Actor and writer Andi Osho has bravely spoken about the father shaped hole she has lived with through much of her life and how it has impacted her relationships.
“My dad was often away working for Nigeria Airways, so I had only fragmented memories of him before he left, and many of those weren’t exactly glowing examples of parenthood.” In an interview with Red Magazine, author of Asking For A Friend Andi Osho revealed the vacuum her father’s absence had on her life. To hear her tell the story though, it was unlikely that her father would win any father of the year awards even when he was present.
She recalls: “that Christmas he gave me a glass of Champagne and I collapsed on the sofa aged about six, the time he accidentally shut my fingers in the car door as we were leaving for a day out to Kew Gardens, or when he dropped my brother at school by driving right into the playground …”
She discovered he left through the whisperings of her mum and aunt, he didn’t even say goodbye. She was seven. His leaving her life at such a crucial age was a catalyst for years of uncertainty and confusion for Andi. She was old enough to remember him, but young enough for her recollections of who he was to become cloudy and eventually replaced with a rose-coloured tint of the man he was.
“She discovered he left through the whisperings of her mum and aunt, he didn’t even say goodbye.”
Growing into her teens, Andi didn’t realise she was internalising a deep sense of abandonment, which only grew as she got older. She didn’t realise that she was displaying what society flippantly describes as ‘daddy issues’, discussed in this paper as where “heterosexual women who have grown up without a father are prone to unhealthy relationships with those of the opposite sex.”
As Andi said: “My intimate relationships were drama-filled and volatile. When I wasn’t angry, I was crying because beneath my armour-plated shell I was in immense pain. I would sob, sometimes for hours, over my dad, asking how he could have done this to us, how could he abandon his daughter?”
“My intimate relationships were drama-filled and volatile.”
Doubtlessly internalising unresolved feelings of abandonment and bewilderment, Andi began to see a pattern in relationships that never quite worked out.
Eventually seeking professional help after a number of failed relationships and feelings of depression, she finally started seeing a therapist who helped her make a breakthrough and recognised that at the heart of her issues was her father’s departure from her life.
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Working through her pain, it was suggested she meet with her father for resolution. Still carrying an idealised version of who her father was in her head, her family saw him differently. As Andi said: “Although he appeared to be a charming if haphazard chancer, he was in fact, violent, manipulative and abusive.”
Reading through Andi’s story it’s no surprise that she struggled with her father’s absence in her life. It is widely recognised that a father serves as a basis for future relationships. And so, “when that father-daughter relationship is abnormal or non-existent, her perception of men often becomes skewed”, according to the research [noted above].
“…he was in fact, violent, manipulative and abusive.”
Andi never did get her happy ever after with her father, but she is in a much better place and in a healthy relationship, taking things one step at a time.
It just goes to show that you never know what battles people are fighting behind their smiles and chirpy facades.
Reflecting on this, Andi concluded in her story: “It continues to amaze me how much my father’s absence has affected me. Even though I made peace with his choices, the impact of a person or situation can reside within us and shape our lives long after we’ve released them from blame or responsibility.”
Read the full interview with Andi Osho in Red Online.
Buy Asking For A Friend here.