Kelly Clarkson tried to reach out to her father when she was young but was rejected. However, once she attained fame, her father wanted to be a part of her fabulous life.
For most daughters, their only one superhero in their lives- their dad. Unfortunately, not everyone feels that way because some fathers are willingly absent from the lives of their daughters and Kelly Clarkson happens to be one of them. Clarkson had opened up about her father, Stephen Michael, who walked out of her life after divorcing her mom. She was just six at the time. As a little girl, she lived with her mom and older brother, Jason, and eventually gained a bigger family when her mother re-married.
Despite being surrounded by people, the Stronger singer sought something beyond her new family. She longed for her father's love. When she tried to reestablish contact with her father, he rejected her, reports Nicki Swift.
Unable to cope with the pain of her father's abandonment, the 39-year-old turned to music to find solace. She began using it as an outlet to channel all the negative emotions and by 16 she wrote Because Of You. "Because of you, I don't know how to let anyone else in. Because of you, I'm ashamed of my life. Because it's empty, Because of you, I am afraid," sang Clarkson detailing the heartbreaking impact of her father's betrayal.
Owing to her music, she became a public figure but was dealing with unhealed wounds. But shortly, her father reached out to her out of nowhere. While she believed that it was out of love, it was not long before she realised that it was her money that led to this change of heart.
"I made something of myself and now you want to come back. But your love isn't free, it has to be earned. Back then I didn't have anything you needed, so I was worthless," sang the mother of two in Piece By Piece, who clearly wasn't afraid to hide her scars. Clarkson never shied away from talking about her estranged relationship with her father as she once admitted, "I guess you don't realize something is missing until you feel it."
"I can't imagine walking away from my little girl. I can't imagine not having that love anymore. I didn't know it was missing because I never had it," she expressed according to Huffington Post. Although it wasn't easy, she realized that keeping someone in her life who doesn't deserve her could be very detrimental and unhealthy.
"It's more of that thing where you can try your hardest to salvage relationships—and I did—but at the end of the day, if you keep getting hurt by someone because they just don't know how to properly love people, it's just not worth it. It's not worth the strain in your heart and it starts to bleed into your other relationships and it becomes super dysfunctional," she shared. By 2017 she admitted being tried of trying to reconcile with her dad. "I think if you don't grow up with it, it's hard to miss something you never had."
Surely, this experience left the Grammy winner with a lot of wisdom. "You’re like, I shouldn’t have to work this hard for someone’s love. Like, that’s a little ridiculous And at that point, too, you grow up so much to where you go, okay, I don’t even think you’re capable," she told TODAY. "Even if it’s not your father, whoever it is in your life, if someone presents such a cancerous environment and then just keeps hurting you, and even if they’re doing it inadvertently and they just don’t know better, you should just not have that person in your life. And it’s OK. That’s not a hateful situation. You go your own way."
Thus she decided not to see him when he was on his deathbed. "My father’s last words were that he wanted all of his kids at his side, but Kelly didn’t show up," said her half-brother Eric noting the singer's absence from his funeral. "I believe my dad wanted to explain to Kelly what happened with their relationship and that he was remorseful and wanted forgiveness," he added. Clarkson later noted that she no longer resented him despite the abandonment and pain that he caused her.
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Kevin Winter