provoking the desire to be a mentor to other young women who are in my shoes and are lost and have nowhere to turn to. Thank You for helping me discover my passion to work with single fathers who actually want to be in their kids' lives but the system makes it all the harder. Thank You for finally helping me put all my love into the almighty to fill this void I once had.
The butterflies that formed in my stomach from your slightest kiss at the age of 16, which is what I had considered real love, is nothing compared to the grace and mercy that God has over my life. The fact that I finally understand that I always fall short of his word but yet, he loves me so much to keep forgiving and blessing me. Thank you Addy's Daddy, for having me endure so much pain when in the end I feel nothing but pure bliss. For this alone, I love you.