The Best Lesson I Learned From Growing Up Without A Father

Eric Lucatero

My parents separated when I was four. I’m twenty-six now, so it has been a long time since I have seen and spoken to my father. Life has come with its challenges, and there were times when I wished things were different. But throughout all of that, I’ve learned something very important:

Not having a father does not make me “incomplete.”

I spent a large part of my childhood and teenage years trying to “find what makes me whole” because I believed that my dad left an empty space in my life that I had to fill. This lead to me craving for attention, care, and love – often in the wrong places.

I longed to feel wanted, and often gave into peer pressure just to fit in – just to be “enough” for someone to stay. I often felt like I was missing something in my life and I got myself into troublesome situations trying to find what that was.

As time passed, as I got older, and as I went through certain misadventures in life, I realized something very important: I realized that I do have a father figure in my life. In fact, I have many – embodied by my grandparents, aunts and uncles, my brother, cousins, best friends, and my mother. All the things I grew up longing for, all the love I thought I had to find, was here with me all along.

I used to think that life took away my father from me, and in turn took away something I needed. Now I know that life has given me so much more than what I need, and so much more than just one person whom I’m supposed to call “dad.”

I was filled to the brim with love, care, and acceptance by my family and the friends who stayed. There was no void to fill. There was no reason to feel unwanted. All along I was complete.

As long as I have them, I will always be complete.

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