Stephanie “Alyrical” Gowdy

“I am a strong believer that your pain helps birth your purpose … NEVER give up.” ~ Stephanie “Alyrical” Gowdy

.facebook_1475974591 We would like to introduce Stephanie “Alyrical” Gowdy, a woman who has beautifully combined talent, heartache and love to create beautiful writings for for other fatherless daughters as well as extraordinary works of art. We were touched by her honesty and bravery despite life’s obstacles and hope that you can also find hope and healing in her story.

How did you get connected with The Fatherless Daughter Project?

I am a blogger who writes about the fatherless epidemic, and during my search to find other sites and organizations to connect with, I came across The Fatherless Daughter Project on Facebook. I have been connected ever since.

Can you tell us in a few sentences about your personal story of father loss?

I always knew who my father was, but at the age of 5, my mother left my father and he left me at the same time. Although he walked out of my life, he always managed to make random appearances to give me false hope, run down my self-esteem, and emotionally and verbally abuse me. He broke me.

What has been the biggest challenge being fatherless?

He broke me. Growing up I could never understand how he could treat me the way he did, and why he couldn’t love me. It was a hard pill to swallow, because it seemed that so many of my friends had loving father-daughter relationships, which only made my void feel bigger.

The abuse, of course, only made it worse and left scars that I don’t know will ever completely go away. I grew up and came to the realization that he was just selfish … but that did not mean that the struggle stopped. I still longed for the ‘normal’ father-daughter bond that I would never receive.

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‘Transparency’ – Original art by Stephanie “Alyrical” Gowdy

What has helped you to survive?

Art and my faith saved my life. When I was young, my mother helped cultivate my interest in art, and it became my survival mechanism as well as a way for me to express myself without words. That was, until I was diagnosed with an eye disease that caused me to go from having okay vision to being legally blind in months. But through my faith, I have still been able to create and use my talent to help express myself and inspire others.

Is there a special person in your life that has helped you find joy or healing?

There have been multiple people that have helped me overcome. My mother did her best to help me and raise me to best of her ability, but she knew she couldn’t do it alone so she always made sure there were positive male role models in my life. Now that I am older, I still falter sometimes when it comes to dealing with my dad, but my husband, Michael, has saved me time and time again to remember and understand, that no matter what, it is not my fault who my father is. While I can pray for him … I personally can’t change him.

Could you elaborate on the male role models in your life?

Yes – A majority of them where family members, one that I was and still am closest with is my cousin, Peter Hunter, who actually gave me away on my wedding day. Peter has been more like a big brother to me over the years. He has always been there to support me and wipe away my tears.

I remember when I approached him to give me away on my wedding day. Of course, he accepted … but not before he had a talk with me about how this would definitely impact the relationship between my father and me. And he said that if I changed my mind – at any time – he would be ok.


Stephanie with cousin, Peter, at her high school graduation

Peter is always there to guide me – in his loving manner – and tell me when I am heading down the wrong path. No matter what is going on in his world or mine, he can always put a smile on my face. I have been through some crazy things and gone to do some stupid things, but Peter is always there to talk to.

Also in my life was Peter’s Dad, Uncle Noel. I used to spend a majority of my summers in Memphis with him and the rest of the family. But my senior year of high school, I moved in with them, and Uncle Noel and Auntie Marcia (his wife) became my legal guardians. Uncle Noel was a true role model for what a father and husband should be. He was a leader, not only at church, but in his household as well. He drove me to school every morning, and during our drive we would always catch up and talk about anything and everything. That year I spent with them changed my life for the better.

Lastly, but definitely not least, was my dad’s brother, Uncle Mike. Whenever all the craziness was going on with my dad,Uncle Mike was always there to remind me that it was not my fault, while at the same time trying to mend the relationship with my dad. If my father and I ever needed a mediator, Uncle Mike was it.

Where do you shine?

My art is my world, as I said, I wouldn’t have survived without it. And now that I am legally blind, it means 10 times more to me. One of my favorite Bible verses comes from Proverbs, and it says “Where there is no vision, people perish.” That verse never meant more to me until after my diagnosis. Even if I one day lose my sight all together, I will always have my INNER vision.

What would you tell your younger self?

That is going to be OK. Whenever something used to happen between my father and me, it felt like the end of the world to me, and I would cry hysterically. But now that I am older and understand and accept him for who he is, I am able to move forward and not break down like I used to.

Screenshot_2014-01-30-13-10-39-1 1‘Untitled’ – Original art by Stephanie “Alyrical Gowdy

If you could have a theme song, what would it be?

“I Get Out” by Lauryn Hill.

How do you hope to make a difference in the world?

There is so much I hope to do. I am a very strong believer that your pain helps birth your purpose. Through my blogging and my art I want to help inspire our youth and other adults that have been through similar situations. I want to help encourage others so they know they are not alone – like how I felt. I hope that through my story and my testimony people realize to NEVER GIVE UP!

Fill in the blank: “The most amazing things about my life is______________________.”


Stephanie's beautiful wedding day to husband, Michael

Stephanie’s beautiful wedding day to husband, Michael.

Please visit Stephanie “Alyrical’s” blog page to learn more about her and see her extensive collection of original artwork at .

Thank you, Stephanie!

If you are interested in being our Featured Daughter of the Month, please email us for more information.