I’ve only seen my dad twice when I was younger. I’m his second oldest child. He has other kids from another woman and he’s in their lives but why not mine?

Answer

I know that this sounds incredibly difficult, but please don’t take his lack of involvement in your life personally. Your father is behaving in a selfish and irresponsible way. I imagine that he’s still involved with the younger children’s mother and considers them his family. He may think that his resources--his time, his energy, his love, his money-- are too scarce to care for all the kids he has fathered.

He may be in denial about the tremendous emotional pain that he’s causing you. He may be too weak of a man to deal with your mother so he ran from his obligations. None of these reasons, though, are an excuse for his abominable actions.

So many fatherless daughters, myself included, ask ourselves: “Why doesn’t my dad love me? Why am I not good enough?” Yet, these questions are not the right ones to ask. They’re based on the false belief that our dad’s rejection is about us when, in all reality, it’s about him and his limitations as a human being. The important question to ask yourself is: “How am I going to take this heartache, find meaning in it, and transcend it?”

One way you could do this is by vowing never to hurt a child. For the rest of your life, you’ll know how valuable it is for a youngster to have an involved dad and you can share that with others. Perhaps, you’ll find your purpose in life by becoming a social worker, a teacher, a pediatrician, or some other kind of advocate for kids. Before starting a family, you will choose a reliable, loving man to marry and build a proper nest.

Viktor Frankl, the psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor, said: “Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds meaning.” Figure out what your dad’s bad behavior taught you and set out to do better in the world. I wish you all the best on your journey to lead a life of intention. Take good care of yourself!

Updated on May 12, 2020

Original Article:

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

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