I started therapy a year ago.
In secret. I didn’t want my family to judge me. I didn’t grow up on therapy, I grew up on prayer.
To be honest, it was surface level at first. I didn’t truly want to step out of my comfort zone because, “I’m strong”.
As a matter of fact, I am identified as one of the strongest ones in my family. So how was I supposed to be vulnerable? Especially, with someone who doesn’t know shit about me.
So I looked at therapy to discuss the issues I had with others (their faults) and downplay my own.
I’m not the problem, they are. It’s Tahnee’s world and they just live in it.
However, just recently Heaven attended therapy with me to discuss her issues she was dealing with, in regards to her dad being incarcerated.
Then my eyes were opened.
We had a group therapy session and my daughter let the cat out the bag.
I was insensitive about her dad being away. I had grown to have a fuck him, he made a poor decision, attitude. Which was different from how I use to feel.
The truth is, Heaven’s dad was my official first love and I was crushed when he had been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
But the distance and burden of me having to raise a young child on my own had turned me cold towards him.
The allegations involved declared him guilty for the murder of a woman known as a prostitute. Yet, even though the evidence that was used to convict him was sketchy, I remember feeling humiliated in court. Sexual favors for cash? And now because of his foolishness my daughter could never have a father & daughter dance.
Of course, I was his ride or die chick pleading to the judge letter after letter, visiting and accepting those high ass phone calls.
I remember one day he had asked me to buy an electronic and I snapped.
How the hell was I going to support him and my daughter? Who was supporting me?
His anger for being locked up made him take things out on me and we slowly began to fall apart. I mean we never stopped talking, but things have never been the same…
Fast forward to today and through therapy, I realized that my material over-compensating for his missing presence was not helping my daughter heal. Nor was it filling the voids.
The fact of the matter was, he was missing and she was missing him.
But I was confused, she didn’t want to visit him in jail and they spoke on the phone often so..what was I supposed to do?
I was instantly defensive, “Heaven what am I supposed to do, he fucked up not me, I’m here?”
The therapist let me speak and then said , “Heaven can you tell me how you feel about your mom’s statement.
”No she’s right. I love my mom, but she feels how she feel.” Heaven said with her head down.
I was about to get defensive again, but I was quiet.
Heaven had basically showed me the issue. I was shutting her down when she had explained her feelings about her dad and now my baby wasn’t comfortable talking to me.
I had my dad so I had no understanding of how she felt and showed no compassion (not intentionally).
My heart meant well, but my delivery was shitty.
I spent days explaining to my daughter the statistics of children with an incarcerated parent, and drilling in her head that she has to succeed regardless of the numbers.
Explaining to her not to use her dad’s absence as an excuse to do less in life and to survive off the one parent she has, that is rooting for her.
Telling her to get over the fact her dad was missing, is not right.
This hard truth has helped me realize my flaws as a parent, but also as a woman who obviously has not healed from this situation.
To be continued…
2 thoughts on “F*ck him, how is that for therapy? #parentingwithanincarceratedparent”
Tahnee it takes a mature woman to admit her faults. That article was an eye opener for not just you and Heaven, myself and I’m sure others in your place. I pray that God will heal all three of you, Heaven, Dujaun and yourself. Very powerful message my dear. I pray for healing especially for my granddaughter, it’s a lot to go through.
Tahnee it takes a real mature woman to admit that she needs help and you are that. I know it has been a long rough road with the whole situation but I am here for you and Heaven. It’s a lot to go through neither of us had to go through an incarcerated parent but its rough. I pray that both of you find strength and I know God will take care of you. Still praying for Dajuan that the Lord continue to watch over and keep him. God be the judge and the only judge.