My father was a bit of an absent father figure. I don’t think he really had a choice, because my mother was domineering and insatiable in her need for attention, and I think he just checked-out. But, I needed him to be stronger – I needed him to be involved – I needed him to tell my mother to back off and let me be. But, my mother has an extremely strong personality, and my father – well, I’ve kinda realised he is a bit of a gentle giant. He doesn’t like the drama, the fussing, he likes peace and quiet and even though it was a false sense of peace, if there wasn’t shouting in the house – he was happy, and he assumed we all were. But, that was an opportunity for me to hide myself, hide my fear, withdraw deep into myself, protect myself…
My marriage has brought about tremendous healing, for which I am very grateful. I am grateful that my husband, in his gentle and quiet manner, has filled a gap in my heart that my father never filled. But, I am even more grateful that he is involved in Baby Girl’s life in a way that my father never was. My husband acknowledges Baby Girl, he talks to her, engages her as a father should – and I am so grateful. Every little girl needs a daddy who loves them and sees their beauty. Especially when there is no external beauty yet to speak of.
But, more importantly, I am truly grateful that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me perfectly and completely, who sees me, my potential, my hurts, my scars, my fears – and still loves me. I am so grateful that I have come to know this God who loves so completely, and knew that I needed a gentle and husband to heal some of the hurts of my past.
And after all the years of fighting, that eventually led to my parents divorcing, I am grateful that I have come to realise that my father is just a man – not the monster I was led to believe when I was growing up.
If I had $1 for every time my mother said to me, “I know he’s your father but…” and then proceeded to share with me very intimate details of their lives and their marriage and of my father to me, I’d be a very, very wealthy woman today. I first asked her to stop when I was a teen, she ignored me. I asked again in my early twenties, she ignored me. And even after she divorced my father when I got back from honeymoon, and she had now remarried, she still continued to slate him. Until eventually my husband stepped in and said enough. Only then did she listen.
The sad thing is I grew up with this very negative view of my father, and when they got divorced, I got to know a very kind, down to earth man. His only problem was that he was just a man – I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but he was just human. He wasn’t the monster I was led to believe my entire life.
And the result: as Sarah K says, I am now closer to my dad than my mom. I can’t be close to her – I can’t trust her. Not only did she promptly divorce my father after I came back from honeymoon, but realising that all the years I believed badly about him were based on lies and selfish perception, means I can’t be close to her (for example she used to tell everyone he was a raging alcoholic – strange how I never, ever saw him drunk or drinking to the point of getting drunk). And it is sad, because I think every daughter should have a mother they can rely on and be close to when they have children of their own.
I have never bad mouthed my husband in front of Baby Girl – and I pray that I never will. Whatever issues I may or may not have with him are issues for me to deal with. And I hope and pray for the strength to always remain true to that. Reference here.
I am grateful that I am God’s daughter – I am sometimes obedient, sometimes disengaging, sometimes rebellious, sometimes selfish, sometimes all of the above, but always His daughter.
Whatever it has meant to you to be a daughter is recorded at the roots of your soul. Somewhere in your head, you still think of yourself in these terms: cherished, loved, encouraged, acknowledged, accepted, protected, worthy, wanted, or abandoned, rejected, put down, criticized, judged, neglected.
Whatever your father thought of you is how a part of you still thinks of yourself. Daughter. Reference here.
I am grateful that God loves me perfectly, completely, eternally and beyond measure. So much so He gave His son to die so that I – little old me from Port Elizabeth – can spend eternity with Him. Who am I to be bestowed with such a great honour?
I have so much to be grateful for.