Warning: Naughty language ahead!
As a wise friend once told me, clichés only exists because there is truth to them.
The truth of it is: we all have daddy issues.
We spend the rest of our lives working through the issues of our first primary relationships.
“The fact that you always fall for older, damaged unavailable men speaks volumes about your daddy issues.” ~ Unknown
As a woman, I was supposed to have learned all about men respect and love from my first primary relationship with a man—my father.
Unfortunately, my father is schizophrenic, and moved out of the house when I was only six months old. For the next 12 years I lived alone with my mother. I had amazing grandfathers who I always felt replaced the role that a dad would have had—however, I realize now that no matter how wonderful they were, nothing can ever replace that primary relationship.
I grew up with my mom, and while I loved her deeply, I didn’t have the yin-yang type relationship to learn from.
I ended up feeling that my worthiness was wrapped up in the approval of men. Although I’ve had few sexual partners, I became sexually active fairly young, and was always using my body as a way of getting what I wanted.
For me, I became aware that I was highly valuable because of my looks, and sweet nature.
I have never been the one who needs to try every flavor to know which my favorite is, and so when I met a man shortly after graduating high school, I became convinced he was the one I was supposed to marry.
I was drawn to a strong, overly masculine man because I lacked a strong male role growing up—damn, I hated being a stereotype.
This is the thing, though: as prevalent as daddy issues are, I also think women eventually waking up and saying, “Ohhhhhh, now I get it,” is just as common.
Sometimes women had no father growing up, and so they chase the white-dress fantasy from a false belief that it will offer protection from sadness. Other times, we had over protective fathers, and so we either find someone similar or someone who is the extreme opposite.
These types of relationships between fathers and their little girls end up turning into big girls choosing emotionally distant or despondent men, because that is what they are used to.
It’s not easy to wake up, own your shit, and be your own goddamn daddy.
This is the thing: these masculine qualities that we chase have actually been inside of us the whole time. When we have predominantly female influences, we end up seeking the masculine from outsides sources such as sexual and romantic relationships. We are after a protector in the most overpowering way—someone who is confident, sexy, a guardian of sorts; someone who will take charge.
But guess what?
Ladies, you are all that, and so much more.
The very qualities that we seek from a male in our life are the exact same qualities that we need to instill in ourselves. The partners we seek tell us more about ourselves than about them. Most of us are working through a variety of issues, and will continue to choose partners that bring us the same lessons until we have awakened (that’s mindful code for “owning our shit”) and can then take all the lessons learned and turn that into an honest, healthy, well-balanced relationship.
After I realized that I was with a man who was completely wrong for me, I also had to admit that I needed to Man Up. I honestly didn’t want to be rescued by some man and told how I should live—so I decided to save myself.
I became the ultimate protector of my body, my heart and my two girls, and I learned how much I love to dance in the darkness.
I made the choice to be confident and own every single damn stretch mark and scar on my body and to delight in the sexiness of my realness—because there isn’t anything else like it.
I made the decision to be my own goddamn guardian, and that I was going to take charge of myself.
And, guess what? I learned that this Princess doesn’t need to be saved after all, because she’s in fact a Queen.
But men, don’t think you’re totally exempt here…
You’ve got mommy issues up the wazoo, too. We all have those men we know who either end up marrying a woman who is just like their mother, or they end up in failing relationship after failing relationship because they continually date different renditions of the same woman, instead of actually stopping to figure out what lessons these women keep teaching them repeatedly.
But because I think people are generally pretty amazing, I think that we are all on the same train—we just get off at different stops.
I believe that when we are meant to learn our lessons, we will. It’s not easy to embody the masculine qualities that we are searching for and instead decide to become the lover we are seeking.
But just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
As a woman, it took a lot of time and patience to look at my behaviors and see why I made the choices that I did—but it was worth it.
At this point in my life, I’m good.
I’m good with my journey and history, I am good with not having a father figure and I am good in admitting that my first marriage was because I was overcompensating for a need that hadn’t been met.
I am good with me, as I am now.
I am good with my strength and my confidence, I’m good with the fact that I can take care of myself and my home.
This means that the next time I enter into a relationship, I won’t have my eyes clouded with all those unresolved daddy issues, because I actually have done the work and put it in the time. I don’t need a lover to be the man I never had, or to constantly hold my hand and tell me what to do—that’s the whole point, I won’t need anymore.
But, I will want.
Next time, I want a partner in crime.
Someone to dance dirty with through this life, a man who has no problem telling the rules of society to go fuck off, because we are doing our own god damn thing, and making it up as we go along. Someone to stay up late and drink too much whiskey with, someone who will constantly let me create just a little bit of trouble.
Someone who can keep me just a little bit safe, so I can keep him just a little bit wild.
Because the truth of it is, we’ve all got issues; we just need to deal with them so that we can be better because of it.
Only then can we say we’ve lived and learned…and then were loved.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Emily Bartran