I am a senior in high school and never met my dad. He'd been in and out of jail his whole life and passed away in 2019. I want to know more about him, but I don't want to look like a creep and text his family. What should I do?

Answer

While the details of your situation are unique, your overall story is not unusual for young fatherless daughters. When in their late teens or early twenties, just when they should be planning their futures and setting goals for higher education and a career, many become engrossed by their absent dads. At this crucial time when they should be focusing on themselves, they get sidetracked. For some of them, it’s a real struggle to get back on a productive course that’s directed toward the future, not the past.

With that in mind, I encourage you to stay focused on your schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and social life. This is not the time to get distracted by your dead father, a man who never played a role in your life but now has the power to derail it. He made poor choices, neglected his obligations as a parent, and was a person of low character. Instead of being intrigued by him, be captivated about the life you plan on building for yourself. Be enthralled by the people you admire and wish to emulate.

When you’re older (late ’20s, early ’30s) and have established yourself in the world, you can delve into your father’s past if you’re still curious. Hopefully, though, you’ll be too involved with more productive pursuits: a job that challenges you, a man who loves you, children who delight you, and friends who are there for you during good times and bad. Hopefully, you’ll have such a full life that the last thing on your mind will be your sperm donor. Instead, you’ll be celebrating the folks who stood by you and not the one who didn’t.

I hope that you have a loving mom and a supportive family. If so, be grateful for them and show your appreciation. Your preoccupation with a guy who never lifted a finger to help is probably concerning to them as well as hurtful. I wish you well.

Updated on April 14, 2020

Original Article:

Fatherless Daughters: How Growing Up Without a Dad Affects Women
By McKenna Meyers
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