Archive | November 2012

Developing An Atmosphere

There are two things that are extremely important: identity and atmosphere. Out of your identity you develop and create an atmosphere. In addition to this concept, a pastor once said, “a culture has to be made true inside of you before you can make it true outside of you.”

Although you might not believe it; you create an atmosphere. If you are a joyful person, you generally create a joyful atmosphere and if you think the world is crashing down around you… well people will not tend to enjoy being around you.

This important concept is monumental and applies to all aspects of life. Because this website faces the pain we face concerning our dads, we will apply it here. In prior blogs, I wrote about how your identity is partly contributed to you by your father; now if we tie the knots we can also say that the atmosphere you create is also partly due to your father.

Challenge: start to think about this. What type of atmosphere do you create?

What type of atmosphere are you attracted to?

Chaos, havoc, peace, structure, cooperation… the list goes on and on but take the characteristics of your atmosphere and the atmosphere you are attracted to and tie it to your identity.

Is there a connection?

Typically you will find a connection between these three aspects of your life. Once you do, take a few steps in the right direction; find the root of each and begin to distinguish what is healthy and what is not. Is your atmosphere productive, enjoyable, helpful? Every once in a while, we don’t realize the association of various aspects in our lives because we refuse to see our own circumstances… but it is time to open our eyes.

 

Music Monday: I Need You To Love Me

The song today is for the children of fathers who blame themselves for being left alone, neglected, and abandoned. Listen, it’s not your fault. Never has it been your fault that you’re dad refuses to come around. Accepting this to be true and internalizing the fact that you are worth loving can be hard to do. Due to the doubt that is planted in being abandoned, we often find ourselves wondering if God will leave us too. But He will never abandon us or forsake us. God loves us unconditionally. God the Father is perfect and is incapable of withholding His love from us.

The words of this song come from the heart of someone insecure about the love God has for his children. Regardless of what your dad has done, what you have done, or what has been done to you, you are a precious gem that the Lord cherishes with the very life of his Beloved Son Jesus.

He loves us! Yes, He loves us so much.

If you listen to this song and identify an attitude within yourself… embrace this truth. God truly, truly loves you. Jeremiah 1:5 shows us how obsessed our Lord is with us when he said, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb…”

Dear Reader, You are LOVED.

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Why, why are You still here with me
Didn’t You see what I’ve done?
In my shame I want to run and hide myself
But it’s here I see the truth
I don’t deserve You

[Chorus:]
But I need You to love me, and I
I won’t keep my heart from You this time
And I’ll stop this pretending that I can
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need You to love me

I, I have wasted so much time
Pushing You away from me
I just never saw how You could cherish me
‘Cause You’re a God who has all things
And still You want me

Your love makes me forget what I have been
Your love makes me see who I really am
Your love makes me forget what I have been

Mr. Legs and The Art of Loving

Mr. Legs in Italy many years ago is now a confused father.

What a way to start a blog… you are probably more curious than anything else but this story is a good one. In the past few months I have befriended this beautiful, five foot tall, Costa Rican girl; slowly her story began to unravel as our friendship developed.

I met this friend, Chela, at the clinic I am at right now. Soon after being introduced, I got her number and invited her to a monster truck rally… I guess you could say that our friendship was birthed out of a hill-billy craze. That Saturday I drove my Honda Civic up her house to pick her up; little did I know this short Costa Rican girl had a story I could hardly wrap my mind around.

Chella’s mom, let’s call her Ma, was born and raised in Costa Rica; at a young age she fell in love with a man but unfortunately was left empty-handed at the end of it. Soon after, she met an Italian, got married, and lives in Costa Rica. They have four children and after a number of years move to the US. From a young age, the children know their father as the man who brought presents home from various cities that his job took him to. He was never around; he knows his children only by the few days he spent with them at a time.

Here is where it gets interesting; of those four children, only one looked like an Italian. As the children went to school and matured in the US, they began to wonder why they did not look like their father. Although genetically confused, they only knew one man as their father, an Italian traveler. A few years later, he retired; the world caught up to him and, at last, he stayed home only to realize being a dad meant more than buying gifts. He has to actually show love in a different way.

He never did.

Fast forward to today. Chella now lives with friends after moving out of her father’s house. The old Italian man told his daughters he should not have raised them, he left them feeling abandoned even with his daughters there next to him.

Chella’s dad is the italian… she didn’t pick him, he is not the donor of her genetics, and she loves him in the midst of who he is.

We can not choose our fathers and our fathers don’t choose us. Love can be easy, but it is also a choice. At no point did Chella decide to have a father who wasn’t there or disconnected biologically. She loved him inspite of his absence and in spite of his view towards them.

As for Mr. Legs, it must be horrible knowing you didn’t seed the children you tried raising but that does not mean they are not your children. Love them. They need you.

 

Love, Anger, and Forgiveness

Thinking back over my childhood, I realize that I’ve had many experiences that I’ve chosen not to revisit often. Sometimes the memories are not ones that make us feel good and at other times it’s just the personal nature of it that makes you want to clam up. The scripture tells us that “no man lives unto himself.” Everything we go through can help and/or hurt someone else, it’s not just about us.  I’d like to share bits of my story. I pray that I will be a help to those that read.

I love my Dad. I always did and I always will. I spent most of my young life wanting to spend time with him. I had an unwavering love for him that was there against all reasoning. My encounters with him that I can remember were few. My mom said he was around the first two years of my life (that must be when we bonded). I remember the nasty break-up between him and my mom, I was very young but being in the middle of it left me with a  lasting memory of him trying to take me from my mother. It is a bitter-sweet memory. Two people I love so much fighting over who will keep me. Needless to say Momma won. I didn’t see Daddy again for what seemed like ages. I remember getting new Easter clothes and Momma saying they were from my daddy, but I don’t remember seeing him. I had a 3rd grade teacher, an older man, I loved him so much because he reminded me of my daddy. When I got in trouble at school, I would get the paddle and it made me feel even more like “this is what it was like to have a daddy discipline me.”  It might sound strange to some but, the discipline made me happy.  I knew Mr. O’Neil cared about me and wanted me to obey.

A couple of years later I faced what I thought was a tragedy! Momma was getting married! I didn’t need a father! I had one already. I wanted MY father. I began desperately writing my dad letters pleading for him to come see me.  NOTHING. Never got any answers.  I nursed the idea that my dad loved me and would take me away if I asked, but I never asked. I didn’t want my fantasy to be shattered. I was 10 years old, trying to find my personal identity and I was overwhelmed at the details thrust on me about my birth. It left me feeling like I had no value. I needed my dad to tell me he loved me. I was hungry for it. He remained absent.

When I was 13 years old he showed up. Wanted me to visit and gave me some attention. I received a pair of lilac colored brushed leather loafers in the mail as a gift from him. They matched nothing. I didn’t even really like them but I wore them ragged because I was so glad my dad sent them to me. I told everyone that they were from my daddy. After that I was in my own little heaven. He bought me a birthstone ring, a pair of jeans and came for me the next summer as well.  Momma was being so nice about me visiting my absentee Dad, I thought everything was finally getting on track. Then right after school started back I turned 15 and a month later my Daddy died. All my hopes for the future with him was gone! I was hurt and I was angry. Angry that he didn’t tell me he had cancer. Angry because he only spent time with me to ease his conscience. Angry because Momma was being nice out of pity. Angry because I couldn’t go to his funeral (his body was shipped south and only a wake was held locally). I was angry because my family who talked negatively about him all the time was now being so nice. Why couldn’t they think of nice things to say when he was alive? The whole thing just made me mad. At fifteen years old I was experiencing all the conflicting emotions teenagers typically experience and I wasn’t making good decisions.

As time moved on, my bad decisions showed me how much I needed guidance so I sought God for forgiveness for my sins. A few years later I married young and started a family. It was during this time that I began to understand the dynamics that had taken place in my life.  I began to understand the kind of man my dad was and accepted the fact that in spite of who he was, he was my dad.

I learned to accept him, and not measure my self-worth by how he treated me and the things my parents did. I saw the mercy of God that had been with me cause I could have ended up in a much worse condition.  Acceptance freed me to be myself, not hiding or being ashamed of my parentage. It healed the hurt. God let me know that he would be a father to me and I’ve experienced that!

To God be the glory.

Music Monday: Family Portrait

P!nk has a tendency to talk about the things people avoid. Watching the video almost brought tears to my eyes… there’s the child inside all of us that is deathly afraid of repeating the mistakes of our parents. That voice in our head that says, “That won’t be me, I won’t do it…”

Please address all the things that hurt you coming up. If you can imagine talking to that little girl or boy (yourself), face to face, acknowledge the pain and resentment and denounce the fear. Do not be held back in your relationships by fear. You are not your parents. You are not incapable of choosing your own pathway.

Remember, however, that if you run away from it, it will always come back and find you. Face it. Whatever your “it” is, and end the hide-and-seek game today.

No one had the perfect childhood. No need to pretend that you went unaffected. Get to the bottom of the hurt and quit pretending! Pretense is infectious and gives a false sense of security that can be striped away without warning.

Give yourself a chance to heal.

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Visit the DBMH Project, Inc website for more information.

Momma please stop cryin, I can’t stand the sound
Your pain is painful and its tearin’ me down
I hear glasses breakin as I sit up in my bed
I told dad you didn’t mean those nasty things you
said

You fight about money, bout me and my brother
And this I come home to, this is my shelter
It ain’t easy growin up in World War III
Never knowin what love could be, you’ll see
I don’t want love to destroy me like it has done
my family

Chorus:

Can we work it out? Can we be a family?
I promise I’ll be better, Mommy I’ll do anything
Can we work it out? Can we be a family?
I promise I’ll be better, Daddy please don’t
leave

Daddy please stop yellin, I can’t stand the sound

Make mama stop cryin, cuz I need you around
My mama she loves you, no matter what she says
its true
I know that she hurts you, but remember I love
you, too

I ran away today, ran from the noise, ran away
Don’t wanna go back to that place, but don’t have
no choice, no way
It ain’t easy growin up in World War III
Never knowin what love could be, well I’ve seen
I don’t want love to destroy me like it did my
family

Chorus

In our family portrait, we look pretty happy
Let’s play pretend, let’s act like it comes
naturally
I don’t wanna have to split the holidays
I don’t want two addresses
I don’t want a step-brother anyways
And I don’t want my mom to have to change her
last name

In our family portrait we look pretty happy
We look pretty normal, let’s go back to that
In our family portrait we look pretty happy
Let’s play pretend, act like it goes naturally

Chorus

Daddy don’t leave
Daddy don’t leave
Daddy don’t leave
Turn around please
Remember that the night you left you took my
shining star?
Daddy don’t leave
Daddy don’t leave
Daddy don’t leave
Don’t leave us here alone

Mom will be nicer
I’ll be so much better, I’ll tell my brother
Oh, I won’t spill the milk at dinner
I’ll be so much better, I’ll do everything right
I’ll be your little girl forever
I’ll go to sleep at night

Kickstarter Project LIVE!


The end of the year is quickly approaching and it takes financial support to keep in step for the publishing deadline. Please take a look at the project and be apart of the process of bringing this much-needed story to light! Kickstarter is an ALL or nothing crowd-fundraising website that allows you to opt in to be apart of a project. You will not be charged until the goal is hit and it must be hit before Dec. 15 at 8:30am! So, help us raise awareness and funds for a project that’s long overdue in the world.

Please feel free to email me directly with any questions at keila@daddybrokemyheart.com

Thanks for supporting and sharing this project with others!

Procrastination is Expensive

After years of therapy, I finally arrived at what proved to be an expensive place of peace about my dad-situation. -Anonymous

Therapy is necessary for more people than those who utilize the services. Yet, time drags on and on before any real progress can be made with many people. Why?

In my experience, talking about what you have suffered and what’s been done to you leaves you feeling freshly wounded. We open up, involuntarily a lot of times, to release the overwhelming pressure that will drive you insane if you hold it in any longer.

But remember, those who do talk about the past will only get help if God reaches to heal. Apart from that, these three points demonstrate the attitude we need to have going into a serious talk.

1. You accept that what has been done will not change

2. You accept that your dad will probably always be the same

3. You decide that you won’t be mad about the past anymore

Each part is essential to healing. The 3rd point is what takes up to several years for people to do. Mostly because the person doubts the validity of #2.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a miracle completely dependent on someone else’s free will to contradict their patterned behavior. People do not change. The sooner you accept that fact, the closer you will be to simply forgiving your dad for wronging you in the first place.

If you are going to invest in therapy, make it count. Go in knowing what you have to do and just do it. Putting off the inevitable will eat right through your pockets.

You will never feel completely ready. You simply have to take a leap of faith and trust that believing things will get better. Let go of your dad. He is who he is.

Be who you are made to be. FYI: You are not made to live in a constant state of brokenness and defeat. Accept, forgive, and move on.

Even if you aren’t paying money for therapy, you’re paying emotionally for avoiding the whole thing.

 

Support the DBMH Project, Inc. by contributing to our Kickstarter Fundraiser!

Visit the DBMH Project, Inc website for more information.

Music Monday: Just Another Birthday

I’ve featured this song on the Facebook page before, but wanted to bring it back and comment on the effects of unmet expectations from dads.

Yearning for love from someone who denies you makes you thirsty.

Yes, thirsty.  As we have stated many times before, the desire to be loved and celebrated (especially on special days) from your father is natural. Without the attention, we do not just simply look for alternative fillers, we desperately grasp at anyone who might take even the slightest interest in us. Our low sense of self-worth causes us to lower our standards (if we maintain any) to let anyone who wants to love us in. We grow attached and ignore all the red flags and warning signs along the way. We rationalize away all of the reasons why it’s okay for any mistreatment, disrespect, or any less-than-ideal situation.

Often times, we give ourselves completely away, emotionally, physically, and spiritually to men who take advantage of the thirst for attention. Many times, this leads to premarital sex. We bare our souls hoping the love making fills our yearning for the hugs, kisses, and pats on the back our fathers neglect to give us. We give ourselves over and over again hoping there will be the slightest improvement in the hallow way we feel.  The staggering fact is that with each night in bed with a man while you’re in this condition, be he good to you or bad to you, will leave you emptier instead. From dehydrated to a desert wasteland, you crumble on the inside.

Then life appears. In the midst of a hopeless, discouraging, and depressing situation that makes women feel completely worthless, something wonderful and terrifying happens in the womb. Out of the fragmented being of the mother, hope the size of a fingernail makes her feel important even through such illegitimate means. But she can never offer the love of a father to that child. She’ll hurt every time she has to explain why daddy doesn’t love his baby. (Sometimes a man will rise to the occasion of fatherhood, but the vast majority will shirk away. Fact.)

There is also the woman who feels unable to handle the responsibility and she craves under the pressure to end the life of her child. She does so to rid herself of the fear of being an awful parent and instead adopts a lifetime of guilt and emptiness.

Before it gets here, allow God to fill the longings of your heart. Only He can make you whole.

Only he can fill the the thirsting of your soul.

He gives living water where you will thirst no more.

Sixteen finds me
Blowing out candles and making wishes
And all around me
Is everyone but the one I’m wishing for
And he sent me flowers
And gift-wrapped excuses
From a daddy whose daughter
Wants to see him again

And I know, I know
It’s just another birthday
But I guess I thought
This would be the one
When he would call me, see me
Hold me and free me
But it’s just another birthday

And I’ll be fine
I’ll be fine

Nineteen finds me
And I’m wild-eyed and wide open
I gave myself away to love
But backseat promises fade like a mist
I’m screaming at the midnight air
Everyone hears me but I don’t care
My heart’s clenched just like a fist
‘Cause, people, I didn’t ask for any of this
And I’m not fine
I’m not fine

In the company of strangers
In a cold and sterile room
All alone with a child inside me
And I don’t know what to do
Jesus, can You hear me
Come and heal my brokenness
Put the pieces back together
And be a Father to the fatherless

Twenty-one finds me
Blowing out candles and making wishes
And all around me
My barefoot princess twirls and sings
It’s so amazing
Looking back at all God’s brought us through
You are my happy birthday
And you were born to break the chains

Now I know, I know
It’s not just another birthday
‘Cause I’m here, she’s here
And look how far we’ve come
Since you’ve called me, saw me
Held me and freed me
Thank you, Lord, for another birthday
And we’ll be fine
We’ll be fine

Walls of Denial

For years, I denied feeling anything about my dad. I was full of all the reasons why his absence was a good thing. I’d say things like:

“I don’t care.”

“It’s better this way…”

“He messed stuff up anyway”

“I don’t notice when he isn’t here.”

“Dad complicates things.”

All of my logical assertions of acceptance were all excuses meant to hide the need for him to take an active part in my life. All of these statements flipped would, in my mind, imply a need or weakness.

I do care… but he doesn’t.

Ouch. One sided heartbreak. Knocked up side the head with the short end of the stick from someone who should love you. How do you deal with that? How can you logically think about such an awful thing and be okay?

I lied to myself to survive. I built walls to escape the hurt, only I trapped the hurt inside my fortress with me.

I demolish the walls of denial with the sledgehammer of truth. Acknowledging that I’ve been hurt does not make me weak. Expressing how I feel does not make me less of a person.

 

Yes, I need my dad in my life. I miss him.

 

What now? He is still gone. He is still in his own world oblivious to me. What good is the confession?

I’ll tell you what good the confession does for us. The confession opens our eyes to the needy grasp and hold to the alternatives.

Do you have high, unrealistic expectations in your relationships? (Perhaps you may not feel you do, but have you been told you do?)

Do you find yourself frustrated with the people you love in your life?

Do you expect more comfort and validation from your friends than they tend to naturally give to you?

Are you dissatisfied with the male authority figures in your life? Seems like they do not care enough about what’s important to you?

Beware. Daddy issues have a tendency to suck the people around us dry.

Confession will keep you vigilant. Confession will help you listen to the needs of others.

Confession demands respect from others because if you do not allow you to lie to yourself, others do not stand a chance in deceiving you.

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The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keeps out the joy.

Diabetic Ulcer

Most people reading this may not know what a diabetic ulcer is.

Let me lay it out like this: Type 2 diabetes is typically caused by too much glucose (or simply too much eating,) which makes a person intolerant to glucose. This can lead to something called polyneuropathy (numbness) and in turn leads to a person who cannot feel their feet making them highly susceptible to injury. The ulcer that forms on the foot, caused by poor care, can get infected. That infection can get bad enough to where your foot has to get amputated or it would kill you.

Emotional issues are like this… daddy issues are like this. Starts with small bad habit that perpetuates into disaster.

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