If you’ve followed this blog for a minute or just know me personally, you probably don't know that I have issues with my father. He was a military man that divorced my mom early when I was about 5, and ended up living in New York while my mom lived in Dallas. I ended up being raised in New York by my aunt (dad's twin sister) who lived down the street from my dad; I would visit my mom and two younger sisters most summers. Growing up, I never really saw my dad enough, even though he lived just a few blocks away from me.
I am now in my 30's and I live in alone in Houston. I am a single father. Like many other fatherless children I bury pain and many unaddressed emotions. I tuck them in the recesses of my psyche and let them fester in a mental folder. Needless to say that’s unhealthy. If these issues are not dealt with it’s virtually impossible to have a healthy relationship—romantic, plutonic or familial. Parents are our blueprints. We either spend our whole life trying to be just like them or the complete opposite. Whichever side of the coin you land on, the person you become usually relates somehow or other back to mommy and daddy.
Taking a moment to reflect, sometimes I feel less than a man. Sometimes I just feel ugly. I wrote a poem called Ugly Ducking that shared how I thought people viewed me as a child growing up. Today, I bury my emotions in work, which allows me to build my emotional walls by limiting my contact with others so that I can stay immersed in my own prism. But when I don't work, I tend to think about how I see this world and build value in it as a man, a father, and a fatherless child. Do I de-value myself? Do I recognize my worth? What would I see if I had that father figure in my life? How would my world be different?
A few days ago, I wrote about 10 Signs of a Good Woman as an ode to my maturity as a man. This list contained values related to my feelings of shared faith and love in a relationship with a woman. This had nothing to do with the proverbial things like height, curves, or baby making skills as factors to her being defined as a good woman. These feelings replace an uncomfortable rage that has negatively impacted relationships with my mom, my child's mother, and my past girlfriends. All the things I want to man up and say would never find their way out of my lungs and through the computer right now, but let me say that I am still on a long journey to heal the scars of my past. But I no longer sit alone in thought - I am actively doing my part to strengthen my role in my relationships.
There’s no quick fix to daddy issues and sometimes a father can actually be in their child’s life and still cause emotional damage. Trust me, I’ve met plenty of women (and men) that fell into that category. I believe that subconsciously women tend to look for men like their father and men look for women that remind them of their mother. Whether you agree with that statement or not, the fact remains that this cycle won’t end any time soon if we continue to be a culture that spawns more “baby daddies” and “baby mamas” than fathers and mothers.
Who else suffers from daddy issues? How do you deal with them? Have you ever confronted your father? Do you feel that our interaction with our parents can have lifelong effects on our romantic relationships? If you come from a happy home, have you ever dated someone that had daddy issues? How did those issues effect your relationship? Do you believe that it’s impossible to have a healthy romantic relationship if you haven’t dealt with unresolved issues with your parents? Do men and women subconsciously date people like their parents?
Speak your piece…
BONUS: THE INSPIRATION
I was actually inspired to write this post after watching the below episode of The Game, which I recently realized was a pretty good show. In this episode Malik finally meets his estranged father, punk ass Chauncey. I really related to the experience and sense of emptiness watching the story unfold so I figured I’d share it with all the fatherless children out there. If you’re at work, you probably can’t watch it now, but be sure to check it out over the weekend or when you get home. FYI: Part 3 is the crux of my message and that’s only a two minute clip