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It’s been 10 years… And I have never actually talked about my Dad to many people before. Not that people really ask actually. I have the feeling that they don’t dare to ask in order to not upset me. But it’s okay. They can ask. I’d love it if they asked so I could have a chance to process the fact that my Dad passed away 10 years ago.

But I want to share what it may do to a woman when they lose their father at an early age. Well, early? I was 20 so I was lucky enough to grow up with a dad. But I didn’t have the chance to become an adult with a dad. And even after 10 years, I miss him in so many situations. There are so many programmes where they help people to process the grief but I don’t really see anything that would help people in the replacement of the parental roles. And I could actually say this for orphans as well. They have to struggle through everything alone. However, I cannot speak for someone who doesn’t have both parents in their life. My sweet loving mum has always been there for me. I am forever grateful for that.

But I haven’t had a father in the last 10 years. I could never ask him how to install a closet; how to fix the toilet or how to buy a car. He wasn’t there to prove after every heartbreak that not all men leave you. Because he left me too. 

Before I moved to Holland, my Dad told me: ‘If anything happens, I drive all the way there to come and get you’. But he never could. This meant that I had to make sure that nothing happened. This meant that I had to stand up for myself; had to arrange a lot of things on my own (like moving to a new house, yes!) and I had to scare off the bad people on my own because if anything was to happen, my Dad couldn’t come and get me. 

And this made me tough. This made me independent and maybe too self-confident which sometimes comes off as arrogance. Once I heard back a recording of my own voice and I was like: ‘’OMG, is this really how I sound? I sound so arrogant! It’s a wonder I even have friends!!”.

This made men also kind of not wanting to have a relationship with me. I was so many times ‘accused of’ being too independent, being too tough and I quote: ‘’Men want a woman who they can protect. But you can protect yourself.’’ – they said. This made me feel even worse. 

Then later I realized: if I hadn’t had the chance to grow up with my Dad, I would have never actually known how to be independent or how to be tough. He was my example in that. And I followed through. All these qualities have helped me to achieve what I wanted and be where I am now. 

I also realized that one day, there would be a man who would appreciate me exactly for these qualities: that I’m tough and I can take care of myself; that I’m not dependent on him so he can be free. But if anything was to happen, he would also come and get me. 

And 3 years ago, I finally found him 🙂

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