A Daddyless Daughter

Lauren Nicole Coppin Campbell

The pieces that a daddy gives his daughter tell her how she should be treated, behave and interact in a non-sexual but intimate way with the opposite-sex. So, what happens when daddy leaves or was never there, to begin with?

For years, I wondered whether I was worthy of love, good enough or valued. Despite growing up in a healthy single parent household, where my mother took on both roles like a champ and never once complained or acted like our lives and the role she played  were different to the norm. I almost always dreamt or imagined what life with my father under the same roof would be like. How we'd spend time together, what we'd do, whether I would be a 'daddy's girl' and take on his love for sports, or whether I'd still be a 'mummy's girl' and enjoy the finer things in life.

In my head, I had built my father into this superhero, who made me feel beautiful, worthy, loved...someone who was simply just present. It took eighteen years for me to realise the impact of absence. And it didn't matter how many amazing, present, loving and caring uncles, mentors or family friends I had in my life; they weren't my father.

So, instead, I'd sought ways to fill that void. Getting into situations I didn't actually want to be in, for a moment of attention or a chance at feeling like I was worthy or valued. Meanwhile, I was crippled by this inability to connect or really identify what I wanted. And while promiscuity never fully played out in a big way, I accepted energies I knew I shouldn't have. I broke the hearts of people I should have let go but held onto because I wanted to feel loved (when I wasn't able to love myself), and engaged intimately with boys I didn't even like.

Despite knowing this in the back of my mind, I continued because I thought maybe I'd eventually like the boy back, or maybe he'd make me feel special enough that my guard would drop and this bond that wasn't there yesterday would magically appear today.

But instead, I became this time waster, the 'bitch who is playing games', who was 'heartless' but was also needy and desperate to be loved.

The reality of it was, I was just looking for a father in other men. Men who were incapable of being that due to age, emotional development, and quite simply because they shouldn't have had to be.

My healing process, to get over and move past my abandonment and trust issues starts now. Iyanla Vanzant, a relationship expert, says that daddyless daughters have the power to heal. “One of the first things that we have to do is tell the absolute truth,” she says. “Radical, gut-level, honest truth. And it starts with, ‘I’m a daddyless daughter.’”

So, here's my truth: I'm a daddyless daughter. And sometimes I feel worthless. The way I cover it up is by not letting him in, even when he tries.


By Lauren Nicole Coppin Campbell