As a child, I considered myself a daddy's girl. I would go get two cups, one for me, and one for him. We would share a drink together and eat our favorite snacks. My mom always watched with a smile, but I'm sure she wondered why she wasn't invited to the party. It wasn't that I didn't love her. I loved my parents equally. However, there was something special about my bond with daddy. I felt protected, like he was a super hero portrayed in the shows I watched on Saturday mornings.
Naturally, I was hurt after the dissolution of our family. He returned to his home country, and we remained in ours. I yearned for the stability I once had with mommy and daddy, where decisions were made together. There was a permanent crack in our foundation, forever reminding me of what use to be. I was now in a single-parent home, with a single income. A young black girl growing up in a stereotypical upbringing with no daddy at home.
Fast forward years later, a break through happened and communication got better. Modern technology made it possible to see my father often. No matter his location, we spoke everyday, or at least a few times out the week. We shared the dailies of our lives through mediated conversations over the web. Our family dynamic was unique, in ways of its unconventionality. I didn't physically see my father until 2011, when I studied abroad during undergrad. We spent 6 months creating memories, rebuilding our bond. Our next physical meeting was not until the spring of this year. He got to meet my daughter and fulfill his duty as a grandfather for two months. A few weeks ago, he came "home" and paid a visit to his adopted country more than a decade later. Our family was finally back together again; at least temporarily.
So why talk about it now? Why speak on something so private that was once so painful? It's my duty. I am here to shed light. The moral of the story, unfortunately, is that my story parallels with many people whose family were broken up. I purposely leave details out because through forgiveness they become minimal. In order to rewrite the story, everyone must be involved in the healing process. The quickest way to get over any issues with your father (and mother) is to accept they are human, imperfect and flawed. Sometimes people just don't know any better, and can't see the error of their ways. That doesn't mean they weren't wrong; their actions were done out of selfishness and immaturity. However, in order to grow, one must seek a higher consciousness where we meet each other where we are and stop reliving the past. No good can come from that. As the child, I was hurt and angry. As a woman, I sought out peace and wanted nothing more than to rewrite my narrative. The key is to be self-aware. We are all humans having a human experience. Don't let your parent’s mistakes become justifiable reasons for your actions.
To men: Treat women like queens, and never miss an opportunity to give up your seat and open a door. If you are a father, be the dad you wish you had. Teach your children more than a revolving door. Protect the sanctity of your family.
To women: Don't let your daddy issues become another mans problem. Your body is a temple and should be respected. When I felt like I was too accepting of bullshit in previous relationships to keep them around, I faced the problems head on. I got the help needed, and became stronger in self. If you are a mother, becoming a mother, or have hopes of having children, pick a loving partner who is ready for the responsibilities of parenthood. Please remember, that making a baby doesn't always make them stay. Be strong.
To my father: I love you. Thank you for helping me create a new story, one of change.