I had a great life growing up, even for a poor black girl in the rural South who lived on a dirt road in a trailer home. My mom married my stepdad when I was 6-7 years old and I honestly can’t remember a time when he wasn’t my “Daddy” and positively shaped my view of the kind of husband and father I wanted for my own family some day. I don’t have one of those stories not knowing my biological dad or feeling abandoned. I’ve known who my biological dad was my entire life. My nickname is even a moniker of his street name. But in the past few weeks two things happened that made me finally face my “daddy issues” and how my relationship with my biological dad has impacted my life.First, there was a conversation with my teenage son about his absentee father and his family. He has only spent one Thanksgiving with his dad and his side of the family his entire life. Last month, I asked my son if he wanted to visit them for Thanksgiving and he simply answered, “No, I really don’t know them”. The second moment was meeting my Great-Uncle Henry Kelly, my biological grandfather’s brother, for the first time Thanksgiving Day. He shared stories about my grandfather Robert Kelly and photos of my great grandparents who were married for 60 years and owned 120 acres of land (literally less than 5 miles from where my mom lives now). After leaving his home and my great grandparents land I realized I don’t really know anything at all about my biological dad and his family.
I don’t trust people and almost never trust anything that anyone says. I have ended relationships over one broken promise. Even if I stayed physically, in my mind I was already gone. Even now, when I find out someone has been deceitful or misleading…I’m out. Unfortunately, like so many 80’s babies, my biological dad struggled with substance abuse most of my life. My most consistent memories are being picked up by my aunt and visiting him in prison when my mother would allow. During every visit he made promises that were quickly broken as soon as he hit the streets again. My son’s relationship with his dad is almost identical to my experience with my own biological dad, extended prison and broken promises almost all of my teenage son’s life. I had now passed my “daddy issues” along to my only son.
Yesterday Ain’t Tomorrow
After Thanksgiving, I had a long talk with God. I do NOT and will NOT bring my “daddy issues” into my future. And I will make sure that my son will not carry the same burden. Here’s to overcoming my “daddy issues” and becoming a better me!
3 Steps for Overcoming Your Past
- Acknowledge the past and its impact on your life.
- Make a conscious effort to heal from past hurt. Repair and rebuild.
- Pray and pray again for peace and forgiveness.