I’m going to warn you ahead of time that this will be a tough post to read. It will probably be one of the hardest post I will ever write. I want to challenge you to stay here with me. I have found so much healing here in this space through writing. I write from my heart in hopes that it will shine a light into your heart. I’m hoping in my post that you will find the courage to step into the light. Stepping into the light simply means, stepping into the truth. There is light in the truth. There is power in the light of the truth. I am going to share a longing that I’ve had the greater part of my life with you. Writing this post already feels uncomfortable, it feels like I’m being gutted the way we do fish in the cleaning process. I’m going to share my deep ache for a dad. Some of this may be triggering, so please be gentle with yourself. Please know that it’s okay if you need to skip this post until you are ready.
From the earliest time that I can remember my dad was always a man that worked. He went to work no matter the circumstances or weather, he did not miss work. My dad made sure the bills were paid. He loved to cook big dinners and have others brag about how good the food tasted. He was in the home, he provided but I spent my life wondering if he hated me. My dad never used the words he loved me but as I’ve gotten older and matured, I don’t think he knew how. It’s one thing to have a dad who is physically absent, but to have a dad in the home but feel as if he is physically and emotionally absent is a different kind of beast. I think I could deal differently if he wasn’t there. I know my expectations of him would probably be different. I spent my entire childhood dreaming of a father that my dad could never be. I finally realized that it wasn’t because of me, but he just did not have the capacity to give to me what he never received. Honestly my father was a angry child that grew into a angry adult and raised children with all of that anger. I oftentimes wonder what was that thing that made him such a angry person. I wonder what happened in his childhood that he buried and let bitter and anger grow in that space where healing should have taken place. Honestly all I ever wanted to be was daddy’s little girl. I wanted him to see me, I mean like really see me, the little girl that desperately needed him.
This little girl in the picture above is me. When I look at her, my heart aches for her and the mental abuse she lived through. I can remember still to this day, incidents that happened at my father’s hands that should have destroyed me inside. There were times it felt as if it did. My dad was a yeller and a cusser. I remember him calling me and fear would course through my veins. The fear I lived in at my childhood home became anxiety in my adult life. From my earliest memory, I was called all kinds of degrading and derogatory names. The names were names I didn’t even understand the meaning of but yet I felt shame. I didn’t understand that what I was feeling was shame but it was. I was ashame because even as a little girl, I felt that those words were bad. Even as a child, I felt like I was a bad girl. Why would my own father call me names like that unless I was really bad inside. So, I set out on a mission to make myself good inside so that I could finally be worthy of his love.
I look at her and I remember how much I wanted to get the attention of my father. I wanted him to cheer me on when I reached a milestone in my development. I needed him to give me words of affirmation that validated me inside. I spent a lot of years trying to get out of him what I thought I deserved as his daughter. Honestly I thought all little girls deserved to feel safe with their fathers. I thought all little girls deserved affirmations from their fathers. After he died about 3 years ago I realized that a father is not made just because he got a woman pregnant and she gave birth to his child. A father is made by the care he gives to his children. The gift of having a dad in your life is so precious. The way a dad treats his daughter will in some cases help decide the type man she will marry. As a child growing up, I remember reminding myself often, to never marry a man like my father. I did not want my kids growing up in the fear, hatred and anger I grew up in. I’ve wasted a lot of head space trying to figure out why he was the way he was. I have wasted a lot of mental headspace trying to figure out why I couldn’t be the child he loved. The truth is, he loved me the best he could. I truly believe that the way we are loved as a child can sometimes hinder us from loving well as adults if we allow it. I love deeply but with reservations. I love but still struggle with loving completely. Thank God for how he continues to heal my heart.
The picture above is me today. I married an amazing man and he is a wonderful father to our children. I feel like as I’ve watched him father our children, it has healed places in my heart that I thought would never heal. Do I still struggle with not having a good father? Yes their are moments still that I long for that relationship with my father who is no longer here with me. As a matter of fact a few years ago when he died, I remember thinking…all hopes of having a relationship with him died. I think I grieved more for what could never be than for my father. I had to make peace with those dreams of the father I still hoped he could be. I remember sitting at his service and I did not shed one tear. I felt so guilty but I felt nothing on that day. It was just recently that I actually really let myself cry and be sad. I’m still sorting through all of my feelings and strong emotions surrounding his death. The one thing I know is that Jesus will be our father if we let him. I know that we never have to prove our value to him. I’m his daughter who he loves even before he placed me in my mother’s womb. If you are reading this and you are struggling with daddy issues, please know you are still so loved. You are desperately wanted by our heavenly father Jesus. He sees you and he knows the deep ache in your heart to be in relationship with your father. Jesus deepest desire is to be in relationship with you. Jesus desires to hear about your day. Jesus desires to comfort you when your hurting. You do not have to earn his love, it just is. Today may you know the deep, deep love of your heavenly father. May you feel it in those places you are hurting. You my friend can stop striving for his love and begin to thrive in his love.
Heavenly father I pray for the one reading this that might be hurting from daddy issues. God I ask that you would heal their heart. I pray that your love would flood their very being. In Jesus name. Amen
10 thoughts on “The Longing For A Dad”
Thank you for sharing so beautifully. You’ve put into words the feelings and experiences of many hearts. May God continue to heal your heart, and May he bless you and your family❤️
Thank you so much for your comment. It means so much to me.
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This touched so many places, in ways that remind me that healing is a process and not overnight when it comes to these tender spots. Thank you for sharing Ma, for allowing us to peak into your life and encourage us with it! ♥️
Thank you so much sweetheart. A difficult post to write but finding healing in every word.
This is one of the best post you have ever written. I can feel it from the heart as another person who grew up with an absentee father. You are an amazing writer.
Thank you my sister. Your words mean so much to me. I love you.
Thank you for having the courage to share. We all need help inspiring each other. May the lord bless you with love and joy.
Thank you for your comment. I told myself when I decided to write a blog that I would always write my truth in order to let someone else know that they are not alone. I’m so honored that you would read my words💚. Thank you again.
Thank you for sharing your truth. Your transparency is a blessing to all who are struggling with allowing themselves to be who they are. Your testimony confirms that God is a healer, restorer, comforter and all that we need. Please keep writing and sharing.
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Thank you so much Ma B. I love you. Your support means a lot💚