Fatherless Daughters: How Growing up Without a Dad Affects Women

Updated on August 25, 2018
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My dad was physically present in our home but emotionally absent from our lives. I tried to numb the pain with food and anti-depressants.

What happens to a daughter if her father doesn't love her?
What happens to a daughter if her father doesn't love her? | Source

Growing Up Without a Dad Shapes Who You Are

It took six decades, but I can finally utter a huge truth that caused me tremendous shame and sadness: My father didn't love me. I never spoke that deep, dark secret, but it was always festering inside of me. It manifested itself in many ways throughout my life as I struggled with a food obsession, low self-esteem, social anxiety, and depression.

Whether a dad was present but rejecting like mine or walked away from his fatherly duties entirely, his absence leaves an indelible mark on a daughter's psyche as she grows into adulthood. What does the research say about woman who grew up with fathers who didn't love them—daughters who were never daddy's little girl?

Below, you'll find six ways a daughter may be affected by an uninvolved dad.

Fathers provide their daughters with a masculine example. They teach their children about respect and boundaries and help put daughters at ease with other men throughout their lives. [...] So if she didn't grow up with a proper example, she will have less insight and she'll be more likely to go for a man that will replicate the abandonment of her father.

— Caitlin Marvaso, AMFT, a grief counselor and therapist in Oakland, CA

1. Fatherless Daughters Have Self-Esteem Issues

According to Deborah Moskovitch, an author and divorce consultant, kids often blame themselves when dad leaves the home and becomes less involved in their lives. When they aren't given an explanation about why dad left, they make up their own scenario and jump to the conclusion that it's their fault and that they're unlovable.

This is especially true for daughters. Countless studies have shown that fatherlessness has an extremely negative impact on daughters' self esteem. Her confidence in her own abilities and value as a human being can be greatly diminished if her father isn't there. Academically, personally, professionally, physically, socially, and romantically, a woman's self esteem is diminished in every setting if she did not form a healthy relationship with her father.

As a child, I watched television shows like The Brady Bunch and Happy Days in which the fathers showered their daughters with tremendous amounts of attention and affection. Because I never got that from my dad, I convinced myself it was because I wasn't cute enough. I thought if I had blond hair and talked with a lisp like Cindy Brady I would then have my dad's devotion. I hated the way I looked because I thought it caused my father's disinterest in me. As I got older, my self-esteem plummeted and I was sure no man would ever find me attractive.

Countless studies have shown that a father's abandonment has an extremely negative impact on daughters' self esteem.
Countless studies have shown that a father's abandonment has an extremely negative impact on daughters' self esteem. | Source

2. Daughters With Absent Fathers Struggle to Build and Maintain Relationships

According to Pamela Thomas, author of Fatherless Daughters (a book that examines how women cope with the loss of a father via death or divorce), women who grew up with absent dads find it difficult to form lasting relationships. Because they were scarred by their dad's rejection of them, they don't want to risk getting hurt again. Consciously or unconsciously, they avoid getting close to people. They may form superficial relationships in which they reveal little of themselves and put very little effort into getting to know others. They may become promiscuous as a way of getting male attention without becoming too emotionally involved.

Ever since childhood, I've built walls around myself. I didn't open up to people. I didn't ask questions about their families, jobs, or hobbies. I kept my life private, and I remained socially isolated. These were all self-protective measures so I wouldn't experience rejection like I did with my dad. Knowing this intellectually did nothing to help me change my behavior because my fear of rejection was more powerful than my desire to make connections.

3. Women With Absent Fathers Are More Likely to Have Eating Disorders

In their book The Parent's Guide to Eating Disorders, the authors Marcia Herrin and Nancy Matsumoto write eloquently about the fact that girls with physically or emotionally absent fathers are at greater risk of developing eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge-eating, body dysmorphia, unhealthy preoccupations with food or body weight, and other eating disorders are all more likely if a girl does not have a father figure as she's growing up. Daughters without dads are also twice as likely to be obese. Because her longing to have a close relationship with her dad is denied, she may develop what Margo Maine (author of Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters, & Food) calls “father hunger,” a deep emptiness and a profound insecurity. Daughters are left wondering: What's so wrong with me that my own father doesn't love me? If I looked different—if I was thin—would I earn daddy's love?

I've struggled with "father hunger" throughout my life—stuffing my face to fill the void, dieting to get model-thin, and always obsessing about food. My days have been filled with thoughts of eating—either doing it or struggling mightily not to. When I accepted that my dad didn't love me and that he was an unhappy man with deep-rooted problems, I finally started eating normally and began maintaining a healthy weight. I began treating myself in a loving way by exercising, gardening, reading, walking in the woods, and spending time with family. For the first time in my life, I only thought about food when I was truly hungry. This freed me to enjoy my life in so many wonderful ways.

Eating disorders are more likely in daughters who don't have fathers.
Eating disorders are more likely in daughters who don't have fathers. | Source

4. Daughters of Absent Fathers Are More Prone to Depression

Not surprisingly, girls who grew up with dads who were emotionally or physically absent are more likely to struggle with depression as adults. Because they fear abandonment and rejection, these women often isolate themselves emotionally. They avoid healthy romantic relationships because they don't feel deserving and fear getting hurt, but they might jump into unhealthy relationships that ultimately lead to heartbreak. In either scenario, the women are in emotional peril and frequently become depressed. If they don't deal with the cause of their sadness—an absent dad—they may never be able to develop healthy relationships with men.

To top it all off, data suggests that children without fathers are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.

According to Denna Babul and Karin Louise, authors of The Fatherless Daughter Project, it's helpful to simply realize that we're not alone. In fact, one in three women see themselves as fatherless and struggle with feelings of abandonment. Knowing this fact helps us see that there's a whole sisterhood out there who share a common pain and a need to connect. When we open up and share our journey, we help both ourselves and each other. Whether we feel the loss of a dad through death, divorce, drug addiction, estrangement, or emotional neglect, we must grieve in order to move forward. Read Five Ways for a Fatherless Daughter to Get Over Her Dad's Rejection for ideas on how to avoid falling into depression. A gifted therapist can be key to helping us do just that and becoming happier people.

5. Dadless Daughters Are More Likely to Become Sexually Active Earlier

Studies have shown the many benefits that come from a strong father-daughter bond. Most notably, girls who are close to their dads are less likely to get pregnant as teens. They delay engaging in sexual relationships, wait longer to get married and have children, and when they do find a husband, their marriages are more emotionally satisfying, stable, and long-lasting.

Countless studies also show that women who have unstable or absent paternal relationships are more likely to start having sex earlier and engage risky sexual behaviors. Daughters are four times more likely to get pregnant as a teen if dad isn't in the picture. Studies show that more than 70% of unplanned teenage pregnancies occur in homes where there is no father.

My older sister (who, like me, did not have a relationship with our father) met her future husband when she was just 18 and married him when she turned 22, straight out of college. He was the only guy she ever dated. Without a doubt, she was looking for the love and validation she never got from our dad. She was looking for an alternative to a man who never said "I love you" or "you're pretty" and never gave the unconditional acceptance one craves from a parent. Although she is still married, her union has been a difficult one, and she discourages her own daughters from marrying young.

6. Abandoned Daughters Are Susceptible to Addiction

As with depression, eating disorders, and low self esteem, the absence of a father can trap a daughter in a negative repetitive pattern she can't easily break out of and turn to drugs to self-medicate and help numb the pain. She is more likely to find herself trapped in a cycle of substance abuse, for example. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse. Not only are kids in father-absent households about four times more likely to be poor (which can trigger many negative cycles), fatherless adolescents were found to be 69% more likely to use drugs and 76% more likely to commit crimes.

Can a Daughter Survive Without a Father?

Try as I might, I was never been able to get any traction, always making a mess of this or that and never able to form long-lasting friendships. I rejected happiness because I never felt worthy of it. I did so much to sabotage my life and make myself miserable.

Then last year my older sister revealed to me that she, too, had felt unloved by him. I immediately felt enormous relief and then great euphoria. I realized it had never been about me—that I was bad, ugly, stupid and undeserving. It had always been about him—his unhappy childhood, his cold mother, his negative nature, and his dissatisfaction with being a husband and father. It had never been about me...never.

I could finally shout: “You were a piece of crap and now I'm done with you! I'm not your prisoner any more!"

According to Caitlin Marvaso, AMFT, a grief counselor and therapist, to recover from a father's abandonment, a woman "must learn how to father herself, hold herself, and receive the type of love a father provides. It is a lifelong process, but with the proper support, tools, and patience, it is totally possible. That being said, the grief and pain never goes away, it just changes."

A daughter whose father abandoned her can grow, thrive, learn, excel, succeed, love and be loved, and live a wonderful life when she realizes that the problem isn't her, it's him. This is the first step toward healing.

Self-mutilation comes in the form of promiscuity and [...] it's violence against yourself. I never thought of it that way before!

— Oprah Winfrey

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Fatherless Daughter Syndrome?

"Fatherless Daughter Syndrome" (colloquially known as "daddy issues") is an emotional disorder that stems from issues with trust and lack of self esteem that leads to a cycle of repeated dysfunctional decisions in relationships with men. It can last a woman's entire lifetime if the symptoms go unacknowledged and ignored.

Does the Reason Affect the Result of Fatherlessness?

Half of the daughters in the US self-identify as having no father in their lives, but the reasons for that fatherlessness vary. Approximately 28% lost their connection to their dads via divorce or separation, while 26% cite emotional absence as the reason for the estrangement. 19% lost their fathers to death, 13% to abandonment, 13% to addiction, 12% to abuse, and 4% to incarceration. 6% say they never met their father.

Certainly, a daughter whose loving dad passed away when she was 15 will be affected differently than a daughter whose father abandoned her when she was born. Unfortunately, many studies do not account for the reasons for fatherlessness.

The effects of fatherlessness can be mitigated by many factors. Daughters who were brought up in households with two moms, a loving and very-involved step parent, or participating grandparents or other extended family members will probably not experience the same lasting wounds and negative impact of a father's abandonment.

What about you?

What kind of absent father do you have?

See results

What Are the Emotional Effects of Being Abandoned by a Father?

Compared to those with healthy paternal relationships, fatherless women report...

  • feeling less happiness and lower levels of well-being,
  • higher levels of frustration, anger, and anger-related depression,
  • difficulty navigating the emotions of intimate relationships, and
  • overwhelming fears of abandonment.

What Are the Psychological Effects of an Absent Father?

To summarize, depression, suicide, eating disorders, obesity (and its effects), early sexual activity, addiction-formation, and difficulty building and holding on to loving relationships are all side-effects of an absent father.

Questions & Answers

  • My father was a good man who struggled with depression and alcoholism (so he was emotionally unavailable). How can I address my emotional issues without putting the blame on him?

    I'm so impressed with you based on your question. It shows great insight, compassion, and desire to move forward with your life. So many of us (myself included) get stuck in the blame game, keep recycling our past, and don't enjoy the here-and-now. Since you already understand your dad was emotionally absent and why, you're doing great and are ready for the next step to jump-start a happy future.

    My 80-year-old mother was recently reminiscing about her mom who died from alcoholism and said, “She chose booze over me.” I was immediately struck my how tragic (and untrue) that comment was and how my mom had no understanding of addiction and depression. I knew this ill-conceived belief of hers had negatively shaped her life and the lives of my siblings and me. I wished she had attended Al-Anon meetings, read books about alcoholism, and gone to therapy before getting married and having children. It would have saved us all a lot of heartache.

    I hope you will avail yourself of the resources my mother didn't. By putting in the effort now, you'll have a happier life in the future. By talking with others, you'll realize you're not alone, find camaraderie in your shared pain, and learn how others have moved forward. There are so many of us women who identify as fatherless (I in 3), and 10 percent of U.S. adults say they grew up with an alcohol-abusing parent. Janet Woititz wrote Adult Children of Alcoholics, an excellent book in which she discusses the common traits that people with alcoholic parents share.

    I found a lot of relief, support, and peace of mind by being vulnerable and sharing my experiences as a fatherless daughter. When you open up and reveal your pain, you meet so many people who will do the same, and an instant connection is formed. For too long, I lived a life where I seemed strong and put together. In reality, though, I was numbing my emotions by taking anti-depressants. The seven years I remained on those were the worst of my life, “my lost years,” because I lived like a zombie. While I felt no pain and never cried, I also felt no joy. My doctor did me a great disservice by prescribing drugs to me instead of urging me to do the hard work needed to get better. I do that now: meditating, writing in a journal, focusing on gratitude, spending time in nature, exercising, eating healthy foods and, most importantly, dealing with my feelings instead of stuffing them.

    I wish you the very best as you move forward. I think you will have a lot to offer those who are on a similar journey.

  • My dad is a deadbeat. How do I emotionally get through all the years of tossing thoughts of only having my mother? I have neglected to recognize how truly alone I really am. How do I get through this?

    I believe deep misplaced feelings of shame are at the center of a fatherless daughter's life. The paternal archetype—loving, protecting, advising—has a strong presence in all cultures throughout the world. Fathers portrayed on television risk their lives to save their children, are infinitely patient and giving, and are always warm and kind. When we don't have a dad like that, we blame ourselves when we're kids and even when we're adults.

    I grew up watching Pa Ingalls on the “Little House on the Prairie” series. His devotion to his daughters was infinite. At the same time, though, I was a girl with a workaholic father who was rarely at home and, when he was, would call me names and berate my appearance. How does a kid wrap her brain around these disparate fatherly images? She blames herself and feels deep shame for her failures as a daughter. She thinks that if I were cuter, smarter, thinner, more charming, more petite, more athletic, and more talented, my Dad would love me.

    Looking back now on my life, I see how it was molded by my feelings of shame, worthlessness, and never feeling good enough. These emotions resulted in my addiction to food, my low self-esteem, my neglect of my appearance and health, my inability to put myself out there to make friends, my willingness to settle for jobs that were below my abilities, and my reliance on anti-depressants. When I finally opened up to my sister about our dad, she confessed that she, too, felt unloved and unaccepted by him. Her admission lifted the weight of shame that I had been carrying on my shoulders, and I experienced a lightness I had never known.

    I want you to experience this lightness as well. When you open up to other women about being a fatherless daughter, you'll feel so much better. Since 1 out of 3 of us identifies as such, you won't have a problem finding those who say, “I understand... I feel your pain... You're not alone...I went through the same thing.”

    I'm the happiest I've ever been since I let go of the shame, and I never want to be bogged down by it again. Connecting with other women who've had a similar journey is the key.

  • My dad usually only in the summer, but he hasn't since 2015. I just can’t take it anymore. Does he not have any interest in me?

    I'm sorry your dad is being neglectful and uncaring. No matter what's going on in his life (a new wife or girlfriend, deadlines at work, duties at home), he has a parental responsibility to see you regularly so a loving bond can be created and maintained. Unfortunately, some fathers are too self-involved to comprehend the hurt they cause their kids. My dad called me degrading names such as “Buffalo Butt” and “Rhino Rump” when I was a girl, damaging my self-esteem and causing me tremendous embarrassment. Now, as an adult and mother, I see how incredibly immature that was of him and I've let go of the misplaced shame I felt. But it took many years.

    Your mother probably has some insight that would be helpful about your father's poor character. Perhaps, she hasn't wanted to disparage him in your eyes, but you need to know the truth. His behavior reflects badly on him, not you, and you need to know his past so you can understand why he's acting this way in the present.

    If he doesn't see you in person, he should be staying in contact via phone, e-mail, or Skype. If he's not, you and your mom should set up a regular day and time for him to communicate with you. If he doesn't follow through with that, you have a tough decision to make. Do you want to stay connected with him even though it's sporadic, unpredictable, and only on his terms or do you want to take control, limit contact, or possibly even terminate the relationship? Talking with a counselor at school would be beneficial before making such a big decision.

    In the meantime, focus on the positive things in your life. Keep a gratitude journal and write down five things you are thankful for each day (Oprah does this). Open up to your friends and family about your dad and get the love and support you need. Set goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them. Develop a rich spiritual life by meditating and spending time in nature. Be good to yourself by eating nutritious foods and exercising. Don't define yourself by your father's neglectful behavior. You are so much more than that.

    I wish you the best. I know how painful it is to be shunned by a dad and have so little control over the situation. I'm glad you're reaching out. Please continue to do so. Many girls and women can relate to what you're feeling and experiencing, and we truly do care.

  • What if I blame myself for him not being there because I cut him out of my life after he abused me? What can I do to forgive myself?

    You don't need to forgive yourself because you did nothing wrong. In fact, you need to give yourself a pat on the back for doing the right thing and getting away from an abuser. Some women aren't strong enough to do that but you were. Congratulate yourself for having the courage and for sticking to it.

    All of our choices, whether healthy or not, have consequences. You made a decision and now you're living with the profound sadness of not having a daddy. That longing is so intense that a part of you is wanting to accept an abusive dad rather than no dad at all. The intelligent part of you, though, knows that's not a good move to make and not in your best interest.

    We humans have a strong desire to return to the familiar, even when we know it's not good for us. Why do grown men and women marry alcoholics when they experienced great trauma growing up with moms and dads who drank too much? It's what they know so they're comfortable with it. It's also a way to try to fix the past but rarely succeeds.

    Instead of looking in the rear-view mirror, look forward to all the positive relationships in your life or all the possible ones you can form. If you're like me, you'll always feel sadness about not having a dad, but it lessens over time as we let others enter our lives. Enjoy the here-and-now and don't dwell on the past.

    Be proud of yourself. You did something very hard to do. Grieve for the warm and loving father you never had. Celebrate that you didn't stay around for more abuse.

    I'm wondering if you have some misguided folks in your family or among your friends who are making you doubt your decision. If that's the case, they may have their own agendas or personal issues that are causing them to give you bad advice and make you feel guilty. Ask yourself: Why would anyone encourage me to stay with an abuser?

    I wish you strength as you move forward. Best to you!

© 2018 McKenna Meyers

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    • profile image

      Jasmin 

      46 hours ago from Chicago Heights, Illinois

      Piece by Piece is my favorite song by Kelly Clarkson and that song truly shows just because shes famous that doesn't mean she doesn't have issues like every regular other human being.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      4 days ago from Bend, OR

      You're so welcome, Jasmin. I'm so glad my article is helping others, and I'm so appreciative of all the thoughtful comments, questions, and personal stories that have enriched it. It's good we fatherless daughters know we're not alone and can move forward with fun, fulfilling lives. I hope we're getting the message out to dads that when they neglect their daughters they're creating deep wounds that can last years and even decades.

    • profile image

      Jasmin 

      4 days ago from Chicago Heights, Illinois

      Thank You for all of your help McKenna it means alot.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      4 days ago from Bend, OR

      Mia, you sound like such a loving and devoted mother and your daughter is lucky to have you. As you know from reading the questions and comments on this article, many fatherless daughters struggle for decades with their dads' rejection of them. Fortunately, it's not constant but every now and then when something gets triggered. Your daughter has a mother who realizes this and will be sensitive to those periods of sadness that are inevitable in her future. Even though I'm now in my fifties, I still get sad when I see a dad taking his daughter shopping or pushing her on a swing. I get over it quickly, but it still hurts.

      I can never hear Kelly Clarkson's song “Piece by Piece” without crying. She wrote it about her dad leaving the family when she was six. If you've never seen the video, watch it on YouTube when she sings it live on the final season of “American Idol.” Even though her dad left decades before, she gets choked up and can barely finish. I think all of us fatherless daughters can relate to her raw emotion.

      Best to you and your daughter!

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      5 days ago from Bend, OR

      No Name, your pain feels so fresh and raw and rings true to me and many other fatherless daughters. Your grandmother's recent death opened up those old wounds from your past and now you're struggling. Many of us continue to do so for decades, even after our dad's death as is the case with me. This is perfectly normal as the hurt still affects us in profound ways from time to time. As long as you don't get stuck there in the sorrow, you need to cut yourself some slack and know it's to be expected. The only way that we can be unaffected by these situations is if we're stoned as I was for many years with anti-depressants. Believe me, that's not the way to go.

      You're doing the right thing by writing about your feelings. I hope you also have some good friends with whom you can open up and discuss what's happening. The last thing you want to do is suppress your emotions, causing you great physical and psychic distress.

      Even though you're feeling overwhelmed and troubled now, your words have so much wisdom and clarity in them. You see things as they are when you state: “I know that after the funeral it will all be over - and that I need to walk away fully.” It shows you want to take good care of yourself and lead a life of peace. It shows tremendous acceptance of your situation and a desire to move forward.

      I'm so sorry about your grandmother. This is a difficult time you must endure. I'm glad your grandparents maintained a relationship with you even though their son acted like an unloving, irresponsible bum. Take care of yourself during this time as you grieve the loss of both your grandmother and your dad.

    • profile image

      Mia 

      5 days ago

      I was the one who asked about my daughter who is now 6, thank you so much for the advice. I don’t really understand why her dad left her, he was largely inconsistent with visits so in a way I can I just never thought he’d actually leave her I still don’t know why he just stopped getting in contact and his sister confirmed he wasn’t gonna see her anymore. I will forever feel so guilty I brought her into this world with such a selfish father.

      I’ve explained over the years he decided he wasn’t able to be a good dad and stopped coming, but she never really accepted it, however she seemed happier now when father related things happen as she has my new partner around and her school assigned her a male teacher, so she has a couple of key role models now.

      I hope I can limit the pain as much as I can I’m sorry to everyone here who has experienced this ❤️

    • profile image

      No Name 

      5 days ago

      My dad left when I was a toddler and I never had meaningful contact with him since (decades ago), though I did see him superficially via my grandparents every few weeks when I was pre-teen. He remarried when I was 4. His new wife, with whom he had three children (all in their 30s now), never wanted me to be part of their family, though she just about managed to tolerate me when I was a young child. The contact became less and less through my teens, not really at my desiring. I also eventually gave up trying - there are only so many letters you can write that don't get answered. I managed to retain a good relationship with my grandparents, despite this - and, I suppose, because I kept much of my deep hurt hidden. They were very good grandparents and through them I also continued to get news of my dad and his family and even see them very occasionally - never really satisfying. My grandad died over a decade ago. My grandmother died last week. It has brought everything back. Hard. My dad did let me know about my grandmother's death: in a conversation that took 45 seconds. I knew her better than him in the end, but he is the one planning the funeral etc. He has not been in touch since she died, despite my still stupidly hoping. I am - as always - making excuses for him - assuming he is also deeply upset, though he and his mum were never close. It's all so mixed up! I know that after the funeral it will all be over - and that I need to walk away fully. I can't quite believe that I am grieving him as much, if not more, as my grandmother. Especially as - intellectually - I do know how unloving he has always been. I found your article while surfing today and found it and the comments helpful.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      2 weeks ago from Bend, OR

      Sorry, Dawn, I don't.

    • profile image

      Dawn 

      2 weeks ago

      Do u have a fatherless Sons article?

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      2 weeks ago from Bend, OR

      Renee, your biological father or “sperm donor” sounds like a first-class jerk, and I'm sorry he's caused you so much pain. You're now dealing with his rejection yet again and that's rightfully causing you enormous anger and grief. You have every reason in the world to feel hateful towards him. The last thing you want to do for your own well-being is bottle up your anger like I did. That was a terrible mistake I made, leading to profound despair, taking anti-depressants, and living like a zombie for years.

      I recommend seeing a cognitive therapist to discover constructive ways to deal with your rage. You already seem to be doing an amazing job of channeling your anger with positive pursuits. Great job with the paramedics training—way to go! I like cognitive therapy because it's goal-oriented—not just rehashing the past but having specific assignments to move forward. It doesn't drag on like some types of therapies do.

      I'm afraid if you don't deal with your anger now it will affect your relationships for years to come. Once you have tools to deal with it, connecting your current situation to old wounds inflicted by your father, you'll do much better. It's truly worth the time and effort now to prevent destructive patterns that can mar your life for decades.

      As a fellow fatherless daughter, my heart goes out to you. Please open up to other women and share your story. Anyone with an ounce of compassion will feel your hurt and offer support. Your desire to help others by being a paramedic is beautiful and noble. By helping others, you'll also help yourself.

      Please get the support you need. While you must endure this pain, you don't need to do it alone. I wish you well.

    • profile image

      Jasmin 

      2 weeks ago from Chicago Heights, Illinois

      Renee what your dad did to you was horrible. I Know my dad but he doesn't talk to me and I avoid him as much as possible he and my mom split when I was 12 and I don't miss him at all but if you need to talk I am always available. The fact he said those thing to you, you should be happy he's gone well not happy but maybe a weight lifted off of your shoulders

    • profile image

      Renee 

      2 weeks ago

      I grew up not knowing who my father was. I found him when I was an adult and he rejected me. My brother and sisters also rejected me and all of them including my father and his wife said cruel things to me. I felt like I was the one who did something wrong. He died and I wasn't allowed to attend his memorial service. 8 weeks before he died he submitted DNA to 23 and me.com and verified his DNA connection to me but he never called me. He didn't even leave a note. The last thing he said to me was "STUPID GIRL"!!! I dove into paramedic school to distract myself from the grief and now I'm done I have to face it again. The anger is soooo intense. I wish there was a grave I could spit on, but he was cremated. I feel there is nothing that can help me.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      2 weeks ago from Bend, OR

      Jasmin, that's a smart move on your part and a terrific gift to yourself. You're so worth the time and effort. If you don't click with the counselor or aren't making progress, don't hesitate to find someone else. It's good to understand the past, but you don't want to get stuck there. You want to work on having a beautiful life now. I wish you the best. Good for you!

    • profile image

      Jasmin 

      2 weeks ago from Chicago Heights, Illinois

      My father has been in and out of my life and I recently started counseling see we will see how that goes

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      3 weeks ago from Bend, OR

      Sophia, I wish I could reach out and give you a hug. Your dad did so much damage to you through his absence and hurtful comments. My dad did the same to me when I was growing up and, when I was a young adult , I had multiple surgeries to alter my appearance. That was such a losing game because the problem wasn't with my looks; the problem was with a father who was cruel, insensitive, and clueless about the impact he had on his daughter.

      I'm glad you understand that your dad is the problem, not you. Don't let him rob you of the beautiful life you can make for yourself. I wasted too much time stewing over my dad, wondering why he was the way he was and why he couldn't love me. I hope you won't do that with your life. Now you have the chance to seize control and create the life you want. Don't let him drag you down. I hope you have a good psychologist who pushes you to move forward. Much love and peace to you!

    • SophiaFarrow profile image

      SophiaFarrow 

      3 weeks ago from Australia

      My father left us when I was 5 years old. Later, it was only talking on the phone and rare meetings, during which he gave critical comments to my appearance. To say that I grew up with complexes is still nothing to say. Now I also have a distrust of men for all my life. Because in every men I see my father. And only meetings with a psychologist help me a little bit to understand myself... Thanks for the article and for being not afraid to write about the problem openly.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      4 weeks ago from Bend, OR

      Denise, I'm so sorry you had to endure this and suffer the consequences. That was a cold, hostile, and inexplicable act on your father's part. I certainly understand why you've struggled because of it. I hope you've sought counseling for yourself in order to find peace and move forward in your life. That's too big of a hurt to overcome without insight from a professional.

      I hope any father who's thinking of abandoning his daughter, believing it's no big deal, will read the comments and questions at the end of my article. It's truly heartbreaking to see the depth of pain a dad's neglect creates in a woman's life. It's a rejection that's extremely difficult to overcome.

      Thanks for sharing your story, Denise. Take care!

    • profile image

      Denise Cheshire Lowe 

      4 weeks ago

      My father walked out on my mother, me and my younger sister when I was one and a half years old. He Married another woman and had two children in the same town He was a loving involved father to To his new family. He was never involved in our lives again. My mother was psychologically affected by this and we had to live with her Trumatic outbursts and nervous breakdowns. I’ve had many relationship issues and self-esteem issues because of this

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      6 weeks ago from Bend, OR

      You're correct, Bera Vinc. A daughter's self-esteem does not come from her father, her mother, or anyone but herself. A daughter's self-esteem (or anyone's for that matter) comes from what she does: completing a marathon after training for months, passing her chemistry class even though she struggled mightily, speaking in front of a group even though she was petrified. Self-esteem comes from trying new things, falling but getting back up, accomplishing what we thought was impossible, and reading and learning to become enlightened people. When children grow up without a mother or father, they've missed out on a cheerleader who pushes them to take risks, encourages their endeavors, accepts their failures, and loves them throughout it all. That's often why their self-esteem is low.

    • profile image

      Bera Vinc 

      6 weeks ago

      A daughter's self esteem does not come from the dad.This is a man made doctrines, to exalt men over women.Women are stupid enough to believe this doctrine. The most important parent to a daughter, is the mother.

      Bera

      8-7-18

    • profile image

      Kate2457 

      8 weeks ago

      Michelle, I also grew up with a father who wasn't just unloving, but who was completely absent. I remember being a kid and having friends tell me that, yes, I did have to have a dad- somewhere. When I was younger I hardly knew what was missing from my life, but as I have gotten older I've realized just how catastrophic his absence has been on my mother's life, my relationship with her, and my journey in becoming an adult. You're not alone and I can definitely relate to your lack of answers. I have struggled with the same feeling for a long time. I don't feel necessarily that I'm unworthy of his love, just angry that his decision to be completely absent from my life has hurt my family and I.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      2 months ago from Bend, OR

      Michelle, I appreciate that you don't want to be lumped in with the fatherless daughters whose dads are absent because of divorce or emotional neglect. Losing your father through death is certainly a different experience with its own unique challenges and heartbreaks. Sherry Hewins wrote a powerful article about her father's death when she was 6 and how it affected her (https://hubpages.com/family-relationships/Understa... You're not alone, but your situation is rare. You have to make an effort to find those who've been through the same, unlike fatherless daughters from divorce or emotional neglect who are all around us.

      My mother's mom died when she was a girl from cirrhosis of the liver brought on my alcoholism. That has shaped every aspect of my mom's life (both good and bad) and the lives of my siblings and me and our children. My mother is now 80 and recently said, “My mom chose booze over me.” I thought how terribly sad it was that she held that false belief for all those decades. She had no understanding of addiction and depression (which I think my grandmother suffered from since it runs in our family). The stories we tell ourselves (sometimes true but often times not) are so significant and we should be so very mindful of them. I wished my mom had seen a counselor during her lifetime so she could have better understood both her mom and herself.

      I hope, Michelle, you form healthy, empowering stories to tell yourself about your dad. I'm sorry he died before you got to know him and him you. There will always be an emptiness in your heart because of that. It's a huge challenge for you to endure. Take care.

    • profile image

      Michelle 

      2 months ago

      I would like to read a fatherless daughter article about a woman who didn’t physically have a father. Not one who was there but unloving, not one who was there but didn’t live at home etc. This article definitely makes me sad for you, but I want to know there really are other women like me out in the world. Someone who can truly, TRULY relate. I’m definitely not trying to take anything away from you. I’m sure it was hard but it’s still different to lack a father and go without answers. My dad died when I was a baby, he was physically, emotionally and every sense of the word GONE. Who else can relate to that? Am I really, truly alone in this?

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      3 months ago from Bend, OR

      Thanks for sharing your story, Mayrapatricia. I strongly believe all the responses I've received from fatherless daughters are far more important and far more impactful than my original article. However, I'm grateful my piece was an impetus for women such as you to think about the topic and write about your personal experiences. We are so much stronger when we share our journeys.

      We feel a lot of shame as fatherless daughters but we shouldn't. It wasn't our fault, and we need to connect with other women who understand our pain. Our mothers, feeling guilty about depriving us of fathers, often deny or downplay what we've been through and the hurt it's caused. Whenever I talked about my dad and how he called me fat and put me down, my mom would defend him and say what a good provider he was (which was true but didn't make up for the verbal abuse). There's a part of her that knows she should have stopped him but was too weak.

      Mayrapatricia, you have done so much with your life and have overcome so many obstacles. You will protect your daughter and help her develop into a strong, educated woman like her mother. I'm sorry you missed out on having a dad but know you're not alone. There's so many of us out here.

    • profile image

      Mayrapatricia 

      3 months ago

      This article is totally me. I grew up with an abusive aunt from birth to age 11

      You can see the sadness in my pictures. Not one smile as a 2 year old, all the way till 11.5 . I am super anti-social. Unfortunately for me when I started asking my mother who my father was it was a family tree project I had to do for school, I was ignored and told to make it up. Later on I would keep pressing, and I had to stop when my mother would cry. I thought so many horrible things could of happened to my mom like possibly being raped, and it hurt her to tell me. Later, in one trip to el Salvador, I asked her sisters and they told me his name and I went to meet him, spoke to his sister, spoke with him on the phone. He did not seem like a bad person, he told me his name and acknowledged he was my father.

      Throughout the years, I pressed on for my mom to tell me details and I would be ignored. I started not caring, I was already 18 when I started dating, I was dating a 45 year old man, 37, 27 -- whoever gave me attention (now thinking back, the 45 year old may have been a pedophile but he waited till I turned 18 to ask me on a date) & I was just 19 when I met my husband. Marriage was not something I thought of as sacred but I did marry him last year for health insurance. So we lived together, had a baby at 25, even though our relationship is not perfect,But like the article, I never thought I was worthy of anything better because my husband told me so. I keep the relationship because we have a child together and I will sacrifice anything for her to grow up with a mom, dad, little house. I found one of my biological father's children from his marriage (he had 6 kids while sleeping around with his patients in his dental office in el Salvador. My mom was one of those patients. She only has a 3rd grade education). She was so nice, listened to my story, but she had no clue I ever existed, and her mom never talked about her husband screwing around women from his practice. She asked me if I would do a DNA test which I gladly would. She showed me pictures of him and her together. His family is all professional people & out of all my family that migrated toAmerica, that have children in their late 20's, I am the only one that has a master's degree. I wish my mom had never ignored my questions or made me feel bad for asking who this person was. Maybe I would of made better life choices? I am not sure. I could not bare to tell my daughter why she did not have a grandfather. Ever since she was very small she asked and I simply told her he died before I was born due to bad choices. In my mind, it is better that, than to tell her "sorry, your grandmother was having an affair with a married man who had 6 children, I have no idea how because she was a live in maid and she will not tell me any details, I know this because that is all the information her sisters told me about. My daughter is having growth issues and this biological father of mine was only 5"0 height, he may have had a growth problem which those were not treated until the 70's. My biological father is 83 now.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      3 months ago from Bend, OR

      With one in three of us identifying ourselves as fatherless, you're definitely not alone Joanne. I'm so glad you shared your story. Like you, I had my father in the home, but he was often cruel to my sister and me, calling us names like Buffalo Butt and Rhino Rump. I think he thought he was being funny but, my god, how that affects a girl growing up and stays with her! When I see girls getting loved up by their dads like your granddaughter, I'm so happy for them but still a little sad for me all these decades later. Take good care, Joanne!

    • profile image

      Joanne Hatten 

      3 months ago

      I am now in my 60's, single for 13 years, but married multiple times in an attempt to find that "Daddy Love". My Father was mostly present in our lives, but unreachable to me, his only daughter, or to our Mother, who suffered through many years of his infidelity. She raised my 5 brothers, and me, basically by herself, while he ran the roads and chased other women. They are both deceased now, for many years. I married at 16, left home, and the next 30 years were a total mess - couldn't form lasting relationships, left men before they could "reject" me; finally married a man, who I thought would be "the one", at 34, only to be dumped after 21 years of marriage, for a younger woman. I've mostly recovered, but the scars are deep, & I am a loner. I remember envying girls who were the delight of their fathers, and longing for mine to hold me & let me sit on his lap. It is a never ending, aching void. One bright ending, is that my Son has a daughter, & she has enjoyed all those wonderful things I missed; she is adored by her Dad! I don't wallow in self pity now, and continue to work toward healing; articles like this help, and I am grateful for them & to know I am not alonw.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      3 months ago from Bend, OR

      Yes, that makes sense you wouldn't care as much since you never had a dad. Kids have an easier time of it emotionally when a father dies than when he neglects them because of divorce, remarriage, starting a new family etc. It seems that the rejection is most painful as they wonder what they did wrong. I glad you're doing okay without one. Take care.

    • profile image

      Garbage 

      3 months ago

      Never had a dad never cared about that. I am still trying to figure out why they are important at all.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      4 months ago from Bend, OR

      Sheridan, I'm so glad you shared your story. When we take pen to paper and write down our thoughts, it's so incredibly powerful. We make sense of our life in a cognitive way instead of just reacting to it in an emotional way (which can lead us down the wrong path).

      You are wise beyond your years, Sheridan, with an awareness that will serve you well in college and beyond. You've had two men in your life who've caused you a lot of hurt so you must be careful not to recreate those relationships with boyfriends. We sometimes do that to fix the past, but it usually misfires. It's better to move forward, armed with the knowledge we've earned through our tears and pain.

      I've had so many crappy female friendships over the decades because I didn't know who I was and didn't value myself. I'm sure it was largely due to the poor relationship with my dad. I always put myself in the role of "supportive sidekick" and was taken advantage of and devalued. It's only recently that I've started to choose friends rather than letting them choose me and, believe me, that works a lot better!

      As you head off to college, you'll find so many women there who can relate to your struggles with your father and stepfather. They'll want to open up and tell you their stories, too. It's staggering to think one in three women identify themselves as fatherless. We're far from being alone, Sheridan! I wish you all the best as you have so much to look forward to as your life opens up before you with an abundance of new opportunities. Enjoy!

    • profile image

      Sheridan 

      4 months ago

      I had 2 father figures, one my biological father who is still in my life, but attempts to buy my "love" which is really just superficial praise. He does not truly care. I break a little more every time he doesn't show up to another event. I've seen him less and less because he's just hard to deal with. He watched porn in front of me as a child, and just overall was so, so neglectful. I thought he was the "cool" parent for a while, as he let me stay up all night, and eat whatever I wanted, but I learned the truth eventually after not contacting him and him not reaching out for 9 months. He doesn't understand that I just want him to genuinely care, not money or material items.

      My other Father figure was my stepfather. He was abused as a child, and was horribly verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive for as long as I knew him over stupid things, like not doing chores. I'm still very sensitive to being screamed at because of him. I didn't know it was abuse until I was about 11 or 12 snd finally told my Mom.

      I thought it was normal, and that I deserved it. I also didn't want to ruin his realtionship with my Mom, since he made her happy, and I seemed to be the cause of every fight they had. I also acted out, intentionally as the rare times our relationship was good, he was a better Father than my own and I hated him, and my Dad for it.

      He was kicked out when I was 14, and I'm still terrified of him. I want to talk to him, to tell him all the fear and hatred he caused me. That I cried those 2 years after, when he sent me Christmas presents, thougthful ones, that my own Dad never would've thought of. But the pain and particularly the fear...I just can't. I feel like such a coward, and I hate that he makes me feel this way, even though I'm 18 now.

      I'm still struggling with my issues pertaining to both of them. I'm only just now beginning to see that I'm pretty, and a strong, empathetic and gentle person and that I deserve better than the toxic friendships I've surrounded myself with. They always rant to me about their issues, but I'm never once asked(genunely) how I am doing, or even been invited to outings or events. Hell, my best friend of 5 years dropped my like a hot potato over me telling her she didn't get an audition before she could see it herself, even though I was comforting her. She didn't check to see if I was okau, didn't even think I was tallim to her while crying in the bathroom, just so she wouldn't feel what I was.

      It's not healthy. I see that now, but it's even more scary, now that I must figure out how to find genuinely kind and good people, who will care if I'm okay, and be able to tell that I'm actually not okay when I try to pretend that I am. That's all that I want, and I'm praying to God that I find people like that in college.

      Sorry for rambling, just wanted to share my experience. Thank you so much for this article!

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      4 months ago from Bend, OR

      Chris, I'm sorry you're going through this difficult time with your daughter. It sounds like she's hurting, missing you, and acting out because of it. She's fortunate, though, that you are aware of what's happening and will do your best to make her feel loved and wanted. Many parents, when breaking up with a partner, are so consumed with their own pain that they're oblivious to the child's. Hang in there, Dad. Don't ever give up on your daughter and she'll eventually see who you really are and how much you really care.

    • profile image

      Chris Romo 

      4 months ago

      As a Father who just got split up from His Daughter about 5 months ago due to relationship issues, im starting to see the negative side effects it has on a child. I have seen how my Daughters behavior has gone from being a respectful, disciplined, and loving Child towards me, to being a Daughter who seems like i never existed in Her life. She is becoming a real bad mouthed child and just doesnt want to do anything but cause trouble. And She is also like that to others. Its a sad situation how She went from being respectful and well mannered to problem child. I see that this is going to affect Her for the rest of Her life.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      4 months ago from Bend, OR

      Osey, I'm sorry about your dad. I know his absence leaves a hole in your heart. For many decades, I tried to fill the hole in me with food, but it never worked. I just got fat! Now I let myself feel sadness and emptiness, and I tell myself it's warranted, normal, and natural.

      Then I move on and do positive things that enhance my life and well-being: gardening, reading, exercising, listening to music, spending time with my husband and kids. I hope you treat yourself with love and kindness every day, Osey. Take care!

    • profile image

      Osey NJ 

      4 months ago

      I have never met my dad I have always hoped he would come to England but he never has and he probably never will

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      4 months ago from Bend, OR

      Emma, I grew up with my dad in the home so I never in a million years would have thought I was a fatherless daughter until I began reading about the issue. Since one out of every three women see themselves as such, the title obviously resonates with so many: those whose fathers died, those whose parents divorced, those who dads were never involved, and those whose fathers were present but emotionally absent. We're all hurting. Some studies suggest that daughters whose fathers died are the best off psychologically because they don't feel the rejection like the others do.

      You're so fortunate to be looking at this problem now and thinking about how it's affecting you. Please open up to your dad and tell him how you're feeling. Also, start opening up to friends, and you'll certainly discover you're not alone. Of course, talking to a counselor would also be beneficial to help you understand your emotions and turn them into something constructive. I don't want you to let this define your life as it did with me and so many other women.

      I've suffered from depression, anxiety, and weight issues for most of my life. When my sister recently revealed to me how hurt she was by a lack of relationship with our father, I felt such relief. I finally let go of the shame that came from growing up with a dad who was so cold and unloving. I let the little girl inside of me feel all the sadness and pain that had caused her, and then I was able to move forward. I lost weight and now my days are no longer focused on food. When I realized it was "father hunger" I was dealing with, I was able to get control over my eating after decades of struggling.

      I'm so glad your father tells you he loves you, Emma. My dad never did that. Hopefully, he'll make the changes needed so you feel included. I wish you all the best. Take good care of yourself!

    • profile image

      Emma Gerichs 

      4 months ago

      So um I only see my dad four days a month andvwhen I am going there I feel left outfall the time, and I am having all of these symptoms or effects as you said but doesn’t that still count, even though I still se my dad? ( and I know he loves me he tell me every time I am there)

    • profile image

      Abby 

      5 months ago

      I strongly disagree with your psycho analysis of fatherless daughters and I am one myself. I have a fear of abandonment and tend cling onto men in personal relationships more rather than (be closed) and become more sentitive. I think you need to do More research.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      6 months ago from Bend, OR

      Unknown, you're already way ahead of the game by thinking and writing about these issues now. You're already connecting the dots in your life -- how your relationship with your father is affecting your relationships with boyfriends. If you can recognize the destructive patterns in your life and stop them, you will feel more powerful and confident. I didn't start doing that until my 50's so I applaud you for starting a lot sooner!

      It sounds like you need to be focusing on life goals and not on having and keeping a relationship. You're so young and should be concentrating on your education, career, and friendships. I suggest keeping a journal -- not only to address your feelings and experiences -- but to make sense of them cognitively. This has been immensely helpful to me. When I write things down in an orderly way, it enlightens me, brings me peace, and makes me feel in control.

      I wish you the very best, unknown. You have a marvelous future in front of you. Make sense of your past, but don't let it hold you back. Take care!

    • profile image

      Unknown emotional all over female 

      6 months ago

      Im 19 and my father passed away back in January. I can say that I did cry for him only because I had questions that was never answered. I learned one thing he was treating & being emotionally distance is because of the fact my grandad did the same to him. On my end it wasn't easy for me and still isn't my mom didn't raise as a women should be. I'm learning all this more harder now. I only been in one long relationships and it was/still effecting me. I realised I was trying to get him to love me by acting on it the same way i was trying to get my dad to do. I ended it because I felt like if a guy don't accept my love & treat me right oh well. Moving with my story I have so many heart break with men. I cant tell or let a guy who actually right for me in cause I just dont want to get hurt. And when I be honest a dude run cause its a lot I got to work on. He just broke up with me last night. I want to get him back cause I feel like I didn't do the right parts on my side. Any advice or what can I do to have more confidence and how to trust again?

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      6 months ago from Bend, OR

      Joanne--Thank you so much for writing and sharing your story. When I wrote this article, it was painful for me so I'm glad to hear someone benefitted from it. I'm sorry you didn't have a daddy. I know your hurt. There's still a hole in my heart where mine was supposed to be, but I'm now leading a life of peace and acceptance. You stopped the cycle by rearing a son who's a fantastic father to his daughter. You should be so proud of that. Take care!

    • profile image

      Joanne Hatten 

      6 months ago

      Articles like these have helped me very much. I am 67, the only daughter among 5 brothers, and our father basically ignored us all. Our home epitomized the term "dysfunction", as he cheated on our mother constantly, ignoring her as well and he was absent most of the time. She brought us up the best she could, but we've all dealt with anger & various other issues; I remember the longing, as a girl, to be adored by my "Daddy", & it was so painful to see others who received that attention from their attentive fathers. My first 35 years were a mess, as I went from relationship to relationship, seeking to fill the void, but unable to emotionally commit to or trust any man. My last marriage endured 21 years, only to end with my being abandoned for a younger woman. After 12 years alone, I've found more peace, & greater understanding of my strange journey; also, that there are countless women who identify with me and the sadness/depression battled all my life. I won't marry again, nor do I date, for, at heart I am basically a loner. My joy is in seeing my teenage granddaughter living my long ago dream, for she is so adored by my son, & he is a wonderful father to her & her brother. He & his wife have been married almost 23 years, also proving the dream that never came true for me. Thank you for a great article!

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      7 months ago from Bend, OR

      You're welcome, Anon. With one out of three women identifying themselves as fatherless, you and I know were not alone. In fact, when I started to open up and talk about the empty relationship I had with my dad, other women felt free to do the same. I heard a lot of painful stuff that was still so real and raw even for these women in their 40's, 50's, and 60's. I cry every time I hear the Kelly Clarkson song, "Piece by Piece." She wrote it herself, and it tells about her father abandoning her at 6 and then trying to get back in her life when she was rich and famous. We all wanted a loving Daddy, but not enough of us got one.

    • profile image

      Anon 

      7 months ago

      I grew up without a Father and all of this is true for me. Thank you for the article X

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      8 months ago from Bend, OR

      Thanks, Bill. As a kindergarten teacher, I worked with many boys and girls from fatherless homes. When I look back at those years, I see how hard I tried to teach them their letters, sounds, and numbers and how they resisted—how they didn't care. Their little lives were so tumultuous and learning was a low priority. Dads make such a huge difference but, unfortunately, it now seems politically incorrect to say so.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      As a teacher I've seen the truth in what you say. All of those things happen, and the scars are still visible for decades. Thank you for speaking your truth in this hard-hitting piece, and I hope you have a very Happy New Year!

    • letstalkabouteduc profile imageAUTHOR

      McKenna Meyers 

      8 months ago from Bend, OR

      That was a beautiful and smart thing your family members told you, Dora. You had a loving relationship with your dad even after his death. The stories we're told by others and the stories we tell ourselves are so powerful in shaping who we are.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      8 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for your insight on this important topic. I think that your findings are generally true. My father died before I was old enough to remember him. I've never had a father-daughter relationship, but my grandmothers, aunts and uncles convinced me that he loved me, and I grew up loving him. I think that the assurance of love is a great help, and the absence of that assurance creates a void.

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