Thanks For The Daddy Issues
They say a girl's relationship with men is a direct correlation to her relationship-- or lack thereof -- with her father and this Father's Day I'm doing some soul searching and (SURPRISE!) this statement is partly true. I have a a weird relationship with my dad and after spending weeks thinking about today and whether or not I should call him I've found so many similarities to my relationship with my dad that has bled into a lot of my personal relationships and this Father's Day instead of calling my dad I wrote this blog post with hopes that someone else can understand the feelings I'm having.
I was the greatest gift my father ever got, he's told me this all my life. Even when all he wanted was a son, after I was born that became a non issue. We did everything together, where he went, there I was. My father was a flawed man, he gambled, he cheated on my mom, he went off and did his own thing with his own life and after that it was never the same. When life became too hard he moved back to our home country of Jamaica and I'd get a sporadic call here and there on my birthday or randomly but as I grew into my teenage years and early adulthood it was harder to talk to him, harder to feel like I had a dad.
When people in countries of struggle like Jamaica have family in a country as wealthy as America they expect certain things. They expect gifts and money and you cant 100% fault them because it's hard there; the cost of living is worse, the job opportunities are very limited, crime is high, but at 19 when I'm working two jobs and going to college the last thing I wanted was my father to call me once a month to ask for money.
It made me sad: a child is supposed to rely on their parent, I was sad because none of my friends had to go through that, most of my friends had two parent households, college funds, or even financial aid to help. I wanted a simpler life and the complications of my dad being this person who would constantly rise me up, praise me and yet be this source of anxiety had me recoiling. And so I started taking his calls less and less, I started sending him to voicemail when he would call until soon enough he stopped calling.
My mother thinks I have this anger towards him that I need to let go but that's not it. When I think of my dad I think of all the great memories and the praises and adoration he sent my way my whole life and I cry because then I start to think of all the ways he's disappointed me and I know I'm not angry, just very sad and tired.
I think of all the relationships with men I'd had who treat me wonderfully, until they don't. I learn that disappointment and fickleness is just something I will always have in my life. I think about all the times a boyfriend has broken plans or literally forgotten plans and I let it roll off my back because that is what you do when someone you love messes up, right? Well, not anymore. This Father's Day and everyday after I will be nurturing and building myself up. Life is too short to be disappointed all the time.
To all the guys and girls out there with daddy issues, Happy Father's Day.