Until several years ago, I had never put the correlation between growing up without a father and my past life experiences.Â When I was young, I was foolish enough to believe that not having a father was a good thing: it was one less problem I had to deal with or so I thought.
I believed this nonsense until I read a great book by a wonderful author named Benilde Little.Â The name of the book is called The Itch, and it is the story of a woman who from the outside looking in had the perfect life.Â She had a great husband, both had well paying careers, a beautiful home in the suburbs, and they were trying to have a baby.Â She thought everything was fine until her husband left her for a model and her perfect life crumbled.Â In her quest for self-discovery, she finally acknowledged that because she grew up without a father, she was constantly looking for a father figure.Â She put her husband on pedestal and made him a god.Â She wanted to please him so he wouldn’t leave her like her father did, but in the end he did, and she wasn’t surprised; deep down, she knew he would.Â She was playing out her childhood pain.Â Until she embraced her pain, she would never be free.
When I read this book for the first time, I cried.Â It was my story and it is always scary toÂ acknowledge the truth. My significant other of eight years had left me and I was still foolishly waiting for him to come back.Â When I met him, I had two children, and he accepted them as his own.Â I felt so lucky to have a man like this that I put him on pedestal and put up with his infidelity, insensitivity towards my feelings and a whole lot of crap.Â I wanted the white picket fence lifestyle for my children andÂ he was my chance for this; I did not want to let him go.Â Even when he left, I was still stuck on stupid, not realizing that even though he was committed to the children, he was not committed to me.Â I realize now that I needed the first man in my life to show me what I needed to look for in a good man.Â However, that was impossible. My fatherÂ has been gone out of my life so long; I can barely remember his face.
I never really knew my father.Â I was the result of an affair he and mother had when he was married; asÂ a result I had limited opportunities to spend time with him.Â When I was four, their relationship ended and I did not see him again until I was twenty-four.Â My mother eventually got involved in another relationship when I was ten years old with a man I will call Pete.Â I never liked him and when I expressed his to my mother, she shrugged it off, saying I was jealous because I never had to share her before.Â That was true but he was always trying to kiss me and that made me feel uncomfortable. My worst nightmare came true when I was eleven when he started coming to bedroom late at night when my mother was sleep, fondling me all over my body and kissing me as he would a grown woman.Â This behavior continued until I was fifteen years old.Â He never penetrated me but the psychological damaged was done.
I always blamed myself for his actions because I matured physically early and had large breasts.Â If I did not have those things, this would have never happened to me. If I was truly a good girl, he would have never molested me.Â I never told my mother because of the way she blew me off when I told her I did not like him and I was afraid she would not believe me.Â He was generous financially, giving me an allowance and paying my mother’s bills.Â I thought if I told her what happened, she would be angry with me for messing up her relationship with this “nice” man.Â She was employed a cook and almost everyday she would come home from work with burns on her arms.Â She was doing this type of work to support me and I could not rock the boat.
For so many years, I felt like used goods because not only did my father abandoned me, I had to deal with illegitimacy issue.Â I had an aunt who used to do nice things for me, like buy school clothes and book supplies and other stuff.Â Some of my cousins were jealous because she did not do those things for them, and one of them told me that her mother (my other aunt) told her the reason why Aunt Rosie did so many nice things for me is because I did not have a father and they did.Â That kind of talk can hurt a kid and it hurt me.
I eventually told my mother about that bastard Pete but that was only after when he was arrested for the rape of a six year old girl andÂ he is currently serving a fifteen year sentence for that crime and is eligible for parole in 2016.Â I will be in court to stop that bullshit.Â I only wished I had had the strength at the time to tell someone what he had done to me.Â Maybe I could have saved that little girl a lifetime of grief and misery.Â God knows how many other little girlsâ€™ lives he has ruined but the slimy motherfucker is locked up and I hope someone is molesting him.
My poor mother was so hurt when I told her truth and I hope I did not take years off her life.Â She told me she would have killed him if she had known.Â I am truly sorry that I did not have enough faith in our relationship to trust her but that is water under bridge.
When I think about the molestation and my father abandoning me, I am filled with so much anger and hurt, it scared me and for years, I blocked it out. How can a man leave his child to fend for herself in such a harsh, cruel world? Â How could my father leave me as if I was trash on the street?Â IÂ wonder doesÂ he think about me and the fact that he has three grandchildren he has never met.
As a little girl,Â I never had the pleasure of having my father kiss me goodnight and tell me bedtime stories.Â I grew up without having the most special man in a young girl’s life, the one who loves you unconditionally, even if you get fat and pimply.Â I had to struggle alone with a father and make my way through life without having this type of security.Â I never knew what it was like to feel safe and secure in a father’s love and that is a bitter pill to swallow.
According to research, almost forty percent of the children in America will go to bed without their fathers in their lives, just as I did.Â I hope that their fathers will get themselves together before it is too late to help their children.