Daddy: Motivation for Creating a Book

Summer of 1993 is when I became fully aware of my father’s abandonment. I remember the exact year because that’s when I started dating Dwight. That summer, he, my then best friend, Bobby, and I drove to Chicago for the weekend. I’d told my father that I would be home and that I was bringing these two important people with me. I wanted him to meet them.

That Saturday, I called and called, but he was nowhere to be found. I curled up in a ball in my great aunt’s back room and cried. I was twenty years old. Not only was I disappointed, but I was also embarrassed. I’d met Bobby’s parents a few months prior. Her father, though quiet, was in her life and supportive financially and emotionally. Likewise, I’d met Dwight’s parents, his father also seemed like a “normal” dad, making corny jokes and talking about his daily work.

All I wanted was for my father to show up when I came home and meet some friends. But it didn’t happen.

From that point forward, I was never sure how to interact with him, especially around made up societal holidays, like Father’s Day. Do I buy a card? None of the store-bought cards said what I wanted: thanks for being great the first sixteen years of my life. Wish we were closer. Hallmark doesn’t sell that one.

Maybe no gift and no card would send a stronger message. I mean it’s not like we’d spoken recently; he usually forgot my birthday, which was always about a month prior.

Most years, I’d opted for a generic card that said something like Happy Father’s Day. I’d sign it with no additional words.

This is one reason I felt motivated to create an edited collection of dysfunctional father-daughter stories. For a long time, I thought I was the only one who endured this angst. I really thought I was the only daughter sitting around a week or so before the holiday, wondering the best course of action for someone who’s supposed to care for you but doesn’t.

1521808695783I felt alone in these feelings, until I wrote and published The Transition. Afterwards, women confided similar discord with their own fathers, and somehow that was comforting. Knowing I wasn’t the only one was like being embraced by a big collective online hug.

And I wanted other women and girls to feel the same. I wanted them to know they’re not alone during a holiday that makes us face our dysfunction even more.

That’s why I put this anthology together, and that’s why the eBook released the day before Father’s Day.

Paperbacks can be ordered here.

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39 thoughts on “Daddy: Motivation for Creating a Book

  1. Oh Hallmark vs the reality of families. I struggled for years, and sometimes still do, with the mom and dad cards. We make peace the best we can. Congrats again on your book!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Kathy –
    Even though some of the seeds were painful and uncomfortable, you’ve been able to grow a beautiful community garden with your stories and blog posts and books and anthologies. I admire you😊.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. As a child, my father wasn’t always around. My parents divorced when I was two years old. So, I saw and heard from my dad sporadically. My grandfather was a part of my upbringing.. However, he was not my father. Thus, I longed for his presence and involvement in my life. I thought because I was a girl maybe my father would have a bond with my brother because he was a boy, but no. That wasn’t it. It was just my father. Even though my father showed me himself at a young age, my mother spoke unkind about him. That only drew me closer to wanting a relationship with my father.
    🎵 looking back over my years I guess I shed some tears..
    My father passed away three years ago. I started looking at facts versus feelings. I no longer focus on what I didn’t get, I focus on what I did get. When I did get his affection and attention, I loved it! Does that change my upbringing? No. Did I like him? No. I didn’t like him, BUT I love him ( present tense) for the title he owns–my father. That’s a fact I cannot change.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for sharing these stories Cherie. Over the years, I’ve learned we each have very unique relationships with our parents that we either choose to see positively, negatively, somewhere in between, or ignore all together. I suppose it’s all a part of the journey ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reading the book, between other things I want and need to do 😉
    My mother convinced me regularly, my 1st stepfather, who meant the the world to me as a little girl, just didn’t show up. Later I discovered, she didn’t always gave me the postcards and that he did show up, but send him away for various ridiculous made up reasons. Discovering that, I realized I didn’t imagine him walking by the window, that it was a real memory. From that moment of that realization, the relationship between my mother and my become more difficult. And although we have our periods of difficulty communicating, fortunately he is back in my life again. My biological father made an effort, that was much easier to let go, but fathers two and three, my mother always tries to come in between us.
    If you ever going to edit a book about mother-daughter relationships, I think I can fill three of them 😦

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You have so many experiences with parental figures Patty! A few people have mentioned having mother-daughter issues. That is not something people explore too much. But it sounds like there’s a need. As for you personally, have you made peace with who she is/was?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Still struggling at times. It’s not in me too give up and keep trying to better our relationship. However, momentarily I try to keep as much distance as possible, to not get ‘sucked into’ old patterns again 😉

        Liked by 3 people

  5. How relatable is this post? Very! I am currently writing my memoir which touches on my relationship with my father as well as other men that have stretched me beyond measure. It feels great to release and change perspective. I have every intention of ordering a copy of your e-book. I wish you great success and congratulations in advance. ~Wake38

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw man. I’m glad that it is, but I do wish that it weren’t. Very cool to hear about you writing a memoir about your dad and other men because I’ve learned they’re all related somehow. I appreciate your support and please let me know what you think. Also, have no shame about telling me when your book is released 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Absolutely! And that’s the part Brittany…after speaking with so many different people, I learned that most of the issues I discuss are pretty common, but we all feel as if we can’t be authentic in our interactions because no one will understand. Thanks for seeing my motivation and vision. I do hope it does help someone heal and know they are not alone.

    Like

  7. I realise that not everyone will get it about fathers who fall short. Within recent days I have been told to go and see my father on ‘Father’s Day’ and why? Because ‘he is your father’. This is precisely why we will always hear stories about these types of fathers, because for some arcane reason there are those who believe no matter how badly you are treated by your so-called father, ‘he is your father’. Duh! I think we should design our own cards – the market is obviously crying out for this particular brand! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. They definitely won’t. My stepmother recently tried to get me to have a “different view” of my father, even though she watched much of the foolishness! Anywho, I’m not sure why people do this to one another. It’s a form of dishonoring feelings and trying to make someone ignore the truth. I’ve often thought about designing cards for “us.” But I’m not sure if it’s a healthy way to move through the issue lol (laughing but I have thought about it).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s funny about families. They almost seem to be hardwired in favour of those who do wrong and appear to care very little about the ‘victims’ (for want of a better word). Can it be that’s part of the human psychological make-up to try to see the best in the worst of situations? I’m not sure that theory holds much water, but I’m damned if I can make any sense of it all. Surely to be human is to embrace and empathise with those who have been emotionally/physically hurt by others?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Kotrish Wright and commented:
    Dysfunctional relationships are tough in general but father-daughter dysfunctional relationships have the ability to create a hole right in the center of your heart.

    Kathy takes the time to create a healthy space for daughters to use their voices and tell their story. I can personally say writing a component of my story opened my eyes to an unforeseen reality: I was holding trauma from my childhood in my body. It felt great letting it go.

    For every daughter who feels alone and less than due to a failed father-daughter relationship, you are not alone. More importantly, there is an alternative lifestyle available through healing and empowerment. It is my hope that this book will give others the permission they need to grow beyond the wall of dysfunctions.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I, too, have stories around fathers- both biological and step. And then my own daughters father. I’ve been abandoned by so many father figures it’s a wonderful I have relationships with men at all! I’m so thankful for the women in my life. I’ll definitely need to pick this book up.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. My (step)dad is on FB now, so I have not posted my usual Father’s Day card angst. We get along better now, but I am still so ambivalent about Father’s Day, and none of the cards at Target match that mood. I’m hoping I have better luck at CVS tomorrow.

    So, basically, I understand.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Good luck girl! I think sometimes we still have the angst because it’s not quite right yet. There’s still that awkward space where it could go left at any moment. I’m glad you can relate, but I wish you didn’t have to

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      1. “There’s still that awkward space where it could go left at any moment.” — YES! This is it exactly. Perfect description. It’s the lack of trust (built on years of experience with things going left). Perfect, perfect, perfect.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. At some point during adulthood, I started making my own cards for Father’s day; however, even that seemed complicated. This past Father’s day, I spent my downtime being aware of my thoughts and feelings about the day. Seemed to work out well for this year.

      Liked by 3 people

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