My father & I’s relationship was VERY strained, when I left to begin my freshman year at Hampton. Yes, he was paying for school (out of pocket, I might add, which wasn’t cheap). But I didn’t care. I was just ready to get away from my father’s overprotective rules that made absolutely no sense.
I couldn’t wait to get to college and wild out, drink, go to bed when I wanted, listen to ‘secular’ music, watch rated R movies, party, date. I was convinced that my father didn’t understand. He didn’t get me.
I was always aware growing up that growing up in a house with both parents was a blessing. And my father, who grew up with his father not really there, didn’t know how to be present for us either.
He did the best he knew how, even if it was too much at times. He was very protective of his daughters. There was a list of things we couldn’t do, which was longer than the list of things we could do.
As a little girl I was a daddy’s girl. He took me everywhere with him. the golf range. Basketball courts when he went to play basketball (and would sometimes let me play with him, other times i watched him play…my daddy’s nickname on the court was Earl the Pearl haha). The hardware store. Basketball games at the Gund. Then puberty hit, and my daddy was the enemy, as all other parents are when their kids hit adolescence. Me and my father had plenty of fights. I would threaten to run away, he would say ‘okay, but you can only take the things that you bought with you, nothing we bought you’. I quickly realized, I didn’t have much that I could take with me so I just had to deal.
The teenage years, was when I did my dirt. Many of those things, I will take to the grave with me, but I pretty much defied many of my father’s rules, but behind his back. Maybe he knew, maybe he didn’t.
So by the time I packed up my stuff to head to Hampton, me and my father only talked when it came to finances.
But when depression set in further at Hampton and my mother was not home…guess who I had to talk to?
Fences were mended, when he and my mother gave me permission to withdraw from Hampton and come home.
‘As long as you have a plan,’ my father told me.
I packed up my things and headed back home.
8 years removed, a whole lot of counseling, and maturing, my father is the first one I call for career advice, financial advice, or just to get a sounding board. Even when he gets all religious on me, I still take it all in.
Things really do come full circle. After all these years, all the pain, the teenage angst, in my mid twenties, as I near 30? I find myself a Daddy’s Girl once again.