I love my dad, but…….

I was raised in a very Christian home. I don’t remember not being in a church or discussing the Bible in some capacity. In the mornings, my father prays for the family. Unfortunately this practice has become more of a morning drill, since we’re still half sleep from our morning nap. Typically I stay awake for the prayer out of respect and fall back asleep. However one morning I heard my father pray that I lose weight, as if my weight was an inconvenience to his life. The first time I heard him say it, I ignored it and didn’t respond. The second time he added the request in his prayer I realized that this had become a part of his daily list of prayer requests. I did tell him to stop, but the emotional damage had already been done. You can’t pray the fat away. I don’t think it works that way. But you can use your faith to attempt to manipulate the actions of others – this is what my father did. I’m 23 years old. There are multiple things occurring in my life that I could genuinely use some divine help with. Let’s list them:

  • I recently went through an emotionally rough, sort of breakup
  • I could use a new job
  • Niggas try me – everyday
  • My twist out refuses to come out perfectly
  • The security guard in my office building reminds me of every gross man I’ve ever encountered

I love my father; I really do. Adding my weight to his daily prayer request really made me question him. This isn’t about me being fat. This is about how my relationship with my father has affected my approach to relationships. They say that a girl’s father is her first love. I can tell you right now I have fallen out of love with my father more times than I will ever admit. From the way he put his students before his children to the way he puts his mother over his wife. I always questioned what were my father’s priorities. I wonder if the one of the main reasons I am adverse to love is because I have seen that men have a poor way of showing it. My father is literally the nicest person you will ever meet, but behind closed doors he is known to be vindictive and dismissing. No, I am not bashing my father, but I am being honest. He is a great provider and father, but when I needed to learn how a man should treat a woman I was not given the best example. If I am ever to meet someone that I would want to marry or even take seriously, I would not introduce him to my father, I would introduce him to my brother first. I honestly do not feel like my father would do the necessary work to determine if the man is “good enough” for me. My father would spend more time trying to prove that he is a good, instead of if this guy is good for me.

As I am dating, I am very cautious of men who share the same character traits with my father. I love my father, but I would not want to date men who are like my father. Witnessing a loveless marriage really caused me to be apprehensive to idea of being vulnerable with someone. It has caused me to be guarded when I approach relationships. I love my dad, but I would hate to be with someone for 20 years of my life and be unhappy. I used to take sides when my parents argued, but I’ve learned that my parent’s relationship is not my business. However I would be a fool to say that seeing them attack each other did not cause me to question the notion of marriage itself. How can you say you love someone when their tears don’t phase you?

Moving forward, I’m working on how I approach relationships and dating. I would love to meet someone who makes me ridiculously happy and gives a shit about me, but I also want to make sure that I am ready for that person as well. I would hate to miss out on a great person, because I have not healed or reconciled my own issues.

Getting Over The Break-Up

So over the past two months, I’ve been healing from a break-up. Honestly it was one of the most emotionally stressful things I’ve ever done. For those who are new, I don’t date and I’ve never been deeply involved with someone, like I had been with this particular person. My feelings have been well-documented here. No, I’m not fully over him and I don’t think I ever will be, but I am certainly moving on with my life. So I decided to share some tips to get over a break-up, well at least the ones that helped me.

 

  1. Cry It Out – The first thing all of my closest friends told me to do was just cry it out. They told me to cry as much as I needed to do. Initially I was apprehensive to crying, especially over some nigga who hurt my feelings. For me, crying meant that he won. He hurt me to the point where the thought of him made me so emotional that I was crying everywhere – the supermarket, church, work, happy hour drinks – for weeks. I remember ugly crying so hard that I just cried myself to sleep. Crying was super therapeutic; it allowed me to get out all of those emotions I was holding in from everyone. Then one day I woke up and I was like “I’m done crying over this guy”. Yeah I was hurt, but I had to move on with my life. I was sad and it was affecting all areas of my life in ways I did not like.
  2. Find An Outlet – My friends and family  were always there for me when I needed them to be, but talking to them didn’t feel enough. I didn’t always feel better after talking to them. To really get those emotions out, I would write letters to the guy that were completely honest. I never sent the letters, but writing things down helped me be honest with my own emotions. I tried really hard to appear “strong and tough” when really I was hurting and vulnerable. I was at a place where if he came back into my life, I would have taken him back because that’s how much I still cared about him. My outlet was writing and it helped, a lot. Another outlet of mine was reading. I may have read like two books in like a month. Sula by Toni Morrison reminded me of who I was.
  3. Be Honest With Yourself – This probably should have been number one. Before this guy, I was a SAVAGE. I would literally eat dudes up, spit them out, and toss them to the side. No, I wasn’t a terrible person, but if sex was all I wanted from you, then sex was what I got. I’m not one to string folks along.So when the interest was lost or I knew he wasn’t the one, I ended things, like an adult. This guy made me super soft. Because I don’t let people into my inner circle, opening up to him and deciding to date him meant that I really cared about him. When shit went left between us, I tried really hard to act like I was okay – but I wasn’t. Emotionally I was distraught, not because I was in love but because I felt betrayed by someone who practically begged me to trust him. This guy is someone who I almost loved. So if anything, I felt like I was being cheated out of happiness over some bullshit. It’s some bullshit, because I don’t even know why he stopped talking to me. When we were still dating, I stopped talking about him to my friends. My friends didn’t really know the extent of our relations, so they didn’t understand why I was so emotional about it. Once I was honest with myself about ALL of my feelings, the healing process started to speed up.
  4. Remember Who You Are – Before him, I was a bad bitch. After him, I’m a badder bitch. Lowkey, I’m popping and every nigga I’ve turned down while I was in mourning knows this. I was turning down dick left and right. Then I was like “my body is ready”. Of course, I’m selective, but I always have a great lot to choose from. I began reconnecting with my friends and going on dates. I started doing things that made me happy. Instead of being sad because this asshole didn’t answer my phone calls, I redirected my attention. For example I didn’t wear much makeup with him because he thought I was beautiful just the way I am – which is true. But playing in makeup is so much fun. Don’t let these young men stop you from buying every highlighter, concealer, and blush imaginable. The point is I learned to find my own happiness. I had to go every motion of this breakup to remind myself that I am enough.