Parenting

Dear Dad, I have Daddy Issues

Hey Cuties,

Last weekend the family and I took a road trip to North Carolina. I wasn’t sure if this was a trip I wanted to take; I hadn’t been there in eleven years. The last time I went it was out of obligation a bit. I had been a year prior to bury my uncle and I was about six month pregnant with my first child. The family was so excited to see me and excited to see that I was going to be a Mom. So I returned a year later with my eleven month old son for a visit.

This is long, but it is raw and you may require a tissue, I’m just saying.

Daddy Issues 1

Mi, My Dad & Nasir 10/9/2005

It was strange because my paternal grandmother never seemed to like me. They say babies change things so maybe her change had come.  At the age of 25 my grandmother who has known me my entire life told me she loved me for the very first time. *let that sink in a bit* Since that moment my grandmother has been in phone contact with me. I always sent her our Christmas cards and the kid’s school pictures.

I’ve had Daddy issues for the past 36 years.  My Dad lived in the same state as me for seven years. I then moved four hours away. Insert more empty promises, and a vicious cycle of I’m coming to visit or get you and not showing up.  Children need their Mom & Dad, which is why you need one of each to make a baby. It is by design. Both roles are equally essentials to a child’s life. They give us two different types of love, and we need both to thrive. Except I only had one, she did it all but no matter how hard she tried she could never feel the void of my absent father.

For years I’ve wondered why, why would you not have a role in my life? Why wasn’t I good enough to love? I’m amazing.

Earlier this month my Bloggy Boo Diana Ramsey of Sisters with Beauty released her new book titled the Butterfly Transition.  During the launch party she talked about how this book wasn’t just about transitioning your hair back to its natural state but how such transition is a metaphor for other areas of our life.  There is a part of this book that hits home for me. I’m not going to give it away, you can get the book and find out for yourself. What I will say is it was Daddy related and it totally struck a nerve.

Daddy Issues 4

Mi & My Grandma {Her 90th Birthday}

By the time I read this book I had already decided we were going on this road trip. I needed to quiet the questions my daughter had about a grandfather she knew nothing about. God has a funny way of delivering a message… I decided we would go on Saturday, June 18th the day my grandmother would turn 90.

The morning of the trip I woke up with all kinds of anxiety. My family of four along with my mother and sister piled in the car headed to North Carolina. I decided that I was just going to have a good time. I wasn’t going to over think it; I also wasn’t going to talk to my Dad about said issues. Note: I’ve called him by his first name all of my life. Saying Dad is new for me and still feels a bit uncomfortable; but I’m trying.

We arrived and everyone was thrilled to see us. We caught up on the past eleven years, laughed, joked and ate a lot. We had a great visit, the kids got to meet a side of their family they knew nothing about. It felt good to give them that moment.

Daddy Issues 5

My Sister, Mi, My Mom & Grandmother

The trip was over and now what? I didn’t talk much about it for a couple of days.  I needed to process everything. Tuesday afternoon had a great conversation with my big sister. It was just what I needed and she had no idea. She and I have different dad’s but we’ve known each other’s Dad all of our lives. She has more memories with my Dad than I do; she is six years older.

On Tuesday night at 11:20pm I would have the break through I needed for the past 36 years and 8 months to the day. I was telling Diana that I loved her book and how it really helped me out. From there I just emotionally dumped on her. No seriously, I let out 36 years of resentment and hurt. I cried so hard my nose was  stopped up and I had to breathe out of my mouth and I had a killer headache. Despite all of that I felt like a load had been lifted off my shoulders.

Daddy Issues 2

They made me…

I had to realize hurt people hurt people and I couldn’t continue to punish him for that because I was also punishing myself. I’ve decided to just meet him where he is. He is a loving person just not capable of loving me the way I want to be loved and that is okay. Now I am the child teaching the parent; much like my son did to me recently. Whenever I would see my Dad he always told me he loved me and he was proud of me. I never doubted the love I just didn’t understand why it never moved beyond my immediate presence. I didn’t understand why I had to come to him.

I’m the show no emotion type of girl. The one that always has an answer or a plan but this part of me was broken. My Daddy issues were stopping me from being the best me.  Stopping me from getting where I desire to be; I’ve decided to let God put me back together again. Reading Diana’s book gave me permission that I needed to let it go.  I didn’t realize how much it had weighed me down. I thank her for being my messenger when she didn’t even know my life needed a word.

Daddy Issues 3

My Dad and my Kids and Babe in the back

I had to let go of my expectations, my Dad is 62 years old and he isn’t about to change who he is. So I’m going to change who I am and meet him where he is.  They say our story isn’t for us it is for someone else. Diana’s story was for me and I hope that my story is for someone.

Dear Dad, I have Daddy Issues

What is your relationship like with your Dad? Chat with me in the comment below or FB, IG or Twitter.

Article written by:

Mimi Green is the Lifestyle Media Correspondent and editor behind MimiCuteLips®. She is a mother of two and a girlfriend to one. You can find Mimi working media at your favorite events, traveling and trying out new adventures, or working on a dope DIY project.

Join the discussion

  1. Melissa Dixon

    I am sorry to hear about your struggles with your dad but it looks like you grew wiser from it. Meeting him where he is may be the only way to get past the issues. I can totally relate to that with so many people in my family. Everyone is on their own journey and you have to meet them where they are and can’t get mad that they are not where you want them to be. Such important information but so hard to live by.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Melissa you are so right. This is something we can apply to anyone and still find peace. It also keeps us from being disappointed.

  2. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I am so happy to hear you’re on your way to happiness and recovery. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to go through years of not feeling good enough like that. Here’s to many years of joy and bonding!

  3. Jeanette

    It sounds like you really learned a lot and you have the “mature” relationship between you and your father! I think coming to the realization that you did about your father will always help you in life.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks Jeanette, we hate dealing with the real issue sometimes. When we keep ignoring them sometimes we have to be forced to deal with them.

  4. Karissa

    You are a brave and strong person! You are doing the right thing by seeing him – this sentence says it all “So I’m going to change who I am and meet him where he is.” I have had issues with my real father and even wrote a award winning essay about it in college. I had to forgive and let go, and I am happier because I did so!

  5. Chrissy

    *Tear jerker* You know I am super proud of you. Many people probably won’t understand this journey or understand “Daddy Issues” but many of us have our own stories we could tell. I’m so emotionally tongue tied for you and I will be your cheerleader as many more of these trips come about!

    Love you,

    The BFF

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks a bunch, you know this was a really long time coming. I just want people to understand that Daddy issues doesn’t mean we are damaged goods. Love ya!

  6. Christine @Moms 'N Charge®

    Girl….wow. It’s interesting cause I grew up with my dad but never felt like he was there or we had a relationship until much later on in life. And it wasn’t until I wrote my book that I realized what you did: he could only love me the way he knew how and wasn’t going to change so I needed to meet him where he is. I love that you got what you needed and didn’t even know you needed it. That’s divine order. That’s how God works. He always shows up and sends people we need just in time. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have no doubt that your story will indeed be the very thing that someone else was waiting on to start living their lives. XO

    • MimiCuteLips

      Oh wow Christine that is very interesting. We assume those with two parents in the home have the “perfect” parenting relationships and that is obviously not true for everyone. Thanks for sharing, I’m glad you and your Dad were able to find a sweet spot in your father, daughter relationship. But God!

  7. Diana

    I’m so thankful for you and proud of you. You’ve done an excellent job and I couldn’t have been more proud reading your post. Yes CRIED ALL THE WAY THROUGH IT BECAUSE IT’S REAL AND RAW AND LIFE. Thank you for supporting Butterfly Transition and for completing a transition that can follow many to our grave. You’ve taken the best step towards healing and that’s the most important part about it all. Freeing you from the emotional break that manifests itself in other ways when we don’t deal with it at the root. Thank you for supporting me, thank you for showing me this book wasn’t for me, it is to help us all transition. Thank you for writing and exposing your truth. You’ve grown 6 feet tall because of it. Love you to light.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. People come in our lives for a reason, a reason neither one of us knew or even saw coming. We’ve been rolling for a couples years now but this book, this Butterfly Transition happened to the both of us for a reason. Thank you for being my vessel, you shared your truth. I am doing my part and sharing my truth so that it can set someone else free just as you’ve done for me. Love you!

  8. Valerie robinson

    This post had me tearing up. You are such a phenomenal woman and I so deeply admire you. My husband’s dad literally lives 10 min away from us and they don’t have a relationship whatsoever. He hasn’t even met me or the children and my oldest is 9. There are a lot of layers and I thank you for being so transparent.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Awwww! Thank you Valerie, it is messages like this that remind me why I’m so passionate about MimiCuteLips.com The sad thing is so many of us have this story. I hope hubby is able to find his peace.

  9. Claudette J. Davis

    You already know that you and your sister are the wind beneath my wings and that I hurt when you hurt. You can soar even higher now. I am so extremely proud of you for taking this on. We are all a product of our pass. Very well done.

    I LOVE YOU!

    Mommy

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks for never speaking ill of our Dad, that says a lot about who you are as a person. That also speaks to the values you’ve instilled in us. Thanks for always pushing me to have a relationship with my Dad.

  10. Bijee

    I’m glad that book and the trip provided an avenue of transition for you. I know the feelings, the ways we are hindered with daddy issues. I have not reached the space you’re in. I thank for that I am who I am and I know that had my father been there I wouldn’t be the same, probably worse off honestly. But it doesn’t dismiss the void. I’ve been meaning to get Diana’s book. She has great energy. Thank you for sharing your story. This is a good read! ❤️❤️❤️

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks Bijee, the book spokes to several areas in my life, but one thing at a time. I too think I am a better person because of the way life turned out. We can’t change the cards we were dealt, we can only be smart about the way we play them. You didn’t get these feelings over night and they won’t go away over night.

  11. Angie

    I’m so sorry you had such a bad experience growing up. I know so many friends with stories very similar to this. It’s just great that you’re working through it now, and you’re strong and independent and you can get through anything.

  12. Jenn

    I pretty much have a similar story, only my dad died about 9 years ago, which to me wasnt too heartbreaking because i didnt know him nor did he get to know me. I felt sorry for myself for a while but knew deep down that i didnt need that type of person in my life nor did my future kids. Its sad, but not much you can do when your parent chooses a controlled substance over their own flesh and blood which essentially was his demise.

    Thank you for sharing your story and this book, ill have to take a read.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Jenn, I totally feel you believe me I do. I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow anyone to make my kids feel the way I feel. Drugs ruin lives every single day, my Dad abuses alcohol so I get it. I know that it will eventually take him out.

      Thank you for sharing your story, I’m honored that you were so open to share that with me.

  13. Heather Lawrence

    I am so sorry that you had such a bad experience growing up. I am closer to my dad now that I am an adult than I ever was as a kid. My sister was his favourite and I always knew it. He never said it but I knew.
    Now that I am grown we are a lot closer…thankfully.

  14. Christy Garrett

    I can relate to this post. However, it’s not my relationship that struggle. My kids father has been absent for their lives since Dec 2005. My daughter is now an adult and try to reach out to him. Apparently, he ignored her email. I feel so bad for them. My kids are lucky and have a great step dad.

  15. Kathy

    You sound like a very strong and brave woman. I’m sorry to hear about you having a bad experience while growing up. Sometimes it’s better to let go of things.

  16. OurFamilyWorld

    I am sorry that you had to go through this while growing up. It’s good though, that you decided to meet him where he is.

  17. Lynndee

    You are one strong woman and such an amazing person for doing the “move” instead of waiting for your dad to change. I salute you for that!

  18. Eloise

    glad you took that road trip… holding on to hurt and resentment is a struggle in it’s self and can only bring more pain and unhappiness. it’s best to be the bigger person and try to make things work… I have had dad issues too! he’s been absent for most of my life (lives in another country)… it took me almost dying for him to come to my rescue and to figure out people (especially family) are most important in life and at some point you have to make a mends and step up to the plate to talk it out and become close as God intended it to be!

    • MimiCuteLips

      Oh wow Eloise, I’m glad he was able to be there in your greatest time of need. Family really is what is most important.

  19. Shaney Vijendranath (youbabyandi)

    My dad died when I was 8 years old. I have so many questions for him but I really wish I got to know him better. 🙁

  20. foodfashionandflow

    You have really been through a lot with your dad, but it looks like you are on your way to having a stronger and healthier relationship with him. I could feel your pain when I was reading this and it is difficult when you grow up with an absent father or one that did not parent the way he should have. The blessing is that you can start now and God has a way of making every crooked place straight.

  21. Kristine Foley

    Girl my heart aches for you, but good for you for doing what’s right in your heart. I haven’t spoken to my dad for almost 6 years now, I do think of him often, but am ok with keeping our distance so he doesn’t hurt my children now. Hugs to you!

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks Kristine, it sucks but where there is pain there is growth. I certainly will continue to protect my children from any possible hurt. I talked to them about having parents that aren’t always great before we even went to visit.

  22. Kemkem

    Wow! This is deep and it takes a lot of courage to share it. I am sure it was a relief to let it all out. We were not brought all mushy mushy with our parents, but we knew the love was there. I’m sorry you didn’t have that growing up. I like the fact that you are teaching the parent. You’re right, you can’t change him, just yourself. Glad you took the road trip :-). It served its purpose.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Kem it was a huge relief to let it out. It totally served a purpose and it was more about me than him and I’m okay with that.

  23. Donna Shana

    Awh, bless your heart. I think most parents who aren’t as active as we would like have any idea how it will affect the child. I’m glad you were able to see him, enjoy and introduce your kids to the family. I pray healing is present.

  24. Cece

    This resonated with me, girlie, I recognize that cry all too well. I wrote about a similar experience and then once before. I’m still processing my “relationship” with my father — even now after his death; especially now after his death. But it’s really like you said, “hurt people…hurt people” so I can’t fault him. He gave what he had and where he didn’t give, he had nothing to give. Thanks for opening up and sharing.

  25. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    I am glad to know that you’ve settled your differences with your dad and you’re okay now. My relationship with my dad is kind of okay but he already passed away early this year.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks Peachy, I don’t have huge expectations but at least I know it isn’t weighing me down anymore. Sorry to hear that about your Dad.

  26. Keisha

    I can relate to some of this. My paternal grandmother wasn’t very fond of my sisters and I, either. It was so odd since my dad was a single parent, yet we never felt like a part of that side of our family. When she passed we didn’t even bother paying respects. I think it’s admirable that you’ve resolved to meet them where they are. I hope to attain that level of empathy one day.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Keisha, I will never understand it, maybe it isn’t for me to understand. All of my memories were with my maternal Grandmother who died 14 years ago.

  27. Kasi

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, I’m sure it’s very helpful to others with the same issues. I think it’s really good that you at least know that your dad loves you, and it’s awesome you made the trip and let him know how you feel. I’m grateful to have a great relationship with my dad.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks Kasi, that is awesome. I always wanted to know what it was like to be a Daddy’s Girl. I do enjoy watching my daughter experience that with her Dad.

  28. Dana Carmel

    Thanks for sharing your story! I’m so glad you’ve reached a point where you’ve resolved to let God put you back together again…no one else can do it like him! I’m also glad that you’ve decided to meet your father where he is. My dad has always been very present in my life, so I can only imagine how hard it must have been to grow up without a solid relationship with your dad. You’re so right that kids need both of their parents. But know that God’s love is ALL sufficient! Praying for your continued growth and healing!

  29. Eva

    Wow. It is great that you are able to share this. My relationship with my dad has always been interesting. I’m not sure how normal it was because I didn’t really have anything to compare it to. I know that we became a lot closer after I started law school because we had a lot more in common. I’d never had really long phone conversations with him, and months could go by, years maybe, and we wouldn’t even speak. Now we chat weekly. We’ve had some dark times, but I am really glad that we are able to move past them now. I think you are right – kids change things – and he absolutely loves my little ones.

    • MimiCuteLips

      I love to hear that Eva, I know that it is possible. You are living proof, thanks for sharing your truth. I so appreciate that.

  30. Kiwi

    I am so happy you got to release some built up emotions about your father. I can only imagine as I actually have a beautiful relationship with my dad we are super close…but constellation for me not having a real relationship with my mom. People think when you become an adult these emotions just go away…no they are still there but you are mature and even realizing you have to be the child teaching the parent to have a better bond. Rooting for you and your family Mimi!

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks Kiwi, after having children it showed me all of my insecurities in life. I’ve dealt with most but had a few laying around. For so many years I had dusted them under the rug thinking they were out of sight out of mind. Boy was I wrong. Thanks for cheering me on, I appreciate it.

  31. Ariel

    Oh, Mimi! I’m so happy that you were able to release that lifelong weight. This was a beautiful story to read and I know that it will help others transform. I see a book in your future, too. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you!

  32. Kim

    Although your situation was unfortunate, and you had to deal with it for so long. So long. I’m happy you were able to find the time and space to get it off of your chest before either of them passed.

  33. Ngumabi

    I can relate with this
    It’s hard to not have a dad in one’s life
    It’s hard when they stay away and you are left with the work they were supposed to do to get close to you and play a role in your life
    You are brave and it’s normal to feel the void. It doesn’t make you weak or childish
    Just know that your dad’s behaviour is not your fault and stay brave girl

  34. Kita

    I feel your story to my core. I have no relationship with my father. It is sad and I am glad to see you getting past all the hurt and pain. You are so right, kids need both parents.

  35. Jennifer

    This is a very inspiring blog post! I can relate to the “daddy issues” you write about, although my experience is somewhat different. I am still trying to meet my dad where he’s at, but it is hard. I think you are amazing and very strong for choosing to not hold a grudge and to show your dad love instead. Your own children will learn greatly from you. Beautiful post!

    • MimiCuteLips

      Thanks Jennifer. It took me a long time to get to this place. As a result I will say my Dad had showed up for my kids in a way he has never showed up for me. I appreciate that.

  36. Ra'Nesha

    Very inspirational and emotional post I also learned to forgive my Dad and today we’re inseparable. I’ve always had him in my life, but a lot of broken promises over the years I always knew he loved me though. I need to purchase that book MiMi from the bottom of my heart thank you for writing this post.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Oh, Ra’Nesha I so happy to hear that. Get the book girl, it was really good.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your truth.

  37. EG III

    I’m glad you were able to ultimately find peace before it was too late. Losing my mom was the hardest thing I ever experienced in life…but it did allow me to strengthen the bond with my very own father that did not previously exist.

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