I Hate You Dad, But I Love What You Taught Me

February 6, 2021

The author of this article chose to remain anonymous

I get it. “Hate” is a strong wrong. Hate is something that can destroy your inner peace and can lead to a path of negativity that may last a lifetime.

The experts tells us never to hate, but to love. They tell us to let go of the negativity holding you back, and to look forward to a brighter tomorrow.

They tell us it’s easy to forgive, and that we should also try to forget.

That’s easy enough to do for most people in my life. But there is one person I will never forgive, I will never forget, and I will forever hate.

My father.

I wasn’t born with hatred. And I don’t believe anyone is for that matter. Instead I inherited it from the one man in my life who was supposed to be my role model.

But believe it or not, my hate doesn’t affect me in a negative way. I consider myself to be a loving person. I believe in respecting and loving those around me, even if they wouldn’t do the same back. I believe in going out of my way to help a complete stranger, I believe in showcasing the inspiring stories that give us all faith in humanity, and in living my life as a role model for my children to follow.

The hate doesn’t hold me back. It actually helps me move forward.

And all of that I learned from you, dad.

You lived a dishonest life. You stole from the people who considered you a friend. They trusted you with their life, unaware that you would destroy them in a heartbeat for your own personal gain.

You would smile in their presence, only to badmouth them in their absence.

But through those teachings, dad, I learned how to be an honest friend. I now understand the value of friendships, and how they should not be taken for granted.

Because of you, I know there are people who will pretend to be my friend, only to have a hidden agenda that I am already prepared to face when the time comes.

I know what it means to help others when they least expect it, and comprehend the old adage: “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

And all of that I learned from you, dad.

You were a two-faced liar who would pretend to love his wife, only to cheat on her time and time again. You always solicited action behind the closed doors of your office, prepared to look your own wife in the eyes when you returned home like nothing ever happened.

Despite the times you were caught, you would blatantly deny any wrongdoing. And yet somehow, you would always win another second chance.

But as a result of those teachings, dad, I learned how to be a good husband. Through you I have learned the heartache a broken relationship can cause, and have seen the damage it can do to the people who gave you their heart.

I understand the value of love, and realize that true love is a gift not to be taken for granted. I know what it means to treat your woman like a queen, and to honor her, respect her, and care for her.

When I am married, you can rest assured that my queen’s heart will be forever safe in my hands. Life will undoubtedly test my devotion to her, and all I can say is “bring it on.”

And once again, all of that I learned from you, dad.

You failed at fatherhood. You were a man who never owned up to his mistakes, and you were absent in virtually every important milestone a young man experiences.

My first car, my high school graduation, the day I was accepted to college, my first job, my wedding…where you were for all of it?

Nowhere to be seen.

You gave up on your children, and kept living your life thinking we would show up at your doorstep, begging for a father once again. And while some of us caved, I never faltered.

But that’s ok. Because through those teachings, dad, I learned what it means to become a man on my own.

I discovered the potential within myself to take on any challenge. I will never be afraid to learn something new, or to travel down a path most others are scared to step foot on.

I understood what it truly meant to be a dad, even when I was still a teen. I found myself preparing the ways I could give my children the world, long before my future bride even entered my life.

As a father myself, I vow to be there for my kids in good times and bad. I will never hesitate to stop my life just so I can be present for their memorable moments. Yes, I will be in the passenger seat on the day they get their license. Yes, I will be there to say “good luck” on the day they go off to college.

And yes, I will be a real father to them anytime in between…even during those moments when we just want to be in each other’s company, despite having nothing to say.

You showed me the perfect example of a father whom I would never emulate, and became a role model who I will never look up to, and never aspire to.

And all of that I learned from you, dad.

You see, dad, despite hating you for more reasons than I care to count, I still love what you taught me. You were the best professor in all my years of schooling, and it didn’t cost me a dime in tuition.

So for that, I will forever love my hatred towards you.

You were the best father a young student could ask for. So don’t worry about me, even though you never did. I’ll be just fine.

Thank you for the education. I appreciate all you never were, and all I was meant to be.