Map of Significantly Insignificant Others: A Self-Diagnosis of Daddy Issues

2017
Ink, graphite, embroidery floss, thread, push pins, needle on Mohawk Curious Matter 120 lb. cover weight paper

I once had a fiancé.

I once had a husband. 

I once was a mistress.

I once fell in love—two, three, four, 

five times, certainly more, 

but always over and over again. 

I am a fighter. I fought every battle that I lost.

My mother was a wife. 

Dedicated. 

Present. 

My father had a mistress. 

He was disloyal. 

Absent. 

My mother has never given her heart to another man. 

My father is still married to his mistress.

My father is not my daddy. 

He has no idea of who I am. 

We have no relationship. 

I was never taught how to value myself. 

I have mistaken sex for love since my virginity was taken at 17. 

Nearing the age of 36, I have just begun to understand.

My own worth.

My own value.

These failed significant others, taught me how to be wise. 

These failed relationships taught me what my father never could.

How to love oneself.

Though your eyes will never read these words.

I forgive you father—you were broken too.