How can I be aware of all I have going for me and still lack confidence? There is a gaping void somewhere that I try to fill but cannot find. The thing I have discovered through much self-exploration is that I believe all the incredible things that people say about me, but I don't know how to let it in emotionally. It all traces back to my father and I hate saying it because not only is a girl with daddy issues cliche, but also, this will be the first time I'm saying it somewhere that he can see how I feel.

I have spent my life trying to make him happy but I have always believed him when he said I was hurting him, or not doing enough or abandoning him. None of that has ever been true. I have thought about him and how to make him content for as far back as I can remember. When I recall my childhood, the memories I have are always of plans I had to show him how much I loved him. The times he would recall of me not doing enough were the times external sources pulled me away knowing that he was using me.

He would make me the center of his world every time he was single; we took trips, played games, had exciting hobbies together and I was his best friend. Then he would meet a woman and I had to fit the mold of the life they were making together. I always tried to because I wanted to be close to him but the truth was always that I had to accept being put on the back burner while he changed everything I had known for someone new. I never resented these women, on some level I saw that this was not their choice and I would watch their own children get pushed aside by his need to be her one and only. Last year I read the memoir that he had written and saw pages and pages devoted to each of these women. I was mentioned in two sentences, one to say that I was born with none of his feelings about that and once to say he and I were still in touch. I never read about our times together or what I meant to him, being the last person to stick by him through family fall-outs, divorces and shattered friendships. I was barely ten words.

Not a day goes by when I don't feel the need to be there for him, but never being enough has worn too thin and I need to surround myself with people who are happy with me even when I'm not serving them. In the story of my life he would be a main character, he would fill the pages, in his story I see where I stand and I need to remember that I'm worth more.

On a conscious level I see myself becoming the person I want to be. So why then do I need to hear from others so badly that I am enough? I can have a day full of accomplishments, running, paying bills, writing, seeing friends, running errands etc and before the night is over I need to tell someone and hear that I did well. I don't want to need that. I see other people not needing that and I try to emulate it with no real clue where to begin. I stand in the mirror and try to compliment myself sometimes like a crazy person, just trying to really hear the words.

This topic is the most vulnerable place I can go to. It terrifies me to put it out for him to see and I'm uncomfortable sharing with others who could judge my decision to do so. Yet tonight it was the only thing I could write because in this moment it is everything. He is the parent I have left and I'm not enough for him. To be confident in myself I need to work to move past it and right now that starts with writing what is real.