As I was sitting here watching this clip of “Maybe God Is Trying to Tell You Something” from the movie “The Color Purple,” the image of Shug Avery getting real emotional after receiving a hug from her preacher-father stirred something in me.
I don’t know what it stirred, as I can’t really pinpoint the emotion, but it still struck something.
I have (had) a relationship (of some sort) with my daddy. It was tough developing a steady relationship with him since he was not an active part of my life during my early childhood. My parents divorced when I was like 3 or 4. My daddy was Satan’s half-blood son, the man was so mean-spirited and evil-hearted. (And then my momma ended up marrying Satan’s reincarnated spirit!! But, that’s neither here nor there…..) My daddy was just physically abusive; he was nasty; he like to “take things that didn’t belong to him (not a thief, if you get my drift). But, still, he was my father.
For a long while, I didn’t have any contact with my daddy at all. Not until I was like 14 or 15 years old and could understand that I had to watch the man like a hawk to make sure he didn’t get any ideas about copping a feel on me. Yeah, it was like that. Rumors, or rather, WORD about him in my family has me watching him when he’s around my daughter. Anyway, I developed a relationship with him that was hard as hell to keep respectful at best, cordial at all. And now, I haven’t spoken to him since right after Thanksgiving 2010.
Watching that clip of Shug Avery finally getting a hug from her daddy, the preacher, made me wonder: What my life would be like if my Pops had never acknowledged me at all?
I know many women who’s fathers only contributed to their birth…providing the sperm, that’s all. And, I’ve always wondered if their lives turned out for the better, or worse, because of that non-involvement.
My sister didn’t have all that much contact with Pops after she turned like 12 until like 21 or so, and I wonder how her life was affected because of his involvement, and/or, lack of, back then. (She’s a lesbian and she has so many issued from her past that affects her relationships with others of ANY sort at all.)
Thinking about what my life would be like without my father in it during my teen years, also makes me think about how men handle not having their fathers in their lives at an early age. I’ve also got 2 brothers (one older…the oldest child, and one younger…the youngest child) but that’s another blog for someone with more experience in the topic.
Watching Shug Avery cry with joy as her father finally acknowledges her with a hug in front of God and a church full of people, it made me think about this: A man’s involvement in his child’s life is astronomical to that child’s rearing. I mean, it would seem that way, anyway. A mother’s involvement is just as important, but a father’s…. now that’s something important.
Now, I don’t have the experience of not having my father acknowledge me. He’s always been proud to tell people that his children were his. Even when we’d done nothing of great importance for him to be proud of. But, I wonder how it would have affected me to not have him even glance at me as I spilled my guts and accomplishments to him, as Shug does earlier in the movie.
It is said that how a man treats his daughter will determine the type of man she looks for when she’s older. Is there any truth to this? I don’t know, but as an example, let me say this:
I know that I don’t exactly look for a man who’s going to treat me like I only exist part-time, all the while telling me how much he wants to be with me and/or cares for me. (As my dad did all the time–treated me as I only existed part-time and would tell me how much he loved me when he saw me, regardless of the fact that he didn’t contribute much more than his presence in my life.)
But, that’s what I seem to attract and end up with (even if for only a short term). Does how my Pops treated me contribute to this relationship search? Is that what my subconscious looks for because that’s what I’m used to being projected on me by the one man who was supposed to be the most important role-model in my life? I can only wonder, but I’d venture to guess, even though I’d also argue against it, yeah, that treatment was a contribution.
As you can see, not just do I wonder how my dad’s non-involvement would have affected me, I’m also wondering exactly how his semi-involvement in my life actually DID affect my life. So, do you think life’s like that? Do you think a father’s involvement, or non-involvement truly does affect a woman’s life (or his child, male or female) in any sort of way?
Shug Avery’s character in “The Color Purple”, even at her age, despite her seeming success, the husband she’d finally gotten after Mister, and being surrounded by a plethora of friends; and then her emotional breakdown after getting that hug from her father, would surely allude to a resounding “YES.”