My dad left when I was six weeks old. I have made jokes about it all my life but it just recently started hitting me hard. I recently met my older brother and sister and my younger sister. They were his children and they know him. I feel like I am a problem that cannot be solved. I don't know why he chose them over me, or why he left at all. How do I deal with all this insecurity?

Answer

It's time to start feeling your feelings rather than making jokes about this painful situation. You, however, saved yourself from a lot of agony by having adopted a healthy coping mechanism—humor--and not a harmful one. Too many of us fatherless daughters numb our anguish in self-destructive ways such as overeating, cutting, using drugs, drinking, or having casual sex.

This is your opportunity to deal with your emotions head-on. If you push them away now, they'll eventually come up and wreak havoc. You have every right to feel sad, confused, and insecure about this situation. I urge you to confide in your mother and tell her you'd like to see a therapist to discuss these matters. Your mom may want to help you herself, but you truly need an objective third-party who has professional training.

Seeing a cognitive therapist (someone who works with a client's self-defeating thought patterns and aims to change them) could be life-changing for you in a relatively short amount of time. Your current thinking is “I am a problem that cannot be solved” has the potential to weigh you down by blaming yourself. A good cognitive therapist can help you end those negative thoughts and replace them with empowering ones that will brighten your outlook and help you move forward.

Whatever the reasons were that caused your dad to disconnect, he has that burden to shoulder, not you. He was an adult with a moral obligation to parent you, and he neglected those responsibilities. He created this situation where you're left feeling insecure. Fortunately, you have the power within your own mind to rise above it and find peace.

The self-help author, Wayne Dyer, said: “As you think, so shall you be.” Our thoughts have the power to shape our world. As fatherless daughters, we sometimes cling to damaging beliefs that limit our potential and keep us stuck. By seeing a cognitive therapist and by focusing on all the positive things in your life, you can build something beautiful.

Updated on July 9, 2019

Original Article:

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

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