We were once a happy family—or so I thought. I almost lost track of time. I almost lost track of the time that it’s almost been a decade since my father, the man whom I look up to… is nowhere to be found.
Growing Up Fatherless
At an early age, I became aware of the fact that not all things will go according to your will. Well, who would want to have a broken home, though? Undoubtedly none. I thought that we are a perfect family. But, a father who is supposed to be the family’s protector, was the one who left us crumbling down.
Growing up without a father is never easy, I must say. I reached a point where, whenever I saw children in parks with their families, I would wonder what I had done in the past to deserve this. It makes me wonder if I would have been more successful if my father had guided me as a child. If these questions have been asked of me before? I would have agreed. But, I now believe that not having a father does not make me a lesser person.
Here are the things I learned while living my life without a father:
I learned to treasure and appreciate people who stay
My father’s absence taught me to be grateful and, as a result, to appreciate the value of unconditional love. My mother forced herself to work long hours to provide for us when he left. I saw her struggling, but she opted to stay and work harder to provide us with more than we needed. The most important thing is that I still have my family and friends, whose love and support cover the void.
I learned to be strong and independent
If that circumstance had not occurred to me, I might not be as strong as I am now. My father’s absence taught me that the only thing you could rely on is yourself because you can even find heartbreak with your family.
And because I am the eldest child, I learned to do things on my own, even the things that a father should be doing in the house. Plumbing, repairing electric fans, repairing squeaky chairs, and even climbing the roof to repair a hole—you name it, I can handle it all.
Beyond that, I need to be strong because of my mother. I witnessed her climb from her lowest point since that happened. I know she needs someone to lean on, and even though she’s not saying it, I know she’s finding strength in me.
Not having a father made me strive to be a better person
I have endured the darkest periods of my life without my father’s guidance and support. I learned to strive on my own. Hence, I discovered that I alone am accountable for my success and happiness. His absence has led to numerous realizations, one of which is that I do not wish to be like him.
They say a child who does not have a father figure in their lives matures too quickly, and I must agree. We reach adulthood and self-sufficiency at a rate that surprises even ourselves. We tend to see things differently, and we become much more conscious of life’s difficulties and truths.
It is undoubtedly challenging to grow up without a father. But keep in mind that nothing is insurmountable. Just think of it as an obstacle that you need to overcome to make you stronger.
Maianne Dae is an aspiring broadcast journalist with deep interest in photography, pageantry, lifestyle, and current events. In her spare time, she prefers to watch documentaries and reality shows. She believes that inquisitive minds are what makes the world go round!