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Saturday, 13 December 2014

Holiday Blues...Better not Bitter

This holiday season is the twenty-fifth year since my father died, and I've always called him Robert which is his first name. He died on July 21, 1989. I think about him during this time because it's Christmas and several of my friends talk about their dads and share pics. At times, I wonder what he would be like if he was alive. Some friends used to say :  "You have daddy issues", and they were right. I definitely did but not anymore. You know I can't even remember exactly what he looked like or even remember what his voice sounded like. It's odd because I can remember others' who have passed on. I guess I can because I was close to them. I can remember the last thing I ever said to him though. 

I read the news feed on Facebook during this holiday season and see so many happy stories and pictures of how daughters love their daddy. I can't relate: my Mother raised me, and I'm thankful for fatherly role models in my life. Even though I had those figures in my life, I still as a child then teen wanted him to be involved. I wanted to be loved by my father. In the end, it was for the best that I had limited visitation with him. Actually, it would probably have been better if I was never around him. He was an abusive husband to my Mother, and he was an alcoholic who sadly put his addiction over his family which included a total of nine children. I'm number eight out of the nine. I'm sure that maybe he couldn't help it because of his addiction, and I know from family members he refused help with it. I just for the life of me can't understand how a man wouldn't support his wife and children. Many times at Christmas, from what my Mother tells me, churches would give to us, so we would have a gift on Christmas morning. I know my Mother's parents always helped out by giving us food and clothes, and I will forever be grateful to them. 

I watched a video earlier this year where Will Smith's character from the show "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" has a very dramatic scene with his Dad. In it, he's thinking he'll be going on a trip with his Dad, but his Dad said they would need to reschedule the trip. Will becomes quite disappointed, to say the least, and starts saying how he's going to make it without his Dad and how he's learned how to drive and that he will be the best Dad there ever was because he wasn't present in his life.  He also even mentions how he didn't receive any birthday cards from him as well (I can relate to that). After he vents a little, Will breaks down and says to his Uncle: "How come he doesn't want me?" That is what it felt like for me at one time. I felt rejected, most definitely neglected, unloved, and unwanted. 

To anybody who has a similar story like mine, please choose not to let it define you or make you bitter. I can say today that I'm not bitter about it but better because of it. I'm not uncaring because of it but very caring. I've learned that there is growth from pain, and I also learned what not to do because of him. I can't do anything about what he did or did not do in my life. I chose to forgive him many years ago. Part of me wished I just had one good memory with him, and I don't. 

I know this is a heavy topic to share right now, but I decided to share this during the holidays because so many are hurting during this time. I want you to know if you're hurting that you're not alone. Not everyone is smiling because Christmas is almost here and tons of holiday parties to go to. Some people are in pain and are bitter about things they can't do anything about...like the past. 

You have to learn to shake the past from your mind (even when it's hard to) by changing how you think (think on positive things), and know that holding onto it only harms YOU and not the individual who caused it. If you're hurting from things in your past or that you are without a parent due to their lack of responsibility, I want you to know that you're not alone. I understand where you're at. What helped me was certain individuals who listened to me and loved me for who I was. They surrounded me with love and much-needed attention. It really helps to talk about the pain with someone who is trained or with someone in your family who is maybe suffering as well. I've learned that exercising, writing how I feel in poetry or a short story is therapeutic, listening to music, and just talking to my sisters about it as well. I got over my "daddy issues" because I wanted to help myself plus heal from the pain. It took time, and I was determined to not allow the past hurts or neglects of someone to dictate my happiness.  

In the end, you have to choose to be happy and to not allow the past to dictate your present or your future, and I did. I've learned as I've gotten older to be more positive and to surround myself with those who are positive as well. Be around those who accept you for who you are but also want to see you grow as an individual. I'm thankful for a couple of friends who encouraged me to grow in my writing and to live life more fulfilling.

Life is short, and I know you're thinking that is such an overused phrase, but it's true. Think of this way: Yesterday is Gone, Today is a Gift, and Tomorrow is a MYSTERY. So, why not make the best of today-your PRESENT and enjoy it and dive into the future with HOPE that anything is possible even getting over a troubled past. 

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Thank you for reading.

About Maria Rochelle

Maria is a writer of multiple genres, and author of the popular children's picture story book series Jasmine Dreams.
Find out more about Maria here →


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