I don’t know if my father is dead or alive. I have not seen him since I was 8, and I think I had only seen him a few times a year when he would come visit me, which was not a pleasant thing. He had mental problems and he was violent and he would hurt us.
Father’s Day was always a weird day for me. I always wondered what it would be like growing up with those fun dads from movies and sitcoms. How empowering would it be to have a strong and protective masculine presence in my life? I had never experienced my father lifting me up on his shoulders like dads in those beautiful cards do.
I used to ignore this day but now I’m married to an amazing father to 3 beautiful daughters. Father’s Day is a part of my life. I honor my love for being a father and I think to myself, how lucky are his daughters to have him?
Apparently, growing up without a father is supposed to F*$%K you up. As I was doing my research for this article, this is what I found:
I was more likely to be aggressive. Well I was, let’s call it, “passionate” as a teenager, and sometimes I get easily triggered, but I’m not sure that not having a father was the main cause for that.
I was prone for depression. I believe that in this day and age with all the external stressors like toxins and low quality foods, TV and social media and exploding technology, most people will experience depression to some degree at one time or another, regardless of their family structure. I took theStrengthsFindertest and learned that my first strength is Optimistic. You know what they say: you cannot be depressed and optimistic at the same time.
I was prone for more low self-esteem. Granted,I felt like other girls had something I would never have. But again, is my low self-esteem because of not having a father or because of other life stressors?
I was more likely to do poorly in school. I was an A student.
I was more likely to be incarcerated, become pregnant as a teenager and commit suicide. No, no, and never.
I would have problems interacting with men. True, it was something I needed to learn because men were a different animal that I knew nothing about, but it’s a learned skill.
These were my gifts of growing up without a father:
- I have a deep connection to my mother.
- I was very independent and always took care of myself.
- I was courageous enough to travel by myself to Japan at age 21 with only $700 in my pocket.
- I traveled to over 35 countries since.
- I developed courage and great values, to protect those in need.
- I overcame my own demons so that I can be a leader and help the world.
- I developed a determined spirit of surviving no matter what.
- I learned to claim my voice and let it be heard.
- I’m a loyal friend who only wants to love and be loved.
Whether you grow up with a dad or not, or whether he was a great dad or a terrible one, it’s a gift. You are not a statistic or a foregone conclusion.You create your own destiny.
If your father hurt you, forgive him (whether he is dead or alive).
If your father passed away, pray for him and connect with his soul.
I believe that my father is my father as a part of a soul contract that happened way before I came into physical existence in my mother’s womb. I am grateful, because I know that in spite of his mental illness, he loved us, in his own way. I feel sorry for him and I pray for him. I send him love and I hope he experiences peace and happiness wherever he is. I’m grateful that he gave me this gift of life and the strength to share all of this with you.
So celebrate your dads today. And remember that you own your destiny and you always have the power to beat the statistics.
If you are the only reader who increases her gratitude for her dad, forgives his imperfections and sees the gift in it, then that is enough for me. I made my difference. Perhaps this was the purpose of my soul contract with my dad.