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Invisible father ...

What does having a father mean?
How would I know I never had one!

Well, that is not entirely true.
My birth record shows a name against ‘father’.

Is that all a father is? Just can’t help retort back!
Just a name on a piece of paper?

I am afraid, that has to be, and is, for me.
I have to be content with the way it is!

I have never known what it feels to be called
“my darling daughter” in a loving fatherly voice;
or simply “dharifulhaa” [my child];
or even be scolded “don’t ever do that again”
in the so very authoritative fatherly tone.
But how would I know what is fatherly!
I have never had a father by my side.

Does that really matter? haven’t I survived,
and managed to be sane too.
A mother was enough; she was strong!
Would I have turned out any better if he was with me?
questions – but no answers;
for he was never a part of me.

Sometimes just can’t help wonder what he thinks;
to know if it hurts him as much as it does me;
does he ever miss his first daughter?
Does he spend sleepless nights
wondering how his daughter was?

How I wish to ask,
bappaa!!! have you ever thought about me?
was worried about me?
ever cared for me, loved me, missed me?

Have I? – I ask!
Of course I have.
Have tried hating him for leaving me.
that has never helped – for I miss him and long for him.
no matter how old and mature I grow.
“Bappaa” – what a simple word. yet so hard for me to say,
for I have never had the chance to use it, not in any way!

Many a times I have wanted to know why he left me;
but life has taught me these are never easy questions.
Why even try when no answer will change the lonely childhood.
No matter how I try I cannot change what has happened;
and have given up asking – why, why & why.
But instead all that bothers me now
is knowing whether he ever thinks about me,
ever thinks me as a part of him?
ever truly believed I am his?
Even for a single second. did he doubt?

How I envy my half siblings.
how he loves them. cares for them. looks after them.
Hope and pray they know how lucky they are.

Will I ever get a father’s love? Will i ever get to know:
what a fatherly hug means – I never remember any;
what a fathers’ advice entails – I never received any;
what a fatherly concern means – I never saw any.

All these questions and still no answers;
but i do wish him all the best.
I wish him a happy father’s day from the bottom of my heart.
sincerely but silently…
as I never can muster the courage to say a word to him.
for I weep inside while I smile for the world and him.

With love and remorse
from the daughter who never was!

P.S. Something I wrote in 2008 on father's day as my children were very hyped up and preparing father's day card for their dad. Thought I will share it here as a testimony of what a broken family does to the children. These thoughts, these emotions, are what makes me stay even if the going is not so good.


Sharontina's picture


Tears, tears and only tears dear Aminah, my sister,, Oh i have so much respect for you, you were able to think of him and feel the real price of your mom, yes priceless, precious mother. The Lord Almighty is there to take care, and thats what i believe in when i miss the caring hands and voices around me. Now we have got each other and WP with us.


Merlin Sharontina

Yes my mother was there. It would have been so much better to have both of them though.

Thanks for your support. Glad to have met you too.


loretta's picture

My son.

I have heard these words spoken before, by my own flesh and blood, my son.

How he longed for his father, who never evr spoke to him, he was sonear yet so far. Just a stone throw away.

Thanks for sharing Aminah, but this poem has stirred bitter memories for me.



A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at her. Author Unkown.

Aminah's picture

I am more like my father, I think.

I have met my father a handful of times through my over three decades of living.
But what I have to say is that every single time I met him, I saw him as a very quiet, very loving, and humble human being.

Whatever it was that did not work between my mother and father, I have stopped caring about that.
I am just thankful that he appears to be a very dedicated father to the rest of his children from his second wife.
And that matters a lot to me. I have met my half sisters and brother a couple of times over the years. And they have grown into be caring, kind and considerate people themselves.

I am so sorry my poem stirred bitter memories for you. It never was my intention. I just hope every father thinks twice, thrice, a hundred times before leaving a child behind, and also I hope that father keeps in touch with his child no matter what difficulties lies between the mother.


loretta's picture


I respect you very much, for accepting your father and looking beyond the reason that made your parents break. I don't think you would want to take the burden of the reasons.

It's their yoke to carry, you have yours. Things happen Aminah, memories get aroused many atimes, the pain is no longer the same, it will always be there but not with the same intensity. My son has accepted the situation and wished him a peaceful rest and asked God to forgive his father. It's more or less aclosed chapter now. I think it was more panful when he was still alive, he couldn't even go to the funeral because he flt like he would be burying a complete stranger who was his spitting image, and he felt that he couldn't be able to deal with the stares, gossips and remarks. He chose to stay well away.

I am happy also that you have a good relationship with they brothers and sisters, hahaha, I don't believe in the half stuff. :)

Keep well my friend, love you stax.


A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at her. Author Unkown.

JOYCE KAFU's picture


You speak for so many women out there. Quite a common thing these days

Joyce Jael Kafu

I just hope men and women are reading to take their share of loving their children, after they commit to a relationship.

Mutual understanding is what is needed.


PeopleWeaver's picture

Truthful, honest

A wonderful, wonderful poem. Have you shared with family members? Maybe too personal?

Awakens memories for me. My daughter's father walked out of their life when they were small. He has a drinking problem. Very difficult but they have came to understand he could not care for them when he can not care for himself.

Your poem is so honest.

Hugs, Jeanne

Aminah's picture

too personal

In a way it will nice to share it with my family on both my mother's side as well my father's side. Just so that they get a lesson out of my agony.

But yes, this pain is too personal to share it so openly. Here I have the comfort of talking to people from behind the screen. If someone was to question me about this poem in person, I surely will not be able to control my tears that I have held on for a lifetime.

I am sorry to hear about your children's loss of a caring father Jeanne.
But I guess it's better to be without him with his drinking problem. I don't know. just a thought.

Thanks for your support.


SSD's picture

Heartfelt !

Cannot say that my eyes were not tearful - sure they are as I pen this to you. This kind of pain never leaves the heart, it sits there either sedated or compels at odd times in life - but, it never leaves - that you have written this piercing composition brings out the humanness in your being - I value your poem - for it reveals naked truth of emptiness, but, also balances the fact you are a courageous and brave woman - who remained a warrior despite of the empty father figure. Here's to you -- a massive hug from your friend at Toronto - you remain dear to me, Aminah ! Keep shining girl !

Thank you for sharing parts of your journey - it surely makes a difference !


we are able to put those feelings and thoughts under the deepest recess of our brain.
But there are moments when these pangs of sadness erupts to the surface.
When we stand in the face of atrocities, what ifs creeps in.
What if my father was with me, what if my confidence was not taken away with those cruel acts,
what if I was not born to both of them, instead was born to father and his second wife?
What if they had stayed together. what if...

These parts of me, of my pains, and joy, and sorrows just seem to be on the surface these days.
I don't want them to be.
I want them to go away. Am hoping to get it over and done with it. I want to scatter them to be free of them.

But I guess I am also thankful the lessons of life. If I am a compassionate person, if i am a courageous person, if i am brave, if i am tolerant - that's it all thanks to everything I have witnessed.

When I think of that - I am glad of who I am. I know I can make a difference, equipped with this knowledge.
Thanks for your support dearest Shaheen.


Sangita Thapa's picture

Truly heart-felt

I couldn't help but weep to read your poem dear Aminah. I am so proud of you for having this courage to still love your father and wish him a Father's Day. I don't have any words to express because I cant, however I try, to feel your pain as deep as you do. You are indeed a brave woman.Thank you so much for sharing these precious emotions. God bless!

Aminah's picture


My sharing my pain - if it makes any difference for a future daughter, a future father
that would make the sharing of my pain worthwhile.

I am not brave, I am not courageous - for my hands shake, my heart bleeds writing those words.
and through the process, there lies a bit of hate, a thought to hurt them back.

I just write to get it out of my system, it's painful to hold on to them.

thanks for the lovely feedback


flaviakyomukama's picture

My Children in Same Position

My children ran away from their father after a lot of pain. i had left a few years ago.

They call him Tata, but often my daughter cries for not seeing him. I encourage them to see him during the holidays.
I always confront him when the girl wants to go and he says he is busy. He has to see them.

The 2 boys are angry about how he treated me and am trying to make them understand that that is their father no matter what.

I strongly feel sorry for you and i hope you can start to say All is well with you despite the fact that he is an invisible father.

you have grown indeed into an adult. its painful but the more you think about it the more it becomes a cancer in your body.

Just thank God your mother was able to do what he did for you.

Assume your father had been dead would not you survive. your mother is an icon that you should now concentrate your mind about. Do not cry over spilt milk. the arrow was sped it did the damage but the power is in your hands to pick yourself up and continue too survive.

You are a survivor girl, even with an invisible father, you made it.

Many have visible parents and have not come up to your standard, be proud about yourself. life skill - coping with emotions should be put into play now before you are eaten up.

And finally and most important Forgive and pray for him then your path will be smoother, in fact he can even come to you

I have been coping alright
but somehow with age, the emotions are catching. it could just be an onset of midlife crisis.
What I know is I have become overly emotional and overly sensitive towards things I have had to endure.

I have started to become angry at God, for this selective hardship. What did I do to deserve to end up like this.

But yes, most of the time I am content and happy for who I am, for my strength, for my individuality.

But one some days, the pain is too much.

I am so sorry about what you had to go through, about your children too. Continue to be the strength you are and they will surely shine. I wish them well.


PrincessZar's picture

Dear Aminah, thank you for

Dear Aminah, thank you for sharing your story. What does a father mean? I have been a single parent for 7 years and I often wonder how my son feels about his absent father.

Reading your story makes me realize that somehow a father even if he is absent, still plays a role. I often also wonder what could cause one to abandon their own flesh and blood where as thina (we in zulu language) mothers live to take care of our children.

May God continue to heal you.

Keep your fire for life burning.

Keep your fire burning!

Definitely PricessZar.

A father is after all a father. the child is part of him. Even if absent, even if uncaring - that part will be missed.

I cannot understand myself, how a father can disassociate himself from his children. Only a man can explain that.
What I know is that I am ready to do anything at all to be ever present for my children.

If I can give you any advice, the one thing I would want to say is to try as much as you can to nurture a relationship between your son and his father. It might not be easy if he is uncooperative. But keeping a window of hope open for your son could help him deal with it.

When I was young, I felt my parents were not ready to meet eye to eye. They avoided each other as much as possible. I think that is important to put aside differences for a few minutes every now and then to be the mother and father for the children. For those roles can never be totally severed. One can disassociate from being husband and wife, or being a spouse - but it's different for blood relations.

Wish you all the best


MDG's picture

Thank you Aminah

A very emotional piece Aminah that shows that you might have been 'beaten' literally by the experience but you were not 'beaten' you came out tops for you 'still wish him the best in spite of all the questions.

your poem gives me an idea for Mother's day. I have never written a poem before but i will psch myself into writing one in tribute to the woman who (RIP) did all she could for me.

thank you.


Aminah's picture

may your mother RIP

I literally felt beaten over and over again.

But you are right, in-spite of that, I have managed to come out and be a strength for myself and for my children.
My thanks to my mother - who was my strength.

Do share your poem when it's done. I wrote one about my mother. [link Mother machine, my strength here ]
but never had the courage to share it with her.

all the best.


Debra K Adams MA's picture

aching for you...

yes, I have much empathy for your feelings so eloquently written and shared here. I am sad for you, because I did have the father you seek, it was the best thing, and so was the love and affection and constancy of my mother or the teasing and caring from my brother......

I stayed for 17 years in an abusive marriage "for my children" so they would have a father...because of how much my father meant to me...after 17 years, a light went on in my mind - the light bulb turned on, so to speak! One moment of clarity gave me the vision of my children being damaged by watching their father mistreat me, seeing them run for cover as he amped up his violent and physically damaging behavior. Seeing my children rally around me after he stomped out of the house, helping me clean up after the explosion, then watching him return to our home and act as if nothing had happened - no mention, just go on, pretending he had not ripped our hearts & souls out of our bodies...

I stayed because I thought I need help with raising my children - that one moment of clarity showed me that I was really doing it all alone, his contribution was violent behavior that drew my kids & I closer together as one unit against him! I thought, "we would be better off without him."

No judgement - I know why you stay, from the depths of my being, I understand....

"Be the change you want in the world." Gandhi

Debra K. Adams, MA
See my vizify bio!
Survivors In Service: Self Empowerment Strategies (SiSSeS)
Consultant/Speaker/Author & Owner/Founder

i am staying in a relationship that is not happy, just so that i can give my children the father i did not have, but craved to have. It means the world to me that I be unselfish in this giving.

Luckily (or unluckily) what I endure is not evident to people around me - not very smart I should say. It is only damaging me, this pretense. But I guess my growing years with the feeling of loss and isolation has has fashioned me be overly tolerant and discrete. Again, not good for me I do realize now.

I am independent and strong in the face of adversities. I have proved I can take care of my children alone financially as well as emotionally. But this pain, this agony of not knowing my own blood, not getting the love and care from him left me crippled and damaged to some extent. That vulnerability makes me stay, makes me sacrifice.

But yes, I have started to embrace this thought that the sacrifice is not working, that it is not worth it.
I am slowly getting there. And support and understanding from you is helping me gain my confidence back. Confidence in myself, of my strength, of my endurance.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


ola.mahadi's picture

Happy father's day

Dear Amina
It is very complicatied relation that we have with our parent knowing we cant change then grown up but also needing them to be around us. I didnt understand why women stay in abusive relation becouse i have always saw my mother as strong dependant women, luckly i have a caring father but now after working four years with women i can see deeper in such relations.
I dont have a good relation with my father for years now although we live togather still but i understand your emotion and that silent questios that you keep asking your self and wondering will you ever have the courage to voice them.
Thank you for sharing such deep personal story.
Love from Sudan

It is never too late to try make your way to your dream and left up your expectation.
Sudanes Women Building Peace

Aminah's picture

It sure is complicated.

This not caring, showing that it does not really bother - when in fact it bothers, it matters.
If not for my experience in my relationship, I don't think I can understand how people go through with that.
I guess, we have to experience something to really know the whys behind it.
When I move myself away from all of what I live with and look at it from a distance, things look pretty simple enough - walking away is what is required. It would be so much easier for me to give that advice to someone else who I perceive to be in my situation.

But the reality is far from it. When you stand in this shoe - the shoe that has withstood so much more - walking away looks so selfish and cowardice. And it also indicates of impending doom on my children who might end up having the same questions I am having about why did one parent leave. I don't want them to walk the road I walk - I want them to be able to differentiate between a rugged and a beautiful road before they start their journey.

I don't know how I am going to do it. Not yet. But if what it takes is for them to read my thoughts and agonies, then that shall be.


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