Author's Note: This Story is the email which the girl in I am not the Best With Words wrote her dad
First dad, do not sell yourself short, what you said in that letter was the best response I was hoping for. I would say it brought tears to my eyes but they were already there. The letter did change the tears of frustration sadness and disappointment in myself into tears of joy, love and acceptance.
I am writing this as an email instead of a letter for when I tried to write the pages get tear soaked. Don’t worry they are good tears. I know you want to take away all my pain. That cannot be done, but you accepted me and the pain I had the most fear of is gone. I have not lost you when you saw the real me.
Another reason I am writing this as an email is for my handwriting betrays how I want to portray myself. I know how handwriting looks is small to you, it is not for me. I want it to show people who I am. I want nice flowy cursive handwriting and I have been working on it so it is how I want it to be. Back in grade school, Ms Quincy used to tell me my handwriting was too nice for a boy. It was meant as a compliment but did not want her to know I did not feel like a boy. I let it become sloppy to fit in with what others thought I was.
This font and color just feels right. It feels like it is how my words should look on paper. I hope you like it for it. To me it is full of life and happiness.
I look like Aunt Dorothy! Thank you! Maybe when you are ready we can tell her about how I am. I would love her to be a more direct role model for me. That is of course if she would want to take her niece under her wing. I think she would for how she loves spending time with me as a nephew, it is great how she took over being a mother figure for me after mom died. It makes me laugh when she says being there for me is like having a kid without the hassle and responsibility. I know it is hard work for her.
Reading that compliment on my looks meant so much to me. I think Aunt Dorothy is so beautiful. I want to be beautiful but that is not important. I just want to look like the woman I am on the inside. I would not had look like Aunt Dorothy without you. You supporting me in letting me grow my hair out. I know you said you did not care if I grew my hair long, but I saw it how a woman would and I was growing it out.
I will say my personality is not like hers. Aunt Dorothy is so much more outgoing and a risk taker. She does not want a family. That is not me, I am more reserve and thought out. I so want a husband and family.
I do share some traits with that great woman. I am brave like her but think before I act. I also know that my happiness does not depend if I ever find a man. I so hope that is how mom was. I think it was, she passed away before I formed many memories of her, but I knew I wanted to be like her. I also knew that I would be if I was true to myself.
I know you love her dad and I do also. I want to hear more about her, and be like her. Your daughter hopes you see it as being respectful to the kind, caring, and loving person she was and still is in our hearts. I know she would be proud of how you made sure I know I will always have your love and support.
You liking my taste in clothes is important to me. I now know that I am not showing too much skin yet at the same time not covering up too much. You saw it as a young woman expressing herself and that is why you are hip dad. You are true to yourself while allowing others do the same so don’t sell yourself short.
You not following me into my room when I needed privacy was not a sign of cowardice, it was a sign of courage, You gave me the space I needed so I could handle you seeing the real me. Most people would not had been as brave and patient, they would had needed to know what was going on instead of doing what was best for their child, so don’t sell yourself short. You are a brave person dad.
Dad all teenagers feel alienation and yours was as legitimate as mine. It was your feelings and they came from you felt like no one understood you. That is how I feel also. It is for different reasons but the same feeling. Your letter shows you are empathetic to me, so do not sell yourself short.
Right now it is hard for you to slip up,I am both your son and daughter. I know I want to only be your daughter, and hopefully I you seeing me as who I really am help me progress towards that goal. The goal of just being my true self all the time.
I want to be daddy’s little girl. I used to be so ashamed of feeling that way, how you handle seeing me makes me proud of wanting to always be your little girl. You will look out for me in the way a dad does his daughter. I know if you say son or daughter it will be full of love and that is what is truly important so don’t sell yourself short.
I love the name Faith, for you gave me the faith in myself to explore who I really am. I know that you and mom would had name me Lana so I go in between using those two names. I know most people do not get to pick their name but I want to go as Faith. I feel like I am a Faith and I am not a Lana. At the same time I want to respect you and mom by going with the name which you would had given me if my body was true to my essence. I could grow into being a Lana. I would love it if we talk about this. You wanting to honor how I see myself by using the right name shows you respect me for who I am, so don’t sell yourself short.
I know I have not been straightforward in this letter. You have so many questions which you will never ask. You want me to share freely with you, when . You have the right to ask them and I want to answer them. Some of them I do not have the answers.
I know I am a woman, my body is just not the right one for who I am. I want to live as a woman. I know it will not start tomorrow. I want to go to school and try out for the cheer-leading squad. I know from this letter you will be right at my side during the transition. I know that the days ahead will be hard on both of us. I know you will be sacrificing a lot for my happiness. I also know that it will be worth it for the both of us.
I could keep on writing this letter but I want to talk to you about who I am and share everything. I want our connection to be stronger and doing this face to face will do so. Please come to your daughter's room after you read this, I so need a hug from my daddy. You might not think it will give me more strength but it will, don’t sell yourself short.
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