I am beginning to notice that the phrase “daddy issues” is often seen as a negative and makes a woman seem less attractive, weak, or crazy. Well I can honestly say, I am neither one of those and having daddy issues is not the reason why a woman appears less attractive, weak, or crazy…well maybe that is not the only reason.
Over the weekend, I went to a program where a group of panelists, three men and three women, had an open discussion about relationships, love, and marriage. Some were married, single, and parents. As I was enjoying the dialogue that began to spark amongst the audience and the panelists, one woman stated on the panel, “never be with a woman who has daddy issues”. What? I immediately became offended as well as the woman who sat beside me during the program. At least I knew I was not the only one! I asked myself, how could that woman say that when she admitted to having daddy issues herself and was happily married? What was she trying to do to us single women who did not have our fathers in our lives or a barely there relationship with them?
A few days before I was startled by that comment, I had a male friend respond to my previous post, “Daddy’s Girl”. He said he was fearful that if I wrote about having daddy issues that I would be seen as weak and would be easy to take advantage of my men. Again…what? After these two comments, it has been on my mind to discuss daddy issues. Now, I am aware that I will only be able to touch the surface on this grande dilemma by discussing my experiences, but I hope to spark a conversation or at least have you begin thinking about any issues you may have with your father.
First of all, do not be ashamed that you have issues with your father. Accept that you have these issues and decide on how you want to deal with them. Now, accepting these issues were extremely hard for me to do because I was angry and unhappy. I blamed my mother, secretly, for choosing him to be with intimately and I blamed my father, not so secretly, for being the man that he was. The two things I had absolutely no control over. However, I did have control over my anger and unhappiness and I had to accept why I had those emotions. Next, I had to figure out what I was going to do about the strained relationship I had with my father. Complain to everyone around me? Continue to point fingers and be angry or try to find men I could use to fill the emptiness I felt inside? Are you currently doing these very same things? If so, stop! It is not going to help the situation. Instead, I thought about doing something else. I journaled, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and talked to someone I could trust about my feelings and thoughts. In the midst of doing both of those, I reached a moment of clarity. I realized my father did not know how I felt about us and it was time that I informed him.
I was asked exactly how I was going to discuss years and years of anger, abandonment, and sadness with the man I accused of putting me through all of the above. I knew I could not talk to him because I have tried before. Trust me, it was not my first time attempting to address my issues. After phone conversations, brief temper flare-ups, and even my mother talking to him, I decided to write a letter…a four page letter…on legal size paper. In that letter, I discussed everything that was on my heart and I even had the courage to give it to him in person. It is funny, but you will find courage in doing something you were often afraid to do before, but when you have had enough, you are comfortable with doing whatever it takes and I had reached that point of no return. Even if you are unable to give your father a letter or give him a call, writing down your true feelings will be a step toward freeing yourself of your issues.
I wish I could continue to write that the relationship with my father has blossomed into something I always dreamed of since giving him the letter, but I cannot. However, I can finally say that I am satisfied with the actions I took to free myself of my daddy issues, which brings me to my next step. Find peace within yourself. I may not have peace with my father and all of the issues may not be resolved, but that is ok because I know I did all that I could possibly do. I have too much to live for and when I think of not having my father play an active role in my life, I simply look above, smile, and say thank you.