Rihanna didn't know if she should hate her father or love him, so she tried to reconcile but he failed her again.
As children, our parents are the first role models in our lives and when they fail to be the loving and nurturing presence they should, it leaves a lasting effect. Sometimes, it influences the way we interact with possible romantic partners as adults or it could also cause some physical and mental health trauma. While everyone who has gone through a difficult childhood tries, in their own way, to overcome this bit of their past, not everyone follows the same path.
For Robyn Rihanna Fenty, the huge success she has had in life is because she's worked hard since before the age of 17. She grew up in a less-than-ideal home in Barbados but has managed to leave it all in the past. However, the abuse she saw as a child haunted for years into adulthood as well.
Rihanna, as she is popularly known, grew up seeing her mother, Monica Braithwaite, being abused at the hands of her father, Ronald Fenty. While she has fond memories of her childhood and described herself as "just a little island girl riding bikes, running around barefoot and flying kites in the cemetery," her home life was difficult, according to CaribJournal.
Her father was an alcoholic and that would cause trouble at home. "Fridays would be scary because he would come home drunk," she told Rolling Stone in 2011. "He'd get paid, and half of it would go toward alcohol. He'd walk in the door, and it was all eyes on him."
She also revealed that Ronald would hit Monica and eventually the physical abuse got to a point where they divorced. Rihanna or RiRi was only eight or nine then. Getting respite from the abusive man didn't mean complete freedom for her Guyanese migrant mother, who tackled the bad reputation migrants had on the island and was a single mom. "My mom was a single mom, so she worked a lot. She was really never home – I mean, she was but it would be after work, late at night," Rihanna told The Guardian.
Being the older sibling, she became a mom-like figure to her younger brother, Rajad, at a young age. "I would take care of him. He was my best friend. He thought I was his mom!" she told the newspaper. To the Umbrella singer, her mother is the "one of the strongest women I know, if not the strongest." Her mom taught her how to succeed in life even without a man taking care of them, and now her Fenty collection is a love letter to her mother, as per GoalCast.
As a young child, she had conflicting feelings towards her father since not all her memories with him were bad ones. She associates memories "about learning to swim, learning how to ride my bike, and it's funny, because most of these times were with my dad." However, the older she got the more she hated him but one of her school friends counseled her saying, "You can't hate your father', that you have to love him, at the end of the day, because he's your father. So I listened, as much as it took out of me," as per The Guardian.
They reconciled for a while when she became successful at the age of 17 after releasing the song Pon de Replay. When she was 21, she said, "I haven't been in touch with my dad for a year and a half, by his choice… He came on tour and acted a mess again, and we sent him home, and after that he didn't answer my calls." Over the years, the strife between them has only gotten worse with her suing him in 2019.
Rihanna claimed that her dad and his business partner have "egregiously and fraudulently misrepresented to third parties and the public that their company, Fenty Entertainment, is affiliated with Rihanna and has the authority to act on her behalf," as per E! News.
She had vowed to never be with someone who would treat her the way her father had treated her mother, but unfortunately, she was in a relationship with a man who hurt her badly. Singer Chris Brown had done to her exactly what Ronald had done to Monica. When she was attacked all she could think of was when it would be over. "That's all I kept thinking the whole time, 'When is it going to stop? When is it going to stop?'"
"Domestic violence is not somebody that people want anybody to know, so she would just hide it in the house," Rihanna said, as per NBCConnecticut. "I always said to myself, 'I'm never going to date somebody like my dad, never.'"
She left Brown immediately after the incident and filed a police case against him. Now, she plans to become a mother and have three to four children, with or without a man, because her life experiences have taught her that she is enough.
Disclaimer: For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you're unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.