I Still Need My Daddy

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I was in diapers when my parents divorced.  My mother had full custody of me and it was normal for me to go several months of the year without seeing my father.  Every time a holiday or school break was approaching, I knew that I’d be receiving a call from Daddy soon to schedule my next visit.  

Daddy’s Girl

I’d gather my favorite outfits and Barbie dolls in an ultra 90s purple backpack with multi-colored zippers purchased from Sears.  I loved that thing!  I’d even pack my neon colored bows made from shoelaces so that my hair would look pretty for Daddy.  

I loved my father so much.  I was his girl.  He made me feel like his gem.  One of our favorite games to play involved me counting how many kisses on the cheek I could give him in one day.  I wasn’t good at counting then, so my score was usually something like “twenty one hundred” or infinity.

As time went on my dad remarried, so I had to share him first with his new partner and then with my half-siblings.  If you were raised in a mixed family, then you know that the transition typically isn’t very Brady Bunch.  I experienced tremendous heartache as I watched my father build a new family, which didn’t seem to have much room for me.  

The Pain

My young mind didn’t know how to cope with the range of emotions I was experiencing, so I went inward.  I kept quiet and when I was sad, I ate.  

My relationship with my father has gone through various seasons.  There was a period of time when we didn’t talk at all.  I was far too hurt and angry to reach out.  I figured that if he wanted me in his life, he should be the one to take the initiative.  I was tired of competing for his love, so I told myself that I was better off without it.  I was wrong.

What I thought would punish him, was actually poisoning me.  My unforgiveness was causing me to suffer. 

Forgiving the Past

Ultimately, a medical scare brought my father and I back together.  It’s been a slow process, but I have learned to let it all go and allow each of us to be free.  We don’t need to carry the burden or shame from the past any longer.

I am so thankful to have him in my life.  We recently had the most beautiful lunch date together where I expressed how there were many times that I wanted to show up on his doorstep.  “Every girl needs her daddy,” I told him in tears. 

I never doubted his love for me.  Our attachment was quite strong.  I simply craved more of him than his wounded heart could give me at the time.  Our parents also had parents who made mistakes too.  Let’s be honest…we’re all a little messed up.  Each of us needs to take an honest look at ourselves and be willing to have the same level of compassion for others we would want to receive.

A New Future

We have an understanding now.  We are able to speak to each other more than father and daughter, but as two adults sharing from their experiences and appreciating their commonalities.  I’m nearly 40 years old with 3 children of my own.  I still need my daddy.  I still need to know that there is a man in my life who loves me, cares for me and wants to protect me without an agenda. 

I still need for his eyes to light up when I enter the room because I come from him.  I still need his hugs and to give him “twenty one hundred” more kisses before either of us leaves this earth.

If you’re reading this and you find yourself in a strained relationship with your father, I hope that you’ll consider speaking your truth to him and letting go of what cannot be undone.  Regardless of the outcome, you’ll be so glad that you did.

daddy

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Tara is a small town California girl from the Central Valley. She met her best friend turned husband shortly after high school. They met at a Hot Topic, while she was "shopping" at the mall. He was the cute emo kid from Simi Valley that her heart couldn't resist. Nearly twenty years later, they have 3 children ages 13, 8, and 6. Tara is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, and SAHHM (stay at home homeschooling mom). She attributes her appreciation for witnessing beauty and transformation to leading her to wear many hats. Whether it's changing a hairstyle, one's physique, increasing knowledge or changing one's point of view, she's passionate about helping others become their personal best. When she's not leading a workout or teaching her kids, you'll find her at a local mexican restaurant (because tacos are life), visiting a museum, hiking, or listening to live music. Tara is proud to be a contributor for the Ventura County Mom Collective. "I hope to encourage more women to honor their bodies and use their personal gifts, so that collectively, we can make a greater impact in this world."

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