All Articles Tagged "daddy issues"
I’ve never been one hundred percent behind the whole “blood is thicker than water” saying and I stand completely behind the idea that being family doesn’t mean you‘re exempt from getting cut out of my life. No one ever questions people’s decisions to break ties with friends who drain them or eliminate men from their lives who are no good, but for some reason when said person is a parent, the idea is suddenly taboo, forsaken, perhaps even sinful if you believe you must always honor thy father and mother. But cutting my father out of my life is exactly what I decided to do a couple of weeks ago.
I always suspected this day would come. I envisioned it, dreamed about what I would say, made up an entire monologue in my head even, yet secretly knew I’d frankly never have the balls – or so I thought – to say any of those things, until one day I did. I knew the time had come when I’d sent my father an email asking him why a payment he’d committed to making didn’t go through. Essentially, I asked what was up and whether something had changed that I was unaware of. Rather than give me a straight answer he danced in circles like he was practicing the waltz telling me he was thinking about how he demonstrates love within our family relationship, suggested that I do some introspection regarding how I demonstrate love to my family, and added if I wanted to have a real conversation let him know. I basically read that as an “eff you, holla at me if you have beef” response and proceeded to let him know just how I felt about the love he so arrogantly thought he’d demonstrated to me all my life in a 1,768-word email because I’m a writer and that’s how I communicate best.
To be clear, my reaction wasn’t just about this one, passive aggressive incident, it was about a pattern of behavior that I had had enough of. And so, after running down all the times I’d felt let down, and his constant lack of consideration for how his actions affect me (like not doing something he said he would), and all the guilt trips he’d taken me on from the time I was a little girl with no heads up that I was packing for baggage I’d be carrying as an adult, I was in Keyshia Cole mode. I just wanted it to be over. I was confident in my decision and frankly didn’t even want a response from him because I knew he would only confirm that I was making the right choice. And sure enough that’s exactly what he did by way of a 90-word note that suggested I should get therapy to find the peace that surpasses all understanding and that I could never dismiss him as my father. Or so he thought.
The thing is, I’d long accepted that the man who contributed half of my DNA makeup was not and never could be a father, and at my age I’m too old for that. The daddy lessons and experiences I missed have already shaped me into the woman I am and I really see no need for that type of figure in my life at this point. Had he always been there, it would be different. But to try to catch someone up on 27 years of a life they missed and then rely on them as some sort of source of wisdom when they can’t even acknowledge their own wrongdoing isn’t something I’m interested in. And clearly neither is he, from the response he sent me when I laid out our relationship for him in black and white. I didn’t go on an emotional rant; I didn’t even call him the names I normally do in my head. I provided a chronological, factual, and logical list that I thought he could appreciate. It included the times I’d been disappointed and shunned and the ways he didn’t fulfill his obligations as a parent while simultaneously trying to blame me for the fact that we don’t have a relationship. The bottom line, from my view, was that it was his job to establish that bond when I was a child, particularly when he lived in a different city. But instead he was too busy trying to prove that I wasn’t his to actually find out who Brande is and how he could get to know her, then taking credit for my accomplishments whenever he could as if he had anything to do with them.
And so, as I deleted contact information of men I’d been holding on to unnecessarily for too long and vowed never to reach out to again when I got a new cell number this summer, I also let my father know that until he was ready to own up to some things and really think about what I needed from him without expecting all these things from me that he hadn’t earned, I wasn’t interested in doing the song and dance anymore. I could do without the phone calls on Christmas and maybe my birthday, if he remembered the date. I’ve had those types of relationships with men I dated. It wasn’t enough with them and it’s not enough from him either.
I believe if we’re going to put fathers and lovers in the same boat and say the way we relate to men is directly correlated to how we deal with our fathers, then I believe we should be able to deal with our fathers the same way we deal with said lovers. No one would advise a woman to sit around and wait for the next disappointment or accept anything less than what she deserves from a romantic suitor and I believe those same rules apply when it comes to a parent. The way I look at things, I’ve put up Mimi-Stevie J numbers waiting for my dad to come around and at least acknowledge he fell short of being the father he needed to be. It was time to look at the reality of our relationship: love don’t live here (I can’t say anymore because it never really has).
As expected, when I mentioned the situation to my grandfather (his dad), he hit me with the cliché “life is too short” line and said both me and my father should be ashamed of ourselves. I agreed with him on one point. Life is too short. Too short to hold your tongue and settle for less than you deserve in all relationships, including that of a parent and child.
As I told my father, the choice really wasn’t that difficult because it wasn’t like not speaking to him would really be all that different from not speaking to him. What I had to make peace with was being that stereotypical black girl without a father who would be labeled as having daddy issues any time she said something negative about a man. But at least, unfortunately, I have plenty of company.
What do you think about cutting a parent out of your life? Is it any different from ending other disappointing relationships?
More on Madame Noire!
- Heyello! 11 Bahamian Celebrities We Love And Per The Usual, A Few Surprises…
- The Thirst Files: How He Dickmatized Her
- Down With The Brown? Celebrities Who Look Black…But Aren’t
- Long Hair? You Do Care! 6 Ways to Get It to Grow
- Usher, It’s Time to Move On, You’re No Trey Songz
- Ratch On Ratch On Ratch: 7 Moments You Had To See From Part 1 Of The Love & Hip-Hop Reunion
- Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making of “Love and Basketball”
I’m sure we’ve all heard the term “Daddy’s Girl” – you know…that “Princess” who was spoiled rotten by her father and has him wrapped around her little finger. Most women fortunate enough to have a special relationship with their father wear that title as a badge of honor.
But for others who weren’t as fortunate, they carry a different badge that reads: “Daddy Issues.” They say a woman has “daddy issues” when her behavior or mindset indicates that her father was either absent in her life completely, or physically present but emotionally unavailable. These issues can plague a young girl into adulthood, especially if she’s trying to compensate for the attention she may not have received from her father in her relationships. While a woman may seem to have it all together at first glance, there are certain characteristics women with daddy issues display – and if you’re not sure, the following may be a few of the signs.
On last week’s episode of “Love and Hip Hop” Kimbella hinted that she had mommy issues that accounted for a lot of the choices she made when it came to men; and on last night’s show, she confronted her mother about the example she set for her growing up and the effect that has on her as a mother now.
I can’t lie, it was difficult to feel bad for Kimbella, mostly because she’s such an unsympathetic character. I really wasn’t trying to hear how Kimbella’s mother sticking it out with her cheating father led to her posing nearly naked in black men’s magazines, but after a while I thought, if we can blame daddy issues for the reason strippers are on the pole, why can’t Kimbella’s mommy issues account for at least some of the dysfunction in her life?
In my own personal experience, I’ve always said the presence of my mother had a much greater effect on me than the absence of my father. It’s just sheer math. I was around my mother much more and that was my primary example—luckily, for me, it was a positive one. When I wrote about Kelly Rowland wanting to reconnect with her father, a few commenters brought up the idea that society is much harder on deadbeat mothers than they are absentee fathers, but I don’t think that’s always the case. Sure, the women in headline-grabbing stories who abuse their children in some way or even take their child’s life are crucified by the media and the public, but what about the everyday mother who just isn’t setting the best example? There’s a lot of sympathy for her. Her inability to be “the perfect mother” is usually excused by the fact that she had to work so much to provide for her family, or she was walked out on, or she never got over a bad relationship.
That dynamic was evident with Kimbella and her mother. Her mom said her husband liked to gamble so she had to make a living but Kimbella still blamed her mother for investing more time in her father than in helping her develop as a young woman, particularly when it came to relationships. My inclination was to roll my eyes, but again, if an absent father can explain why women get in bad relationships, why can’t the bad example set by a mother?
Reactions on Twitter showed a lot other people weren’t buying Kimbella’s terrible mother excuse for her bad choices either. And while I’m also skeptical of people who reduce all of their poor decisions in life to the lack of a male role model, I think society is much less inclined to believe that a poor female role model could have just as much of an effect.
There’s also more of a sense of guilt attached to admitting your mother may not have done everything right. There’s nothing novel about not having a father. You’re more likely to get a surprised reaction if you say you grew up in a two-parent household than if you were to say “I hate my father,” or “my dad wasn’t ish,” but mamas? People don’t like to talk about their mothers, especially if they did try their hardest under harsh circumstances and you still feel they failed you in some way. It’s not easy to admit the anger you hold inside about some of your mother’s poor choices and it definitely isn’t easy to talk to your mother about where she may have gone wrong despite having the best intentions.
Granted, there is seemingly a large difference between trying your best and failing and not trying at all—which is what seems to be the case with a lot of fathers. But I think the very shortcomings that plague mothers are the same ones that affect fathers—the parents just react differently. For men, it’s easier to run and escape the situation while women are typically more adept at figuring out some sort of way to make it work as best they can. This doesn’t excuse the male behavior but I think it explains it in some ways. Even as I watched the show with my own mother last night, she said Kimbella couldn’t keep holding on to all that anger about her mother and she needed to let it go, but I wondered if my mom would feel the same way if Kimbella was talking about her father.
Do you think people have more sympathy for less-than-ideal mothers than they do fathers? Do you think it’s harder for people to admit they wish they had a better mother than a better father?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- Dudes You Need to DVR: Hot Men We’re Currently Watching TV For
- Daddy’s Little Girls: Celebrity Men and Their Darling Daughters
- Why You Should Say “No” To His Offer of “Just Friends”
- Bump Up Your Bob! Spice Up Your Sleek Style With These Tips
- “OOooh Unn Uhhh” and Other Things Black Girls Say
- Celebrity Women Who Look Good With A Little Extra Weight
When Fefe Dobson was on the Mo’Nique Show a few days ago, Mo’Nique said she didn’t know any black women who played Rock and Roll. I thought about that statement and then I realized, she’s absolutely right. While, I’m sure there are some black girl rockers out there, I don’t know any either…except for Fefe. Now, thanks to Fefe, little girls with dark skin have an example. Madame Noire caught up with the 26 year old artist to discuss her journey thus far, her budding relationship with her father and the message she shares with young girls.
Anslem “NWSO” Samuel’s Naked With Socks On is an award-winning relationship blog. Each week, NWSO will share his candid thoughts on women, love, life and all the fun stuff in between with MadameNoire.
A few weeks back, I received flak in the comments section of Madame Noire for my now infamous post, “How Black Men View Baby Mamas.”