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The Daddy Complex

The Daddy Complex

I’m 24, single, working, and living in NYC.  I date both men and women, but I have not dated women in over a year now.  Prior to me dating men recently, I dated women exclusively for 4-5 years.  Before then, a mixture of the two.

My father is a shy man, with a rough exterior and good heart.  He does not articulate himself very well, but when he’s pushed enough he will respond.  His words towards me aren’t always fatherly, but the fatherly words that he does give are priceless. We have an on an off relationship.  During high school, I went to live with him for the first time.  He made me breakfast every morning, but we fought over my mother all of the time.  He would call her things like “trifling” and say that “me and her” need to do something or another.  At times, I would get so defensive of my mother that I would verbally rip him to shreds, without curse words of course.  That’s how I became so articulate and argumentative.  Before then, I would only see him on the holidays and on my birthday.

My father, my mother and myself had a huge fight one day.  He barricaded the door and threw me and my mother down.  We were both physically fighting him, my mother in between.  Cops came.  I moved out that day and went to stay with my mom and grandparents.

Besides rape, my experiences with men have been relatively pleasant.  I’ve made strides in loving myself again, and feminism has helped me embrace that all men are not let downs.  I thank God for the lows because I can’t imagine how I could have ever made it this high without them.  I’m in love with my body; I can’t stop staring at it.  My breasts are my favorite. 🙂

I’ve never been in love with a man until recently, but he’s a let down too.  So I find myself putting up the same blockades I did for my daddy.  I don’t need you, I don’t want you, I can do bad all by myself.  I just hate how the “doing bad” part still lingers.

When I went to college I met women who had fathers in their lives for the first time.  They seemed different.  I remember the first girl, who moved in across the hall from me in the dorm and brought her whole family to assist.  Her dad was a dignified man, Cosby sweater and everything. lol Cute 🙂

I’ve always wanted Cliff Huxtable to be my daddy.

I want to be taken care of.  Not in a gold digger kind of way, but in a spiritual, loving, daily living kind of way.  I want to hear, “I’ll take care of it baby.” or “Don’t worry babe, I got you.” and I want him to mean it and follow through.  Sounds reasonable, but you’d be surprised.

Daddy syndrome looks different for every person.  Men experience it within their identity crisis I’ve been told.  But mine is completely about being babied almost, in a way that I can just be a little girl– daddy’s little girl.  I wanted to be the girl in the park bragging about her dad beating up another girl’s dad, and the girl who had the dad that didn’t like any of her boyfriends.  But that didn’t happen.  While I fully recognize the gendered construct of my desire, it is still seemingly innate.

I find myself now being attracted to the biggest (literally), most aggressive, most uncommunicative man in the world.  He does the exact same thing as my father because he is the type of man to focus on protecting me, and that may be his only language of love.  He just doesn’t protect me from himself.  Not to say that my dad didn’t protect me from poverty, abuse, etc., he always paid his child support on time.  It wasn’t until after I moved out of his house and went to college that he began to not want to financially commit to my education.  Mother took him to court, judge ruled in her favor… he had to split the cost of my tuition and living expenses. But my father would do everything in his power to keep others from hurting me, but would do the dumbest things to hurt me himself.  I know I’m fresh out there in the heterosexual dating game, but am I attracting this to myself?

I want a man who will stay by me no matter what.  Father my daughter and son no matter what.

When I was raped, I wasn’t attacked out on a street and dragged behind a dumpster like what happened last year in Trenton, New Jersey.  I went to his house… and honestly, this isn’t the medium where I want to get into that.  But my point is that despite that fact that it could have happened to anybody, I happened to me.  I can’t help but to wonder what would have happened if I had of grown up differently, and experienced men more closely… would I have made different decisions about the opposite sex in general?  Would I have waited much longer to lose my virginity?  I’ve always envied girls who did. “Studies show” that they’re better off…

I used to think that my vulva was ugly.  I would get hair bumps a lot because my hair was so kinky.  It was painful.  As I got older, more things happened to my vulva.  Some I’ve already shared.

The first time that something really AMAZING happened to my vulva, it was with a woman.  Women would look at it, examine it, connect with it.  I was grateful.  With women, I prayed on my vulva.

But yet I’m back here with men, tolerating the same crap that my daddy put me through, by the biggest man I could find.  Except this time I don’t have to deal with it, yet I’m in love.  But nothing ever said that I couldn’t make a choice for me, of course.  I did it with my daddy, I can do it for him.  I can only hope that they wont let me down.  If they do, they do.

Even when I dated women, my body, mouth and spirit asked for these same principle things.  I am attracted to women who tend to be aggressive in appearance, and who take care of me.  My lived experience resides more with this gender so I can speak more to that.  My last girlfriend was very giving, nurturing and loving.  She would tend to my basic needs, which meant so much to me.  Most importantly she was reliable. She brought me my sash that I forgot home the day of my graduation, in the poring rain… in traffic… just as I was about to enter the sanctuary to cross that stage.  **Ode to Spelman College** 🙂 (#thynamewepraise) Even today, I’m so glad to have her in my life.  But she was not aggressive in nature enough for me.  I missed the feeling.

My first love, a beautiful woman with a BIG personality, had a way of nurturing me as well.  She would pray over me and tell me to “speak life” into my dreams.  She made me feel beautiful, smart and gifted.  A BOSS, she kept me out of harms way.  But she too, could not protect me from herself, and cheated on me with so many women…smh… God knows! lol  And lied…

It’s primitive of me to want to feel safe and protected, so taken care of by a man more so than a woman.  I feel like I should be able to have this “feeling” with women, but I do not.  Not all men want to fight for a woman or be “manly” — whatever that means.  Gender constructed norms are antiquated thought, but yet and still, I stopped dating women in search of this feeling… this feeling of being safe.

What’s that all about???


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2 responses »

  1. Brittney –
    I love this! So inspiring, honest and raw. I can also relate greatly to most of the emotions expressed here despite having different experiences. Beautiful.


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