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Off Topic :
To those of us missing our dads (in another way)

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 ff4152 (original poster member #55404) posted at 3:46 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

I saw a thread with a similar title, although with a different intent, and felt I needed to pose this to the community.

For all intents and purposes, I didn’t have a dad growing up. My bio dad disappeared when I was young and my step dad was an abusive asshole. As a result, I find Father’s dad from a child’s perspective, very painful. Perhaps I’m stuck in a Hallmark way of thinking, but the absence of a dad has left a hole in my heart.

If anyone is in a similar situation or can relate in some way, did you ever figure out a way to come to terms with it?

Me -FWS

posts: 1937   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8741045
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 6:26 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

My dad was present in the home- physically. Emotionally, no. There we a lot of one-way dialogues with him after I'd been bullied at school or abused by my sister about how I had brought on the mis-treatment myself by how I acted. That I was responsible for it.

Dad also had a few A's on my mom, one with a family friend that he threw in her face. He wasn't supportive of her and by extension us. He belittled me when I was dating in high school, asking who was the boyfriend of the week and calling my 1.75 year long term BF soph- start of senior year BF "George." His name was Matt. And he was the best guy I dated in high school and respected me more than my own father did.

So, all that to say, my dad was missing as he didn't act like a father really should. He didn't want kids and was, no kidding, disappointed by having all girls. Didn't lament it so much, but was so much happier with me when I started taking on typically male interests- cranking on cars, sports, engineering projects, model glider plane building and flying... stereotypical "boy" things.

I have had to mourn not only the loss of him in his death when I was almost 21, but the loss of a father who showed his daughter the treatment she deserved from a man by demonstrating it on her own mother.

I was orphaned before he died.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Ending current one of his own accord- recognized it as "inappropriate" and stopping. Still won't call them A's... can't have everything in life.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

posts: 713   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8741075
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Hutch ( member #70846) posted at 8:05 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

My friend, hugs to that boy inside you who feels the pain of that absence.

My parents divorced when I was eight. My father left and went on to marry a woman and raise her 5 kids, but forgot about my sister and I. I’m 47 (48 in a few months) and he decided to reach out about 10 years ago. My sister found him on social media. She was curious, I suppose. I didn’t have the same curiosity that she had.

So here’s what I can say. Everyone is different and we experience like events in different ways. For you, that boy who needed his dad felt a void but you also have trauma associated with your stepdad. Your dad should have saved you and he didn’t. That’s painful.

For me, I don’t feel pain. I feel indifference. When I see a picture or he sends a message on FB, I don’t feel a thing. Where my loss was felt was my nativity about men, communication differences, needs, etc., that would have helped an impressionable girl when I was young and growing into a woman. Or that example of how a good husband and father should be. How the love from a father should be.

Our experience of having our fathers leave us is the same, but the impact and lasting emotions associated are very different. I think having that void, no matter what, changes our trajectory in life. We become who we are, but a different version of who we may have been had they not abandoned us.

For me, I make the choice for him to no longer take up a space in my life, hence my indifference. The successes in my life from my kids to my career have nothing to do with him. He chose to miss that and he doesn’t get it back. For you, and it’s easier said than done, that boy inside of you needs the grace to heal and become whole. You are who you are because of you, your friends and family, and the grit to survive that awful time in your life.

[This message edited by Hutch at 8:08 PM, Monday, June 20th]

Divorced and living my life.

posts: 245   ·   registered: Jun. 24th, 2019   ·   location: FL
id 8741098
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 9:51 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

I never met my bio dad, and my step-father was an abusive asshole. He sexually abused my sister and I. I almost barf when I see my step-sisters post about missing their wonderful dad.

I tried to make sure that my kids had their dad in their life while they were growing up.

When I became a Christian, I started to lean on God to be my father and not put as much thought into an earthly father. I didn't need an earthly so as much, and I was of an age where my earthly dad could be dead so I used that thinking. I don't feel like I have a hole in my heart.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: 2/18, Dday 2: 8/19, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1169   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8741114
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secondtime ( member #58162) posted at 2:50 AM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

My dad loved me. I know that.

He just did what he thought real men were supposed to do, which put wives first, child (in my case) second.

Which works out fine in a normal home.

Not so much when you dad enables and is enmeshed with your untreated, mentally ill and down right abusive mom.

He never protected me from her abuse. That was not his priority, at any point in my life. I really just can't fathom that choice.

I never knew him well enough to figure out to connect the dots as to why he found my mom's dysfunction so attractive. I suspect it's the things that one is supposed to applaud: loyalty to a partner, a belief that love is the most important thing in a relationship..I suspect it was also a "sign of the times." Women are always nurtures, and never abusers. Mother knows best.

My dad's parents died when I was very young..about 6. So I didn't know them well (also considering one had alzheimers and barely remembered who I was a year after I was born). As far as I know, my dad grew up in a pretty loving environment. They were low income, but not dysfunctional.

So, I don't think my dad married my mom because he was comfortable with dysfunctional systems.

My dad was so enmeshed with my mom, he was willing to go low/no contact with me (his only kid), and never meet 3/4 of his grandkids.

I don't understand that kind of devotion to someone. I can't imagine putting up with the abuse yourself, for almost 50 years.

But, that was my dad. Devoted husband. Pretty crappy dad for the most part, when it counted the most.

It's really a sad situation all around.

I can't get wrapped up in what was or what I missed out on. I didn't ask my dad why he chose the path he did when he was dying. It didn't seem right.

The only thing that was important to me is to make sure that my kids didn't seek out dysfunctional relationships because of my choices.

My oldest two are 14 and 18. I am encouraged with how they are turning out so far.

I learned a long time ago that my parents were not able to demonstrate that they loved and valued me.

But, there's a whole lot of other people in this world that do.

Guess who I'm spending my time with?

[This message edited by secondtime at 2:50 AM, Tuesday, June 21st]

posts: 1065   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2017
id 8741153
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