I Lost My Smile!

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I lost my smile!

I’ve looked and looked and I don’t know where it could be. Could it be stolen like the rest of my stuff? Stolen right along with my compassion, trust, and peace of mind? How can someone just steal my smile? I didn’t authorize this!

But I guess it comes with the territory of being continuously betrayed and burdened with other people and their problems. Constantly dealing with someone else’s insecurities, denial, and faults. Those of whom carry self-pity accompanied with stale faces and empty souls. Cold as a Chicago winter, I let them enter my sunny summer days in Fuji with open arms not realizing that I let a thief walk pass and collect parts of me to replace what they lacked.

The reality of it all is that he took everything he needed to ensure his denial of his “accomplishments”. He used his most fluent language of deception to gain my trust time and time again. He knew no matter how much my mind would seem to know better my heart would tell me differently. And I would play along according to his plan.

He would tell me his ‘honest’ truth when and only when it was beneficial to him. He played me better than any game of spades or chess. He made sure I would be completely handicap when trying to find my place in the world. Aimlessly looking for loving relationships all while not trusting a soul with an encased heart surrounded by barb wire, followed by a shattered sense of compassion. Day in and day out I wreck my mind looking for the reason why. Trying to make sense of his purpose and actions.

But I guess that question will forever go unanswered. Because I am a fatherless daughter with only a sperm donor as a trace.

Author: Aja Symone

Instagram: IamAjaSymone

Blog: www.ajasymone.com

Twitter: IamAjaSymone

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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.

Read Our Last Post: The Best Pawpaw Ever

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The Best Pawpaw Ever

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In 2002 my life changed for the better in two major ways. I became a mom and that elicited the second major change that happened. My dad was back in my life. You see my dad was physically absent but indirectly present and I’ll explain further in a minute.

I was in the hospital holding my new baby when I got a knock at the door. It was my dad. Now that may not seem odd to most, but for us, it was a bit shocking. My dad and I had no real relationship. Even though my dad lived in the house behind my grandma’s house, you would imagine living in such close proximity we would have had some type of daddy-daughter moments. But not in our case and that was a huge issue. See, when my mom and dad divorced, he divorced me too. Our new relationship was based on whenever his girlfriend wanted me around (and that wasn’t often),  true emergencies, or us bumping into each other at the grocery store. But this time was different, here he was at the hospital to see me!

He walked in Daddy and left out the best Pawpaw ever. Now, the love between him and my children is priceless. He would no doubt do anything for them and through their bond, it has also brought he and I closer. My dad and I have come a long way. He went from being absent to being within reach, to being barely present to completely supportive. Last year he was even at my mom’s family reunion. My children talk to him regularly, he showers them with love, and is quick to hand out large bills to them just because and if I hold my hand out I might just get blessed too!

It only took 22 years for us to get here but I’m grateful for him. I’m divorced and I have 3 children now. I haven’t had the most successful relationships with men until recently and I know it was due to my “daddy” issues, but I’m proud to say I’m working through those and I’m happy.

It only took 22 years for us to get here but I’m grateful for him.

I appreciate my Daddy’s growth and besides, I don’t know what he went through growing up or as a younger man. Either way, I love him and I know that he loves me too. He probably loves my children even more because now he gets to do it right and that’s perfectly fine with me. My dad is the best Pawpaw ever and a pretty cool daddy now!

Meet the Author: Quinn CJ

Quinn CJ is a Registered Nurse and Intimacy Coach/Owner of Platio Experience in Dallas, TX. She also has a YouTube channel focusing on dating, women’s health, and sexuality for women over 30.

Stay in Touch with Quinn CJ: Youtube Instagram

Business inquires: info@quinncj.com

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Confession of a Hurt Daughter

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Growing up fatherless, you can be looked at in many negative ways. However, the aftermath had the most impact for me personally. See, being a fatherless girl is not easy and it comes along with the damage and baggage. You lose a part of you, in a sense.  The person who would help find your identity was not there raising you.

Even until this day, I have and am still healing. The effects of being a fatherless child is harsher than being teased as a kid or being a typical stereotype of a black teen. Moreover, the physiological distress is worse. My view points on men, love, self worth and marriage were manipulated at an early age. How? As child, I didn’t know what a marriage was. My father had an affair with my mom and I was a product of it. So automatically, marriage wasn’t something I dreamed about unlike most girls who came from a normal family setting.

My father not being around made me automatically think I was not good enough for him. He would rather raise children that weren’t his. Honestly, it was a slap in my face. What have I done wrong that my presence wasn’t good enough for him to stay? My father being out my life made me search in the wrong places for attention and affection. I didn’t understand what true love was, which is why I got mixed up into the wrong guys during my late years of high school all up until I met my husband.  Of course most people would say, shouldn’t you be worried about college? I didn’t have the support behind me and I was still unsure with myself on what I wanted to do.  So I took time off and during that time off I just focused on my social life; then, I realized how much toxic behavior I was dealing with when it came to dating.

My father not being around made me automatically think I was not good enough for him.

After being a fatherless child for so long, I started to change my views on life and teach myself to do better.

Once I stopped pitying myself, easing my hate with my father, and putting myself first, I realized how much I was hurting myself to fill a void of my father by dealing with toxic behaviors. Once I started treating myself better, something great came along. I got married, and ended up pregnant which was a blessing. I thought my life was getting even better, until I hit a low point in my life where I sought help during my pregnancy. I knew I had some underlying problems that I needed to speak on. I wanted to be a better version of myself for my family. I spoke to my OB and expressed my thoughts and he gave me a referral to a psychiatrist. At first I was on the fence about going. In the black community we tend not to seek help in fear of looking weak. But I knew that I couldn’t get better if I didn’t speak.

My physiatrist at the time helped me understand that my father’s mistakes were not mine to carry, but to learn from. She also stated that I owed it to myself to actually heal and not just shrug it off. She told me to look at myself in the mirror and realize everything I ever wanted to be was there. Ever since my visit with the physiatrist, I started seeing the woman I needed to be was in me once I stopped suppressing it with my pain.

My physiatrist at the time helped me understand that my father’s mistakes were not mine to carry, but to learn from.

Being fatherless child is more than missing the actual father. But the aftermath of it all. Though my father and I reconnected at my wedding, we knew that we had a long way to go. My father has his own demons that he battles with which affects our relationship. When he’s ready to grow,  I’ll be here. Until then, I have to keep going for myself and my family. Unfortunately, this is our reality of being a fatherless child.  If you felt like you were worthless or not good enough, just remember you’re more than enough.

Meet the Author:

My name is AAliyah Choi, I’m 23 years old and I reside in Virginia.  I am inspirational blogger.

Website: www.thatcystergirl.com

Facebook page: That Cyster Girl Blog

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Accepting the Apology Never Given

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Navigating life is hard when you have unfinished business with the people you interact with the most. It’s kind of weird when you think about it. Two lives intertwining in various ways, yet the implications can fuse toxic behaviors and interactions that have a long-lasting impact. Although, depending on the relationship and it’s importance in our lives, we ignore the toxic behaviors. As well as those moments that scare us simply because what we know that person to be, and the idea of what they should be, leave us feeling like we “need” them. Simply because they are “supposed” to be here.

The ideals we embrace as it pertains to relationships can be the very reason why we accept the horrible events yet never get over them. Once gaining enough courage and/or strength to walk away, we do so by “cutting” ties, yet not dealing with the mess that has fermented in our spirit. We say we are over it and forgive the person for the experiences had. Yet, most of the time that can only gain healing from the person recognizing their toxic behaviors and apologizing for their way of being.

But what happens when you never receive the apology you need?

What happens when that person refuses to take responsibility for their toxicity, actions, and even inactions? Where do we begin to heal? Where do we start? A lot of the time we go on believing that we should simply ignore them and the traumatic experiences forever. Although not realizing that it is one more bag added to our cart of things we need to sort through. Yet, we continue on and obliviously drag each bag in and out of every relationship, encounter, and even conversation with those we cross paths with.

We don’t realize in those moments of their refusal to apologize and our wanting of an apology, that just like the relationship we shared, they were too toxic to understand and or even be held accountable for their actions. They embodied incapability. Being incapable to communicate effectively, to take responsibility for their actions, or even to understand their own toxicity. Now they are simply incapable of acknowledging the hurt they caused. This is OKAY.

That is a journey they must take and figure out along the way. While we must understand 1) forgiveness isn’t for the other person, and 2) split paths can walk attached. We must forgive them for their actions understanding that they may not ever understand. Forgiveness isn’t the absence of memory or pain, it’s the acceptance of truth and the acknowledgment of experience. That is, healing occurs when we choose to live a life unhindered and of value to ourselves. Choosing oneself is always the best medicine and the greatest apology.

Author: Aja Symone

Instagram: IamAjaSymone

Blog: www.ajasymone.com

Twitter: IamAjaSymone

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Losing my Dad to Cancer

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My dad was the only person who cared about my well being. Although he wasn’t my biological father, he was the only father…let alone the only parent in my life. My mother was on drugs by the time I was 5, battling an addiction to cocaine and pills. She lost that battle about two months before I left for college when she passed away from an overdose. My dad, however, was there for everything. My kindergarten graduation, every Christmas, any award ceremony, any big accomplishment, he was there. He even took me on my first real vacation to see the beach. That meant so much to me.  

When I was 21, I had gotten engaged and pregnant. I was 8 months pregnant when my ex fiancé at the time left me. Not only was I scared, but I was an emotional mess. I packed up some trash bags and moved back in with my dad. At that point he was the only stable thing I had. After I had my son, we moved into our own apartment and my dad was mentally there for me. We spoke every single day, and he always checked on me and my son. At the time, I truly felt like he was the only person I had. I was okay with that. He’s my dad, my best friend.

A few years later…

One day, my dad called me and told me his doctor said he needed to go to the Emergency Room to get some tests ran. I got the call that night from my cousin that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. My heart sank and I couldn’t stop crying. I felt like my whole world had crashed. When he was transferred to another hospital that had a bigger oncology department, I decided to meet him there. It was there that he informed me that if he didn’t make it to my wedding in three months, he would have my uncle walk me down the aisle. I cried so hard. One of the biggest days of my life and he wouldn’t be there.

The day our nurse informed us he had 24 to 48 hours to live, my world was crushed. I knew this time was coming, I just wasn’t as prepared. I honestly don’t think you are ever prepared for something like this. On a Saturday morning he was transferred to a hospice center, my sister, my cousin and I stayed all weekend. He was declining and the nurse told us his transition to passing had began. I wasn’t sure whether to be happy he was about to be out of pain or cry for my own selfish reasons. That Monday when we left for a break, he passed.

Coping with losing my dad

To this day the pain hasn’t gone away. I sometimes find myself carrying many emotions…sad, anger, happy, clueless. He wasn’t there for my wedding day, and he won’t be there for when my next child is born. It breaks my heart, but the only thing that gets me through is knowing he’s watching every move I make. I’ve been to counseling for grief and I’m still going. If you don’t go, it is something I highly recommend. It has helped me sort through my issues and my grieving process.

Life to this day isn’t the same and it never will be. I’m 25 with no parents and I’m scared. The world is a scary place. I go to church now in hopes to make my relationship with God stronger so he can help me through this. When I’m upset I have to remind myself that my dad wouldn’t want me to feel this way, he would want everything to be normal. Please always remember that you are not alone. This is not easy, but always remember what your father would want for you and live your life in honor of him.

Author: Anonymous

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Losing my Father to Cancer

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My dad was the only person who cared about my well being. Although he wasn’t my biological father, he was the only father…let alone the only parent in my life. My mother was on drugs by the time I was 5, battling an addiction to cocaine and pills. She lost that battle about two months before I left for college when she passed away from an overdose. My dad, however, was there for everything. My kindergarten graduation, every Christmas, any award ceremony, any big accomplishment, he was there. He even took me on my first real vacation to see the beach. That meant so much to me.  

When I was 21, I had gotten engaged and pregnant. I was 8 months pregnant when my ex fiancé at the time left me. Not only was I scared, but I was an emotional mess. I packed up some trash bags and moved back in with my dad. At that point he was the only stable thing I had. After having my son, we moved into our own apartment and my dad was mentally there for me. We spoke every single day, and he always checked on my son and I. Four months into starting a new job, the company let me go because they couldn’t afford to keep me on. The only person I truly had to help me was my dad. At that point, I was already barely making ends meet and had received an eviction notice. My sons father refused to help, so my dad allowed me to pay my rent with his credit card. I cried because I was so appreciative. I truly felt like he was the only person I had. I was okay with that. He’s my dad, my best friend.

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A few years later, my dad called me and told me his doctor said he needed to go to the Emergency Room to get some tests ran. I got the call that night from my cousin who went to visit him that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. My heart sank and I couldn’t stop crying. I felt like my whole world had crashed. When he was transferred to another hospital that had a bigger oncology department, I decided to meet him there. He informed me that if he didn’t make it to my wedding in three months, he would have my uncle walk me down the aisle. I cried so hard. One of the biggest days of my life and he wouldn’t be there. Within two months his health drastically declined. All I could do was cry and pray that God would take his pain away.

The day our nurse informed us he had 24 to 48 hours to live, my world was crushed. I knew this time was coming, I just wasn’t as prepared. I honestly don’t think you ever are prepared for something like this. On a Saturday morning he was transferred to a hospice center, my sister, my cousin and I stayed all weekend. He was declining and the nurse told us his transition to passing had began. I wasn’t sure whether to be happy he was about to be out of pain or cry for my own selfish reasons. That Monday when we left for a break, he passed.

Coping with Fatherlessness

To this day the pain hasn’t gone away. I sometimes find myself carrying many emotions…sad, anger, happy, clueless. He wasn’t there for my wedding day, he won’t be there for when my next child is born. It breaks my heart, but the only thing that gets me through is knowing he’s watching every move I make. I’ve been to counseling for grief and I’m still going. If you don’t go, it is something I highly recommend. It has helped me sort through my issues and my grieving process. Life to this day isn’t the same and it never will be. I’m 25 with no parents and I’m scared. The world is a scary place. I go to church now in hopes to make my relationship with God stronger so he can help me through this. When I’m upset I have to remind myself that my dad wouldn’t want me to feel this way, he would want everything to be normal. Please always remember that you are not alone. This is not easy, but other women deal with the same thing. Remember what your father would want for you and live your life in honor of him.