That’s almost half the nation. Children growing up without a father has serious effects on a child‘s growth and development. Statistically speaking we have a growing issue on our hands, however this will not be an article about facts and statistics. Sure I could keep giving you numbers about how many children are affected from this, that isn’t what Jessa’s Secret Journal is about. I want you to hear from the people who are affected by this, the children. Boys and girls to grown men and women. How being absent from your child’s life gives them a pain that will not be healed easily. How it diminishes their mentality for feeling worthy of being loved and wanted. Here I will discuss and hope to help heal those wounded souls, because here – On Jessa’s Secret Journal, your birth right is to be happy. We’ll take this journey together.
Next time you go out, whether it be the store, to work, or the bank look around you. 4 out of 10 people grew up in a fatherless home. Next, notice how this issue doesn’t belong to a certain race nor a certain gender. Realizing that you’re not alone is a sad but comforting feeling.
The Role of A Father
The role that a father plays in a family is a crucial one, for a young woman their dad is the example of how a man should be, how a man should treat you when he cares about you. Little girls grow up having a skewed mentality about men; that they will always leave, that you can’t count on them, that a man will never truly love them. Can you blame them? The first man in their life that was supposed to love and take care of them chose to leave, what makes them think men – not connected by blood won’t? Young boys on the other hand learn how a man should arrive and how a man should be. How to hold his own and take care of a family and how to treat a woman. A father is supposed to be a provider, a protector – you can’t become what you can’t see.
Throughout history the father was the main figure in the family responsible for the education of the children, wellness of the family and economic support. A family can be seen as an organization in which the father is the most important figure responsible for the wellness of the family. Throughout time the role of the father has diminished rapidly in the family. Today in most cases mothers have to play both the mother and father role.
“We need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn’t just end at conception. That doesn’t make you a father,” Obama said to applause and hoots from the parishioners, “What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – any fool can have a child. That’s doesn’t make you father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father. [Obama] in A 2008 Father’s Day Message.
Now why do some men leave? There are various reasons that only the men themselves can answer: Fear of commitment, they’re scared, maybe they just don’t know how to be a father because they didn’t have an example of one as a child – that’s how the vicious cycle continues. To break that cycle there needs to be recognition that there IS a cycle.
”I mean we had already defeated ourselves before we even started. We didn’t set high enough expectations for ourselves [fathers], we believed that somebody else can do it but we can’t do it. And that filters down to our children.”
Men do not know the language of communication like a woman does. Women were taught as children to always express what they’re thinking and feeling. Men don’t know how to tell someone about the pain so they keep it bottled in. By social standards men are not supposed to share intimate feelings – a social rule I find ridiculous. Instead of sharing and talking they are hurting, which causes them to stay in a stage of anger. Now let me ask you, how many of you are in the hurt? By remaining in the hurt you can’t get to what you’re really feeling.
Growing up without a dad is a pain I can’t even begin to describe. It’s a constant feeling that “something is missing” a constant reminder of something that made you different. You always wonder “How my life would’ve been different if he was there.” Would I have:
- Studied more
- Been smarter
- Have more confidence
- Not having issues in relationships
- Been more successful
- A better view of my self-worth
These are just a few to mention. There is this constant battle with oneself, believing and trying to understand your worth as a kid transfers into adulthood. We have grown men and women who still look in the mirror and see – not the 40-year-old with a strong career, but the inner yearnings of a child looking out the window, watching their dad get into the car and leave.
The Forgiveness List
I want you to make a list of all the things that you believe that would’ve been different if your father had been there.
Now I want you to stop believing that there is something lacking in you because he wasn’t there. You don’t want should’ve, could’ve, would’ve in your vocabulary. You aren’t 100% positive that your life would’ve been any different by having his presence. You need to forgive yourself for thinking that you’re anything less than what you are.
You are insulting yourself by letting “My dad left” define you. The list that you just made go through it and forgive yourself for believing each one of those things. All those late nights staying up wondering if he will ever come home, crying on your pillow, everyday on Father’s day you gave cards to your uncles and grandfathers, when you looked in the mirror you saw a broken soul or how the word Father literally means nothing to you. Those are gone now.
My life would’ve been different if my dad was in my life.
I would’ve had better relationships.
I would have more self-confidence.
I would probably believe in myself more.
I forgive myself for believing that my life would’ve been different without my dad.
I forgive myself for believing that my relationships would’ve been better.
I forgive myself for believing that his presence could give me more self-confidence.
I forgive myself for believing that to believe in myself he would’ve had to be there.
What You Need to Understand
Now I want to you understand.. This is not your fault. You were a child, an innocent angel of God and at such a young age your trust, world, and heart were broken. You grew up with a broken heart, someone who was supposed to love you and take care of you chose to leave. What differs from a father dying shortly after their child’s birth and that of a father leaving is that there was a choice involved. What hurts these kids the most is that their father chose to leave. At that moment your whole world changed.
The fact that your father didn’t love himself enough to be a dad is not your fault.
I bet when people ask you about your father you say “My father left” That right there gives you the feeling that you’re missing something. ”My father left” puts an unconscious responsibility on you!
My beautiful readers you are not missing anything and I repeat this is not your fault. Instead try saying “My father is not active in my life” That simple change of words puts the responsibility on him! Say it a few times – to yourself or out-loud, I promise you’ll feel something different, a certain peace if you may. You may have always wanted to put blame on someone for his absence, and you accidentally put it onto yourself or those around you [Mother].
You need to accept the past is the past, no matter how much you want to change it you can’t. That’s the reality of it, but what you CAN do is change your thinking towards the situation. You are giving this man too much power over your life. It’s all about a play on words, a simple change in words can help you with positive thinking.
“If I were to tell you a story about my childhood it would be through the eyes of a child.” As children we are naturally egotistical so we automatically put the blame on ourselves, putting us in the center of the problem. Right now, as an adult you have the power to change your mentality. If the pain and sadness is still there you’re letting your inner child drive your emotions – for an adult you can understand the situation in a different way from that of a child.