To My Daughters Who Need To Know That Not All Love Is Beautiful

Photo: courtesy of the author
What I Want My Daughters To Know About Toxic Relationships

Dear Sweet Daughters,

I love you so very much. I try to show that love to you every single day, with every breath I take. I know that sometimes it may not seem like love when I tell you that you can't have another piece of candy or I make you go to bed at 7:30 pm, but even those things I do with love in mind.

I want you to know that I'm always here for you, no matter what happens or what you may think or how much you think you've messed up. I'm always here with open arms, listening ears, and a loving heart.

But there's something I need you to know, sweet girls. There are people in this world who do not do things out of love. There are men in this world who are not as amazing as your father. There are people who make poor choices, who hurt others, who may try to hurt you in toxic relationships.

This, my dears, is not okay. Your body is yours and you never have to share it with someone if you don't want to do so. Your heart is pure, and your soul is beautiful, strong, and amazing — don't ever let someone tell you otherwise. You are each a unique, individual, complete and perfect person.

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How does Mommy know that there are people in the world who are not like Daddy? Well, there was a man before Daddy, long before Daddy and Mommy ever met. This man told Mommy that he loved her, and he did grand gestures to "show" this love.

Suddenly, though, he changed. This man would yell at Mommy. This man would force himself onto Mommy's body. This man would write Mommy notes during the school day that went into details about things he wanted to do to Mommy, things Mommy didn't even know about and didn’t ever want to try. This man would tell Mommy that she was worthless, that nobody cared about Mommy except him.  

This man was very convincing. He worked hard to fool everyone.

This man would tell people, especially the adults Mommy tried to ask for help, that Mommy was a liar and a bad person. I reached out to teachers, people I thought I could trust, but he was always so charming, so
calm and collected when asked to tell his side of the story. He'd play all the cards, saying things like he was a "good Christian," and his parents were never home. He'd deny so many actions, and I never had proof. Nobody would listen, so I finally fell silent and allowed my body and mind to be submissive to him.

This man beat up other men who tried to befriend and help Mommy. And if Mommy tried to say no, tried to get away, tried to ignore this man, he would inflict self-harm and tell Mommy it was her fault. This man often made threats to hurt Mommy, to take her life, or to take his own.

For over two years, Mommy was trapped with this man, desperate to find a way out.

Getting out wasn't easy, though it really should have been. Mommy finally realized one day, as she took lots of pills, that it was not fair that one person was controlling her life — a life that because of this boy, she
no longer wanted to live.

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With nobody to listen, nobody to help, Mommy had to do it all by herself. It required completely ignoring the horrible man, avoiding being near him, never being alone. I had to be mindful, always plan several steps ahead. I had to learn alternate ways to classes, learn lots of names of people I'd never tried to know before so I could call out to them if needed, pretending I had something that needed to be said right away.

Mommy learned to sit in the front of the bus, to avoid the bathrooms almost all day, to linger before lunchtime, to walk quickly always. After a few months of this, Mommy finally felt free. The cost, though, was seeing the devil with somebody new whom I still to this day wonder if she suffered, too.

Don't ever think, my darlings, that any of that kind of treatment is deserved. I hope when you are ready that I can teach you all that I learned. We already tell you what kinds of touches are not okay, that words can hurt, to speak up and never feel that you are alone. My sweet daughters, you are so smart, but I know that the wrong men know how to see through that to find your vulnerabilities. I just hope that I can show you your worth and establish a love within your hearts before anything ever happens.

Today, Mommy is still afraid of people and because of this man, Mommy fears most men. Mommy worries every time she makes new friends that they will leave her because this man made most of Mommy's friends leave her. Mommy gets very sad when she thinks about the fact that people like this man live in our world and that someday a man like this could be a part of your life, too.

But, my girls, people like your Daddy also live in this world. Your Daddy is good, kind, strong, and loving. Your Daddy will always keep all of us safe.

Your Daddy & I love you. Never be afraid to tell us anything big or small, my daughters. You can tell us if you break a plate. You can tell us if someone says something mean to you and it hurts your feelings. You can tell us when you are scared. You can tell us when you fail a math test. You can tell us when you kiss a boy or girl, we love you and whoever you love. You can tell us that you want to play trumpet or if you want to try out for the basketball team. You can tell us when you make a 100 on your science test.

Please, girls, tell us everything in your heart: we will always love you. And if a man tries to hurt your beautiful heart, tell us that too. We are here to love, we are here to protect, we are here for you. Always and forever, my loves, my babies you will always be.

All my love,


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Megan Glosson is an avid writer, currently published on The Mighty, Thought Catalog, Unwritten, and MSN. She is an advocate for the mental health and LGBT communities and enjoys using her writing to educate and spread awareness. You can learn more about Megan or read more of her work by visiting her website.