I find this article overwhelmingly depressing and fatalistic. Where is the hope for healing, practical tips for moving forward, support and encouragement that one can overcome this and lead a happy life? Is there more of that encouragement in the book or it is it more accounts of how messed up one is after having this happen to them? We need to empower ourselves and find hope and healing.

Answer

I address the topic of empowerment in the article, “5 Steps to Heal Her Pain: How a Fatherless Daughter Can Move on From a Dad's Rejection” https://wehavekids.com/family-relationships/How-Ab... As you point out, the goal is to move away from identifying as a fatherless daughter—a victim of something beyond your control—to liberating yourself so you can enjoy a life of purpose, joy, and autonomy.

The first step, though, to solving any problem is recognizing it. Girls (and boys as well) who grow up without involved fathers have become so commonplace in today's society that we tend to minimize the negative impact it can have on them. Because of this, many women struggle for years, or even decades like me, without realizing that their destructive behaviors are tied to that early rejection.

Once she understands that, though, a woman can grieve not having a loving dad, feel all her feelings, and move forward. She can get curious about her life, embrace her inner world, and make herself a priority. Otherwise, she may continue to numb her emotions with drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or anti-depressants like I did, causing her to have a zombie-like existence rather than being a fully engaged human being in the world.

When a woman recognizes and accepts that her dad wasn't there, she can finally start living. When she stops resisting this reality, desperately wanted things to be different, she relieves herself of undue stress and finds peace of mind. She can forgive her father and live in the present moment, not be stuck in the past.

In "The Untethered Soul," Michael Singer refers to pain from our childhood as our “inner thorn.” After reading his book, I became acutely aware that my intense reactions weren't caused by the situation at hand but always by something else. More often than not, it was the pain of my dad's rejection. Today, when I get triggered, I step back from my intense initial reaction and realize that my inner thorn has been touched. In fact, I've done this for so long now that I sometimes say out loud, “Ouch, that activated my inner thorn,” and can chuckle about it.

Believe me, there's a lot of hope for healing and I wish you the very best!

Updated on July 26, 2019

Original Article:

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