The overwhelming moments…fathers

I grew up without a father, and it completely matters. It shaped my view of parenthood, of child-bearing and rearing, of men, and of relationships. And look, single mothers are superheroes, but they cannot take on the role of both parents, not successfully.

The overwhelming moments

A defense mechanism I learnt when I was young is pretending everyone does not have a father. It works out 90% of the time. Even when friends talk about their fathers, something in my brain warps the message so I believe they’re talking about their mothers. This helps normalize my upbringing.

When I see actual fathers fathering, however, those rose-coloured glasses shatter and I remember that I missed an integral aspect of life, and my tears take centre stage. 28 years old, 28 years old and I cry tears of envy when I see a man do the least for his child. I weep when someone speaks of love in action by their father, how their father drove them here or there, did this or that for them, or was simply there to shower them with love and reassurance.

Photo by Biova Nakou on

And one thing I think about – more often than is healthy – is how, I believe, I have always accepted crumbs from romantic partners because I had no father to condition me to believe I am worth more, deserving of more, and should demand more. I have had to learn it myself and, even now, I find myself accepting the bare minimum.

Those who had the love of their fathers growing up will never understand this position, just as I will never be able to comprehend, try as I can, feeling loved loudly, unconditionally, deeply and unapologetically by one’s father. I know it’s personal but, seeing women and girls being daddy’s little girls, seeing men being girl-dads, those things break parts of me I cannot name. These are overwhelming moments.

Published by blaqandgoldblog

Life seen through a black girl's lens

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