Daddy’s Girl Don’t Live Here…

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( 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

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