Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Growing up "Daddy-less"

Growing up, I had a father who loved me, and I loved him. Eventually I came to learn that he wasn't my biological father. While it didn't seem to matter, the coming years after the man who raised me (whom I called "dad") passed away, and my life was changing in a dark direction. Growing up I felt different, it's like I knew in my gut there was more to the story of my different last name. Finding out the truth changed something inside me. I thought I didn't care that my biological father left for so many years until one day I just broke as a grown married woman expecting my first child. It took years of questioning myself, trying to find who I was, and what my worth was to get past it. There was more to my story of how I became depressed and had a really low self esteem at one point before which I don't care to divulge into right now. The bottom-line is that daughters need their fathers. They don't need them to just be in the home. They need them to be constantly working on a strong father-daughter relationship. I know many women with fathers but no real relationship of substance and they deal with just as much issues as I did.

Oprah's Life Class: Daddyless Daughters is a must see if you have children or grew up without a father. Here are the main points if you missed it:

3 Ways Women Become Daddyless Daughters
Expert Iyanla Vanzant says a father acts as a role model for his son. For a daughter, she says, a father teaches a girl how to be with herself as a woman and how to have nonsexual relationships with men. Watch as Iyanla explains the importance of a father in a girl's life and the three ways women become daddyless daughters.

Two Painful Ways a Father's Absence Can Affect a Woman's Life
Shanon didn't know her father until she was 15. Then as an adult, she stayed in a toxic relationship to prevent her three girls from growing up without a father like she did. Iyanla says Shanon is exhibiting one of the ways daddyless daughters manifest their pain. The second-most common way is promiscuity. Find out why expert Dr. Steve Perry says promiscuity is a form of self-mutilation.

The 7 "Uns" of Daddyless Daughters
Relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant says daddyless daughters have a "treasure chest of 'uns'"—feeling unwanted, unloved and so on. Find out why Iyanla says every daddyless daughter needs to unpack her "uns" and redefine the story she believes about her life.

I watched the entire episode on OWN including this documentary: "From Fatherless to Fatherhood"

I was moved by the impact, the confirmation of my own thoughts, beliefs or stories I told myself about my own situation. It was comforting to know my feelings were validated and that I am in fact past it, over with it, DONE. It didn't happen overnight but it was a journey I've been through for many many years, searching, seeking, hurting, etc. Now that I've had closure I'm at peace. It might be something I re-visit in the future should there be any new revelations but at this time, I'm content.

If you're fatherless or have children, or are thinking about having children, this is a must see. With our current divorce rates and number of single parent households in society today, I can't tell you the enormous impact this key relationship has in all our lives. There's so much I'd like to point out to single parents about this topic but honestly these clips have addressed them all. I urge you all to check it out. Huffington Post Article and Clips on Being Daddyless.

Hasta Mañana