It meant more to me than a title or responsibility. Wearing fatherhood with honor one day felt like my inheritance passed down from ancestors. However, doubt and fear still found ways to infiltrate my train of thought consistently.
In my teenage years I developed habits like manipulation, giving up easily, and compulsive lying that carried with me into adulthood. These became my way of hiding my hurt from those who could get close to me. It was the wall I put up to draw boundaries from receiving future heartbreaks.
These habits grew like weeds in my behavior, and I began to feel my hopes of having a family of my own were being suffocated greatly. It was easy for me to exit out of women’s lives, and I became desensitized to the very thing that gave my soul life –– family and my dream of fatherhood. I tried to ignore the pain I saw in my mother’s eyes when she witnessed my behavior and what my character had become. But it was impossible. I had no self-value, no self-respect, and I treated others with that same low evaluation.
When I looked in the mirror, I was so disappointed with who I was becoming. My eyes appeared to lose all sense of innocence. It felt as if my inner light was dimming quickly.
I entered my mother’s house crying, on my knees, praying to change and for a wife. It was at this crossroad where I chose legacy over fear and generational blessing over continuing a generational curse. My mother stood in agreement with me and became a powerful accountability partner in that season.
I dealt head-on with my abandonment issues and stopped using my father not being around as an excuse to be a victim. I began building a stronger foundation by being more transparent with others about my past mindset and seeking wise counsel from other men. I welcomed dialogue about what makes a relationship healthy, and I also began using daily self-affirmations to evacuate any anxiety.
My mother noticed and spoke with me about the change she too saw in me. Throughout my healing process, she kept sharing with me how proud she was of the man I was becoming. Those words of affirmation pushed me through on days my past tried to creep in with shame.