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What is it like growing up without father?

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by gl00m, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. gl00m

    gl00m Active Member

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    1. My father was absent most of my life. He lives in another country and I can see him only once in several years. If he was with me during childhood it would have made a huge difference in my life.

    Because of a lack of a father figure I have self-esteem issues, kyphosis and low self-discipline.

    As much as my father was capable of granting me a good life, he was also capable of ruining my life.

    He ruined my life by avoiding responsibilities of a father and my mother had to bear all that burden until I grew up. My mother can't be both a father and a mother to me.

    My mother doesn't have the authority that father has. Authority that I didn't receive from my father.

    I didn't say I didn't make mistakes too and that I am sinless. Everybody is the blacksmith of their own happiness and everybody pays for their stupid mistakes from youth. But our parents can make a huge difference in how our life turns out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  2. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I grew up with a father that I would probably had been better off without. My children grew up without - sounds about like yours, they might see him every 2-3 years and shared no responsibility at all. But when he does come in he's very entertaining and enjoyable. I used to resent all the attention he got, when I did all the work. And I felt terrible that they didn't have a father figure. I asked them once how they felt not having a dad in the picture and my son said, "Nothing. He didn't know what it felt like to have so it wasn't like he was missing it." Unlike those whose fathers leave when the kids are a little older and do miss what they had known. I used to ask my brother or preacher to include my son when they did guy things, but it never happened, so it was my son with his mom and two sisters. But he seems to have done okay - they all have.
    So while you blame your father for throwing all the responsibility on your mother, remember that your mother stuck around and did it because she loves you and wanted to. You were not a burden, you were a blessing. I know. :)
     
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  3. Graphin

    Graphin They're red can duck?

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    I have a "father" who was present a lot, but most of what he did is providing physically, except when I sometimes was punished for showing signs of suggesting something wasn't my fault, or physically abused (by him). I do not really know how it's different, so I can barely describe.
    I just notice I missed so many skills, oppertunities and experiences, feel like I lack many capabilities including emotional ones for adult life, it's just overwhelming to think about. And that while I don't understand the majority of what a real father means.
     
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  4. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I grew up without a father. First time I (knowingly) saw him I was 10 years old, and the last time I was 17. In between, I possibly saw him a dozen times at most, but likely rather less.

    I never missed having a father, or there being a father figure in my life because there never had been one, so I had no idea what was missing, or indeed that anything was missing.

    I also think that for any of us that grew up in what were then often referred to as 'broken homes' it is impossible to know what life would have been like otherwise. In fact for me, given that the one parent I had was highly toxic to me, having two to deal with instead would likely have made life a lot worse than it already was, but in truth I just think it is very easy to blame others, or unfortunate circumstance, for our difficulties rather than simply accept what we cannot change, and then look for ways to overcome our problems and build on our own strengths rather than others' weaknesses.

    As such I don't think others have greater control of our outcomes than we do ourselves, even if it takes us a while to discover that.

    But there are a couple of things I'd disagree with specifically: "Because of a lack of a father figure I have self-esteem issues, kyphosis and low self-discipline." - I seriously doubt that the lack of a father figure would cause excessive curvature of the spine.

    And "My mother doesn't have the authority that father has. Authority that I didn't receive from my father." - Parental authority is not a gender thing in any sense. Children need boundaries and rules, and whether mother or father or both, parents have a responsibility to impose that authority for the benefit and welfare on the child. Absent your father, that responsibility fell to your mother, whether you (or perhaps she) appreciate that fact or not.

    You are right though, that parents can make a huge difference.... though not in how our lives turn out, but in how we approach 'being the blacksmith of our own happiness', as you so eloquently put it.
     
  5. Mattymatt

    Mattymatt Imperfectly Perfect

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    Ironically, I would've been better off had my father been absent from my life. My father was verbally and psychologically abusive. To this day I cannot forgive or forget. I just know where I won't be when he dies.
     
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  6. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    I grew up with a pretty abusive step father. The abuse sucked, but he also taught me a lot. Especially what not to do with my own son.
     
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  7. On the Inside

    On the Inside Well-Known Member

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    My dad was a mixed bag, likely bi-polar, definitely PTSD. He was 18 in the Marines at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

    He was occasionally alright, but mostly he was a powder keg ready to go off any time.

    I did learn a lot from him. Some of what to do, how to behave. Mostly through observation. I learned how not to be.

    I like to think i'm doing a better job being a dad. I get this aching pain when I see how much my son has grown, how much I miss those years when he was little, yet amazed at the young man he is becoming.

    Then I wonder if my dad ever felt that way.
     
  8. gl00m

    gl00m Active Member

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    I had a dream yesterday and my father was in this dream. I can't remember the whole dream, but I remember this. I remember that we both sat at the couch near each other. I tried to talk to him, but everytime I tried to talk to him, he ignored me like a jerk with a snarky look on his face. Then after several minutes of ignoring, I asked another question
    "what's bothering you in life so much? what's the problem?".

    When I said that, he pinched the right side of my torso and he held that pinch for half a minute, but he didn't say anything.
    I interpreted this pinch as "you better not know what I am about to say", or "the truth might hurt you, do you really wish me to say this?".
    I again said to him "what's the problem?", then he grappled me by the head and my face was facing towards to the couch. In that moment he said something gibberish or maybe I didn't hear well. But the dream ended from there.

    I interpreted the father's message in this dream to be "I wish you were never born" or "I regret that I made you".

    I don't know to what extent I can take this dream seriously, but the dream left an impression on me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  9. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    My father was kind, introverted, intelligent, but had a fearsome temper. He was never intentionally abusive, though.
     
  10. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    From the point of time when I was a young adult, due to my age, but still very much not mature in that sense, I had no choice but turn myself away from those who brought me into the world and at first, it was scary and then, as time went on, I sort of got used to not having parents ( I could have had them, but it would have compromised the very essense of my personality).

    I remember when finding afflication with another older female, in my head I was thinking: I wish you were my mother. And then; some year's later, I realised I had not felt that way and thought: you have finally grown up.

    As for yourself, it is not surprising you feel the way you do. An absent parent is a pretty useless one, because parents need to be there physically and mentally.

    I am better off without the birth "parents". He is no longer alive and she is too dangereous, being that she is pure narcissistic and one can never reason with a narissitic person, as one of my siblings in finally finding out.
     
  11. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It was a dream. You can't take it seriously, nor literally. However much of an impression it has left on you, there is no truth to the story it told you.
     
  12. Jenn987

    Jenn987 New Member

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    I’m a single mother. My adult children are extremely happy and successful even though I couldn’t afford any luxuries for them in their childhoods.
    I’m proud of the sacrifices and struggles I’ve faced to raise them!

    Maybe your dad was a jerk and things would have been worse, maybe not. But many, many people grow up just fine outside of traditional two parent families.
     
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