Sunday, June 19, 2011

He is not my Father (We of the fatherless tribe love differently)

I think I have a general tendency to be really open on masonjars, but I’ve been with my family today and it just makes me more open. I really really love them and they’re just the sort of people you can be yourself around, and they’re the reason why I’m comfortable enough to tell everyone this…and the reason I’m so open and honest…

So tomorrow is Father’s day, and today my mother had her 50th Birthday celebration…as my cousins and I were looking over her pictures, they remarked on how much we looked alike…I told them, no, we don’t. I am (literally) my father’s twin. So then we got into a discussion about how I felt about him, our relationship, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about it openly with anyone before and so here it is…I feel nothing.

I feel like most of the women I know that didn’t have fathers have some sort of complex about them. They are either lost, don’t know much about me, try and seek fathers in relationships, don’t know how to communicate with men, or have some sort of other father-related issues… a poet once said, “ we of the fatherless tribe love differently” and I believe that is true most of the time. There is something to be said for having someone who loves you unconditionally, teaches you how to talk to, love, communicate, and have healthy relationships with the opposite sex. It’s a thing missing, and just as bad, or even worse, is the in and out father, for they prime women to think of men as not dependable, inconsistent, and worst of all that they cannot be trusted to be there, every time we need them.

My father was never in my life. I’ve heard story after story about how crazy he was, how he beat my mother in front of my toddler brother, and how the Vietnam War changed him forever. He never communicated with me until my mother sought him out when I was a teenager to get him to support the children he seared. She found out that he was in jail… He wrote me telling me a million times how much he loved us, and sent me some bonds. I remember at the time how I felt about it…speechless. I wasn’t trying to jump into his arms and be a daddy’s girl, nor did his long letters and words of adoration move me. He was not my father.

I also had a stepfather, who wounded me beyond words, and after years of counseling and some very tough years as a child (my cousin reminded me today) I was able to get to a place, where I trusted a man to hug me, without other intentions, but still I don’t have daddy issues, because he also was not my father.

My cousin asked me why I had no inclinations to meet my father…it’s because my grandfather took care of me when I was sick, braided my hair for school, picked me up, dropped me off, and has never been anything but trusting, honest, and respected my innocence. God has shown me he is the perfect father, by giving me such a great human one. The way that he treats my grandmother, aunts, cousin, and my mom, as well as the men in my family has been the best example of what a man should be. He has provided for all of us not just physically, but emotionally, and spiritually. He’s HILARIOUS, honest to a fault and truly the reason why I am who I am today. A person who is not scared to love, knows her self worth, and is open to the love of someone who is willing to be the man God has called him to be.

He is my father.

I told my cousin I will never meet my father. I had the perfect one, why meet him and ruin my image of what a father should be?

So… to all the men who are great fathers, to any child that needs a beacon of hope and trust, I thank you. You’re amazing.

Steph

SIDENOTE: My uncle is taking me fishing next week! Super super excited!

2 comments:

  1. My mother was a married single parent. She didn't divorce her abusive, alcoholic husband until they had been married for many years. I was a grown woman trying to learn to love and expect more from a man than discipline. But oh did I have a grandfather! He was the best, just like yours. He died when I was in the 7th grade and I have often wondered if he had lived longer would my sisters and I traveled the paths we did back then. Because of Grandpa I never gave up on love and I know that you won't either. My mother is a strong black woman; when my father was diagnosed with cancer she took him back in and nursed him until he died. She even talked about remarrying him. Wow! I run at the 1st sign of trouble and she contemplated remarrying someone who abused her mentally & physically! Never the less, I did love my dad because when he wasn't drinking he was a fantastic; artistic, articulate, multi-faceted father. He just didn't know the meaning of consistency. His self-esteem was low so he made himself feel bigger by making my Mom feel small. I learned a lot from him, most of it not good. (Girl, I was not trying to get on a rant about dear old dad, sorry about that)...I just wanted to say that sometimes having a grandfather that loves and adores you, that teaches you what a real man is,well thats the type of enrichment you want, more so than having a sperm donor in your life whose bends with the wind!

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  2. Don't ever feel bad about long comments! I love them! I totally agree with your assessment and I'm truly grateful for my grandfather. I'm also the girl who runs at the first sign of trouble, I'm truly trying to work on that. Nothing is going to be perfect, but I wanna be close. We'll see how it goes. Hope all is well.

    Stephane

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