Everything I write is from the heart. Besides, writing should be an expression of the soul; an opportunity for creativity to meet magic. Writing should be the altar where you kiss your thoughts farewell and allow your visions to flow. But today, I’m keeping it raw. And that’s because what I’m writing about is a topic that needs to be called attention to. Today’s topic is deep. As deep as the ocean and as vast as the universe. This is something that I’ve been meaning to write about but have finally gained the courage to. So bare with me as I express to you something that’s crippling the Black and African diaspora today: daddy issues.
I grew up in East Africa with an odd but blessed childhood. I didn’t know my father well because he lived in America and my mother was ultimately a single-parent. But at least I knew of him – which is a privilege that a significant amount of children in the world can’t relate to. My mother always used to say to me, “I’m the mother and the father of this household…always remember that,” and I still don’t know if she used to say that to make me – or herself – feel better about the man that she’d picked to be my father. I personally never felt the need to have a father. Besides, my mother said she was both. However, things changed as I started growing up. I noticed that boys would treat the girls with fathers at home with more dignity and respect – probably because they knew there was a male figure at home that would break all hell loose if anything were to happen to their daughters. When my mother passed away and I was forced to live with my father and step-mom, things shifted significantly, and I finally started understanding why it was so crucial to have a father in the home. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my fair share of daddy issues.
According to my favorite street dictionary, Urban Dict, daddy issues are the result of a messed up relationship with one’s father, or having an absent father. This results in younger women chasing older men and even seeking mistreatment in some cases. Another definition describes daddy issues as, “When a girl or boy grew up without a father’s conditional love and has to figure out what to do by themselves and sees their mom struggling to pay bills or even mental health.” According to readers, these men/women also, “View all men as “leavers“, and might have a hard time loving others since their dad didn’t love them.” Wow. What a definition. I really like the Urban Dictionary because it’s real-life people giving real-life definitions to some of the most wild things on earth. The concept of a father creating life and abandoning it, in my opinion, is the only thing that beats that bewilderment. But before I say anything else, let’s take a look at what Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, psychiatrist and writer of The Isis Papers, has to say about our Black sisters and childbirth.
“During the American Slave Era, Black teenage females were forced to breed baby after baby and were prevented from actively caring for the development of these slave babies. There was no concern for these human beings reaching maximal levels of their genetic potential. This lack of concern for the development of these young human beings was enforced by racist slave-masters and slave-mistresses. Today, just as in the slave society, Black teenage girls are caught up in a similar destructive dynamic producing human beings who subsequently are subjected to low-level development and treated in inhuman ways.” She adds, “Often, the ultimate level of functionality reached by children is correlated with the level of emotional maturity achieved by the parent(s) prior to the birth of the child.” In summary, emotionally immature and poorly educated parents raise children who are more likely to fail than children of emotionally mature and well-educated parents.
So let’s unpack the topic at hand. We now know that “daddy issues” are an array of problems that stem from a child’s father leaving at a young age. However, we’ve also analyzed the women who are often left by these said men, and can confidently argue that the age a woman gives birth to her child(ren) plays a crucial role in their development. This is basic science – a product of functionality, like Dr. Frances Cress Welsing said. A thirty-year old woman will almost always have considerably more experience in every arena in life than a fifteen year old, including the ability to pick the right mate for reproduction. This is why it is suggested that women (and men) wait until closer to – or after – the age of 30 before they marry and start having children: because you’re simply better equipped to raise children then. But what happens when a bunch of babies start making babies with fellow babies? Well, a generation of half-raised, needy, and dependent children with daddy issues are created.
I believe that every man and woman who grows up without a father deals with daddy issues to some extent and capacity. There are so many young men and women who are trapped in the cycle of chasing emotionally unavailable (wo)men who then breed emotionally unavailable children – and the cycle goes on and on. It’s a generational curse – and one that I think roots from slavery and the colonization of Africa. In pre-historic Africa, a man could have multiple wives and many children, as long as he was able to take care of them. But after the enslavement of Africa and her children, a huge divide has been established between how white families raise their children and how Black/African families raise their offspring. It’s as if we’ve been set back beyond time and space, and are now quantally in a damaged place of recreating past mistakes.
I’ve found that men with daddy issues tend to be runners in relationships; meaning, they jump around from one counterpart to the next – desperately seeking the love and attention that their fathers didn’t offer them. They also tend to have anger issues and a lack of understanding of themselves, since the person who literally created them missed a huge part of their lifetime and development: their childhood. On the other hand, women with daddy issues tend to date older guys, just as Urban Dictionary mentioned, but what’s interesting is that they also tend to go for guys who can “rescue” them out of their life crisis. I was talking to my mpenzi and friend about this when he said that women with daddy issues always want the men they’re dating to play the role of the father – and that they also anxiously seek validation from male counterparts as a result of not receiving attention from the most important male in their lives – their father.
As I mentioned in my last blog, Yin and Yang must co-exist in order for there to be order and balance in the world. This means that both divine masculine and divine feminine energies are required for creation to occur and maintain homeostasis. This is why it takes two to tango. I still don’t understand why it’s so hard for us as humans to understand that you cannot raise a child by yourself. I respect the men and women who are forced to raise children alone due to circumstances, don’t get me wrong. However, if you have the choice to pick a partner whom you can raise children with for the long haul, until death do you apart, I 100% believe that that should be your ONLY option. There is so much that goes into raising children that you literally cannot do it alone – especially if you’re raising the opposite sex. As a woman, I’ve heard plenty of other women brag about not needing a man, when the truth is that’s just a face; a mask; a lie to hide the true fact that they feel broken inside because their counterpart is non-existent.
I think the hardest part about having daddy issues is how much it limits your self-worth. You start thinking that your body is merely just a vessel that can be used and abused by anyone as they please, because no man took the time out to teach you how to be loved… how to be a lady. I can’t speak for the fellas on this one, as daddy issues are a concept that is primarily linked with how females turn out when their fathers go missing; but being that my ex had major daddy issues, I can equally attest to the fact that it doesn’t matter what race, sex, or gender you are – having a loyal and loving father is crucial for anyone to be successful in life. After all, how can you feel whole and complete without the person who played a 50% role in creating you? That’s a pretty big number.
The Black community is facing a plague other than Coronavirus, and that’s the lack of fathers in the household. Some argue that the reason so many Black females are single-parents is because we’re too hardheaded. Others say that it’s because we’re too masculine and don’t know how to submit to our men. But as we’ve observed from my favorite psychiatrist, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, most of these issues are deeply rooted to the core of racism and prejudice that white supremacy has seeped into the world. Even before 1619 when the first slave ship docked in Virginia, Black and African women were being raped and abused and forced to breed babies while women from other cultures enjoyed the luxuries of being stay at home moms, etc. This generational trauma has continued on past many generations and as a result children from their descendants are still conditioned to treat sex as some sort of monetary exchange. This is especially true after the second Welfare Reform Act that gave women, specifically Black women, the opportunity to make money from the government so long as there was no father in the household. Some would call this an incentive; I call it the mastermind behind annihilating an entire race.
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