Father never there for me


Father never there for me


your avatar   Ashley 18-year-old woman

My father and mother had my brother when they were still teenagers. Two years later they decided to have me. A year after my birth my mother finds out my father was cheating so they separated.

For as long as I can remember my father has been in and out of my life. Mostly out. He was in prison for a good part of my childhood. And when he was released, he tried to maintain a relationship with me and my brother. He always told me I was his favorite, and truth be told he was mine. My father and I got along so well and he made me so happy.

I didn't realize how bad of a father he was until I was older because I was blinded by false lies. He was in an out of our lives until the age of 9. Then me and my brother would go and visit him every weekend. That continued for a year, until he decided he'd rather move far out of state to live elsewhere. And of course he left us behind. A year later we went and visited him, and went back a year after that. Both times were horrible experiences for both me and my brother. The third time, my 15-year-old brother had given up on him as a father and I went by myself. He was terrible. Considering I was his only daughter, I figured me and him would be spending a lot of time together that summer. But it turns out he had gotten a girlfriend and had grown fond of her kids. After two weeks he sent me home because I was tired of being left out and at the house by myself.

After he sent me back all communication was cut. No phone calls. Nothing. He tried a few time to regain a relationship by making fake promises. But like always he stopped talking to me. I sometimes wonder if it's because he feels embarrassed. Or ashamed. But he hasn't talked to me in over a year. And it has hurt me so much. Sometimes I creep on his Facebook profile because I miss him. And all I see is him with photos of his better step-daughter, saying all this wonderful stuff about her. And I just end up getting hurt worse. It has gotten to a point where it's hard for me to show my true emotions to people. I feel like a rock. How can I let go of this pain and move on with my life?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Ashley,

Of course you feel hurt. Who wouldn't, in this situation? What I pick up at the end of your message, though, is that you feel no good, putting yourself down because your father seems to give this other girl the love he has never really given you. I don't think that his choice says anything bad about you at all, for two reasons.

First, through your description I see a stupid sort of a guy. Why did he go to jail? Because he broke the law, then got caught. Why did your parents' marriage break down? Because he made a promise to your mother when they got married, and didn't keep his word. Why did your brother reject him? Because he didn't know how to be a father. So, are you going to bash yourself up on the basis of the behavior of a person like that?

Second, he has a new woman. He wants her favors, wants to be in her good books. I reckon that falling all over himself saying nice things about her kids is just his attempt to butter her up. Besides, you only know what he writes in places like Facebook. Maybe it's a pack of lies. After all, he's been caught in lies before. You actually don't know what goes on in their home. And he is likely to act true to pattern. Give him a few years more, and his new lady will catch him out cheating on her, then the whole nasty tragedy will repeat.

Every cloud can be given a silver lining. However much this rejection hurts, you can use it to shape your life into decency and contentment.

When you choose a boyfriend, and perhaps a partner, judge him by comparison to your father. Before you commit to a guy, ensure he is the opposite of dad in every important way: decent, honest, loving, truthful, reliable. Look in the mirror each and every morning, and tell yourself that you deserve a good life, and will make choices to bring it about.

Also, you and your brother can use your father as a negative role model: how not to be. Talk this over, and design the way you will live and act for the rest of your lives. Then, instead of spreading hurt and pain, you can spread love and kindness. That's what the world needs: workers for the light. Be one.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com


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