Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Daddy’s Girl Don’t Live Here…

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(ThyBlackMan.com) I wonder: What kind of person must he have been back then, to abandon twin baby girls, just as beautiful as they were strong?

My father was out of me and my twin sister’s life by the time I was three years old. The man and woman who parented me were not married. He has between eight and eleven kids, I’m not sure (and he’s not sure) though that’s the estimate. I have no memories of my biological father until around the time that I turned sixteen or seventeen years old and was about to graduate from high school. By then I was old enough to say I had officially met him.

I have been told that the reason I lack discipline and respect for men is because I never had a father figure. I have been told that somehow not having a father has handicapped me for life.

I don’t want people to feel sorry for me or say I come from a “broken household”. I think I’m the best person I could’ve become at this moment, even without a father figure. I believe my relationship with my father or lack thereof has disillusioned me to the worst of men’s behaviors. It has made me aware of how some men really are whereas other women are never so fortunate to have those blinders and rose-colored glasses lifted away because we live in a society that psychologically mind screws women into permanently judging their self-worth and happiness by how much attention they receive from men.

I’m not saying that every female is like me or should be like me and would have turned out the same way. I’m not saying I’m the greatest example of self-confidence and success. For all I know, the reason I have issues with rejection is because subconsciously I feel that my father didn’t seem to think my life was worth his involvement! Only a psychologist/psychiatrist would be arrogant enough to say, I suppose. At the same time, though my dad is humorous, laidback kind of guy, I’m not sure I would have wanted him dictating to me how I should behave because I’m a female and chasing after the gratification of his male ego by subjecting me to his whims.

Now that he has shown interest in me and wants to be there, I do feel like it is too late and that I don’t need that kind of relationship. It’s kind of the same way I feel about learning to play an instrument, personally I always wanted to play the violin: Learn it early or struggle for a while if you’re not one of those “perfect pitch-natural” types. I do feel that my father and I can be friends and if I harbor any anger towards him, it doesn’t visit me very often. I don’t even feel he deserves to be called “dad”, but I do so because I want to call him that–see, I’m so magnanimous. I think I’ve turned out just fine and I don’t need to be “daddied”.

I’ve been making it without him though more positivity and support in my life and for my mama, sister, and brother would have been welcomed.

I know we want to see healthy Black families, but we need to widen our imaginations and definitions for what that looks like and support the families we have instead of the ones we idealize. We’re so wrapped up in the kinds of [traditional and heterosexual] families that we idealize and find to be traditionally acceptable, we fail to see, acknowledge, and support the ones right in front of us.

Staff Writer; Shannon Rucker

For more articles written by this talented sista, do check out; The Black Feminist Blog.

Also connect with this sista via twitter; Ms. Queenly.



7 Responses to “Daddy’s Girl Don’t Live Here…”
  1. Eleanie says:

    I suppose men and women for that matter react differently by having or not having a father in their lives. Thank you for opening up and sharing your feelings. Thank you.

  2. JM says:

    disengage Reg…disengage…trust me my friend…our efforts and work around this issue are better served in another bandwidth and frequency…this is not that place

  3. Ms. Queenly says:

    I wrote: “What I’m getting at is this: Don’t victimize anyone who isn’t a victim.”

    Okay, let me rephrase that–don’t victimize folks, period, help them become stronger (and there are different kinds of strength).

    (As you can see, I’m one of those people that goes back and reads things because I agonize over typos) o_o

  4. Ms. Queenly says:


    This is about as crystal clear as I can get right now.

    I still don’t think you understand. What I’m getting at is this: Don’t victimize anyone who isn’t a victim.

    Especially for Black women, discussions around father figures are very gendered and sexist. So please don’t try to couch this conversation as if you’re speaking from some non-gendered realm. You are not. Additionally, this is conversation about fathers, not mamas or cousins etc. It’s a typically a specific role in society in a patriarchal society and culture.

    This is not a conversation that is necessarily about “successfulness” for people without fathers. It’s a bigger conversation than that, as you said. My spirit and my soul are content, with normal ups and downs. I’m happy to say that my father, having decided not to be in my life, has little to do with that degree of fulfillment. I don’t view myself as someone who is hurt or handicapped by his absence in any debilitating way.

    With that said, my spirit doesn’t have a problem with my fatherlessness–my spirit has a problem with people (well-meaning folks possibly like yourself) victimizing me and/or other young women/people who do not have deep-seated issues with not having grown up with a father/father figure, which is why I wrote this post. You know what they say: Ain’t broke, don’t fix it. My spirit is fine. So if I have “compressed anger”, it’s over comments like yours, to be frank.

    There are many more people out there who are in denial about compressed anger and such that need your help. Please don’t waste your time on me when I don’t need it.

    Think and get to know people individually before you project the issues of some people on every single person.

    I don’t feel this conversation needs to be private, but my two e-mail addresses are not a secret if you feel compelled to say more and wish to do so in secret–ms.queenly at yahoo dot com or queenlyspeak at gmail dot com

    Nothing else to say? I’m good, you’re good, as you said.

    I just want you to understand because I believe in being very clear. I seriously dislike being misunderstood and I feel like you’re misunderstanding me, primarily because of your predispositions and beliefs, which you’ve hinted at.

  5. Reginald says:

    Ms. Queenly,

    This will be my last comment on the subject matter. I would have much rather this dialogue be private, but this is the only way for me to converse with ya.

    While your post spoke on the absence of your father, this isn’t a gender issue for me. The absence or present of something in your life changes the dynamics of that situation – that’s not opinion that’s fact. Next time you cook a meal, leave something out or add a new ingredient and the dynamics of the meal changes. The issue could have just as easily been about the absence of your mother. So for you to equate that men might feel bad when women are successful speaks in large part of the compressed anger that may reside in your spirit.

    No one is suggesting b/c you didn’t have a father in your life that you couldn’t be successful. Your momma, grandmother, some dedicated teacher could have given you everything you needed to have to be successful and that or your success has nothing to do with the importance of a father. Additionally, the absence of your father didn’t have to be because he chose against being in your life – it could have been because he physically died. I can’t tell you have many women I’ve worked with, successful women, who missed their father and missed having the opportunity to talk with their fathers about whatever.

    I shared the film with you and the experience because what you are attempting to deny is real. This past Thursday I had a young lady – with a double masters and currently (today) gracing the cover of a major magazine – break down after watching the film and she had seen the film before. Her success, double master and a successful model, didn’t stop her from feeling the pain of not knowing her father.

    Now maybe you represent the exception to the rule, but my life and my work I have a extraordinary population of men and women, some extremely successful, some struggling, who are strugglingly because of their non-existent relationship with their father. I also have clients struggling because they have a non relationship with their mothers.

    While you chat about successes, they are nothing more than layers of clothings folks oftentimes uses to shieled their hurt. You speak about success, but what about your spirit.

    Unfortunately, too many men are negating their fatherly responsibilities. But when folk become self expose gods telling the world what they don’t need it only says that God is wrong and fails to know what you need.

    In closing, since you are good – I am good. But if you don’t know what it is like to have a father, then realistic how can you speak against the vaule that it delivers. It would be akin to be tellling you how to be a women.

  6. Ms. Queenly says:

    @ Reginald

    I know it makes a lot of men feel bad (useless, hurt, unmanned) to see women who are successful and doing well despite not having fathers in their life. I hope you are not one of those males who are offended and defensive when reading an article like this because your masculinity and, most importantly, your sense of self is dependent upon how many women’s lives you control or effect.

    With that said, women shouldn’t be dependent or co-dependent on father figures or male figures.

    It’s not my fault that my father chose not to be in my life and I don’t blame myself. I also do not look to the men around me to be my saviors. The good thing is that I’ve never felt sorry for myself because of his choice to be absent. I actually never thought much about him until my mama started bringing him up.

    I’m not trying to be divisive for Black folks who believe in traditional Black families. Some people realize that some of their behaviors and actions stem from their understandings of the absence of a male figures in their live, or the presence of negative male figures. It’s a positive thing to face your feelings and look back at your experiences to see how something affected you, better now than never. I do understand that a lot of women (and men, maybe in worse ways) suffer from the absence of their father or a father figures in their lives–I’m just saying I’m not one of them. My entire life HAS NOT, DOES NOT, and WILL NOT revolve around whether or not I had a father, or any man for that matter. And it shouldn’t.

    I felt this was important to say.


  7. Reginald says:

    Sister, your life and your view of it would have been extradordinarily different had you had a father in your life to demonstrate the unconditionally love that a father was suppose to.

    Please view the attached link “Dear Daddy” for a film my partner just released that speaks to this issue. And while this film features women under 20, I wish you could see the number of women who are grown and achieved much success break down watching the movie because the pain of not having a father is present in spite of all their wonderful accomplishments.

    [youtube eQTLbSOMpYI]

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