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Why A Daughter Needs Her Father //

posted by motherhoodrising@gmail.com February 24, 2015 2 Comments

I’ll be 28 on Friday.

My phone will ring three times most likely.

One call from my mom, one call from my husband, and one from my mother in law.

I will glance at my phone throughout the day- hoping to see his phone number flash onto the screen.

No name since 2012- when I erased any evidence of him out of my life. “This time for good” I exclaimed as I tapped delete on my screen. This isn’t the only time I have promised myself to stop trying, to just stop hoping. Each time I end up putting all of my pain and anger into a tiny box and I bury it for awhile. Each time it comes back to the surface and I can’t push it down any longer, so I walk away.

Since I was a little girl I have searched for him.

This dream…

I would imagine him taking me to school in the morning only to leave me for a few hours before returning to go with my class on our field trip. I remember seeing the other girls in my class light up when their father would talk on career day or when they got to go to the daddy daughter dance. In my daydream, mine would be the best dressed and would twirl me around his finger as my dress sparkled under the spotlight. We would go for ice cream after my soccer game and then go home and have dinner at the table as a family. My dad was everything in my dreams- he was better than all of the fathers on my favorite tv shows and he was mine.

All of it was just a dream.

My reality was my mom working two jobs to provide for my sister and I. My father would pick me up (maybe) twice a year to get me new shoes. I would always get the most expensive shoes on purpose… Just to get back at him for how hard my mom was struggling. I always picked shell toe Adidas, I still remember the color I got each time.

I would wait by the door and watch for his van. He always had one of those big vans with the curtains in the windows. I remember the smell like it was yesterday, Cigarettes and beer. He always had an open can of beer in the cup holder and a cigarette in his hand. My brothers were usually with him. While I was always happy to see them, deep down I wanted to be with him by myself, so I could talk to him about me- about my life. Thinking that maybe if he would get to know me, he would love me too.

Our visits were always short and to the point. Never personal. He would drop me off at my house and give me a hug before driving off until who knows when.

Birthdays would come and go. Holidays passed, most not including him.

I would wait by the phone and it wouldn’t ring.

I remember calling him a few days after my 11th birthday and asking him why I haven’t heard from him for the last few months. He was shocked at my question and quickly responded. He said “my number has never changed- it’s always been the same. Why can’t you call me?”. In that moment – the way I looked at him… changed.

Each time he made me feel broken and unwanted, my mom was there to pick up the pieces. She always let me learn on my own- never talking negatively about him and always allowing me to call him whenever I wanted. She gave me the freedom to choose how I felt and she listened when I needed to let it out.

I am a mother now and I can finally see and feel the impact my father had on my life and how it altered who I have become as a woman. I look at photos of myself and I see his smile in mine. I see pieces of him in me and I hate it. I find myself fighting laughter out of fear I’ll catch a glimpse of him in the mirror or in a photograph.

I needed him so much when I was growing up and somewhere deep inside, I still do.

I wonder if he thinks about me or the grandchildren he will never know.

I wonder if a piece of him is missing with my absence and nothing can fill it.

I wonder if he knows that I’m growing and each day I am better without any help from him.

I wonder if he knows I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol or a cigarette since I was twenty and it’s all because I was afraid I would be like him.

My father’s absence affected me

I find it hard to trust anyone.
I am weary of men- especially men that resemble my father.
I push people away as soon as they get close and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s to see if they’ll stay for good.
It is hard for me to see the beauty inside myself and harder to see past my flaws.

I am growing though. I am beginning to see just how incredible I really am- how strong I am.

I know now that I will never be like him because I am me.

I may have a smile like his, but it’s not his.

I may walk like him, but my walk is mine.

I will be 28 on Friday and while I may look at my phone and hope…

I will never need.

{You see, if you have a father that isn’t a part of your life…

Deep down you will always want, but
you can get past the need.

You will always want your daddy in some way, but you can and you are – doing it without him.

You may see the scars that he has left behind, but look at them as a reminder of how far you’ve come. }

“My two parents represent the single greatest influence on my life. And if my dad had been there for me, it would be the double greatest influence on my life.”
– Jarod Kintz

I have learned to focus on who is there for me. To embrace the positive and really appreciate what is right in front of you. Continuing to focus on the person that wasn’t is only taking your eyes off of what is unfolding right in front of you.

Life.

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