The sins of the father fall upon the child.

And so do the wounds.


I’ve really been BEing with that lately.

If you’ve been with me for a minute, then you know Momma and I had to work some things out.
I bear her scars and I bear her wounds. I bear the wounds of my mother’s mothers, and I also bear
the wounds of the absence of my father.

But I never took ON my father. I didn’t even think to.

I never took on the wounds of what it means to be a Black man.

I don’t regret that. Quite frankly, I don’t think I could have, before now.

Now, just in case you don’t know this part of my story, I don’t know my daddy. I never met him.
Really, I have nothing to go on. I don’t know what he looks like. Rumor has it I look like him
—that I have his swag. He was a hustler, and I come from the streets.

He saved me before I was born—made sure that my Momma didn’t abort me. She wanted to. But he won that round.

Still, he never saw me. He never came to find me. I don’t know if he’s alive or dead.

But what I can say is this: there was somebody before I was born who fought for my life.

“God knew me in my mother’s womb before I was born.”
I think about that.

I’ve never been able to thank my dad for that.

When I think about him, I wonder if he knows that he was loved, even in his absence. And I
can’t help but wonder, if he knew how loved he was, would he have reached for me? Would he
have known that I would never judge him? Would he have known that his presence could have been his protection?

I don’t know if he knows how loved he is.

And as I sit with these wounds, and contemplate how the wounds of the father get transposed to the son, I think about Black men. I think about how they love, and I wonder if they know
they are loved.

Or, are they so caught up in their wounds, that they can’t let us in to love them?

What do you think?

I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below, so we can bear witness.


12 Responses to “The Sins (and Wounds) of the Father”

Comments List


    OMG!!! This is powerful! I don’t know if my father is alive or not. He left when I was a little girl & that part of me still grieves. I met him again in my late 20’s. He kissed the ground & thanked God for me. I told him he had grands that I wanted him to meet & be apart of. He never came back. I’m now married to a man who I believe is too wounded to let me in but so far. I’ve been praying for our men for a while & asking God to help them. Thank you for this!
    • Dr. Venus

      Dear Saran, Thank you so very much for sharing your world with us. This is so rich. I wonder what it would take for you to sooth the little girl part of you that still grieves even after he kiss the ground and thank God for you. I am creating this new set of distinctions to talk about and with Black Men and the historical wound of needing to be "respected": no request; no demand; no judgment; no condemnation. I love your father for showing up in your 20s and I can get why he couldn't honor your request to be part of his grandchildren's lives. It took him 20 years to thank God for you; it may take him 20 more to see his legacy. As for your husband, no one is too wounded to let anyone in. It's more, "what sort of safe space needs to be created so a person, a Black man feels safe enough to KNOW he will not be judged, condemned, demanded of, corrected, attacked, or have the tides turn, to taking care of you? It's a fair question. I was VERY wounded when Nanna got me off the streets and I tested her. I did bad things. I said bad things. I made her cry. I regret that part of my healing walk. But NEVER did she judge me, demand I be any different than I was at that time, or request I think about her feelings. What's more, she didn't condemn me for my limited capacity at that time to receive her love. It has taken over 30 years of her love, day in and day out, to make me whole. I am JUST now, in this season, taking on loving myself the way Nanna loves me. My point is this: if you are going to love someone, not emotional trade or barter, then I recommend you heal so THEIR wounds don't hurt you. I hope this helps Saran. Thanks for sharing. I love you, Dr. V
  2. Paula

    Dr Venus Blessings of Peace. What you teach, holds spaces of tremendous live within it and with the knowledege and courage bestowed to look upon our wounds is where the healing begins. It's the unknown that truly $@!# with us. How does any of us men or women any race love? It's very possible that the need and longing for an earthly father, fulfilled his purpose so that you may cling to our Spiritual One? The wounds of being loved through domination, emotionally absent, even abuse may have been the only way they (fathers) knew how? We tell ourselves many lies and claim them as being i love her enough to not bring my fkd up life into hers???? Be blessed. Sending you as much love as you can hold Paula
  3. <a href='http://n/a' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Areatha</a>

    "I once heard a man sing this with his heart" Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots I give a holler to my sisters on welfare X cares if don't nobody else care And uh, I know they like to beat ya down a lot When you come around the block brothas clown a lot But please don't cry, dry your eyes, never let up Forgive but don't forget, girl, keep your head up And when he tells you-you ain't nuttin' don't believe him And if he can't learn to love you, you should leave him 'Cause sista you don't need him And I ain't tryin' to gas ya up, I just call 'em how I see 'em You know it makes me unhappy (What's that) When brothas make babies and leave a young mother to be a pappy And since we all came from a woman Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman I wonder why we take from our women Why we rape our women, do we hate our women? I think it's time to kill for our women Time to heal our women, be real to our women And if we don't we'll have a race of babies That will hate the ladies, that make the babies And since a man can't make one He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one So will the real men get up I know you're fed up ladies, but keep your head up. Tupac Shakur a.k.a. 2Pac
  4. Carissa

    Dr. Venus, The unity of the black family is that thing that makes my heart sing. Re: Or, are they so caught up in their wounds, that they can’t let us in to love them? I think it depends on the man. I say this because I know several men who have, for lack of better words "daddy issues". There are two that come to the forefront of my mind. One was raised in a single parent home. He has a devoted girlfriend, I mean a ride or die, and she has to teach him how to love. He is very aware of his father, but the relationship is strained. He doesn't know "man things" in the sense of the world. He is learning manhood on his own. He didn't have that example/privilege of watching a man love a woman. However, due to the love, patience, and dedication of his woman, he is learning. The second man grew up in the foster care system. For about twenty years he lacked both parents. He had memories of his mother, but couldn't remember what she looked like. He is in communication with her now. He only met his father in his adult life. Like the first man, he didn't have the example of seeing a man loving a woman. Man number two is the most loving man. He has his ways, but his behaviors suggests that he loves hard and craves that love in return. He is truly self made, teaching himself the things that a father did not. There are different dynamics to their stories, but my point is, I think that it depends on the man. Some people fall prey to their environment/upbringing, while others have that no matter what attitude.
    • Dr. Venus

      Hi Carissa, Thank you for your thoughtful and profound response. I hear you and I see exactly what you are pointing to. Thanks for enriching the discussion with your insight. :-) Dr. Venus
  5. Vicki Scott

    Hi Dr. Venus, my mother was married, and had a relationship with a married man, an i was created.My mother husband, did want me. So she gave me to her sister in law. My biological father didn't want anyone know he had a child. All parents have passed away. At sixty two, I struggle with their decisions. I have two adult sons, never married. I believe my sons struggles as men stems from me, and my choices.
    • Dr. Venus

      Be soft with you Vicki. The more I live the more I surrender to the impact of historical wounds that show themselves in our relationships. I have grown to accept that EVERYONE does the absolute best they can at the time with the level of consciousness AND tools they have at hand. If you are 62 that means you were born in the 1950s, making your parents products of the aftermath of the 20s and the Great Depression of the 30s for Black people. This was a hard era for us. People find comfort WITHIN the confines of social, cultural and political situations. I have learned to find grace in living this incredibly human and flawed life for the impact of wounded people on my life. When you get a chance, Vicki, take 30 minutes and sit down at your desk with a pen/pencil and notebook. Make 3 columns. Write down the decisions you still struggle with about your parents' decisions, the decisions you have made as a mom that you haven't forgive yourself for and in Column 3 write down the highest good from those decisions you and your parents made, doing the best they/you could at that time. I LOVED that your mother gave you to her sister-in-law; my mother tried to abort me. I can see your mom's husband being so hurt by her love for another man that created a true "love child" that he couldn't be with it. I also love that your mom respected her husband enough to tell him the truth and let his wishes be heard and honored about her affair. That's pretty incredible for ANY couple but especially during the 20s and 30s. Perhaps the highest good from your mom's affair was keeping you in the family so she could keep watch over you AND honor her husband, who's heart she broke. My point is this, when you look for the highest good at that time, holding in consciousness people doing the VERY BEST they can at that time, you develop grace. Grace breeds mercy. Mercy brings forgiveness and forgiveness usher's in peace. Thank you for sharing your truth here Vicki so we can all grow and heal together. And by the way, your son's struggles as men is not yours to carry. Those are theirs. Get peaceful with that you blame yourself and your parents for regarding your parenting and please know this: every parent misses the mark, and every child gets to choose how they will respond to their parents at the level of consciousness. We are spirit first, flesh second. I love and forgive Momma for it all--and it has been my life's work to heal HER wounds and now the absence of my father. I took that on--for myself. Each child can trash their lives and blame their parents or they can sack up and create a life that leverages their parents' failings. So please, don't carry their struggles as your failings. You did the VERY BEST you could at the time with the level of consciousness AND tools you had. Grand yourself grace Vicki. Please. I love you. Dr. Venus
  6. Rochelle Peterson-Ansari

    Sometimes I don't know where to put all of my thoughts on a daily basis so thank you for this space. Your post spoke to me as I think about what I think I see in my husband, my brother and many other men in my life. You wrote "I think about how they [Black men] love, and I wonder if they know they are loved. Or, are they so caught up in their wounds, that they can’t let us in to love them?" Some let us in, but they still need healing to know how to love in a healthy way. There are wounds for sure and I suspect many are caught up in those wounds, sometimes not even knowing it. Some have even deepened wounds when they stayed. So then we have wounded babies created by wounded men and women. Remembering that light trumps darkness, keeps me sane in relationship with Black men. I stay focused on my light when he is in dark places harnessing God's power to bring us both to a higher level of healing. I use my healthy relationships to sustain me while I move slowly with him.
    • Dr. Venus

      Dear Rochelle, This is beautiful. And mature. "...I stay focus on my light when he is in his darkness," is the embodiment of wisdom. Using your healthy relationships to sustain you as you move slowly with him is one of the best acts of love I have ever read. Thank you so very much for moving the Race forward with this sharing. I love you. Dr. Venus Ps: You are welcome for the space. Thanks for using it. :-)
  7. Titia

    In the beginning: It’s so loud inside my head with words that I should have said; as I drown in my regrets I can’t take back the words I never said. ~Lupe Fiasco Buried in snow, labor pains begin; will it be a false alarm this time? January 1979 a baby girl is born, her light skin, big brown eyes and the loudness cry pierce the ears of everyone present, as if she knew she had come into a world of many complexities and chaos. Who was this delightful bundle of love and what would her life’s journey entail? Before her life began, drama and tumultuous time were on the rise. Her parents met at church where her father was the pastor. Sounds like a typical love story, meeting in church, what a lovely place to meet your mate, you would think. Perhaps it would have been a happily ever after, if her father wasn’t already married. Yes, married with 6 children. The two starts a secret relationship for a total of 5 years, copulate and creates a baby girl. Although her father was married he was very possessive. After promising to leave his wife for the first 5 years of the little girl’s life to be with her mom, to no avail he continued to stay with his wife, in the meanwhile had an additional 6 children by another woman. Fed up the situation the mother decides to leave the dad. He then decides if he can’t have her then no one can, he puts a gun to her head pulls the trigger and the gun doesn’t go off. As if it couldn’t get and worst one of his sons followed him up by doing the same act, threatening, “I should have killed you when you were pregnant”. It wasn’t too long after surviving these two horrifying acts. The mother finally called it off and left the dad. Now, no father for her daughter she does the best she can to raise her fatherless child. What shall come of this young lady? A chaotic creation, lust, secrets, deceit, lies, fear and she hasn’t even started her life outside of the womb. This young girl was already being prepared for this world of pandemonium while the father’s sperm was merging with the mother’s egg. Born into a heap of unstable conditions, the young girl begins her life’s journey of experiences, exploration, lessons and wisdom; she soon will unfold the magic and what a journey it will be. This girl is me now approaching my 40th Bday next month. I use to be so angry at my dad and his choices my mother also. Then one day I thought, well I'm here! There must be a purpose coming from my set of parents. I'm here! Getting another opportunity to experience life, learn, grow and love. Thank you for sharing your energy with the world. Xoxo Fondly,

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