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Archive for January, 2019|Monthly archive page

Redefining Father-Less

In Fatherless, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on January 17, 2019 at 6:47 pm

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I feel it is vitally important to redefine or simplify the meaning of Fatherless.  I know that may sound arrogant and over-reaching, but it is for a special purpose.  Throughout my day-to-day, I have learned there are too many fatherless people who do not identify as fatherless although they are.  It is one thing to have a definition in your mind and another as to how you use it in a sentence pertaining to your own life.

Webster’s dictionary defines Fatherless as having no father because he is dead or absent from the home.  The National Fatherhood Initiative has gone a bit further.

National Fatherhood Initiative Definitions of Fatherless:

  1. You are fatherless if you have never met your father.
  2. You are fatherless if your father does not live in the home with you and you have limited to no time with him.
  3. You are fatherless if your father has died.
  4. You are fatherless if your father lives in the home with you but is not emotionally engaged.

I know what you are thinking.  It should be easy to identify with one of the definitions.  True, but there are a few things at work.  Many people only have these definitions in their minds.  For most of you, this is the first time you are seeing the definitions written down.   For some reason, the leap from our heads to our hearts is not as easy of terrain to cross as we believe it should be. Using our lives in a sentence about fatherlessness is not ideal for most.  This is the moment where feelings begin to bubble up to the surface causing us to acknowledge or suppress long lost pain. And in truth, a couple of the definitions seem unfair if our dad was present in some capacity.

Fatherless children & Fatherless adults are saying, “I am not fatherless because I know who my father is.” Regardless of the fact as to whether they have a relationship with their father or not.  They do not even take into account how much time they desire to spend versus how time they actually spend with their fathers.  Fathers say, “My children are not fatherless. I am here fighting for them.  But, their mother won’t let me see them!” This is just one of the many conversations.

So for the sake of the conversation and even for the sake of healing someone today, let’s redefine or better yet simply the definition of fatherless. By simply breaking the word into the 2 words that make it up; Father and Less. Father-Less becomes an easier landscape.  Father-Less is simply having less time or not as much time as we desired or needed with our fathers for our psychological, emotional, and spiritual development.

Now when we look at this definition, how many of you could say, I might be Father-Less?  an example, maybe your father was a workaholic and his focus was providing for the family. No blame to dad.  However, not having the time wanted and needed tends to leave a scar on our hearts causing that scar to become the navigation of our lives in negative ways we very seldom recognize until it’s too late. Once again, no blame to our fathers who worked hard to give us great lives.  We just need to acknowledge we wanted and needed more time and now we have some hurt surrounding not having that time we must now heal.

This is your season for the healing you did not even know you needed.  The season for you to allow yourself to feel something you have not felt in a long time in order to obtain the healing for your life allowing you to go to the next level.

Take the time to journal or call a friend to talk through what you read and how you are feeling about it.

Dr. Torri J. Evans-Barton

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A Lesson We Can Learn From “Surviving R Kelly”

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Uncategorized on January 17, 2019 at 6:29 pm

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With the latest documentary release about R Kelly, we believe it is imperative to discuss a topic many may find uncomfortable but we must have.  Sexual Abuse is a true consequence of growing up in a fatherless home.  And a lesson we can learn is, boys are just as susceptible as girls to it.

In order to have a fair conversation lets clarify a few facts.  Far too often we associate Sexual Abuse with girls versus boys.  However, according to childtrauma.org 1 out of 3 females and 1 out of 5 males have been victims of sexual abuse.  American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (AAETS) says, 30% of all male children are molested in some way, compared to 40% of females. Numbers do not lie and these numbers insinuate boys and girls are BOTH at risk of sexual assault especially when they are from fatherless homes.

Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse: 

  • Withdrawal and mistrust of adults
  • Suicidality
  • Difficulty relating to others except in sexual or seductive ways
  • Unusual interest in or avoidance of all things sexual or physical
  • Sleep problems, nightmares, fears of going to bed
  • Frequent accidents or self-injurious behaviors
  • Refusal to go to school, or to the doctor, or home
  • Secretiveness or unusual aggressiveness
  • Sexual components to drawings and games
  • Neurotic reactions (obsessions, compulsiveness, phobias)
  • Habit disorders (biting, rocking)
  • Unusual sexual knowledge or behavior
  • Prostitution
  • Forcing sexual acts on other children
  • Extreme fear of being touched
  • Unwillingness to submit to a physical examination

Contrary to girls, boys may not even recognize their sexual victimization. They may assert that they weren’t abused, weren’t hurt, or were in charge of what happened.  For them, acknowledging victimization means admitting they’re weak or “not male.”

A Step to Help & Healing
To ensure the children around you are able to share any abuse that may have taken place, it is necessary to create an atmosphere of openness.  If you are a parent, always have age-appropriate discussions on sexual abuse, leaving an open door policy.  Also, make sure you do not ignore conversations about “someone touched me” while paying attention to any of the signs mentioned above.

If you suspect Sexual Abuse or have been abused, please report to the Police.  After reporting the abuse to the Police, find a Licensed Therapist to initiate the healing from the Sexual Abuse in order to reduce the potential of the abused from becoming the abuser.

80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. – Justice & Behavior, Vol 14.

Happy to help.

For a Licensed Therapist go to www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists or if you have any questions feel free to email TFGF Admin at info@tfgf.org