I grew up in a single parent home. My mother raised me all by herself. To me, she was mom and dad. As a child I always felt like there was something missing, My father. Ah! So many great memories of my absent father, Shall we take a walk down memory lane? Let’s see, my mother ran him over when I was a young child (He lived don’t worry) but technically he had it coming. I spent one weekend with him and my two older brothers where he bought me two pairs of shoes (such a generous man) Oh! and let me not forget the after birthday visit when he dropped off a bunch of Nsync memorabilia in the middle of the night, no wait, or that one time he came to a track meet and stayed for 30 minutes. Father of the year award goes to………
Those three memories stuck with me, those were the only times I could recall being with my dad. My mom was not one of those hard to deal with babymama’s, she wanted my father to be play an active role in my life. She wanted me to spend time with him and build a relationship. She didn’t talk bad about him (not to me anyway) but I know she felt some type of way about my father being a dead beat. My father had struggles with addiction, I’m sure he had experienced trauma, but I always thought to myself “is that really an excuse”? As a little girl I thought he could have he could have tried a tad bit harder.
I was not his only child, just his only girl out of 8 boys. I felt as if I wasn’t a priority in his life, I wanted to desperately be apart of his world no matter if he had an addiction or not, I didn’t care, I just wanted my daddy. I often felt as if he never cared. I cried for my father, most nights. I would ask myself “What did I do wrong” “why doesn’t daddy want me”? A little girl shouldn’t have to ask those questions, they should be asking “daddy can I have an ice cream cone”? Or “daddy can you read me a story”? Not “daddy do you love, do you want me”? Little girls should be able to depend on their father when they need them the most. A girls father is her first love. I would fantasize that my father and I would have the same type of relationship that singer Brandy had with her on screen father on the show “Moesha”. The simple Daddy/daughter pleasures of life were non existent. He didn’t teach me how to ride a bike, he wasn’t there to hold me when I cried, he missed great report cards, parent meetings, holidays, birthdays, prom, high graduation, all my firsts. Do you know how damaged I was as a kid? as a teen? as a grown adult now? I needed my father!
There were many times when I would go into the bathroom at my My elementary school, cry, and hide in the bathroom stall when it was occasions involving fathers. It could be a father’s day celebration, field trips, father and Daughter dances. My mom wasn’t able to attend most of these events due to the fact that she worked her was off to provide for my sister and i, so I understood she couldn’t participate. I can admit now that i would be jealous and heartbroken when my friends father’s would take them trick or treating, or pick them up early from school for a picnic or trip to the movies. Why couldn’t I experience the same joys?
My mother, bless her heart, did the best she could to teach me about life, about responsibility, the importance of education, and how to become independent, but there were some things that my father should have taught me, things that only a dad would be able to explain to his babygirl. The absence of my father not only affected the way I felt about myself, but it affected the way I viewed men. I didn’t have the slightest idea of what it was meant to be loved by the opposite sex, there was no outline or diagram that I could have utilized to avoid a shit load of heartbreak. How was I to know that not all men had The best intentions? My father could have talked to me about it if he had been present. How would I be able to recognize genuine intention from the opposite sex?
The yearning for make attention spilled over into my teenage and adult life. I wanted so desperately to be loved, accepted, and desired by a man that I knew didn’t have my best interest at heart. I would jump into “relationships” completely blind, I had no expectations for men, I didn’t know that it was my right to have certain expectations. I had no clue that some men boys/men could be total assholes, not all But some. My mother would put me on game about boys/men, but it’s different when the message is coming from another trusted male in your life, your father. Would a mother be able to talk to her son about certain things that only a male can explain? Am I making sense here?
I find myself blaming my father for a lot of heartbreak that I have experienced being with men, I shouldn’t put all the blame on him, but I think my life would have turned out slightly different if my dad and I had a relationship. I resented my father for many years. I loathed him. The more I learned and experienced this so called thing called “life” I was able to identify what it meant to be truly loved, to love myself, and receiving love from a man. Don’t get me wrong, I love my father, I have to from a Christian stand point, I’m also apart of him. I hope My father and I get to get to a point where we can hash things out and I can be completely transparent with him. I even fear now that whatever I say will miss him off and he will leave again.
For the past few years my father and i have tried to work on our relationship, but to be completely honest, at times I find it extremely hard to connect. I feel like the bonding portion of our relationship is non existent, I feel like it has passed. I’m unsure if we will ever be able to have a great father/daughter relationship, but I’m hopeful. I’m on the long road to healing myself, i’m doing my part to ensure I am mentally and spiritually ready to open up to my dad. Attending therapy and talking about my issues with my father has been very helpful. It’s definitely a process. I’m not sure if my father has ever healed from his trauma, but I hope he can also break the cycle of stigma around black men and mental health. One day I hope we can physically reunite, and when we do I want him to say “Baby girl I’m here, daddy isn’t going anywhere and nothing can keep me from you”.
Featured Photo: Quotes Gram