Every blogger has certain topics they won’t discuss. There are just some things that should remain private. But every now and then, some of us surprise our readers and open up. Today, I’ve decided to talk about my relationship with my dad. This particular topic is very personal to me. But I decided to talk about it wanting to help someone that may be going through the same thing I did.
So my story begins shortly after I was born. My mom and dad decided to dissolve their marriage. Which left me to be raised by a single mother. My mother was an amazing role model to me. But I always felt I was missing something. I didn’t realize what it was until I became a teenager and discovered I missed the love of my dad. And as the years went by, that feeling slowly became more aggressive. Until one day I woke up, as a young adult, furious with my father.
I had a sh*t load of questions that needed to be answered like, “Why wasn’t he there when I needed him?” or “Why did he forget about me?” This went on for an entire week until I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew I didn’t want “daddy issues” to affect my entire life. So I decided to take my mother’s advice and tackle this situation head on. It was time for me to have a conversation with my dad.
The first conversation my dad and I had was volatile. Very volatile. I screamed and he sat quietly and said nothing. Since that didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, I had a second conversation with him. Unfortunately, that conversation went the same way. Finally, I decided to have one last conversation with him. And during that meeting, I noticed how emotionally drained he was. Which prompted me to listen to what he had to say. We went back and forth amicably until I began to heal and let things go. After that meeting was over, and I had time to reflect, I learned three things in particular.
Everything happens for a reason. There was a reason my dad wasn’t in my life when I wanted him to be. Who knows, things could’ve turned out differently. I know I don’t know that for sure. But I do know there was a reason for me to go down the path that I did. And that path made me a stronger person. It taught me how to deal with certain situations and because of that, I learned valuable lessons I may have never learned. It also led me here to share this story with you.
His absence never defined me. I missed him, but my mother and grandmother held my gaze. They were determined to teach me how to be a woman. How to stand tall in who I was. And how to fear and love God. While I was with them, I never had much time to dwell on the absence of my dad. Even though they knew, at some point, I would have to face feelings I didn’t know I had. Which is why they made sure my life wasn’t built around my disappointment. It didn’t dominate or erode my entire existence. And because of that, I didn’t become a bitter and negative person.
Parents aren’t perfect. They are regular people. And they make mistakes. And when they do, as their children, we have to forgive them like they forgive us. When I missed my dad, I never knew he was going through problems of his own. I’m not making excuses for him, but he also had his own path to walk. And so did I. So I forgave him for me. I didn’t want to carry any unnecessary baggage that didn’t belong in my life. I deserved better. I wanted better. And it was time for me to forgive and move on.
I’ve said all this to say, don’t allow anger to rule your life. There are a number of women who have gone through issues with their father and never recover from it. They allow it to negatively spill over into their relationships and into their lives. And they never seem to deal with it, thinking it will go away. Well, it won’t. You have to go through the problem in order to fix it. So if you find yourself needing closure from your dad, or a loved one, be honest about it. State your truth. Get it off your chest. And allow for your heart to heal. Remember, forgiveness is never for the other person, it’s always for you.
As for my dad and I, we went on to have an amazing relationship until the day he died. I know some stories don’t end that way. But I’m thankful mine did and that I finally have peace. And I hope my truth will guide you to have peace of your own.
This editorial is for you dad. I love you and thank you for finally healing our wounds.