The day that my father left still remains as a snapshot in my mind. I was a little girl, about 5 years old, unprepared for the moment in which I would endure my first heartbreak from a man. Within what felt like a matter of minutes, my dad had come home, packed all of his things, and drove away leaving my mother and I on the steps of our front porch crying. As I comforted my mother, I did not realize that that moment would have the eventual impact that it did on my womanhood and sense of self worth. Subconsciously, I vowed to never let another man break my heart like my dad did that day.
This is not to say that my father was never in my life. I vividly remember my father taking my siblings and I on Saturday trips to the park, to eat at McDonalds, and to watch airplanes take off at the nearby airport. I love my dad, and will never forget the moments that I shared with him. The problem is that after he left, he was no longer consistently there like I needed him to be. I went through lengthy periods of time where I did not see him. During these periods, there were missed father daughter dances, graduations, birthdays, etc. As much as told myself that I did not need him there, it mattered to me that I did not have those moments to share with him.
Looking back, I can see how not having my dad in my life consistently impacted me:
#1: I Developed a Mistrust for Men
Because I do not want to experience another man walking out on me, I have a hard time trusting men with my heart. It is way easier for me to hold onto my heart, than to allow someone else to take it only for it to get broken again. Because of this fear, I have had a hard time with developing healthy romantic relationships with men. In the past, whenever a man has tried to pursue me, I immediately put a wall up with a bridge, surrounded by a moat.
#2: I Struggled with Self Esteem
When my father left, I had a difficult time recognizing my self worth. For the period of time that I did have my dad in my life, I remember always trying to impress him. I wanted to be good enough for him. I wanted him to see me as a smart, as beautiful, as valued. As a result, I tried to impress him with my grades, with my accomplishments, etc. But, in the end, I never felt good enough and when he officially left, that took any of the self confidence that I had left.
The Turning Point
Through it all, I have come to realize that being fatherless is just a speck in the grand picture that God has designed for my life. It does not define me, nor do I simply have to accept that I will become a statistic of fatherlessness. Today, I understand that Christ is my father. In Christ, I am loved, I am valued, and am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Although I still struggle with the effects of being fatherless, I have learned to forgive my father for his mistakes and realize that through Christ, that which I have lost can be restored.
Meet the Author:
My name is Awele, and I am the founder of Daughter Restored. I am a speech pathologist, event decorator, and (now) blogger. I am also a member and community outreach coordinator of Revcon Movement. I started this platform as a means to help fatherless daughter cope with the impact of being fatherless, and I hope that sharing my story will help someone.
Read Our Last Post: The Best Pawpaw Ever
Join the Daughter Restored Tribe! Subscribe below to be one of the the first to receive notification when brand new articles are published.