As I got older, those rose colored glasses that I was rocking were eventually exchanged for a pair of 3D glasses. The little bit of connection with the man I barely knew but so affectionately referred to as “daddy,” just seemed to blow up in my face over a period of time. The gifts became empty promises and those daddy/daughter dates that I enjoyed so much would often end with me waiting anxiously for his arrival – with him not even showing up or calling to simply say he was not going to make it.
During my middle and high school years, I can probably count on one hand (maybe one and half) the number of times that Robert came to see me. I stored painful feelings of anger, inadequacy, disappointment and rejection along with fleeting memories of him into my mental Rolodex.
What I would acknowledge as the lowest of lows in our relationship happened during my freshman year of college. I don’t recollect what we talked about on the phone but I do remember how I felt. I started asking myself, “What did I do?” “Why didn’t he call to check on me?” “Did he stop calling me because he no longer had a financial obligation of paying child support?” After that moment, I became very promiscuous and looked to sex as a coping mechanism. Young and restless, I thought that having sex was a way to get and show love. Little did I know that the instant gratification was producing anything but love.
This dangerous pattern continued throughout college and well into my adult life. The relationship with Robert was still strained and I just couldn’t bring myself to focus on the positive aspect of it all: I still had a plethora of people that loved me more than I could ever know but I yearned for that picturesque relationship with my father.
While it tremendously pained my momma to see me, her baby girl, cry out of frustration she did the best to console me and say, “That’s your daddy. You gotta love him.” I have never recalled a time when she ever spoke against him to me or around me. She tells me often, that even though their marriage didn’t work out, she was blessed by God to be my mother and to have me as her daughter.
Even though my momma would attempt to console me more times than not, the words she spoke to me would practically go through one ear and out the other. However, her seeds of love were being planted and would begin to blossom in my heart.