Here’s a letter to all the kids who managed to break up with their toxic dads and move on and find happiness in their lives.

This is from the bottom of my heart. I understand your childhood left much to be desired. You had expectations in your dad, and they went unmet. And believe me, I know it was painful. You wanted you and your dad to have a mutually loving relationship, but that never came to be.

When you wanted to spend time with your dad, he was busy with something else. After that test went bad and you were feeling even worse, he was nowhere to be found. When you were dying to learn how to drive, he wasn’t there. You wanted to have intimate conversations only a father can have with you, but again, he was not there. The worst thing was that you knew kids who had a wonderful time with their dads all the time. You craved love and support from this important man in your life, and it never came.

It’s not that you were too needy, you did ask him to come for that game, and it was because you wanted him to be proud of your achievements. They might have been small achievements in the bigger scheme of things, but they meant the world to you. You only needed the reassurance that your father would be there for you no matter what.

Whenever you were afraid, instead of holding your hand, he told you to deal with your fears. All he did was tell you to get in the car when you wanted to hug and kiss him for being away from each other for so long. He never gave a damn about your emotions.

His demeanor towards you was cold and distant because he didn’t want anything to do with you. This broke your heart, and you thought you were not good enough. You blamed yourself instead of him. You even asked if he would have liked someone else in your place. You always wanted to know if you did anything wrong. You were curious as to why you never got the love you deserved.

You cried and suffered in silence.

But there is one thing you should know. It was never your fault. All you did was suffer the misfortune of having an emotionally unavailable man for a father.

Know that he did not love himself either, and he had given up on himself long before he gave up on you. You were a victim of his toxicity. You suffered and you have a right to be angry. You can cry and scream if you want to. It’s important you separate yourself from the anger.

Free yourself from the anger you feel, or it will be the end of you. Trust me, you don’t want that. What you should do is ensure that your dad does not realize he destroyed you. Stand on your feet despite the many blows you suffered at his hands.

Instead, you should be smart. You should overcome the problems you have.

And no, revenge is not the answer. He will pay for what he did, and you don’t have to worry about that. A day will come when he will crave your love more than anything. He will want to hold your hand firmly in his as he speaks his last words.

Like you when you were younger, he will crave your love and support. He will remember what he told you. You will too, and it will hurt, but you will be strong enough to hold his hand. You will be the bigger person.

Eventually, you will let go of his hand. The best thing is that it will not hurt because you never had a real connection to begin with.

In the meantime, resist the urge to call him. He might be your father, but he broke you, and he hurt you. He rejected you when you were most vulnerable, and left you high and dry when you needed his presence and comfort.

You can love him, but he does not have to know about it. Don’t let him win after what he has put you through.