A Daughter Comes to Terms With Her Absentee Father

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Generic image (Thinkstock)

Crissinda M. Ponder writes a powerful piece at For Harriet about reconciling her relationship with her absentee father. "They say a father is supposed to be a daughter's first love," she writes. "This wasn't my reality but I can finally fix my mouth to say, I'm OK with that."

I don't know how long it took, reaching this epiphany. I just know that I'm grateful I've arrived.

Growing up with an absentee father was hard — is hard. The emotions that resulted from the void he left are even harder. I can't count the instances I got my hopes up for quality time only to be let down, the tears I've cried for blaming myself for his absence, and the years of anger that festered within me from not letting go of the hurt.

Even in his absence, my father has had overwhelming control of my life and a strong grip on my emotions. I would walk around mad at the world for promises he failed to keep. No more waiting for him to pick me up for the weekend, no more depending on his financial support that would never come.

I wanted out, but his power kept me in. I felt trapped in my anger, my bitterness, my heartbreak.

After years of enduring disappointment after disappointment, I knew I needed to move forward and forgive him for neglecting me, but forgiving someone who continuously hurts you is a hard thing to do. I wanted to let it all go but I felt like he owed me. No, he owed my mom and me. It was his fault that I blamed my mother for them not staying together after my birth, and that everything she did to compensate for his absence was never enough. It was his fault that I didn't appreciate the family that was present in my life and instead chose to dwell on his abandoning me. It was his fault that I grew up with long lists of insecurities and longing to be anyone but me. It was his fault that I compared my incomplete family to two-parent households that I perceived as whole. 


Read Crissinda M. Ponder's entire piece at For Harriet.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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