Wishing for a dad…

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I remember visiting you on occasions, memories…but not always fun. You were there but at the same time distant. But I took what I got, because they were only visits.

You and mom didn’t always get along, but she let me come visit. Number one rule, just don’t bring me around your new chick.

You did though, I had your back so…if I told her the truth, well what would that do… Ruin the time and I wouldn’t be able to see you.

Torn but then again not really, too young to process, but I’m sure if mom found out she would have lost it.

Grade 3 I moved to a whole other state, life was good, I mean life was great.

It was fine, until about nine. One day listening to Brittany Spears broke down crying.

Wishing for my dad, certain days I feel sad. Something feels missing, but I can’t understand.

Grew up with that feeling until I graduated, way too old to feel like this and I hate it. Never single, always taken. Now I realized I looked for something in other places.

I mean I was always dating… I wasn’t boy crazy just trying to fill a void where the hole is.

That space can never be replaced… But it can be filled and my son takes the cake.
I’m around him, and no matter what I would never leave him. I wouldn’t make excuses of why I couldn’t see him.

What I did learn is that I would never want to be you, we may never repair the relationship but an apology is long overdue.

Wishing for a dad
You had a chance and you blew it, you probably wouldn’t even care if I told you and you knew it.

Now I’m stuck here, not even sure what to do, but eventually I’ll speak on the rest in a part 2.


-Teshelle

ABOUT ME: 

I’ve always been writing for as long as I can remember. I never wrote what I felt in a diary, but in a poem. I’m way better at expressing myself writing it down. Sometimes in real life I just feel misunderstood, so most of my frustrations or sadness I turn into words from my soul!

Instagram: @shellzjalisa Twitter: @shellzjalisa
YouTube: shellzjalisa (I vlog.)

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The Last Time I spoke With My Father…

Speaking wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t too hard — we were working out a new muscle group that we never knew we had. In those minutes I felt like I knew him and what he was thinking and what he would say before he said it.

My mom says that she and my dad were in a relationship for two years before I happened. He moved to the United States before I was born; I was raised by my mother and her support system. I met him a few times after we also moved to the United States, but then our communication was abruptly cut off. I never questioned it. It was all I knew.


I now know that weddings bring out the worst in people. I believed that mine would be so different because I “don’t do drama.”  Ha!

__________________________

“Are you inviting your dad?” my maid of honor asked me during one of our bi-weekly phone conversations. We had just gone over the fact that I was inviting potential guests to a Facebook group and that I wanted to keep the group small. 

I paused for a beat; I honestly hadn’t thought much about him until then. 

She continued to tell me that if her dad hadn’t passed away while we were younger, he would surely be invited to her upcoming wedding. What she wouldn’t have given to invite her dad to the wedding even though she never got to know him very well. I knew she was right.

“Ok…” I said. “I’ll send him an invite to the group page – it’ll take two seconds. I’m sure he will decline.” 

I knew of him as he knew of me: from thousands of miles away but through the limited lens of social media. Facebook alerted me that I had a younger sister who looks just like me and who is also a nerd. I also learned that If you squint or turn your head quick enough, his wife looks like my mom. 

He would reach out to me periodically in subtle ways by sending me videos on Facebook messenger or leaving likes or random comments on the occasional post, but we hadn’t seen each other in person or spoken at length in more than a decade. 

Within an hour of this he accepted the invite and then my mom sent me a message. 

“Did you invite that man…” the message started, and it went downhill from there. Fast. She messaged him too, telling him to act like he didn’t know me. And then it all came out.

I called my dad for the first time since I graduated from college. His voice was oddly familiar. We talked about the weather and exchanged pleasantries until we ran out of words to fill the silence. In those minutes I felt like I knew him and what he was thinking and what he would say before he said it. Speaking wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t too hard —  we were working out a new muscle group that we never knew we had.

Eventually, I worked to the courage to ask: “Did you really do that to her?” 

“What did she tell you”

“Well… you denied ever really knowing her and having a child with her in court.”

He chuckled nervously but didn’t say a word. 

“You said she was crazy and that she was trying to ruin your family.” I continued. “I don’t understand why and how you could do that.”

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I was preparing to go to college and my mother wanted my father to pitch in. They had already had a falling out about child support when I was seven and then when I was seventeen, I had private liberal arts dreams with parents who had public community college budgets. I did well enough to win scholarships and grants, but my mother couldn’t cover the remaining balance on her own so she took him to court. 

His lawyer told him that intimidating my mother and casting doubt on her character would cause her to drop the case. While under oath and the things he said made others in the courtroom blush.

And it worked.

I imagined what it was like for her to stand in front of the lawyer and the court while they laughed at her. How she looked — going after a man after all this time when he had his new wife that was with child. 

She went in to and left that courtroom alone. She never contested his statement. No DNA test, no verification of birth records, and no follow-up. The case was thrown out. 

She never told me or anyone else this though. She told me to aim high and to follow my heart, so I did. 

“When I got the invitation, I knew that she never told you. She should have gotten a lawyer, I only did what mine told me to do.” He replied. “My wife and children know I have an older daughter, they know about you.” 

That just made it worse for me. I couldn’t get over the lying. I know he was telling the truth from his perspective, but it was too unsettling. How didn’t I know after all this time?

I was shocked. That my mother kept the reason for her hatred of my father from me for all those years. That he was willing to lie to save his money from her in order to prepare for a new child. That he was stuck between a rock and a hard place — what it must have meant for him to deny one child to defend another. That my mother would rather save her dignity than to fight to be right. 

We spoke for a few minutes more and then said goodnight.

I chose to move the wedding forward without him and his wife. I didn’t want to disturb the peace so I went back to life as usual.

And that was it.

The story about the last time I spoke to my father.

About the Author:
Nicollette is a young professional who works in STEM Higher Education and who grew up without much contact with her biological father. She is new to this writing thing and is looking for more groups of women to write with! Feel free to leave a comment on this post or stop by her blog to see more of her writing.

Authors note:  Many thanks to Awele for creating a space for much needed community surrounding the topic of fatherlessness.

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Interview With a Fatherless Daughter

Hello Daughters! About a year ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing an anonymous daughter to learn more about her perspective on being a fatherless daughter and how it impacted her life. I am so excited to finally share this interview with you all, because she also talks about her journey to restoration and forgiveness. Check out the interview, and feel free to comment below 🙂

What was your relationship with your father like growing up?

My mom and my dad divorced when I was 8. So, from the ages of 8 – 12, I spent my summers with my dad. After that, the next time I saw my dad was my high school graduation. Prior to him coming to my graduation, we would talk on the phone and he would send me birthday and Christmas cards in the years between. But, it wasn’t a close relationship. During that time, he did not provide any emotional support, and although he says that he provided child support, my mother tells another story.

What did the lack of support from your father look like and how did it make you feel?

There was one time that I called my father, and I asked him for some money to help pay for my high school tuition. He told me that he had just bought a new Cadillac, so he didn’t have any money to help me. I knew that he was supporting and taking care of his wife’s children, while my brother and I were with my mom who was a single parent, working hard and struggling every day. When you’re young, you don’t know the whole story, so you formulate your feelings based on the information that you have. So, I had a lot of hard feelings towards my dad. Because of this, after I graduated high school, I didn’t have too much to do with my dad. I would talk to him every once in a while but it was not like I missed him because he hadn’t been involved in my life while I was growing up.

How did you feel about your father at the time?

He was not one of my favorite people. I felt like he had turned his back on me, my brother and my mom. I don’t want to say that I didn’t love him, but I don’t think that I could have said that I liked him at that time. I didn’t pursue a relationship with him, and the fact that our relationship was distant was fine with me. I had grown accustomed to it.

How did not having your dad impact you emotionally and in your relationships with other people?

I was fortunate when I was growing up. I did have some male figures in my life. I was very involved with the catholic church, so the priests were my father figures and they would share a lot of knowledge with me about what a young lady should/shouldn’t do. But because I had such a great mother, I was fine. Of course, every daughter would want to have a close relationship with her father and every daughter misses her father. But when you have a mother who takes the place of both and fills your heart with love, you don’t miss it. But, having an absent father makes you more determined to not connect with another man who you think would wind up being like that. So it kind of puts you on your guard. 

How did not having your father affect your view of men?

It didn’t have any negative impact on me in the sense that I wasn’t scared of men or I wasn’t going to date men. I always knew that one day I wanted a husband and I wanted children. But I knew that it was easier for a man with children to find a woman to help take care of those kids, than for a woman to find a man to help take care of the kids. So my mindset was that if I ever got married and divorced with young children, I was going to be the good time parent. I was determined, because most women take on the role of the mother, the father, and the caretaker and that’s why they’re so stressed. I looked at my mother and saw the emotional toll it took on her to raise two kids by herself. So, I vowed to never be that woman.

What is your relationship with your dad now?

Through the years you have limited facts. As time goes on, having animosity in your heart for your parent is draining and it’s not healthy. And the thing about it is that when you carry that type of dead weight, you’re the one who suffers for it. My dad was going on, living his life with his wife and my step brothers and sisters, and I don’t know that he ever knew the impact that he had. So, finally, I prayed to the Lord to help me with that to overcome that animosity. I wanted to have a pure heart toward my dad. I didn’t want to be fake, but I didn’t want to be carrying around a grudge or any hard feelings. And it took years. When I finally started realizing that was after the birth of my second child which was about 26 or 27

How did mend your relationship with your father?

My dad would always call and send cards. Over time, I extended myself more and more. For example, I would talk longer on the phone and on the holidays I would send him things. Gradually, it was just a process where next thing you know, there is no hard feelings. It’s your dad. Its not the dad that you would have picked, but it’s your dad and you just make the best of it. This is something that took years and it took healing, and now I’m here and I’m healed.

What would you say to a woman who is still struggling to forgive her absent father?

I would definitely pursue it even if the relationship doesn’t mend. You can get rid of your hard feelings because you’ve extended yourself, you’ve expressed how you felt, and I feel like that will free you. Ultimately I believe only God can heal us of every pain. It’s not to say that you don’t have times when the hurt still hurts, but it wont incapacitate you. It wont turn to hate. I feel sorry for people who are hurting like that, it’s a heavy hurt and it’s deep, so I don’t want anyone to carry that. I would strongly recommend that even if they don’t talk to their dad, write it out and pour it out. This is because carrying it is going to hurt you, psychologically, physically and emotionally if you continue to carry that bitterness.

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