My view has certainly changed since being a vulnerable child to an adult who sometimes knows what they’re doing. It was confusing as a child. Most of my friends had lived with their father or at least knew of them. Neither of those situations pertained to me. Maybe I would be the only person in the world to not actually have a father. I found it to be one of the most confusing times of my life – it wouldn’t be for a while before I had answers. I remember going through periods where I imagined celebrities as my father, one my brother and I had a kick out of. We chose Kane from the WWE franchise as my father. What better way to make light of a situation that haunted me than to daydream something fun and interesting.

Coming to Terms

As I grew older, the father figure I always imagined became more and more important. I often found myself at my friends’ house in awe of their family dynamic. The relationship she had with her father and the way he cared for them was bittersweet for me. I would never experience that and I sometimes would wallow in self-pity. However, I started to ask questions – once I did, I found myself asking more. My father had passed away when I was just over a week old. He knew about me… and didn’t want me. He never got to hold me or tell me he loved me. It was never about walking me down the aisle, being at my graduation, or watching me grow into an adult. It was about missing the normality and the consistency that I never got to experience.

What can I do about never having those experiences? He has passed away and I have never had a father figure. How do I truly miss something when I’m not really sure what it was that’s missing. It’s now my job to come to terms with my situation and figure the rest out myself. Unfortunately, there’s no other way around it. Whether it is counseling, talking with friends and family, or doing intense soul searching, it’s up to you.

“Daddy Issues” is Toxic

Why is it when people notice something that may be different about you, they revert back to the same and overused words: Daddy Issues. This term can be so detrimental to those trying to figure themselves out. Whether it’s the butt of a joke or an unintentional insult, telling someone they have “daddy issues” is discrediting their actual feelings and mental health.

Are there traits we acquire because of the lack of a male role model? Possibly. To dig a bit further into the idea, most associate “daddy issues” or “father complex” with dating older men, dating men who remind them of their fathers, or associated certain behaviors like lack of trust. This may be true to some. We each deal with our situations differently. There is a multitude of possibilities in why women or men have these feelings and behavior when it comes to the relationship between father and child. I like to think, if anything, this gives us the tools, and although it’s a long road to figuring out life on our own, we can appreciate the relationships we do have a bit more.

A Fatherless Father’s Day

It’s hard to grow up without a father. Everyone’s situation is different, and this Father’s Day, you may be grieving the recent loss of your parent, or maybe you consider it just another day. Either way, know that you’re allowed to be sad for the loss of what could have been or what used to be. You’re also allowed to be content with the situation you’re in. For most of my teenage years into adulthood, I have been content. I do have FOMO (fear of missing out) at some points in life, but I try to be grateful for the relationships I do have and work on those. I know that my husband is a wonderful father, and my daughter is a lucky girl; that sometimes makes me feel a bit jealous of the idea of what could have been.

Nevertheless, it’s my reality and the reality for so many. It’s easier said than done to move on with your life and to accept actuality. The struggles you will face might make you question everything about yourself and wonder had you had a father figure, would life look a bit different. There is no harm in daydreaming about what life may be like. However, you can’t stay in that place for long. Life is hard and tricky and desolate at times. We must find a way to be okay with our lives by loving ourselves. Understanding our worth isn’t measured by what we have and don’t have – literally and figuratively.

You are you because of YOU

This Father’s Day, whatever the day looks like for you, let us appreciate who we have and why we have them. Evaluate yourself in a way that’s positive and uplifting. Look at all of your successes as a person and know that it’s because of YOU that you’re where you’re at.

Read also:
An Open Letter To My Amma
The Indian Misogynysts Are Mothers
Being Disowned: A Mother’s Perspective