torrij

Posts Tagged ‘Fatherless’

Redefining Father-Less

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

depositphotos_8844572_original_20160323_1039252138

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

Confessions of a Fatherless Daughter

In Career, Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on December 4, 2018 at 4:04 pm

 

 

Daddyless Daughter

athomaspointofview.com

 

I never knew my father well. Time spent with him was always rare and brief. At the most, I could expect a card with a few dollars in it on holidays and birthdays. Over time, I got used to growing up without him. I stopped expecting him at birthday parties, graduations, and school events. I stopped waiting by the phone for promised calls that never came. I learned to tuck the sadness of missing him into my back pocket and push forward. My being surrounded by the presence of my mother, siblings, and family members as a child made it easy to tune out the heavy emotions that I felt towards my father. So, I got past it in childhood but I was not prepared for how it would affect me as a young adult.

The weight of my fatherlessness hit me the hardest when I got to college. Something about crossing over the threshold into adulthood, being away from home, and being all on my own brought all of those daddy issues to light. It wasn’t until then that I realized his absence had seeped into every aspect of my life.

It showed up when I met new friends but couldn’t bring myself to be vulnerable with them. It showed up in my academic life when I second guessed myself and what I brought to the table. It was present when I found myself judging every man I met as unreliable before getting to know them. My lack of financial and emotional support is tangible evidence of my fatherlessness. As an almost 20-year-old, I feel as though my fatherlessness has sent me into the world with no foundation.  I have had to learn to heal that little girl inside of me who just wanted her daddy around. If I didn’t, I would have begun to sabotage myself and my relationships as an adult.

My experience has made me realize that parents can sometimes underestimate the impact of their actions on their children. They can also overestimate their children’s ability to simply “get over it.” That is why healing as a child is so important. The trauma that is the result of fatherlessness will impact a child regardless of if they recognize it or not. It is trauma that will carry over well into adulthood if not healed correctly.

 

Taj’Zhere Dillard

Intern

The Fatherless Generation Foundation, Inc.

Daddy Issues

In Career, Fatherless, Lifestyle, Uncategorized on November 9, 2018 at 8:58 pm

“Piece by piece, he restored my faith

that a man can be kind and a father could, stay”

―Kelly Clarkson

 

New one

ustylemag.com

 

Many fatherless children are walking around and going about their daily lives suppressing the fact that they have daddy issues.  The thought is I have grown beyond the 12-year-old boy or girl waiting for my father to come to my school recital, birthday party, or even just a regularly scheduled visit. I have “gotten over it!”  But in truth, that does not mean your daddy issues are through with you.

Why do you need to slow down and deal with your daddy issues? 

This is necessary because of the impact that your daddy issues are having on your relationships with your spouse, family, friends, and even your children. What many do not know because of the high level of suppression, is that their daddy issues are even impacting their performance at work.

How do you stop suppressing and work through the pain of your daddy issues? 

#1 Sit Still

We use being busy as a way to not deal with the cracks in our foundation. You must get quiet. Allow the inner you to speak to you about what it needs.

#2 Listen 

It is time you listen to you. Once you get quiet and begin to listen, the inner you will begin to expose the areas of trauma affecting your life. Take the time to write them in a journal.

#3 Experience the trauma from a place of seeking resolution.

When you begin to listen, you will initially be afraid. And I will say, depending on how deep the trauma is, I need for you to seek a qualified therapist to assist you with your healing.  What I know is, when you go back and experience the trauma from a place of seeking resolution, you discover different outcomes.  Your conclusions are based on truth and not on the myopic perspective of a child whose heart has been broken. Those new conclusions are now shaped from a stronger, more confident, and free-er you!

#4 Write a Letter to Your Father 

Writing a letter to your father is one of the most freeing actions you can take for your own healing.  Now, whether or not you send it to him is up to you.  I suggest you take the time to listen concerning that decision as well. For some, you may want to go beyond writing the letter and reach out to your father or an extended family member if he is not open or has passed on to share your heart. You may find the surprise of your life!

 

Compassionately yours,

Dr. Torri J. Evans-Barton

Founder & CEO

The Fatherless Generation Foundation, Inc.

 

The Effects of Fatherlessness within the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Uncategorized on February 18, 2014 at 8:23 pm

The King Family

The King Family

After reading the news report about Martin Luther King III & Dexter King suing their sister Bernice over their father’s personal Bible and Noble Peace Prize Medal for the purpose of selling it, a serious question arose in my heart.  Is Martin Luther King III and Dexter King showing signs of Fatherlessness?

I boldly declare… YES!

Now let me say, this blog is not to taint the legacy of Dr. King by casting a negative light on his role as a father, but it is the explore why the only sons of the greatest Civil Rights leader of our lifetime would do everything in their power to destroy their fathers legacy for monetary gain.

When defining fatherlessness, we find there are 4 prominent definitions:

  1. A child who has never met their father
  2. A child who doesn’t live with their biological father
  3. A child whose father has died
  4. A child who lives with a father who is disengaged

We know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died at 39 years old, which would make his sons 11 & 7 years old at the time of his death. And, just because they are not criminals, drug abusers, or didn’t drop out of school doesn’t mean they are not feeling the effects of their father’s death in a way that makes them behave questionably. Fatherless children are 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.

And, in our imaginary world of the perfect family, we believe we know Dr. King’s children undoubtedly had a support system that would have kept them from feeling fatherless. But now we must ask several questions. Before his death was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. able to fight for the civil freedoms of the African American race and continue to stay engaged with his children without his sons feeling abandoned by him producing resentment within their hearts? And… Was the support system after his death enough?

I  understand Dr. King’s drive to fight for the freedoms of the African American race in order for his children to be afforded the same freedoms as other races. However, did his fight for freedom cause him to abandon his family figuratively and create a resentment in the hearts of his children? The unfortunate answer to the question could be… yes. In my heart I acknowledge the prestige and honor their father’s legacy has afforded them, myself, and others. But I must also acknowledge the weight it must be to carry the mantle of being the sons of the good Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Lets address why I believe their resentment of their father and his legacy is the manifestation of fatherlessness. Resentment is the feeling of bitterness, anger, or hatred resulting from a real or imagined wrong. The key difference between resentment, anger and contempt stems from how a person perceives the status of the wrong-doer. Resentment is directed at people with perceived higher status. I am sure the pressure to live up to their father and his legacy was too great which place him on a pedestal he rightfully deserved. Would we dare to think that Martin Luther King III & Dexter King could resent their father for what he accomplished for African Americans? The obvious answer is… No. Would we dare to think Martin Luther King III & Dexter King would have resentment, some anger, and a nice helping of bitterness in their hearts pertaining to the fact their father pioneered the very movement that caused his death which inevitably removed him from their lives leaving them fatherless?  Now there might be some truth to that question!

If I possess resentment in my heart, how would I behave? How would I handle the legacy and the things inherited? Lets take a look at how Dr. King’s legacy and belongings have been handled.

Over the years we have heard rumors and seen the realities of how the “Estate of Martin Luther King Jr.,”which is managed by Martin Luther King III, has diminished the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for monetary gain.  

  • You cannot use any part of the “I Have a Dream” speech without paid permission.
  • In 2006 the siblings put 10 thousand items including handwritten papers up for auction; then Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin raised 32 million dollars to purchase the lot and keep the artifacts available for scholars and the public.
  • They have sued Dr. King’s close friend activist and singer Harry Belafonte to get ownership of memorabilia Dr. King gave him, including a speech the civil rights icon wrote in Belafonte’s New York apartment.
  • They have blocked Andrew Young, who was on the balcony when Dr. King was assassinated, from using film footage of Young marching with Dr. King. Young says he recognizes the family’s need to protect the Martin Luther King estate but says, “ I will not give up my right to the legacy for their right to the legacy.”

Some might see these moments in time not as opportunities for monetary gain, but as the preservation of their father’s legacy. After this recent fiasco, I would have to disagree. I see two fatherless sons resentful at the legacy left for them in the absence of their father!

Today we pray for the legacy, the family of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the effects fatherlessness is having on the family In Jesus Name, Amen!

Written by Torri J. Evans, Founder & CEO of The Fatherless Generation Foundation http://www.tfgf.org

Turkeys for the Fatherless

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Turkeys for the Fatherless

It’s time for The Fatherless Generation Foundation’s #TurkeysForTheFatherless!!

In providing our resources & services we know 60% of fatherless children grow up in poverty. And for this reason TFGF has provided Thanksgiving baskets for fatherless families for the last 2 years ensuring they will not go hungry during Thanksgiving. THIS YEAR WILL BE NO DIFFERENT! Our first year we successfully fed 55 fatherless families and last year we were blessed to fed 30 fatherless families. This year we have partnered with I Will Survive, Inc. setting a goal of feeding 120 fatherless families including 20 single mothers who are surviving cancer!

$40 feeds a family of 5 with a 15 lb Turkey, Fresh Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, White Potatoes, Rolls, and homemade Dessert! To raise $4800 it’s going to take 120 donors to give $40 each. The campaign is actually live NOW at http://www.tfgf.org/eventsprograms.html

It would mean THE WORLD to me if you gave your best donation so that 120 families will not go without Thanksgiving Dinner! Will you please donate now at at http://www.tfgf.org/eventsprograms.html

Parents… NO More Excuses

In Fatherless, Uncategorized, Youth Programs on March 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

Way too often our childhood effects our adulthood and then our parenting. BUT… our children are not ok with the excuses!

Having an Identity Crisis?

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on November 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Am I Having an Identity Crisis?

“The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose” – Richard R. Grant

Your identity is so much more than your appearance. Your true identity is the depth of who you are as an individual. And what so many don’t seem to accept is the concept that our identity is  intended to be found in our fathers.  But what happens when our father is absent? When he has abandoned us and our mother’s to fend for ourselves in every way? Many have what has been coined as an identity crisis!!!

The term “Identity Crisis” was coined by Erik Erikson. His definition of the term is, “the failure to achieve ego identity during adolescence.” Erikson also states, “During our adolescence we are faced with physical growth, sexual maturation, and integrating our ideas of ourselves and about what others think of us. We therefore form our self-image and endure the task of resolving the crisis of our basic ego identity.”

They say when you grasp a strong sense of identity in your adolescence you are well equipped and prepared for adulthood, possessing a strong sence of confidence and certainty.   But what happens when this doesn’t happen? It opens the door for insecurity, lack of self-worth, unbelief, mistrust, abandonment and a list of many other negatives ideologies leading us on a uncertain path in life. Erikson even believes an identity crisis negates the mechanism for fidelity: known to encompass sincerity, genuineness and a sense of duty in our relationships with other people!

Through my work with The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc.  I have learned the importance of identity and how it is connected to the fatherless and their inability to navigate through life as well as finding their purpose successfully.  Not to say the fatherless cannot find success, but their navigation at times is off balance due to an uncalibrated compass. The compass of life is a tool both parents play a significant role in building and then calibrating. And when your compass is only built and calibrated by one parent, your compass is one sided and leads you in circles. Erikson states, “They may go on to seek a negative identity, which may involve crime or drugs or the inability to make defining choices about the future.”  A life that leads you in circles is what we readily call “Repeating the Cycle!”

The real question is how do you overcome your identity crisis if you are having one? How do you break the cycle and get off the “Merry Go Round?” The clear answer is… FIND YOUR IDENTITY and when you find your identity it will lead you to your purpose!

Some steps to finding your identity….

  1. Find Your Authentic Self by Listening to Your Gut: This requires silence and you learning to trust yourself
  2. Never Lose Track of Your Goals & Dreams: No dream is foolish. Put goals in place so your dream can be accomplished
  3. Express Your True Feelings… Stop Surpressing How You Truly Feel: You can’t tell everyone everything so learn to journal
  4. Learn to Say NO without Feeling Guilty or Ashamed: Guilt and Shame are intended to keep you on the Merry Go Round
  5. Learn to Take Risks: Calculated Risks ONLY

When you crack your identity code…. the contours of your life will shift!

The Occupy Movement has Hit The Boys & Girls Club

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized, Youth Programs on September 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm

The Occupy Movement has hit The Boys & Girls Club!!!

Night before as I prepare for bed, I couldn’t help but to have a HUGE smile on my face.  Monday was intended to be our first day back at The Boys & Girls Clubs with FGF Peer Groups.  But, when I walked in the door and grab my list… only 3 kids seemed to qualify for FGF Peer Groups. I was unsure of what to make of it. As I walked into the club, kids from ALL age groups ran up to me and hugged me. But after the joyous greeting they had a serious issue with me. They were all yelling at once… “Ms. Torri, why aren’t we able to be in your group. THAT ISN’T FAIR!” I let them know it was not my decision to only allow 3rd-5th graders this quarter. It was on the Education Director.

Before I knew it there were 15 girls in the Education Director’s office waiting on her. As soon as she walked in they started yelling out their complaint. Lets just say… the Education Director didn’t appreciate it and put them all out of her office with the quickness!  They all left with their heads low, but they were determined and that would not be the end of the issue.

While hanging out with them in the Learning Center they were still expressing their complaint loud and clear. One girl said… “I have been with you for 2 years. What is up with that Ms. Torri?” I told them I had not control over it. They would have to figure out how to overcome the obstacle or deal with it until next semester.

I walked away and went into another room. By the time I had come back, this group of 6th-7th grade girls had huddled and put a strategic plan in place. They sent one person in to represent their issues to the Executive Director over the entire club. They went straight to the TOP! By the time they had come out… the Executive Director had given me clearance to do what I wanted concerning the Peer Group.

Immediately I got with the Education Director and we made an extreme compromise. We would host 3rd-5th and 6th-8th graders at the same time in a different room. 2 groups at one time!

No doubt I compromised so the kids could have their Peer Groups. I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do!

Fatherless and Emotionally Devastated

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Teachers and pastors witness its devastating effects every day

What is it exactly Teachers and Pastors are witnessing on a daily basis? They are witnessing the effects of the Fatherless Generation!

Teachers and Pastors come face to face with the reality many of us clearly are in denial about. The truth of the Fatherless Generation is, the pain left by an absent father has gone beyond individual households, but has become deeply embedded into our culture and causing social catastrophe across all lines. You may beg to differ, but when the statistics prove otherwise we must begin to look from within and ask the hard questions. So, what happens when both boys and girls who need a wise father who encourages them and strengthens them, and provides what a mother cannot is left without their fathers presence?

The absence of biological fathers increases by 900% a daughter’s vulnerability 2 rape & sexual abuse. -(US Department of Justice)

Fatherless children are 92% more likely to dissolve their marriage when they get married! (Department of Justice)

72% of teenage murderers come from fatherless home. (Department of Justice) 

85% of rapist come from a fatherless home. (Department of Justice)

And these are just a few.

The Fatherless are not only living without their father. But some are living in a place of emotional devastation. When will we as a society wake up and treat fatherlessness as the epidemic it clearly is?

I pray now is the time.

A Life Without Daddy

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on September 8, 2012 at 1:32 am

Back in April of this year, I was blessed to have  a small portion of my fatherless journey published in Jet Magazine.  I can admit, initially this article caused some conflict within my own family. Some felt like I had “aired my dirty laundry!” Others felt I did not paint my mother in a favorable light. What I know to be true is, this article was not easy to have written and then be published. But this article brought my mother and I closer together as we both were able to deal with the truth of my fatherless experience…. this article brought healing to my family!

It is time for the fatherless to tell their stories of “Life Without Daddy!” Who is with me?

READ my story “Decades Without Daddy” on page 17 here http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/publication/?i=104545