As much as we try to convince ourselves we’re okay without our fathers in our lives, I can honestly say…just the thought of it subconsciously takes a mental and emotional toll on us. Believe it or not, that ONE parent’s absence serves as a domino effect to a variety of other situations we face in life.
It’s kind of crazy how minuscule it seems. It’s easy to act like it means nothing to us or that it doesn’t play a role in our future relationships, endeavors or overall being – but it does and that’s what we fail to realize.
Alright, I’m about to get deep…
So, I stopped talking to my dad my senior year of high school (2009-2010) and haven’t looked back or had any regrets since. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. To make a long story short, I went off on him. It was pretty much unavoidable. While I’d say I’m not necessarily hurting by his absence, I can be honest in saying certain phases of my life were a little tougher to grasp because I lacked that “father figure.”
Don’t get me wrong. I had the perfect group of male figures around (especially my God Dad ABG) to step up and fulfill his duties and I’m beyond thankful for those people, but there’s nothing like a father’s love. You know?
I spent countless nights wondering and asking myself why he wasn’t around, or if he even wanted to be around. I would sometimes blame myself for his absence or rack my brain trying to figure out what it was I did wrong to make him want to be apart of his other kids lives, but not mine.
After all, I am his first born.
Eventually I began to realize it wasn’t me, and it wasn’t my fault that he couldn’t be the man I wanted him to be, but a lack of maturity and responsibility on his part. It was his own choices and actions that resulted in his disappearing acts.
Life happens, I understand.
I think the most important part of accepting my brewing anger and uncertainty towards him is learning to forgive him, both for what he did and didn’t do. I personally like to think I’m over it. I’m 23 years old now. What exactly am I missing out on? However, if he were to walk past me today I honestly wouldn’t even know what to say. I can’t say I’d be nice…probably because I know I haven’t forgiven him.
Time heals all, right? It’s been 6 years. I guess I’m still healing.
Throughout this “healing” process I’ve learned that my dad’s absence isn’t an excuse for me to act out, seek affection in places I won’t find it, or be angry at the male species. It won’t justify any of my actions (or yours) that serve as a result of our anger towards an absent parent. I’m not saying these phases in life don’t happen, because they do (and it’s okay), but please don’t allow these circumstances to dictate the way you grow into adulthood or the way you treat people who genuinely care for you.
Overall, I can admit that not having my dad in my life definitely affected me, my relationships and my overall outlook on certain things, but I never have, and never will use his absence as an excuse for life’s mishaps. If anything, when I think of my dad and his lack of parenting, I imagine how he’s going to feel when he see’s how successful, poised and developed I am in life, in my career and so much more, all WITHOUT him.
Talk about salty! (LOL)
If you’re a father, strive to be a consistent father. If you haven’t forgiven your absent parent, work on that. It’s possible. If you feel like your life has been, or is currently misguided because you’re without a father, seek guidance. (Church, family, mentors). Most of all, remember it’s not OUR fault. (Sometimes it’s not their fault either). But my main point here is to recognize and come to terms with the fact that we are affected by things like this, and while it’s easy to fall into the stereotype of being a product of a single-parent home, it’s also possible to avoid falling victim to our daddy defects.