My name is Afeefah Mahir and this is my story. I am the first daughter of my parents. I come from a monogamous family and we reside in the heart of the Arewa region Kaduna. This is How Society Dictated My Relationship With My Father.
Growing up, I craved my dad’s love and affection a lot. Not because he didn’t love me, of course, he showed affection in his way. In the way, society taught him to i.e by buying us everything we needed, by giving us the best of both educations (Western and Islamic) but I always craved more. I was always top of my class throughout my primary and secondary school days because I figured out it made my dad happy. I was always doing stuff to please him but I always felt the love I received wasn’t enough.
By the time I was an adolescent I had to begin to feel resentful towards my dad because I had concluded in my mind that he was a stern man who couldn’t be pleased. Mind you, my dad always joked around with other kids and I felt jealous. It made me angry as well because I felt I had a dad who couldn’t joke and play with his kids lovingly. This feeling gradually clawed at my heart and it strained the relationship between him and me.
Now an adult, I’ve had multiple relationships with males both career-wise and personal relationships. And I’ve concluded that the society, directly or indirectly influences the way we love and the way we express emotions. Societal stereotypes have enslaved us. For example, society says men don’t cry, men don’t show emotions and blah blah blah. I feel sad and wrong, for not understanding my dad earlier, for not allowing him to show affection the way his heart deemed fit.
And now, sitting on the desktop table in my room and typing this, I made a promise to myself to not raise my kids especially the males the way society dictates, I promise to teach my male child how to love and show affection, and most importantly how to cry and express emotions. Because you are: First, a human being, a piece of baggage of hormones and emotions and then secondly, a Male.
How Society Dictated My Relationship With My Father.