My dad walked away before I was born. So I was told.
He wasn’t a deadbeat or irresponsible father. He was there for his other children. His “recognised or “legitimate” ones.
For a long time I took the blame on myself without even realising it. I thought something was wrong with me. The rejection was personal.
My mother loved me and was there in every way she could, but there was always that empty space she couldn’t fill.
Where is my father?
Why didn’t come for me?
Will he ever come?
Why doesn’t he love me?
That wrong answer again; “Something is wrong with you Fola”.
Every failed relationship, every heartbreak reinforced that horrible thought. Something must be wrong with me. That’s how powerful rejection can be. Once it’s internalised, a broken human is created.
I had a step dad. who wasn’t much of a step dad really. I hated every single moment I had to call him “daddy” because I knew he wasn’t mine. I wanted mine. I wanted my daddy.
I wanted someone who would look at me with love in his eyes.
Someone who would read my short stories and corny poems and smile
Someone who would come hear me sing and perform at school plays and clap proudly
Someone who would cheer for me as I collected my best student in literature prize
Someone who would beam proudly as I was made president of the press club
Someone who would look over my business plan and push me to get started
Someone who will tell me it’s okay no matter how many times I failed and he’ll make sure I keep trying.
Someone I would talk to about the boys I liked.
My own dad. That’s all I ever wanted.
It didn’t happen and it left a huge space in a very sensitive and important part of me. It took a while and a lot of work to stop believing that his rejection was my fault. (you’ll have to read my posts from early 2017 to understand my journey)
I’m sharing all this because I think we hardly consider how the choices we make as adults affect our children. There are consequences that a lot of times become heavy crosses for the innocent to bear.
Relationships are complicated. Things won’t always be perfect but if we decide to bring a child into the world (or it happened unplanned), we should not make that innocent child pay the price for our imperfections.
Rejection is deep and the brokenness from it sometimes doesn’t heal. No child deserves to be raised feeling rejected. No child deserves to keep asking “where is my daddy?”
Please love your child. Love openly and abundantly.