A Letter to the Father That Doesn’t Know How Awesome I Am

In She Speaks by Alyssa Nierman10 Comments



The things that I know about you are limited. Here are the things that I do know:


1. You love soccer.

I remember my grandfather mentioning several times throughout my life that you were a big-time soccer player. The first (and only) time that I have ever seen you was at a sand soccer tournament in Virginia Beach. My team had just won the championship for our age group (that’s one thing you have done for me, I guess) and spirits were high. There was a charity sand soccer match going on, and mom allowed me to stay and watch. Within a matter of minutes, she became frantic. She was noticeably pale, incredibly uncomfortable, and kept disappearing from her seat for several minutes at a time. It wasn’t until we were walking out that she pointed to you and said “See that man? That’s your father.”


Through my research, I have learned that the year that I was born, you were a senior in college. You were also an All-American, All-Conference college soccer player that year. I’ve never received the opportunity to congratulate you on that achievement. There is NOBODY more worthy of such high accolades than someone who can father a child, desert her, AND rule in soccer all in the same year. Bravo.


2. You’ve had a colonoscopy.

What an odd thing to know about a person that you don’t actually know at all, right? I know this because this is actually one of the few things that you HAVE told me. Remember two years ago when I emailed you for the very first time? I was 23 and had never spoken to/heard from my birth father. I had spent years working up the courage. I introduced myself as your biological daughter and then asked for your medical records. To my naïve, hopeful 23-year-old brain, this was the perfect introduction. Though I lied to my close friends and family at the time, I had secretly hoped that this was it. This was the time you were going to redeem yourself for being invisible my entire life (while we lived in the same city…I could have walked to your house). Your response to my question?


“There really is nothing that stands out. I have had no issues, no allergies. My mother’s side had colon cancer. My grandfather had that. I had a colonoscopy done recently to be on the safe side and everything was fine. Sent from my iPhone.” (Yes, seriously- it didn’t even affect you enough for you to sit down at a computer and construct a proper response).


And that was it. Because after that, I tried to ask you the few questions that I had patiently waited to ask my entire life. Your response?


“These questions are being shared with my family. They are starting to make us feel a little uneasy. I appreciate your concern but you have to put yourself in my shoes to understand. I really do hope you are doing well and wish the best for you in the future.”


You wish the best for me in the future? Did I just get declined from a job or something? But hey, glad your colonoscopy went well.


3. You have a real daughter now.

And by that, I mean one that you created while married. Last year, when I had a small lapse of judgment and decided to contact her, I was surprised to learn that she had (surprisingly) heard of me. I explained to her that I had planned on waiting to contact her for at least two more years, until she tuned eighteen. However, I had realized that this life is so short and I wanted to try to get to know my half-sister while I still could do so. We talked for just a short while. I made sure that she knew I would not want her to go against your wishes, but that I was here if she wanted to get to know me in two years. She told you shortly after. I know this because you contacted me immediately, with not-so-subtle hints that you would sue if I contacted her again. The ironic part about this is that I been trying to get in contact with you for weeks to ask permission to speak with her, but you were too busy to speak. It is amazing how quickly you switched into protective father mode for yourreal daughter. It’s important for me to note that I am truly happy that you finally realized what being a father means, even if it only applies to half of the children that you have fathered. A 16-year-old girl needs her dad, and she deserves to have that need fulfilled.


Now: I realized while typing this letter that you know absolutely nothing about me. I imagine it’s easier to pretend something doesn’t exist if you are entirely unfamiliar with that something.

Here are some things that you should know about me:


1. You have not ruined me.

Absent-father syndrome, is it? It exists, I suppose. But I will not allow it to exist within me. The idea is that fatherless women cling to men, submissive and afraid that they will leave at any given moment. That hasn’t been the case for me. I have had two long-term relationships, both of which I willingly ended. One of the two chose my departure as the perfect opportunity to unleash one last bit of verbal abuse. This guy, like me, grew up without a father. Except, unlike me, his father did not choose to be absent- fate chose him. I will never forget his exact words: “You’re never going to find a guy until you fix your insecurities. You’re a fragile person who works harder on acting confident than actually being confident. It’s pathetic, really.” What is sad is that I have spent so much time wasted on you, on him, and on others who do not recognize my worth. From this moment forward, I will not allow you to negatively affect my future relationships. I will own my own thoughts and feelings. I will forever know my worth.


2. I lack nothing.

Well, at least not when it comes to family. My grandparents are tremendous human beings. My mother is the most beautiful, hilarious, respectable woman and it has been a blessing to be raised by her. You being missing from my life was a twisted blessing, of sorts. Because of your absence, my mother was determined to be a strong presence in my life. Understandably, I mirror her in many ways. There is nobody with whom I’d rather be compared.


3. I am awesome.


If this message blessed you, be a blessing by sharing with others.



  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I, also, do not know my father and haven’t worked up the courage to speak to him but this was certainly an inspiration for me. I don’t know you but I know what you’ve been through and I am proud of you. This was a wonderful article.

  2. I knew my father for the first 14 years of my life. my parents divorced when I was less than a year old, and I saw him almost every other weekend from the time I was 6 to about 14. We went on vacations, we had parties, we spent many holidays together. As I grew up, I was able to see for myself what kind of person he was. My mother never told me how abusive he was when they were together until I was much older. When I was 14 he remarried, they had a ceremony, reception and honeymoon. I found out through an email from my cousin 3 weeks later. That is when it was clear I was no longer as big a part in my Fathers life as I had once been. For the next 6 years we spoke a few times a year, and saw each other on major holidays. When I turned 21 there was a misunderstanding between him and myself regarding the day of which my birthday dinner would be celebrated. That disagreement was the last time I have spoken to him. I turned 25 in March. I still send a Christmas card every year and anticipate a response, I am still waiting. This year I finally decided that it was his loss. He has missed so many monumental events in my life, and for that I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive him. This might seem petty, but as you said in your article, life is short. So i am not going to worry about someone who isn’t going to worry about me. Thank you for this post, it was inspiring to see how you have handled your situation. Wishing you all the best.

  3. Thank you for sharing!!! My 10 year old daughter is searching through her feelings of not knowing her bio dad right now. My husband adopted her when she was 4, but now she is curious. As I’m sure your mom did for you as I am doing for her: being open to taking but protective. Her struggle right now is not having anyone to talk to who has gone through this so I will be sharing some of your letter with her. Thank you again and God bless you!

  4. This was written perfectly. Thank you for having the balls to write this. Similar situation, but different still. Parents divorced when I was 5, Dad remarried when I was 9 and that was the beginning of his gradual distancing of himself from me and my older brother. It became more obvious after his “real son” (the one that doesn’t remind him of a failed marriage) was born when I was 12. I spent my whole life with him sometimes acting like my Dad, but most of the time acting like I was more like a niece and I spent all my time trying to figure out why he only loved me sometimes. Didn’t go to my graduations — made emotionally abusive statements on the regular; would forget my birthday (while for my half brother, would throw a party and give a 10 year old an iPod touch), refused to help pay for my college (not even a dime), but the half brother has a college fund. By the time I was 23 and we finally lived within driving distance (first time since I was 5) he then avoided making plans with my on Father’s Day. It was then that I decided to go to therapy and made the hard choice to cut off the relationship completely. Based on my stories about my dad, my therapist said he’s on the narcissism spectrum, as I believe all dead beat parents are. I’ve since gotten married, had a son (almost 2) and I actually reached out via email letting him know that I’ve let go of my hurt and offered him the opportunity to meet his grandson (wanted to keep the relationship shallow, but felt it was wrong to deny him from meeting his grandson) and…SHOCKER. No response. I. Am. Done. And it’s his loss because my son is pretty great.

    I actually blogged a little about this, but wasn’t as ballsy as you were. I love you post. Keep writing. Here’s mine: https://houseofmitchells.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/getting-raw-this-fathers-day/

  5. From another girl who has attempted many times to have contact with her biological father without any luck, thank you. This is written perfectly. I am at the point in my journey where I’m ready to walk away. It’s a daily struggle to believe I have done all I can do, that I cannot make him want to have a relationship of any sort with me or my children. Thank you for this. I, too, am awesome with or without him. 🙂

  6. just came across this on pinterest and i cannot say how much i appreciate this. being strong and finding yourself in the midst of an empty relationship

  7. This was truly beautiful to read. I can relate to this on so many levels; my whole life my mother has been telling me not to bother about my father so much- ‘it’s him that’s missing out.’ It’s been eating me up for my entire life, and this extraordinarily personal piece actually had out everything into perspective for me. Thank you so much for this! ❤️

  8. If only your “dad” could know just who he has missed out on….I know you needed him, but I really don’t think he deserved you. You deserve so much better than someone like that….with narcissistic traits…YOU are the child of the ONE TRUE KING and you are royalty. You also have more class in ur little pinky finger than your bio dad has in his whole body. God loves you dear

  9. Hi…..your words echo my thoughts……but you are able to get your words down on paper, whilst mine tumble around in my head………please may l use some of yours words to put the lid on things ??? much happiness xx

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