Before you start reading...listen to this song:
Every single time I hear it I think of the last time I saw my father...when I met him in the airport in Tampa. I remember walking away from him that day to go to my flight and I refused to cry in front of him. He yelled "I love you" right as I approached a corner, and I fell to the ground the second I was out of his sight. I cried harder in that moment than I had in years.
I had no idea it would be the last time I ever saw him. I had no idea just how bad things were going to get. But I did know that he hadn't changed. I knew for sure that the love he preached was conditional. It had to be earned, not freely given as a parent's love is supposed to be. That day I realized he would never be the dad I wanted him to be...and that to heal myself I had to cut ties. I had to walk away for good.
Shortly after that visit, he really lost it. His drug use got worse. His actions turned more violent. His tendencies to stalk girlfriends escalated. His legal struggles took a turn for the more dangerous. He became a true monster, not the man that made swings for me in the backyard.
But something beautiful came from that visit. A new me was born that day. The "recovering" part of the skeptic came through. That day I stopped trying to be who he wanted me to be...and started being the person that I wanted to be.
I am so blessed that my daughter will never know that pain. She will never have to pick herself up from that kind of hurt. Because her daddy loves her...unconditionally.
Oh and I should add...he loves me too.
The recovering skeptic took a leap guys...we are officially one family that will never show our children anything but support and love. Because they deserve nothing less.
Recovery never "ends" but piece by piece it gets a lot easier.