It is not often that I just sit, reflect and gain a better understanding of myself.  You would think I’d do it when I run but I spend that time listening to music, tuning out the world and feeling my body as I slow or quicken my running cadence. Recent events in my life have forced me to think hard and long about my life and interaction with others.

Father’s day is this weekend and perhaps the convergence of events-  reading numerous stories about fathers written by daughters and my lack of a father, has helped me attain awareness about myself. When I think of my father, I remember a sweet, warm and loving man. He was also quite troubled, an alcoholic and irresponsible. He was a constant in my life for my first 9 or 10 years on Earth. He died when I was 27.

I read a quote that said “Dads are boys first heros and daughters first loves.” Perhaps this is why when I look around at the couples in my life that have successful marriages the majority of the women are from two parent homes and even if their parents are no longer together, the father remains a strong presence in their lives.  Sadly this is not my tale, I find myself in a place I never thought I’d be. A single parent.

My story is like many, after my parents separated my mother was a single parent, holding things down in our household. This was nothing new, she did this for the duration of her marriage when my father lived with us and also was a stay at home mother until I went to school. She even worked at my pre-school to keep a watchful eye over me. Admittedly, my mother did an outstanding job as a parent and to this day she remains my rock. But my father? An entirely different story.

For varying reasons, after my parent's separation the interaction with my father was limited. The calls were few and far between. And visits? Well, I saw my father a total of approximately 7 times before his death. When we spoke he’d give empty promises of the things he’d buy for me and honestly just speaking to him and seeing him would have sufficed. I suppose he thought this was expected of him and he had good intentions but empty promises did nothing but make me extremely disappointed in him.

Fast forward to my venture into social interaction, specifically dating. The adage “sins of the father” resonates with me because despite being an attractive girl, I rarely attracted the “good guys” The ones that fawn over women, treat them like gold and are truly worthy of love.

As difficult as it is to admit, I think when a man showed me any semblance of affection and attention, I was quickly drawn in even if the signs warned against it.  I willingly gave of myself physically, financially and emotionally when in most instances the recipient did not deserve it. I suppose my thinking was if I showered all of these things on others it would be reciprocated. Sadly that wasn’t the case.

My revelation is that the “love” that I was exposed to wasn’t truly love and I just as guiltily threw the word around even when it wasn’t true. I am not beating myself up about it, each time I truly believed I was experiencing love. After countless disappointments one would think I’d learn but that hasn’t been the case. It is said the first step is admitting you have a problem and that is my intention today.

In my life I’ve searched for that requited, selfless, enduring and giving love. I realize now I was searching for my perception of fatherly love but it remained ever elusive.  I’ve concluded that the love that I was seeking  I need to provide for myself. I believe I’m doing a fairly good job but plan on truly making myself my top priority.

I know my story may sound like the classic little girl lost but I’m a grown woman now with responsibilities and am totally deserving of love. No longer will I let the sins of my father impact my ability to receive the love that I deserve.  No longer will I spend countless nights crying myself to sleep wondering “why me?” If the  love I seek must come from within so be it.



Mocha Dad said…
That was a moving post. I was touched by your honestly.
Thanks for your honesty. I have definitely been there. Looking at my HEAVENLY Father's love and example led me to find the example of love that I desired on this earth. I hope that for you too!
Jennae said…
Renee, I love you for this post (among other things) and I want you to know that you are not alone. Even as a happily married woman, I struggle to find self love, and I've been working on it a lot lately.

And I just want to remind you that it is never a failure to leave a relationship that isn't fulfilling or working for you on whatever level. It is better to be honest with yourself and move on to find true love than to keep what you had for fear of failure. Love ya, and you know I'm always here if you feel like talking :)
SouthMainMuse said…
That was lovely Renae. And I think what you wrote of is experienced by most women. We are searching for total acceptance and to be adored for who we are. Unfortunately, it is easy to fall for someone who gives us all the attention and says all the things we crave. Now that you understand the reasons behind a lot of your emotions, you can move forward. Don't be hard on yourself. That's just maturity. I feel for the women my age who still fall for the bad boy. I love something Joyce Meyer said. Stability releases ability. Only in a stability place in life (whether in relationship or not) can we be all that we were created to be.
Wifey said…
Beautiful. Such a wonderful post from a wonderful person.

Hugs & Smiles!
Margaret said…
Good for you! Stay strong and that special man will come along... or not! No matter what I know from the strength of your post, you will be just fine!
Onica Cupido said…
As a twice divorcee, I'm a strong believer in finding the love you deserve. It's hard to step out on your own but you have to be happy and keep growing. Your an amazing women. Don't forget all you've done and all you will do
Renee... moving, powerful, honest, inspiring, from your soul. Yes, a revelation. I grew up with a Dad who treated me so beautifully... an only daughter sandwiched between 2 boys. My Dad had a very tough life, ran away from home to join the Navy at age 17 and escape life on his stepfather's farm... but his Mom, my Grandma, was a beacon in his life. She infused my Dad with love, love from some heavenly place. She had a lovely smile and huge hugs. That was my Dad... hugs, smiles, warmth... LOVE. When I reflect back, I know it was his Mom's great love that made him the Dad he was. When I was in jr. high school, I remember talking about my Dad one day. I must have talked with such love that it made a few girls in my class talk about how their dads were the opposite. They didn't like their dads. I was shocked. I never knew this could happen. These girls told me how lucky I was. One girl wrote in my yearbook how she would always remember me as the "girl who loves her Dad." My Dad died at age 47, suddenly one morning, of a heart attack. I was 22. My life was ripped open. I looked for men like my Dad, but I found some pretty bad guys for a stretch... selfish, users, tried to make me feel small and useless... even abusive... then I met Barry. I knew immediately that he was different. Kind, considerate, brilliant, loving, genuine. Like my Dad. I have always felt beyond blessed to find 2 men who are so very special, and I've told my kids this since they were old enough to listen. Audrey and Jane got jammed up more than once each with complete jerks... but at least could recognize how they were NOT like their Dad. Your revelation about your Dad and YOU and your relationship is so very, very important... also not losing sight of why people do what they do and become what they become. There's always a reason. It's the SELF realization that brings happiness and LOVE... everything you are and everything you give. You are the sum of your life, dear, beautiful friend... and that is beyond AMAZING. Everything and everybody has lead you to where and who you are today. Strong, beautiful, brilliant, fun, fabulous, independent. The beauty is that you KNOW this and your beautiful child is the recipient of your great love and teachings... xox!

Popular Posts