I've seen my father only 3 times. He has kids with another woman and lives with and cares for them. He hasn't reached out to me for 10 years. Then, all of a sudden, he wanted to be back in my life (turns out it was for money). How can I forgive and forget to get that pain out of my heart? I’m tired of questioning myself “Am I not good enough?” My self-esteem was so low at one point because of him that I wanted to kill myself.


The good news is that this is within your control and starts with your own thinking. That’s why I recommend cognitive therapy to many fatherless daughters. Our distorted, destructive thoughts are what keep us stuck in the past, making us feel helpless and unhappy. We sometimes need professional help to straighten out our negative thinking and make our thoughts work for us, not against us.

This is precisely why some fatherless daughters refer to their biological dads as “sperm donors.” They don’t use this crude term out of anger or spite. Rather, they do it to keep their thinking focused on the reality of the situation. By using that term, they remind themselves that this man never played the role of a father to them: providing, protecting, sacrificing, loving, and teaching. They use it to strip him of any power he has over their thoughts and, thereby, reduce his significance.

“Am I not good enough?” is a question that many fatherless daughters ask themselves. However, it’s self-destructive as it puts the blame on them. It makes them doubt their value by focusing on the negative: I wasn’t cute enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I wasn’t worth his time and effort.

Oprah Winfrey said: “I know for sure what we dwell on is who we become.” When we think of ourselves as victims of our biological father’s unloving and irresponsible behavior, we stay stuck. When we move forward with reciprocal relationships, a daily self-care plan, new goals, and a fierce desire to help others, we find happiness and, most significantly, purpose. We’ll never forget the hurt that our biological dads caused us, but we’ll use that pain to be more compassionate people. Take care!

Updated on May 15, 2020

Original Article:

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

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