It’s been too long!
For anyone wondering where I’ve been hiding… nowhere. Life has just been lifeing. Like hard.
Today is Father’s Day, so big up all the men who have stood up and taken responsibility to parent our authentic beings. I also have to shout out all the women bossing this journey showing up and fulfilling both roles. I’m honestly in awe of you, because this isn’t easy!
When I started this blog, I promised to be open and true in an attempt to help others going through similar situations, and this topic today is no different.
I’ve always been notoriously private about anything to do with my dad. This has been to protect my heart. See, my dad left us after my mum divorced him, and she was left to raise me and five siblings alone. There is no human on this planet, who can say with a high chest that raising six people is a piece of cake – I struggle with two!
When my dad left, my heart broke, and to very honest with you, I don’t think anything in the world will ever mend it. I hated him, and as hard as it is for me to utter those words, it is true. I was a daddy’s girl – I worshipped the ground he walked on. And he so easily turned his back on that love.
That sense of abandonment has never gone away and I’ve built myself ready to cope with being alone. As a black woman, this fed straight into the box of ‘strong’ that has broken so many of us down. Couple that with watching my mum work three jobs tirelessly to make ends meet, made it harder for me to deal with emotion.
Trying to appear happy to lift the spirit of my struggling mother, whilst really wanting to scream and cry all the time created a normal for me that I can’t even shift today; even with all that meditating.
I became estranged from my dad for a very long time. I didn’t want to have anything to do with him, and I told myself that I didn’t need him as I had everything I needed without him. I refused calls, messages, Facebook requests – the lot. This delusion opened the door to toxic relationships, not just with men, but also with my emotions.
There was a running joke among those close to me, that my heart was missing, because for a long time, I didn’t show any form of emotion. I was hardened and was comfortable with that. All the relationships I got into failed, because I chose men who didn’t and couldn’t love me. When they broke my heart, it was cool because it was already broken, so who cared?
But it really did have an impact on every part of my life.
Then, everything changed the day I met my partner. He loved me like no partner had. I hadn’t felt love like this since my dad. I realised just how much I’d been supressing. I realised I had to learn to love again. Like really love. And he had that love and patience to hold my hand through this.
The reality is, I’m a nightmare to be in a relationship with. I know this, and I finally began to understand why this was. I had to face my dad. So, I became open to rebuilding a relationship with him after two decades and that was the day things started to improve for me mentally.
Five years ago, I reconciled my relationship with my dad, but I hadn’t completely forgiven him. I held that back; for some reason, I still felt that I had to protect myself because God knows, I couldn’t handle that form of rejection again. But by not letting go, and forgiving with a full and open heart, our relationship didn’t blossom as it should have. Even after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Fast forward to March this year, I found out that my dad had only weeks to live. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. What did they mean he was going to die?
I became crippled with guilt. Why had I put up so many barriers just to be in control? Why had I wasted precious time for ego?
On Sunday 24 March, I jumped on a plane to the US and spent my dad’s last days with him. This is a time I’ll never forget. All the things of the past became irrelevant. The love I felt for him was stronger than ever before, as though we had never been apart. Even in his most painful time, a time he couldn’t even speak, I saw and felt the love he had towards me. I didn’t know just how much I needed him in my life until that moment.
For five days, we sat together, hand in hand. I told him everything about me and my life. I laughed and cried about all our memories together that I had kept in an emotional safe box. I told him that I had forgiven him for everything and asked him to forgive me. Together we became free.
My dad passed away on 3 April 2022.
I’ve shared my story because I want to encourage anyone dealing with an internal battle (for whatever reason) stopping them from being open to forgive someone, to understand that by not letting go, we’re only holding ourselves back in the long run. Freedom comes in so many different forms, but the freedom to receive all that is divine to us, sometimes requires us to make decisions that appear unfavourable or unpopular, and sometimes humbling.
If I could go back (which I can’t), I would have made different decisions but life is funny like that. Sometimes we go through hardships to help others. I hope I’ve been able to do that.
Happy Father’s Day. Hug your loved ones tight, and never forget what really matters.
Sending light and love always.