by Sherrell Dorsey of OrganicBeautyVixen.com
Sunday afternoon, as I sat in a local cafe getting some work done, I came across writer Demetria L. Lucas’ article on Essence.com titled”Real Talk: Stop Putting Your Daddy Issues on Hold”. Lucas speaks about the 82% of Black children that will never live in the same house with their fathers. WTH?
Lucas references the trail of “Dear Daddy,” a feature-length documentary about the lifelong effects of fatherlessness on women, and the importance of a father’s role. Filmmaker Janks Morton followed eight young women from Washington, D.C. as they struggled to overcome the absence of their fathers.
Unfortunately, I’m part of that statistic of fatherless children. Although I am proud and blessed to be an adopted child, if my father would have been responsible, I would have grown up with my “family”, but he never came for me.
I wanted to share my pain with not having a father in my life because this article I read hit me hard. The older I get and more comfortable in my own skin, I have realized that there are still certain things that I must heal from in order to move forward. Getting over my daddy issues is one of them. But let me ask you: Do you ever really get over your daddy issues?
I have a great mother, uncles, cousins and brothers but it does not equate to having an actual, physical father. There is no stage in life that you can “get over” not having a father.
I’m reminded of it when I look back on my past relationships, when my best friend can call and talk to her dad about car repairs and dreadfully when I do find that perfect man and have to walk down the aisle solo. It’s a constant pain that thumps faintly and then spikes when the situation arises. If I could take a pain killer I would but nothing changes the heartache of a fatherless child.
To get through some of this heartache I’ve decided to write my own letter to my “Daddy” to say everything I’ve always wanted to say. Though I won’t ever be able to say this to his face, it feels nice to bring it out and to the open.
So here it goes, my moment of release, therapy, and final eviction of all of the pain, emotion and years of resentment I carried for my father.
I haven’t decided if I am going to send this letter to him yet. Maybe after this heart wrenching phase, I’ll get the strength to. We’ll see….
Even using that word brings up images of pain, lonely nights and years of questioning why I wasn’t enough for you. While I am working to forgive you and my mother for being human, the question remains: How on earth could you abandon me?
I needed you to help balance out my female-dominated life, be there to give me the talk about boys so that I wouldn’t have to suffer through my current state of bad relationships and empty voids. I taught myself how to ride my bike, had a first boyfriend my mother had to interogate and when I became a debutante I needed you to be there to dance with me down the isles instead of my grandfather. You were supposed to be the first man to tell me that I’m beautiful and help me to know myself before anyone had the opportunity to label me. I was supposed to be your “little girl”.
I needed you and you didn’t care. How does one sleep at night not knowing if their own flesh and blood is breathing, eating, safe and secure? I’m not sure if your lack of presence was a blessing or a curse. My pain runs deep just like it does for my other brothers and sisters you’ve managed to abandon as well. You brought disfunction into my life. My siblings are strangers. You were the first man to break my heart and I’m struggling to not hate you.
A man that puts himself last does not abandon his family. What would you have lost by being in my life? I wasn’t a troubled child. I ate my veggies, became class president and even put myself through college. Your minimal contribution is an insult to who you could have been to me.
I’m sorry that you missed out on something and someone so great. But I guarantee that I won’t let your actions break me. I pray for my husband to be the father to my children I never had. That my daughters know the comfort of their father’s arms, his voice, his love, his care.
One day I’ll walk down the isle without you again by my side. But then again I’m used to it. Thank you for the pain because without it I wouldn’t know healing, I wouldn’t know love, I wouldn’t know God.
Do you have a letter that you need to write to your father? This was one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever written. Please share with me your thoughts, letters or simply your story.
Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating OrganicBeautyVixen.com, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks's beauty and fashion site TypeF.com, Jones Magazine, MySalonScoop.com and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at www.twitter.com/organicvixen and connect with her on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/