I have something to confess: I am a HUGE Real Housewives fan.
I’ve been watching the show since it started ten plus years ago with the Orange County cast. Over the years I have enjoyed passively watching the complex dynamics play out between small groups of affluent women from coast to coast. New York is still my favorite, even though Bethenny has moved on to other things.
This season, Eboni K. Williams has brought a refreshing and intentional presence to the show, unlike anything I’ve seen before. Let me say first: I am taking notes on how to communicate from her, and that’s saying a lot, considering that my day job is as a successful psychotherapist where I regularly teach others how to communicate effectively.
Eboni’s ability to set and carry out her didactic intentions in the face of both resistance and objection from wildly privileged women whose lack of self-awareness borders on destructive is mesmerizing. Her skillfulness in confronting and staying the course in contentious or otherwise very difficult conversations is masterful. And her willingness to continue to give the benefit of the doubt to people who may not deserve it is laudable.
Eboni, you are the change the world needs now.
The woman’s got emotional intelligence for days.
She’s also got something in common with me and so many of you: a father wound.
This season one of Eboni’s storylines is her search for her biological father. Having grown up without a dad, she is finally ready to make herself vulnerable and face the truth. In episode ___ this season, Eboni is speaking on the phone to a woman she believes may be her biological sister. When discussing a man who Ebonie believed to be her dad, Eboni says “It was too hard to try and keep this man in my life. I just let it go.”
YES. This. Exactly.
There was so much resonance for me when I heard Eboni say these words it almost brought me to tears.
Having a father figure in your life who does not make you a priority or even seem to care about you at all is excruciating. It is often easier to let him go so that you can move on with your life and find sources of fulfillment and happiness.
But how do you do that when you are still hurting from your relationship with your father?
You have to do the emotional work of looking at how the relationship (or lack thereof) has impacted your psyche, your personality, and your beliefs. You have to sort out your experience and see it for what it was: your dad had some pretty major flaws if he chose not to prioritize you.
That said, there is still a wonderful being (you!) who is deserving of love, support, and care. A being who has immense value in this world – even though your dad couldn’t see it.
Ready to get that value back? Join me on the journey: The Father Fix.