By the time I graduated high school I expected to attend college, and leave my first high school love behind. I moved to another city and I was not prepared for what my high school love had planned for the both of us, so i reevaluated and made the decision to leave. I went through a tough in transition, I really wanted to step outside of my shell and experience what life could be like without him, my gut told me that it was time to start anew. I applied to a university in the city in which I lived, that didn’t go as planned so I tried Jr college. I didn’t know what I wanted, or how I was going to get there. Not only was I having trouble figuring out who I was, I was figuring out the male psyche. When I look back I was quite naive, gullible, and just dumb. I never wanted anything serious since my high school breakup. I wanted to experiment, see what the universe had to offer. I wanted to find out what type of guys I was into, I wanted to find out if the guys I took interest in took interest in me. I met a few suitors but they just weren’t too my liking, there were phone conversations, meet ups, and make out sessions but nothing serious. I was just how do the old folks say? “Hot in the drawers” what 18-year-old girl isn’t? From 18-21 I was looking for something in every guy I encountered but I just couldn’t identify it. You know how they say every fatherless girl looks for their father in the men she chooses? Well I had no idea who my father was , I just knew he was a coward for l leaving me and my older siblings, so I accepted any attention that was brought my way. I identified love as intimacy, sex, a physical connection. I had no idea that love didn’t omit sex. I thought sex was the love. That’s what I thought the first time I had sex, he must love me enough to sleep with me right? He picked me, little old innocent me when he could be pursuing another other young naive girl, he must love me. I didn’t know what love was, I equated love with sex and lust. I figured if I gave my body, a piece of me away that love would come eventually.
But the love never revealed itself, instead insecurity set in, lack of self-esteem stepped in, Shame and hate filled me, not love. I wasn’t given the tools by my father or any male figure on how to identify love. How could I have known? How was I to know what to look for? Not having my father around set in around my middle 20’s. So I reached out and my father and I started to build a foundation but it still wasn’t enough for me, it lacked substance and meaning. Reconnecting felt rushed. I blamed my father for every heartbreak. I thought “if only my dad was around to comfort me and pick me up after a boy broke my heart I wouldn’t be this broken this gullible”. “Would he defend my honor? Would he dry my tears? Would he say “baby girl daddy’s here I got you”.
I needed to hear him say it, I wanted to hear him say it, it was necessary. My mother could only convey what she felt about men from a woman’s perspective. She put up her best effort to guide me but the fact of the matter was I needed a real man, I needed a father. After a life altering transition my eyes became open to what men had offered, pain, heartache, and lies. My eyes grew wider with each passing moment, and as they grew wider my heart became cold and dark. My life no longer upheld light and serenity. My life became a place for depression to dwell. Through my depression came clarity, through clarity came self-love, through self love came, forgiveness, and after forgiveness came healing.
There were books that I read that helped me transition. Iyalnla vanzant’s “in the meantime” and Elizabeth Gilbert’s ” eat pray, and love”. A quote from Iyanla’s book really stood out she stated “When you need to be loved, you take love wherever you can find it. When you are desperate to be loved, feel love, know love, you seek out what you think love should look like. When you find love, or what you think love is, you will lie, kill, and steal to keep it. But learning about real love comes from within. It cannot be given. It cannot be taken away. It grows from your ability to re-create within yourself, the essence of loving experiences you have had in your life.” I learned that loving thyself was the first step in healing. I had discard anger and resentment, I had to recreate myself in order to experience love. Our perception of love was distorted and unrealistic. I’m sure many black women who grew up without a father experienced so much worse than I did. I know many black women who have faced the same issues I have faced because we were fatherless. It’s a cycle that needs to stop. Little girls need their daddies in order to love themselves and to reciprocate love to a man. I know that my life experiences would’ve been a different if I had my father in my life.