In my past, I had a pretty fucked up idea of what it meant for a man to be a man. I saw a lot and heard a lot. From what I know my biological father was abusive to my mother emotionally and physically. He was a liar and a cheater. He neglected all of his children even as they grew into adults. When my mom left him she immediately met my step dad and he wasn’t much better. He was strict and stringent.
As a child I remember fearing him. I remember not wanting to touch anything that was his, especially not his person. I didn’t trust him. He was also abusive but his abuse reached my brother and me.
The first time I attempted suicide was because he broke my stereo. I was an angry, depressed, anxious recluse before it happened. I stayed locked in my bedroom self-harming, listening to music on that black stereo. Deborah Cox, Michael Jackson, Ashanti, India Arie, Erykah Badu all serenaded me and kept me sane. Then he took that away from me. One day he just came in and clipped the wiring so it never played again.
In my mind, men were takers of joy and peace and givers of abuse and misfortune. Fathers were meant to be critical dictators, and their counterpart mothers were meant to be passive observers to all of it.
And that subconscious feeling played out in my dating escapades. Year after year I would find myself with these men who were takers. I suffered through emotional, pyschological, and physical abuse. I would realize that the relationship drained me of all of my joy, leave, find my happiness alone, find a boy, and be drained all over again.
Until I simply stopped. I began to look at myself and what I was attracting and I came face to face with the past I tried so desperately to pretend didn’t exist.
When I began healing, I would tell myself over and over that it’s possible for men to bring peace. It’s possible for men to be tender. It’s possible for men to be gentle. It’s possible for a father to be caring to his daughter, but I never had anyone prove that. I saw glimpses of it every now and again but nothing solid; nothing all inclusive.
I was 22 years old, deeply concentrating on healing my image of men and relationships. I was celibate. I was back to being a recluse, but, no longer depressed, I was taking ownership of my life and emotions.
I was in a space of healing and I was crying out to experience the love which evaded me. I was writing letters of forgiveness to my parents, exes, and myself.
When I began to see the light, I wrote letters to an imaginary man who was supposed to come to me and prove to me that what I experienced isn’t all there is to love. I healed and wrote, day after day…
Then I met you.
A single father of a spectacular little princess.
I see how you are with her. How you tickle her and teach her. How you kiss her gently, hug her and hold her. How you encourage her, read to her, color with her and challenge her to be better. How you aren’t afraid to play with her.
I see how you are with me. How you touch me softly and kiss me whenever you have the chance. How you hold me and tell me how beautiful you think I am. How you love me and encourage me. How you tell me that I’m appreciated and that you’re proud of me. And you recognize my heart, my mind, my spirit, and my body.
Before me you stand a glorious image of what a man should be. I look at you with wonder and I think to myself, “I knew it was possible.” You are a miracle in my life. In you, I have found peace and understanding. I have found so much love, respect, and wisdom in you.
So this is my thank you letter to a man who has opened my heart to receiving abundant love.
To the one I love eternally,
Thank you for being the man that you are. So beautifully powerful, magnificently tender, and a giver of wisdom, guidance, love, and appreciation. You are my partner, my matching light, and most importantly my king. I love you and I cherish you more deeply than I can ever express.