After a long day yesterday I came home to a quiet house, climbed in my bed and fell fast asleep.  As usual, around midnight I woke up and lay in bed struggling with the insomnia that has taken over my life over the past couple of months.    Scrolling through my phone I saw that one of my friends had pinged me just to make sure I was home safely and okay.  After I responded she told me she needed to speak to me about the conversation we had earlier that day.  When she called she asked me, “Tonza do you realize that you are drop dead gorgeous?”  Blown away by this question, I asked why she was asking me this, to which she replied, “I don’t think you really see what you bring to the table and that is why you are constantly letting people that are not worthy get in your mind space.”


Stunned, I sat there and pondered what she was saying and then began to deny my insecurity.  Of course I know what I bring to the table.   I have received enough attention over the years to know there are a fair amount of people that think I am an attractive woman.  I am an educated woman who has been self-employed for the past 17 years.  My grit and determination has allowed me to build a great reputation as a litigator.  Sure, I have had my fair shake of bumps and bruises, but my thriving legal practice has afforded me the opportunity to take care of my children, be a home owner, acquire other assets, travel to other countries, and experience the world in a way that many never do.   I am passionate and compassionate.  And, at 45 I am truly enjoying this journey and still exploring the possibilities that this life has to offer.   So, how could my friend possibly think that I didn’t know what I brought to the table?  And, even though I asked myself this question I couldn’t help but realize, despite all of my successes in life, I hadn’t seemed to master the art of finding companionship with someone I was compatible with.

As I sat there still justifying the behavior that made her call me to have this conversation, my friend gently said, “Tonza, have you ever considered the possibility that not having your dad in your life has caused you not to see your value?”  Feeling my throat tighten, I became silent.  In my mind, I kept saying to myself, “yes, I considered it and his absence has not affected me.” But I couldn’t bring myself to say those words out loud so I sat in silence until I was sure that my voice would not tremble and quietly asked, “What does that have to do with anything?”

“Well Tonza, dad’s play an important role in the lives of girls.  They are the ones that teach girls love, protect them, and show them what to expect from a man.  They are the protector of a girl’s heart.  A girl whose dad constantly reminds her that she is beautiful and smart is usually comfortable with not putting up with bullshit.  I think you tolerate a lot of BS in your relationships with men and lower your standards because you have no clue what you truly bring to the table and that is because your dad was not your protector.”  After listening to her theory, I still continued to try to rationalize my behavior only to end the conversation with maybe you are right.  After we hung up I lay in bed, for a long time, thinking about that conversation and dozed off still refusing to accept that the absence of love and support from my dad had affected me in any way.

When I woke up this morning my mind was still processing that conversation.  I threw on my running gear and ran out in the brisk, cool air.  I started off running as hard as I could.  As I ran the tears began to flow and I could admit, my dad’s absence in my life has absolutely had an adverse effect on me.  For the next four miles of my walk/run I acknowledged that I had some work to do so that I would no longer walk into a room and worry about how many people will not like me just because they “think” I’m stuck upI had some work to do so that I would no longer feel like I had to dumb down just to make others feel adequate.  I had some work to do so that I could not allow people that were clearly disrespectful of me to occupy my head space.  I had some work to do so that I could accept that I did not have to lower my standards for the sake of companionship.


Dad, I wish you were there to teach me these lessons. I forgive you and I honestly believe that you have no clue that your absence of love and support left a hole in my heart.  I know that now that I can say this out loud, I have taken another huge step in the right direction.

I share this story with the hopes that other daddy’s will read this and let their girls know every day how beautiful, smart, awesome, and powerful they are!!!!!  Give them the power to hold their heads high and eliminate toxic things and people from their lives.  And, my dear friend, I thank you for calling me in the middle of the night and forcing me to take a closer look.  True friendship is hard to find, and, I appreciate ours.

Much love, Tonza


8 thoughts on “Daddy

  1. That is a wonderful friend you have. There are so many of us that have. lived with and through this unfortunate experience. I’m glad you have acknowledged it and shared it with us all.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! Beautifully written! I must say that my father has been a great influence on my life. He taught me to be independent so that I could take care of myself so that when no one else is there I can still stand. He taught me to be strong & what it means to sacrifice for your children. He is the epitome of stability & unconditional love that is lacking in so many men it seems these days. He definitely shaped me into the woman I am today & I know I would have been a completely different person w/o him in my life. Thanks for making me reflect & think abt my dad. I’m gonna give him a big hug & kiss when I see him 🙂

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  3. Beautifully written, something to really think ab. I pray that u see ur worth and change the way u handle ur relationships. U deserve better therefore seek better!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a powerful & profound blog. Your honesty & passion are sincerely felt as you read it. Truthfully so many women suffer with this very same thing & they struggle constantly in relationships not fully understanding why. The reason being is because they’re in denial about this very same thing. I myself have SINCERELY loved women in my life that I shared what I thought was an amazing relationship, but I never could do enough for them no matter how hard I tried. I was told by a couple of them that they weren’t use to being with a man that loves like I do & who’s able to express it so passionately as I do. At first I thought that was a compliment until I realized that it meant “I’M GOING TO TAKE YOU FOR GRANTED & BE UNAPPRECIATIVE OF YOUR LOVE”. Though I suffered much emotional abuse, I couldn’t force them to feel for me what I sincerely felt for them so I considerately accepted there walking out of my life. It made me wiser & more focused on loving my daughter even more because I didn’t want her growing up & getting in a relationship with a man who extremely loved her with all of his heart & her doing to him what was done & told to me. Today I can proudly say that my pain & suffering was not in vain because our bond is impeccable, & though her mother was one of the two women that didn’t acknowledge the heart that I had & the abyss of love that it carries, she does acknowledge it. Thank you for opening up & setting yourself free, that’s a blessing within itself. Now the process of restoration can start & your heart can be healed & made whole so that you can receive & give true love. If your father is still living, I strongly recommend that you step out on faith & be bold and establish the relationship that you desire to have or desired to have as you grew up. It’s very important that you do because that can become a generational curse that will spread to and operate through your children with their fathers causing them to suffer the same experiences as yourself, if not worse. YOU’RE AN AWESOME WOMAN & YOU HAVE THE POWER & STRENGTH TO DO IT, GO FOR IT KNOWING THAT GOD HAS YOUR BACK & HE’S ON YOUR SIDE AND YOUR REWARD COMES FROM HIM & NOT YOUR EARTHLY FATHER…AMEN… THANKS FOR SHARING.

    Liked by 1 person

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