I grew up with a violent, abusive man and was lead to believe that he was my father. As long as I can remember, I always had feelings he wasn’t my dad. So at 14 yrs old, I found the courage to ask my mum as that man had left our lives. So I wasn’t shocked when she told me what I’d always thought. All my relationships have been with narcissistic men and I've always had trouble expressing my emotions or being the one who initiates intimacy. What do you suggest please?


I'm sorry that you had such a tough childhood. Like other unfortunate fatherless daughters, you were confronted with three adversities: 1. an absent biological father 2. an abusive substitute father and 3. a weak mother who didn't protect you from his abuse. I'm in awe of all you've had to carry and, if you haven't availed yourself of therapy, I strongly recommend that you do so. Talking about your conflicted feelings regarding your mother alone would be worth the time and effort, especially if you're struggling in your relationship with her today.

Psychologist, Dr. Robin Smith, says: “Adulthood is to finish the unfinished business of childhood.” We can accomplish that task successfully if we're conscious and deliberate in what we're doing. Unfortunately, too often fatherless daughters go about it without a plan and with little self-awareness. We take the unhealthy lessons about men that we learned as kids and apply them to our adult relationships. That's why so many of us get stuck in destructive patterns of behavior with our partners: choosing alcoholic after alcoholic, abuser after abuser, or cheater after cheater.

Therefore, it's important to ask yourself: What perverted lessons about men did I take from my childhood with an absent biological father and a brutal substitute father and drag with me into the present? Why am I stuck in unhealthy relationships now? Why am I in this destructive pattern of dating narcissists?

Most of us do our darnedest to avoid self-absorbed folks in our day-to-day lives and most certainly don't wish to date one. Some women who choose to be with narcissists do so because they had a self-centered parent so it feels safe and familiar. Others do so because they're passive and want a partner who takes charge. Others still date narcissists because they get their self-worth from being with someone who is, by all outward appearances, charming, charismatic, and confident.

This would be a good time to put a hold on your dating life and focus on yourself. Instead of trying to find contentment with someone else, secure it within yourself. Bishop T.D. Jakes says: “Be what you are missing to yourself.” If you're having trouble expressing your emotions, get in touch with them by writing in a journal and talking about them with friends. Start opening up to others and becoming more vulnerable. Use “you can't heal what you don't feel” as a daily mantra.

You may want to read my article entitled: “5 Reasons Why Some Women Are Attracted to Narcissists.”


Updated on February 4, 2020

Original Article:

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

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