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AIBU?

To wonder if your dad abandoning you leaves you with lifelong issues

63 replies

thepaddock · 14/10/2018 12:23

I feel like it has for me but maybe that is just me as other people seem ok!

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fifithefoof · 14/10/2018 13:03

Of course it does.

Maybe try some therapy if you haven't op. Thanks

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Yellowflowersgreengrass · 14/10/2018 13:06

I would say so. My dad didn’t physically abandon me but was never ever emotionally available in any way or loving. I grew up feeling like he didn’t love me. He had Autism, which was a complicating factor but didn’t change the damage that was done to me. I am now in counselling. It has been a raw experience. So yes, I would say a father completely abandoning you does have an impact.

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Merryoldgoat · 14/10/2018 13:09

I suspect it’s affected me in ways I’m not aware of but I’m a bit scared to open the flood gates...

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userabcname · 14/10/2018 13:10

Hm I think it depends on the individual circumstances. My dad buggered off when I was a child and I've not seen him since. Can't say it's really impacted me at all because he was an "absent" father when he was around and I have a fantastic mum and wider family so never missed him.

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Sallystyle · 14/10/2018 13:13

It has me.

At aged 37 I have put some issues to bed, well I have learnt to manage them. I still left with scars which will never heal which will always impact me though.

All the therapy in the world won't erase all the damage, but it helps you to deal with some of it.

My dad was also abusive so there was more than 'just' abandonment.

I think I will always have an awful fear of rejection and whilst I am getting better with age, I still struggle with not feeling good enough.

I know logically that it wasn't my fault, but sometimes my heart tells me I am the one who is unlovable, and that will be a constant battle. If anything goes a little wrong in any type of relationship I go to that dark place.

Thanks OP.

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HollySwift · 14/10/2018 13:15

For some yes, for others no. Everyone reacts to things differently!

My DH was ‘abandoned’ by his father when he was 2. He’s never known any other normal so he’s fine (his conclusion not mine). He’s a wonderful Dad himself and very involved. He’s not even angry though, but he’s an incredibly laid back bloke by nature.

Personally, I believe that present parents can and do often cause far more damage than absent ones...

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InstagramPork · 14/10/2018 13:20

I think it depends how and what age it happens. My DDs dad chose to never be involved and I genuinely don’t think he’s absence has had a negative affect on her childhood. I suppose she doesn’t miss what she’s never had?
She has amazing male role models in her uncles and also my DP so she is loved and cared for by men in her family.

I think it must be a lot worse to have had a dad who then absconds as a bond has been created and broken.
Several of my friends growing up had dads who left for OW or moved away and I can see a pattern in their relationships and their lack of trust for men in general.

Usually your dad is the first man you love and is the role model by which you model your own partners with as you grow up. If they fuck that job up then it seems logical that it’ll affect your relationships with men and your self esteem as an adult

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QueenofLouisiana · 14/10/2018 13:20

I think probably it has left me with s few issues. Perhaps less severe as I have an amazing step-dad.

My dad told me at 17 that he was moving abroad and that was it. I’ve seen him about 12 times since- although some where holidays. I cannot imagine doing the same thing to DS in a years time.

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Sallystyle · 14/10/2018 13:36

It does depend on the age and situation of course. I wish my dad had just left when I was young.

I lived with him until I was 14 and all his horrible ways. I saw him quite regularly when my mum left him. Then he met a new woman, had children with her then didn't want to know us.

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TakeMe2Insanity · 14/10/2018 13:36

My dad choosing to opt of being my parent totally affected me. I think its natural to be affected.

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GreenLantern53 · 14/10/2018 13:39

Yes, it did with me. now my kids dad is absent and I can see the affects it has on them, son going to school telling them he “doesnt have a dad” etc

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spacefighter · 14/10/2018 13:39

Watching this as my youngest's father isn't involved in her life and she's nearly 3.

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NorthEndGal · 14/10/2018 13:46

Something is only a life long issue if you don't work through it.
Dealing with it, and learning to not let it impact you today isn't easy, usually half kills you in the process, but is so worth it.

I say this as a therapy hating, pill dodging, fix it myselfer who had/s a boatload of abuse and issues to cope with.
Get help, even if it has to be self directed and on line.
Do the work. Work through the feelings. Find your new way to be. Set yourself free.

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DragonSnaps · 14/10/2018 13:54

I think it depends on the circumstances really. My dad left when I was 6 weeks old and my DB was 2, so he's never been around anyway, but my DM loved us and acted as mum AND dad, so we never felt like we missed out. Plus, we have a close relationship with other family members, so we had amazing childhoods in retrospect.

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Lazypuppy · 14/10/2018 13:59

Not for me really, only thing is i've never been reliant on men, and the thought of being a single parent doesn't bother me, me and my mum got on just fine.

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areyoubeingserviced · 14/10/2018 14:02

My father left my mother when I was young.
I think his absence affected me when I had my own dcs. I looked at how wonderful my husband was with our children and I just couldn’t understand how anyone could abandon their own children.
I don’t hate my father, but I don’t have any love for him.

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Rednaxela · 14/10/2018 14:10

It depends how the child is parented by the remaining parent I think. Some mothers make a huge deal of it and some just get on with it.

DH was told "you're just like your father" as a threat/insult as his mother constantly went on about how evil and violent his father supposedly was. It has taken decades for DH to try to determine a healthy identity for himself as a man.

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Pompom42 · 14/10/2018 14:10

I wonder about this too. My youngest hasn't seen her dad since she was about 10 weeks and had only seen him twice up until then.
I have 1 photo of them together and that is it. She is almost 4.
I wish his family bothered a bit more with her to kind of make up for the lack of his presence.

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skippy67 · 14/10/2018 14:13

My dad left my mum when she was pregnant. I never knew him. I don't feel I've been left with any "issues".

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Henryismyfriend · 14/10/2018 14:17

I think it depends on the circumstances and how it's handled by the adults left around you.
My mum and dad split before I can remember, I spent a lot of time with gp's and for all intents and purposes my grandad took the role of my father for a few years. I saw my dad but when it suited him, I can still remember the disappointment of being about 5 and he just didn't turn up. I saw him regularly throughout my early teens, and both him and DM had remarried. Dad had a step daughter and then a son, DM had another 2 with my step dad. I didn't fit into either family, was the eldest of both but was (and still am) treated differently by both families. I don't think my birth parents splitting was the issue, I think it was that I didn't belong to either family and was surplus to requirements and just a bad reminder for both that caused my problems. I clung to my GPS because I felt wanted by them, I had issues before they died, but they got markedly worse after both passed.
At 40 I still feel utterly lost, despite councilling.
I rarely talk or even think about it though, so even if you knew me and knew the facts of my childhood, you wouldn't know how it makes me feel, or how I've sworn off relationships because I seem to choose men exactly like my father or somehow make history repeat and end up hurt. There's no human alive knows those things, or that deep down I just feel unlovable, like there's something fundamentally wrong with me.
Everyone else you come across may look or seem fine about it, but underneath it all they may just be too scared or too sad to talk about it in any great detail.
I really hope you manage to work through whatever it is you're going through OP and get to at least where I am of it not totally dictating my life. It used to, but I have other things that make me feel happy and it's not that I ignore it, I have just accepted this is how it is.
It's hard and can be bewildering too
Flowers

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Sallystyle · 14/10/2018 14:21

Something is only a life long issue if you don't work through it.

I know my life is 100 times better now than it was 10 years ago, even 5 years ago. I have a good and mostly happy life now. I think I will always struggle with some negative thoughts and rejection. I am aware of them and why I have them and they are challenged. I have put so much work in for so many years, but I can't see a time where it will have no impact on my life whatsoever.

Maybe I am wrong, and I will get older and these negative thoughts that pop up related to it all will one day not be there.

It doesn't impact me on a daily basis anymore in any big way, but shit is still there.

Of course everyone is different and no situation is the same, so I can only speak for myself.

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thepaddock · 14/10/2018 14:26

I was 17 and we’d been very close so it was a bitter pill. Never had a relationship. I don’t know if that’s because of my dad or other reasons - who knows!

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MummytoCSJH · 14/10/2018 14:32

My dad killed himself when I was 6. I know now that he was struggling mentally (to put it lightly) and in hindsight I have forgiven him as I understand why he did it. That doesn't mean it didn't scar me emotionally, in fact I attribute a large portion of my own mental health issues to what he did and the aftermath of it.

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SurreyMumof4 · 14/10/2018 14:35

Left my mum apparently but not us. Still scared me. I didn't want him in my life and it wrecked our bond.

I'm not sure if we would have been close as we are vvvv different people. My mum remarried and her new marriage and husband gave me a bit of that faith back.

There's a point as an adult I should I need to just let all that go and had to remember DH was a very different person.

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Tomatoesrock · 14/10/2018 14:37

Yes I think it leaves a massive hole in the DC. I have two friends who had no father in their life, mostly when drunk one will get very upset. The other had casual sex with lots of older men she hurt herself mentally doing it. Thankfully she had therapy.

My Dsis DH has DC from a previous relationship with 2 other women he doesn't see either. I can't understand how Dsis excepts this.

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