My First Heartbreak

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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.

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6 thoughts on “My First Heartbreak”

  1. Thanks for Writing This. You perfectly articulated what many of us from broken homes deal with emotionally as kids and how it affects our adulthood. Like you concluded, Jesus was/is my saving grace, and he has worked on me (Still work in progress) to forgive, while mending many of my broken pieces.

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  2. Thank you for writing this Awele. I felt like you were telling my story because I too grew up with a father that was not there consistently. It’s just now as an adult I am trying to build a relationship with my father. Although him not being there inspired a lot of my creativity and independence in me, it had great negative effects as mentioned in your blog. Thank you for being open and honest. Thank you for stepping up and creating this platform for young women like myself. I have enjoyed reading these blogs and will continue to read them.

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  3. Christy!!! My son’s adult girlfriend, I am very proud of you. Dealing with your “inner demons” to shed light on these issues requires a heightened level of maturity and vulnerability. You’ve conveyed some of experiences in this short synopsis… and did so with immense tact. Good job my dear💋

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  4. What a well written piece! So much transparency! Glad you have forgiven and understand that being fatherless is just a speck in the grand picture that God has designed in your my life:-) This definitely doesn’t define anybody. I also hope that absent fathers understand this impact of abandonment and can begin to improve in this area.

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