I can remember being young. Eight, maybe nine years old, dressed identically; me and my twin, that was as identical as the two of us would ever come to be, at a birthday party. Actually, thats not true. Not the twin brother, birthday party, or identical dressing, but me recalling it. The truth of the matter is that the only memory that services me of that day is pleading, eyes stained with tears, for the doctor not give me a shot, in a effort to repair my broken wrist. I was (am) deathly afraid of needles, and deer.
That was the day my dad saved my life. The story is that I had climbed a tree, and a football was thrown. I thought I could catch the football, in the tree, and fell; eyes rolled to the back of my head and my father rushed in, resuscitating me with mouth to mouth. I have no memory of any of it. But what I know for sure, that which I keep concisely stored in the trunk of the vault of my elephants memory bank, is that my father is a huge contributor to the person I’ve come to be. It’s almost startling, at times, to think that the man with whom I share my favorite musical, who has been to every production I’ve ever acted in, the man who was more concerned with my soul and the intactness of my spirt, than my feelings, when I told him I was gay, gives me grave issue. Somewhere, subconsciously, I have been dealing with the realization that at 27 years old, I, a black, gay, man, have daddy issues.
The more I began to think about the concept or consider its affects, I saw that it wasn’t something so foreign as most of us may believe. It got to the point where anything I would see that displayed a father or fatherhood, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Toy Story 3, you name it, had me balling. I struggled to wrap my mind around it. I knew that there was something lacking in the relationship I have with my father, but there was no moment or experience shared that I find to be detrimental to this prevalent disconnect. In adulthood, we live seven minutes apart. We rarely speak, outside of the daily scriptures my dad texts a list of voluntarily (or not so voluntarily) subscribers. I don’t get it. But, me not getting it, leads me to explore this topic. We live in a society, or community even, that is adamant about its idiosyncratic view of Black men. Surprisingly, we don’t take the time to consider the notion that men come grown, incomplete, and with daddy issues.
There are so many problems with men, not unlike women, that host the stem of these issues. The only perspective I wish to speak from is my own. My twin brother has always been close to my father, he and my stepbrother, and his choosing was to be with him as much as he could. I’ve come to envy their relationships. For moments even, I was so jealous that I compared my accolades and my success, in wonder. I felt like the only reason my father would speak to me was to learn what new happenings or activities I was participating in just so that he could sing my praises to friends and family, and pat himself on the back. Where did I go wrong? Was it in my choosing my mother? Were we too much alike? Was it my attitude? All these questions have surfaced overtime, and most consistent, Is it my sexuality? Whats interesting is that I don’t ever remember being especially close with my father, but there was no rift, as there is now. I don’t know if my memory even counts as an accuracy or if I’ve reconstructed it, blaming our loss in relationship to my coming out.
Ultimately, in each of us lies uncertainty, insecurity, and emotional instability that we have to overcome, all our own, in order to shape and structure productive relationships. Sooner or later, it’s something that I have to discuss with my father, its just not that big of a deal, now. A few weeks ago I went to a surprise birthday party for my cousin. In preparation I squirmed with anguish and anticipation knowing that I would be there, in a room, with my father. I was his son and he was my father. Each time our eyes meet, even when I think of him now, I can see the comprising of myself, not only face, but spirit,and I like that which reflects from the dim haze of older irises.
If you haven’t already, check out my website: THESUNDAYAFTERNOON.COM and subscribe to the newsletter. Also, look forward to this Sunday Afternoon, I’ll have an update and tips for dealing with daddy issues! lastly, share your thoughts, opinions, and feedback! Voice your story and help me to be sure I painted the truth.
Everyday is a little like Sunday.