Jasmine Alise Says “my relationship with my father has shaped my understanding of love”

Name: Jasmine Alise City: Fort Worth Texas | @Earth.angel_jasmine

Dad’s Name: D.H

Describe your relationship with your Father and how did that impact you?

I was born of a woman who did not want me or have the capacity to love and care for me. Unlike many babies, when I left the hospital, I went home with my father and grandmother. In fact, I was left on his porch. My father and grandmother were my main caregivers as an infant.

My relationship with my father is the beginning of my heart’s tragedy. At 3 years old, I experienced my first and greatest heartbreak: my father was taken away from me and the world. The love and safety I had known shifted forever. Following his incarceration, I was subjected to so much pain. At that moment, I became a prisoner in my own life; I was living in my own personal hell.

My earliest memories are of pain and trauma. As I navigated the confusion of adolescence and young adulthood, the absence of my father dominated the way I viewed myself and the world around me. Stripped of the sense of safety and security that he had once provided, I found myself drifting, searching for a sense of belonging that always seemed just out of reach.

In addition to my search for belonging. I experienced physical, mental/emotional, sexual abuse/torture at the hands of my mother/new caregiver. From the moment my father left, every moment of my life was a fight to live. I was put in a state of fear and survival that wouldn’t be neutralized for 20+ years.

At the age of 5, my brothers and I were placed into foster care due to the visible and prolonged abuse I was experiencing at home. We went to 5 foster homes still experiencing abuse before being placed with the family that would later adopt and raise us. We were separated from the life we knew, our culture, our roots, our family. Although the line of communication wasn’t severed, the life that we knew was.

It was not until much later in life that I began to truly understand the powerful impact of my father’s absence on my sense of self and my ability to give and receive love. For years, I had been focused on what the PRESENCE of my mother caused. At the same time, I had been unconsciously seeking to fill the void left by my father’s absence with the love of others, yet I always found myself coming up short.

It took over two decades of self-reflection and healing for me to untangle the web of pain and longing that has engulfed me since childhood. It took over two decades to transcend the trauma, anxiety, depression, PTSD & RAD. Through healing and introspection, I began to reclaim pieces of myself that had long been dormant within me, learning to redefine and align my love patterns in a way that honored my own dignity.

Though the wounds of the past may never cease to exist, I am grateful for the journey that has brought me to where I am today. Through the pain and the struggle, I have emerged stronger and more resilient, with a solid sense of self-worth and purpose.

And though my father may never fully fill the void left by his absence, I take comfort in the knowledge that his love that meant so much to the younger me,however distant, remains a guiding light in the darkness, leading me on the path to healing and wholeness for myself and for those who my story may help heal. I could not have become who I am today without the story I have lived.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your Father?

My father often said, “You won’t know who you are until you know where you come from,” a phrase that echoed in my mind throughout my childhood. He never dove deep into its meaning, leaving me puzzled for years. As I subconsciously reflected on it, the phrase evolved, emphasizing the importance of understanding one’s roots and heritage.

Despite my father’s physical absence, his words remained a constant source of guidance. His words reminded me of my own strength and anchored me to my identity. Through them, I found direction, a starting point for my healing journey as I gradually uncovered the depths of my own resilience.

What struggles did you face in your relationship with your Dad and how did you get through them?

My relationship with my father has been, shaped by his absence and my own craving for healing. From a young age, I fought with the pain of his incarceration and the void it left in my life. But even more challenging was navigating the emotional distance that existed between us.

For years, I struggled to express the depth of my pain to my father, feeling as though he held himself responsible for the turmoil of my childhood. His guilt and self-blame acted as a barrier between us, preventing him from fully acknowledging the impact of his absence on my life. As a result, I struggled to feel close to him, yearning for a connection that always seemed unattainable.

Being left with an abusive and mentally unstable birth mother only added to the pain of my father’s absence. I often felt abandoned and alone, longing for the presence of a father who was unreachable. His absence haunted me, leaving me suffering with feelings of abandonment and confusion throughout my life.

Yet, through the process of healing, I began to see my father not as a distant figure or superhuman, but as a human being, flawed and imperfect.. By humanizing him, I was able to release the burden of expectations and allow myself to cultivate a new relationship with him, built on wisdom, empathy and understanding.

More recently, seeing him through the lens of grand-fatherhood to my daughter has helped me see my father in a new light. Watching him soften in her presence, I realized that beneath the layers of guilt and regret, he was still the same man who had once held me in his arms. And so, I began to slowly open up to him, sharing fragments of my journey as my understanding evolved.

Though our relationship may never be perfect, I am grateful for the moments of connection we have shared and the opportunity to heal together as father and daughter. Through the power of love, forgiveness and empathy, we continue to navigate the complexities of our relationship, one conversation at a time.

What has your relationship with your Father taught you about what to look/not look for in your partner?

From the earliest moments of my life, my relationship with my dad has influenced my understanding and perception of love, leaving me struggling with questions of worthiness, validation, and safety.

– One of the thing i learned to value in a partner is emotional availability and intelligence. I learned the value of being with someone who is capable of validating my experiences and emotions, someone who is willing to hold space for me in times of need.

– I appreciate a sense of safety and security within my relationship. I look for a partner who has the capacity to provide the stability I crave.

– I learned the importance of love in longevity. In a world where instant gratification often takes precedence over lasting commitment, my father’s relationship serves as a reminder that true love endures, even when the going gets tough. Love is not just about fleeting moments of passion, but about the everyday choices we make to show up for each other, even when it’s hard.

– Through my relationship with my father, I learned to recognize my own love languages and the importance of understanding them in the context of a partnership.

– Lastly, I learned the importance of individuality in a partnership and also how vital it is that we both be committed to OURSELVES, first.

In the end, my relationship with my father has shaped my understanding of love and relationships. I learned to value emotional availability and validation from a partner. His absence also taught me the importance of feeling safe and secure in a relationship. Most importantly, my father’s enduring love showed me the significance of commitment and longevity in love, beyond fleeting moments of passion. Through him, I learned my love languages and what to look for in a partner.

How has your relationship with your Father shaped the woman you are today?

My relationship with my father has been a foundational in shaping the woman I am today, guiding me through a journey of healing, empowerment and purpose. Despite the challenges and pain of his absence, it is through this relationship that I discovered my greatest gift: my capacity for love.

From a young age, I learned to survive with the absence of love while always remaining committed to it. Choosing love in seasons of darkness requires strength and resilience. Through his absence, I discovered the depths of my own capacity to love, a gift that has since become my greatest asset.

As I moved through life, I found peace and healing in sharing my story, transmuting my pain into a source of light and power. My experiences have become a badge of honor, shaping me into a woman who embraces her scars as a testament to her strength. Through my pain, I have found purpose – to be for the world what I did not have, to hold space for others on their journey of healing and self-discovery.

My capacity for love has empowered me to create a ripple effect of healing and transformation, touching the lives of those around me. Through my story, I have become a beacon of hope for others, showing them that their pain does not have to define them,but is directly connected to who they’re meant to be for the world. What someone might have thought disqualified them is actually WHY THEY’RE WORTHY and what fuels their purpose and potential.

As I continue to walk this path of healing and empowerment, I am grateful for the lessons learned and the growth that has come from my relationship with my father. Though our journey has been marked by pain, it has also been infused with love and wisdom. And through it all, I am reminded that my story has the power to heal, to inspire and to ignite the flames of transformation in those who listen.

If you could write a short letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?

Dear Father,

If I could gather the words to express the depths of my heart, I would begin by saying that I forgive you. I forgive you for the pain of your absence, for the struggles we faced and for the wounds that may never fully heal. But more than anything, I forgive you for the burden you carry – the weight of guilt, shame and regret that has held you captive for so long.

As I write these words, I pray that you find the courage to release yourself from the chains that bind you – not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You deserve love and forgiveness, not from me, but from yourself. You deserve to be free from the shadows of your past, to step into the light of a new day with hope and grace.

I see you. I hear you. I feel with and for you. Know that you are not alone. I stand with you, holding space for your healing.

I want to express my gratitude for your unwavering guidance and fight for our family. Your fight for our love has been a constant source of inspiration for me throughout my life. I am truly blessed to have you as my father, regardless of the cards dealt. I cherish every moment we spend together, and I only hope to continue growing closer in love with you.

I don’t want anything from you, Daddy, except you. I want you to love me without the residue of your pain, shame and regret. Love me like I’m your baby again, with the innocence and purity of a love untainted by the trials of life. Love me like you don’t know when our time together will end, cherishing each moment as a precious gift from life.

I Love You Always,
Your Princess, Gerber


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