Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Absence of a Father

It's only been the last few years that I've realized on a personal as well as an observant level, how important it is to have a father who cares in a child's life. I'm sure it's important for young boys to learn from their father how to be a man, but it's equally important for young girls to learn from fathers how to be treated by a man. I know this from personal experience. Now, my mom is the greatest mom in my book, she took on the role of both mom and dad in my life, since I've never met my father. He left both her and I when I was a baby. My mom has incredible strength and she managed to provide all my needs and was there for me in every way. I wasn't that lonely, sad child who wished for a daddy secretly and wondered what I was missing. My mom was more than enough. Besides, why would I want to know somebody who didn't want to know me? There were a few father figures in my life growing up, but only one with staying power that made any kind of stepfather, Dave. Came into my life when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Complete opposite of my mom in every way I could think of at the time. Now, remember, my mom is my hero and she can do no wrong in my eyes, so everyone was unworthy of her to me. No one was good enough, because she deserved the very best and to be treated the way I felt she deserved. Now, Dave was a really good man, but he didn't show affection the way I thought he should, he just had a quieter, shy personality, unlike my mother's outgoing, outward displays of affection I was used to. So...not good enough. I focused on all his flaws and magnified them. Not till after he passed away and I was shaken to the core because of it, did I realize the good in him. And he loved my mom and took care of her in all the important ways, just in his own way, not my way. I learned a lot from him. But, unfortunately, because of my judgment and hostility towards him for years, we were never close. He was always there for me and provided all my needs and most wants, but I put up a wall that he could never break. I realize that I have barriers to this day because of it. It makes me uncomfortable to have affection from a man, because I'm not used to it. Though I love my husband, there is still that hesitancy. Because it is taken completely different when a man says something to me in comparison to a woman. Now that I'm older,  I realize how much I wish I had that closeness with a father when I was younger. Since I grew up without a father, when choosing to spend my life with a man, that was one of the top "must-have's" in my book......had to want kids and I had to think he would make a terrific father....and I succeeded on that quest. My husband is a wonderful father and he adores my little girl. And she looks at him like he is her whole world. I'm so thankful she has that. But occasionally, I have "little girl" moments myself, where I wish when I was a kid that I had a strong father to pick me up and tell me I was his world. And whose arms I would run into when I was hurt or sad. Someone who would tell me I was good enough and remind me of the good in me. My mother is my #1 fan and has that covered brilliantly, but it's not the same. Because even though my husband is the best and I know he thinks a lot of me, there is still a part of me that thinks I will screw up enough one day that he'll leave me and realize that I'm not worth it. Maybe it's low self-esteem, but I can't help but think that a part of it is because my father didn't think I was worth it. Thankfully, many years ago I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was born again, so I now have a Father in Heaven looking out for me that I can talk to in prayer. But every once in a while, I wish for a physical hug or arms to wrap around me. 
So, I guess I just want to say to all the fathers who choose their children as priorities, and to the women out there who chose these men.....good for you. It matters. Take this role seriously, because as a little girl, they don't see their father's flaws. They don't see the complications of life. They see a hero, and they will give him chance after chance after chance. When a father doesn't fill those expectations....the blame shifts to us little girls. We are not enough.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year....what shall I do with it?

Happy New Year!

I'm excited for a new year, a fresh start and new beginning. I want this year to be a turning point for me. It's time to start taking action and stop wasting time. To start doing all the things that consume my thoughts. These great ideas and dreams I have I just keep to myself and they stay unfulfilled. It's time I take a chance. Sometimes the biggest rewards stem from the biggest risks. I've played it safe for too long and it has left me very unfulfilled. I know I have more in me to contribute to this world and it's time I let it out. These last few years have been the worst of my life internally and emotionally for me. It is odd, since I've been given so many blessings during this time. I'm going to stop waiting for my life to be what I want and wait for it to all fall perfectly into my life, it's just an immature thought and not how it works. Time to grow up and take charge and make these things happen. I will slowly take you on my dark journey I've been on as I hit my rock bottom. I am slowly climbing my way up and my focus is one foot in front of the other. Normalcy seems unattainable and unreachable as I've fallen so far, but I learned a lot from that fall and I can use that to help someone else with those same feelings. This year is going to be a great one. Last year I finished school and I have a diploma for medical transcription. It made me feel good that I accomplished something totally on my own that was only for me. I have put myself on the backburner for so long that it has become unhealthy and has formed resentment and anger. I need to make myself more of a priority and stop being a martyr, I must do this to make peace with myself and be able to look at myself in the mirror instead of seeing hate in the reflection. I'm going to be the me I know I'm meant to be, the one I was created to be, the me I know I can be. It's time to stop giving up just because perfection is unattainable, that simply means we can  always strive to be more, not that we're not good enough. There's something good in all of us, something we can contribute to our world. I consider myself very, very weak...but I want to strengthen myself and not continue to stay weak. It's all a choice. Choosing to live this way and think this way and be this way. Well, 2012....a new me is surfacing. I'm getting rid of all the skeletons in my life that I am just now discovering that are holding me back and keeping me so limited. I will overcome them with determination for a better life, for me and my family. They deserve better and so do I.
The theme of this year is going to be CHANGE. I know, I know....isn't that the theme of every year, right? Yes, but I am changing who I am from the inside out. I know, I'm sooo melodramatic...LOL. But, it's how I feel. There are big changes in store for me this year. We are looking to buy our first house in a different state. Eric is back on a ship now which means deployments, long hours, underways, and less time together as a family. Time to draw strength from within and equip myself...if I can't handle my life in the good times where everything's going my way, what does that mean for me when things really get rocky and all that is familiar to me takes an abrupt turn. I don't adapt well to big changes in life but it's time I start. I have a three year old that depends on me to feel secure in her life and a husband who gives so much of himself that he needs to know I can take care of things and give him less to worry about on the homefront. The change starts with me. You all know that famous quote that I love so much and I'm sure most of you do as well....."be the change you wish to see in the world." It's one of my favorites. I'm feeling that this is the year for this quote to become reality and I would challenge you to apply it to your life as well. No matter what we do, we can always do more, go the extra mile, start small but be consistent. This is what I am striving for. 

So...on another note...inspiring this change, I woke up New Years Day with a song in  my head, the words flowing through and I couldn't get them out of my head. Maybe God's challenge to new years anthem...

It's a new year, it's gonna be great,
It's gonna deliver whatever my fate
Filled with laughter and memories of things that I love
Hoping and praying for what I dream of....

Peace for the restless, and homes for the homeless,
Food for the hungry, and cures for the sick.
Strength for the weak, help for people in need,

The change in this world that we seek...
Let it begin with you and with me.

It's time to start the change, 
It's time to rearrange,
What's most important in our lives...
Is it houses and cars and clothes that we wear
To make us look good, but who really cares?

The change in this world that we seek...
Let it begin with you and with me.

I've decided that this year I want to change me,
From the inside out and fulfill my destiny.
I know I am better than this complacency.
What can I do? So many possibilities...

A smile to the people I pass on the street,
Lending my time or a hand to where I see a need.
Thinking of others out there, not just family and friends,
But strangers who might have no means to an end.

I have so much more than I need...
Because God has been so good to me.

It's time to give back with compassion and kindness,
Selflessness, friendliness we can find inside us.
Whether we think they deserve it or not,
It's not up to us to judge someone else's plot.

Give with no reason except cuz it's right,
Could one simple choice of mine change someone's life?
It just might......

What can I do to better my life?
Be the best I can be and look forward, not behind.
Pursue my dreams, despite fear of failing,
Not being good enough can be very scary.

Our world needs a change...
And it all starts with you and with me.

Change starts with a choice...
To do something or not to.