Daddy’s Girl… Part 1

To this day my understanding of what love should be is slightly , if not greatly distorted.

A daughter’s first experience with love should be her parents. Of course her mother but her daddy ( or so I have been told) should be her first love. His voice should offer and represent protection and comfort at the least, to a little girl. Reassuring her that his presence would keep her safe and her needs provided for ( even if he had to change dirty diapers or reading her princess stories). But then again this imagery might be faulted to the vast amount of books that I read as a child, or the 80’s and 90’s popular sitcoms. It surely was not based on my reality growing up.

My parents divorced before my seventh birthday, but by then I was familiar to the sounds of my mother’s cry as she faced my father’s verbal attacks, or the vision of her after his sporadic  physical attacks. She tried her best to keep these images from me, but I guess I was either a real smart kid or it was just too much drama to keep hidden. I do thank her for not staying ( parents please stop thinking that you are hiding your fights and arguments from the kids, they know)

Somehow the love my father neglected to shower on my mother, was always shown to me. This does not mean that he attended my PTA meetings or helped me with school projects. In actuality my dad never fought for visitation and at many times even forgot to pick me up for weekend visits. I guess his love was an out of sight, out of mind love. Similar to what some people practice today in their romantic love affairs…. but that is another story.There was no doubt however if he loved me when I was with him. And as I grew older I would constantly meet his friends who would tell me of the countless times my dad would speak of me with glowing pride. Yet because of these conflicting and in some ways bipolar versions of my father, I was unable to fully get a full comprehension of what love should be.

How could I Not love a man who I resembled ( I look nothing like my mother)?

How could I Not love a man who as I got older treated me like his queen and even confidant?

How could I Not love a man who so many people respected and looked up to?

BUT

How could I love a man who beat my mother, and from all accounts beat his wife before her?

How could I love a man who fathered at his own convenience.? My mom had two kids for my dad ( and in total). He however blessed me with at least  “eight” siblings.

How could I love a man who gave the minimum for my maintenance and for some of my siblings, nothing at all, leaving their mothers to struggle?

Did I love my dad? Yes I did. Do I miss him? Yes I do….Did I hate the man that was my dad? Yes I did

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3 Comments

  1. I love my father! I write this as an absolute (and by now I should be discarding absolutes). I hope that throughout my life I may inherit half his strength. We have to always celebrate when our Caribbean fathers play a role in our lives, and should always remember they are not perfect. This blog represents balance. The things we love and the things we hate about a person just makes them that much more human.

    1. A380, shouldn’t we then celebrate both parents ( mom and dad)? or are our expectations for Caribbean fathers so low , that they just showing up and being there, already puts them in the medal category? Just curious

      1. Both mother and father should always be celebrated, however this blog speaks specifically to the paternal relationship. That’s why I maintained focus on the father figure. We share a common HOPE for our Caribbean fathers…that they will do”the right thing” but that is soon too quickly turned into a common feeling of neglect. What really happens in all this emotion is that a few good men get lost in translation completely overshadowed by the actions of many. This little subset must never be forgotten, must always be celebrated, must always be a focus and maybe just maybe…

        What are the actions of a good father? What are the actions of a bad father? They are subject to interpretation and influence (by our mothers no doubt). Society generally tends to accept the definition from mom as the truth. But the actions of mom can have a profound impact on the actions of dad. Should this cause him to shrug his responsibilities? Absolutely not! Are fathers so accustomed to the bad press and have come to accept it so there is no motivation to do better because they feel they can never win? A future blog no doubt.

        All I’m saying is…remember the good ones. As a read your blog a poem poem by Lorna Goodison came to mind (For my Mother May I inherit half her Strength). It supports the theme of women in society. You may be able to identify with bits and pieces of it, but overall…a good read.

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