My father has been in and out of my life. He told me when I was 15 that I was one of the reasons he was unhappy and left us. He also told me to never have children. I don’t know how to move on from this. If I ever try to bring up the pain that he has caused me, he gets angry and sad and tells me I’m the reason I’m sad and I should move on. Please could you tell me how to move on?


First, you need to determine what “moving on” looks like in concrete terms. Make a list of 10 actionable items that represent you going forward. Only you can decide what those are, but they may include goals such as: not obsessing about your dad’s negative impact on your life, making plans for college or career training, meeting new friends, becoming financially independent, building your self-confidence, and so on.

Then, get very specific about how you will achieve each of these. If, for example, you want to stop obsessing about your dad, you could make a plan to set aside 15 minutes each day to think and write about him. Choose a certain part of the day and set a timer. Then, get out your negative thoughts about him: how he’s disappointed you, how he’s been irresponsible as a parent, how you don’t trust him, and so on. When the 15 minutes are up, stop, and don’t think about your dad again until the next day. Instead, stay focused on living in the moment and planning for the future.

If you want to become more self-confident, choose specific activities that will help you achieve that. They may include beginning a fitness routine, learning a second language, starting a business, or mastering a new style of cooking. Your self-esteem will grow when you set goals for yourself and achieve them.

Moving on means accepting that your dad will probably never tell you that he’s sorry for his failings and never own up to them. Most people don’t. You choose whether you let the experiences with him make you scared, bitter, and angry or stronger, kinder, and more empathetic.

It’s said that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it. I hope that you can take the hurt that your father has caused you and turn it into something positive. The person who has caused us the most pain can become our greatest teacher or our biggest distraction from leading a meaningful existence. I wish you well.

You may want to read my article entitled: “5 Ways for a Fatherless Daughter to Heal From Her Dad’s Rejection.”

Updated on April 25, 2020

Original Article:

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

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