Once I went for a walk in a park to clear the clutter in my head. The scenery was breathtaking and the atmosphere was tranquil. What caught my attention were the many fathers who were in the same space engaging their children in various gleeful activities. Whether it was teaching them to ride a bicycle or how to fly a kite, it was interesting how keen and attentive the fathers were.
I never had the chance to be raised by my father, but there must have been at least one lesson he taught me. Here are lessons that other absentees taught their own teens.
My dad chose his common-law wife/girlfriend of 10 years over me and has failed to support me since their relationship began. His girlfriend and I didn't see eye to eye but instead of being the mediator and help us reconcile our differences, he ordered me to leave their house. Since then, whenever I've needed him there's always been an excuse. He has tried on a few occasions in the past to meet some of my physical needs but now he sticks to his ancient belief that because I'm becoming a man (18 years) I should fend for myself.
I don't hold anything he has done to me, whether emotionally or physically, against him. I learnt that I had to move on with life even though it was a scary realisation. I got tougher, motivated and fiercely took control of matters concerning my well-being. I eventually moved out and began supporting myself with the help of a few. I've been okay, for the most part, and I feel relieved to be away from him and his drama.
I've forgiven him. It dawned on me that I had put too much faith in him and my expectations of him were too high. God became my Father as I turn to Him in prayer seeking refuge and strength to carry on. I sometimes feel lonely and sad because many of my friends have functioning fathers. Through it all, though, I've learnt not to blame myself for how the situation unfolded but to love myself and make the best of my life
- Tyson Green
I was born to young parents who were obviously not ready to play their roles. My mother accepted the challenge and was determined to grow me in the best way she possibly could. However, my father denied me when my mother was in her first trimester. He asked my mom to get an abortion at least four times during her pregnancy. When my mom realised that the man she was so madly in love with and now pregnant for wouldn't be by her side to father her child, she attempted suicide.
Later, my father declared me to be the child of another man and chased my mother away whenever she would ask him for financial contributions. I remember when I was five and I went to my dad for money to attend school, he spat in my face and told me I wasn't his child. For years I have lived with a deeply entrenched hatred for him, especially when I see how much he loved and cared for my sister who came a year after me. I even began hating myself when I started to look more like him. I plotted to have him killed once, but I couldn't go through with it after thinking about how much I'd be depriving his other children of a father and that it wouldn't make me any better than he.
Today, I see my father downtown curled up on a dingy square of cardboard with a tube attachedto his navel, begging for basic needs. Once I went up to him and asked him if he knew who I was and he chased me away; I cried. I returned and dropped 25 cents in his collection basket and told him to have a happy life. My sperm donor (dad) taught me that karma is real and what you reap is what you will sow.
- Ronaldo Smith
I don't know my dad. Well, my mom knows who he is but he doesn't come around to see me or tries to communicate with me in any way. When I was younger I was sad about it [that he was absent] and I felt like I was to be blamed for him not being in my life. I don't feel that way anymore and I no longer wish he was in my life. I've been with my stepdad since I was three and he's been such a father to me, and one could never tell that I wasn't his biological child from how he treats me. To say I want my real dad would just be ungrateful and embarrassing. With my dad out of the picture, my mom's happily married and I got two siblings from my stepdad who has NEVER referred to me as an outside child. I still care about my birth father and hope he's okay with life.
- Shadiomar Mcpharlene
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