Name: Lauren Spearmen City: St. Louis, MO | @thelaurenspearman
Dad’s Name: Byron Spearman
Describe your relationship with your Father and how did that impact you?
My parents divorced when I was 5 years old and my father moved around a lot as did my Mother and I. In the beginning I wasn’t really aware of his extra curricular activities so I blindly worshipped the ground he walked on. Throughout my childhood those gaps and inconsistencies began to unfold and create a rift between him and I in my mind. However, whenever he said he was coming I seemingly erased all of that and gave him a clean slate each time. Sometimes he came through and surprised me, often times he chose his way of providing over our quality time. As a result, all of my relationships with men I sought love, approval and constant validation. I know my father loved me the best way he knew how for the lifestyle he was living, and I loved him right back.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your Father?
The best thing I learned from my father was to have multiple streams of income, (he was a serial entrepreneur) and to put God first. In my adulthood he fully committed his life to God and became a Minister.
What struggles did you face in your relationship with your Dad and how did you get through them?
From state to state to living a fast life, there were times when I would be sitting at the door all packed up with my things and he wouldn’t come, or he would come but there would be a new lady friend in the car and I knew I’d have to share him during my visit with her/ her kids. Sometimes he would even pick me up only to leave me in the care of the women while he was out the majority of the day. I started to doubt if I was enough for him and thus my “Daddy issues” abandonment issues began.
What has your relationship with your Father taught you about what to look/not look for in your partner?
Early on it taught me negative lessons. I put so much pressure on men to validate, approve and affirm me- always assuming they were up to no good when they were away from me. I ran away good men and I gave bad men the keys to manipulate me. Now that I’m wiser, it’s taught me to take what a man says and his actions at face value. Don’t stay craving a challenge or thinking I can be his savior, believe what I see and hear from the man’s mouth.
How has your relationship with your Father shaped the woman you are today?
Growing closer in the later years of his life, I realized he taught me resilience, and financial independence. Also confidence and swag lol. Taking those traits from him is helping me mold into the boss, assertive, confident woman I was already created to be who does not need anyone else to complete or validate her.
If you could write a short letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
As a child I wanted more of you, I cried myself to sleep and blamed myself due to your absence. As an adolescent, I was mad as hell at you, and felt you loved your lifestyle, women and other children more than me. As a young adult, I went back and forth between reconnecting with you and resenting you. However, in my recent adult years when you were sick I’ve strived to love you well, honor you and care for you the best way I could despite the past. I pray you’re in heaven proud of me.