Skip to main content

I will never forget the last time I saw my father.

The tension was high.

The words were sharp.

His actions that day severed any remaining hope of a healthy father-daughter relationship.

That day became the source of nightmares and another layer of trauma that would have to be dealt with.

I understood his pain.

I saw a life riddled with unresolved issues and a few attempts to attain wholeness but never getting there.

Change and healing aren’t easy tasks.

But on that day, as heartbroken as I was—I was done.

I was done trying to win his affection, validation, and approval.

That day, it was clear he didn’t have it to give and he’d have to forge a healing journey (if he chose to do so) without his eldest daughter.

That day my quest ended.

And I grieved. I wept for the man whose features and heart for benevolence I carry.

Because all I ever wanted to be was a “daddy’s girl.”

Compartmentalizing Emotions

Father’s Day was always a challenge.

I had this highly dysfunctional relationship with my father but married a great man who was worthy of celebration.

How do you navigate this?

My biblical upbringing didn’t help much because the counsel always given was that honoring him was mandatory.

Those shared Father’s Day were awkward and highly uncomfortable and I wanted nothing more than to escape.

Since our last encounter, Father’s Day remains complicated but not nearly as painful.

I grieved the loss of my father and the fact that a healthy relationship wouldn’t be happening this lifetime.

The pain experienced that first Father’s Day after everything exploded was unbearable. But each year, the grief and pain lessened. When I think about it now, I whisper a prayer that he pursues peace and healing and continue about my day.

Being Okay With Whatever You Decide

I know estrangement is the thing to do nowadays and some even wear it as a badge of honor. The #nocontactfamily is wildly popular.

My decision to separate myself came after decades of trying, cooling off moments, and then trying again. This last event, however, solidified what I’d known for some time but didn’t want to believe. I finally had to give up my dream of a healthy relationship because both parties have to want the same thing and be willing to do their work.

It’s not what I wanted but I’m okay.

The best thing you can do to overcome the pain of dysfunction and grief is to start or continue your healing journey. If you’ve got to honor a parent, let some part of them live on in a whole and healed version of you.

Happy Father’s Day

I happily celebrate the #girldads out there and the other men making a positive impact in the lives of their kiddos—my hubby included!

Thank you for all that you do.

Thank you for breaking cycles, and parenting in a way that you may have never been parented.

I salute you.

Happy Father’s Day!

Leave a Reply