How Can You Have “Daddy Issues” When Your Dad Is Still in Your Life?

“How dare you talk about “Daddy Issues” when your father is at home with you. Both of your parents are together and you wanna complain about daddy issues????”

ec2c78744afb4e3a323c592c3f8c8fd5People who feel that they have the right to police other people’s emotions are inconsiderate and annoying as hell. How on earth can you sit there and have the audacity to try and tell someone how they are allowed to feel or convey their emotions based off of an experience that is directly linked to them? Opening up is hard enough as is. Now, imagine the energy, courage, and strength it takes to bare a part of your inner struggle to someone just to have them shoot it down because they can’t relate. Yeah, that’s been me with a vast majority of my life. Honestly, up til recent I have been pretty tight lipped about my struggles or the fact that I even really have any. Growing up it was beat over my head that any struggle you face, you keep it quiet. You don’t tell anyone your business and you damn sure don’t ask for help. Just pray about it. Give it up to God. And while, yes, prayer is a great source of healing, I just find it so difficult to believe that God — who created everyone and everything for a purpose — would want us to just suffer alone. However, I digress. Daddy issues. Can you truly have daddy issues even though your father is still in the house?12686-Father-And-DaughterThe first man a girl is ever introduced to in her life is her father. He’s the man that basically shapes her outlook on what love and protection is, what to look for in a man, and just overall shapes her definition on what a ‘man’ is. I never really took the time to realize that a lot of my shitty relationships stem from my emotional issues with my father. Shit, a lot of my emotional baggage stems from my relationship — or lack thereof — with my father.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my father. We bump heads at times and there are instances when he makes me want to pull my hair out but through and through my dad is an amazing father. I’ll never take that from him. But it wasn’t always like this.
Growing up, I was that “Daddy’s Girl”. My dad was literally my superhero. I loved him. Still do. But back then it was almost as though my worthiness was dependent on him. And I mean it makes sense. As a child you practically depend on your parents for everything. The older I grew, however, the more distant we seemed to become. It’s like we couldn’t understand each other anymore.

I didn’t ever realize how much this lack of relationship affected me until I started dating. tumblr_nt7d29indN1tght7ho1_500So much of my worthiness and self-esteem was found in men. It’s like I was trying to recreate a father-daughter bond with every relationship I came across. I was desperate for love. For some sort of acceptance. Some sort of validation that I was good enough. It seemed like the only time my dad would give me any sort of attention was if he was mad at me or if I fucked up. The only way we seemed to be able to communicate was through screaming matches. And this type of behavior paralleled itself into many of my relationships.

I remember one time my dad and I were in the car riding home and we had gotten into a huge fight. I remember breaking down and crying to him about how I didn’t want us to fight anymore and how I missed him and wanted to fix our relationship. Needless to say he ignored my cries and continued to whirl insult after insult towards me. He even taunted me. I’m sure he doesn’t even recall that fight. But I still do. And though I thought I had forgiven him, the situation, whatever, I realize that I’ve really only just swept everything under the rug. Hence, my issue with confrontation. Because the one time that I tried to confront my father — the first man I ever loved in my whole entire life — he shut me down.

Sometimes I think my daddy issues still play a prominent role in my life. I struggle with opening up to people and the rare times in which I do, if my vulnerability is mishandled, I shut down and vow to never  open up again. I also struggle with abandonment.   I think that’s why I’ve morphed into this shell of a person and why I’m so reluctant to let people in. I don’t like getting attached to people only to have them leave me. Especially when it comes to the guys I like/am interested in.  It’s like I have this anxiety that there’s going to come a time that everything just…stops. That he’ll turn ice cold. And we’ll ‘grow apart’. I hate that part.

I love my dad. And he — like everyone else — isn’t perfect. I forgive him. I forgive him even though he’s never said, “sorry”, and we’ve never really discussed anything from the past, but I just can’t hold on to all of that animosity. If it wasn’t for him (and my mother) there would be no me. So if I can’t be thankful of anything else, I can sure as hell be thankful for that. One day I hope that we can try and have a real conversation but even if that never happens, I’ll be just fine. I don’t doubt that my father loves me. Honestly, he just may not know how to show it in the way that I want him to, but that doesn’t mean he loves me any less.

 

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