Happy Father’s Day. Today is a day to celebrate and honor fathers and father figures and all they have done for us. However, in many cases, fathers have left the family, and their children do not feel like celebrating or honoring them.
I work with women everyday who were abandonment by their fathers during childhood. Their fathers abandonment set the stage for the way they see themselves and others. Their father leaving during childhood caused them to feel unlovable, not good enough, and disposable. Since they fill unlovable, they try to find love and self-worth in all the wrong places. Many come to me feeling angry, resentful, and hurt by their father’s actions.
I decided to write this letter to all the dads who left their children behind. This letter is not about dad-bashing. It is the story I have heard from so many daughters over the years. The heartache and pain they endured wishing their father was in their lives. All the things they’ve wanted to say but can’t due to circumstances. This is their voice. Their opportunity for healing.
How are you? It's been awhile. Or for some of us, it's never been. We are women now. You've missed a lot. You missed so many important moments in our lives. Where do we start? Our birth? When you found out mom was pregnant, you couldn’t handle it. You didn't know what to do. You may have been too young. You may not have had a father figure, so you didn't know how to be a father. Who knows. Some of you stayed in the picture a little longer. You stayed a few years after I was born. At first, things were great. You and mom got a long. Maybe you thought having me would help. Maybe you thought sticking it out would help. Things got tough. You began to fight with mom. You lost your job. You may have had a great job, perhaps the stressors of home got to you. We will never know. What we do know is what you missed when you walked out that door. You missed the numerous firsts day of school. You missed Back to School nights and Open houses. You missed Girl Scouts, sports, holidays, summers, vacations, first dates, graduations and college acceptance letters. The fun and exciting stuff.
You also missed the not so exciting stuff. When you left and didn't pay child support, We had to move out of our home and collect financial assistance. We had to shop at Goodwill because mom could not afford clothing. We had to grow up fast. We had to take care of our younger siblings. We had to be emotional support for our mothers. Whatever childhood we had, was gone. We had to listen to mom cry herself to sleep. We saw her date men who were not good to her, or good to us. We needed to start working at 16 because money was a little tight. Sometimes we missed out on parties and school events to work because we needed to make sure the lights stayed on and food was on the table. We started looking for attention outside the home. We wanted love and affection that we did not get from you, so we started looking in other places. Friends, partners, drugs, alcohol, crime, teen pregnancy or food. Many times we found it in men. To be honest, the men did not treat us well at all. However, we didn’t care. It was a man. It was someone that held us (sometimes), was by your side (sometimes), called us (sometimes), told us they loved us (sometimes) married us, or had a child with us. We didn’t care, we just wanted someone to be there and tell us they loved us because you weren’t there. Although their love was sporadic and contingent, at least it was there.
We can honestly say your leaving really affected our self-esteem and self-worth. We don’t feel good about ourselves at all. We don’t feel that we are good enough for any man, partner, friends, or career. We don’t feel lovable. We feel like a disappointment. We feel we don’t belong.
When you left we felt so many negative feelings. We realize those feelings are still there. Anger, resentment, sadness, grief, shame, fear, guilt, doubt, and betrayal. We are trying to work through these feelings through therapy. Holding on to these feelings is no longer serves us. They are causing us to hate ourselves. We love everyone else more than we love ourselves. We are ready to love ourselves. We are ready to look deep inside ourselves to see how our life has been affected by you leaving. We are not here to blame. We are women now. We cannot blame you because we stayed with partners that don’t treat us right. We cannot blame you for our lack of confidence in going for the job we want. Our childhood circumstances were not our fault. We were thrown into a situation that affected the way we looked at life and interacted with the world. We are ready to take responsibility for our choices in adulthood. We made the choices that reflected how we felt about ourselves. Our past does not have to define our future. We are beginning to realize:
WE ARE ENOUGH!
WE ARE LOVEABLE!
WE ARE SUCCESSFUL!
We get to feel joy, peace, happiness, courage, confidence, acceptance, hopeful, love and trust.
At this point, We no longer care why you left. We can no longer hold on to that story. We are ready to write a new story. If you would like to be in it, and if you would like to rewrite your own story, contact us. You had your own story and that is why you left. We get that now. We have learned it was never about us. You left not because there was something wrong with us, but it was something up with you. We see that now.
Happy Father’s Day!
Feel free to share this letter with a father you know who is no longer in touch with this daughter, however, he would like to be in contact with one day. Perhaps this letter will give him hope and motivate him to rewrite his story. Also share this letter with a woman who still has negative feelings towards her dad and she is ready to address her abandonment issues and low self-worth. Feel free to call me at (510) 250 - 3091 or email at email@example.com to set up an appointment.
“I didn’t plan on being a single mom, but you have to deal with the cards you are dealt with the best way you can.” ~ Tichina Arnold (actress)
Well it’s that time again. Mother’s Day. A day to celebrate mothers, grandmothers and mother-figures. We thank you for everything you have done for us. It’s also a day to remember the mothers who are no longer with us. Lastly, a day to remember the mothers we have never met, who may have been unable to take care of us and had to give us up for adoption. We celebrate all of you.
I work with women were abandoned by their father early in childhood and how it affects the way they navigate relationships. However, often we forget fathers also abandon mothers. When this happens, she doesn’t have time to pause, she needs to handle business. No matter how she feels, she keeps moving forward. She puts her hopes and dreams aside, to raise her children. When she wants to cry herself to sleep, she lays awake with her children, and comforts them, while they cry themselves to sleep. She is a hero.
For Mother’s Day, I want to honor single mothers. Here is a letter to single moms from your children.
Dear Single Mom,
Happy Mother’s Day to you!! We want to take this time to celebrate you and all that you have done for us. One must not forget how much you sacrificed when dad left. You didn’t bat an eye when he walked out the door. We are sure when it happened you felt so much emotion. Shock, fear, sadness, anger, shame, vulnerability, worry, betrayal, and loneliness. The day you sat us down to tell us daddy wasn’t coming back and that we were going to be okay, must have been the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You were able to hold it together during that conversation, however, later that night, we could hear you crying in your room. That would be the first of many nights we heard you crying in you room. The next day it was business as usual. You sent us to school and you went to work. Dad called a week later. You gave us the phone and went into the other room. Dad made many promises. He said he would come visit soon and send money regularly. When it was your turn to talk on the phone, we heard you yelling in the other the room. We didn’t say anything when you walked out of the room, teary-eyed and worn out. Dad sent money sporadically. Not enough to survive, so we had to move. You told us we had to scale back on purchases. Christmas and birthdays were going to be different. You had to work more hours, so we became latchkey kids. You taught us how to cook macaroni and cheese, Rice-a-Roni, Hamburger Helper, meatloaf and chicken. You weren’t going to be home because you had to pull double shifts. When we looked in your eyes, we could tell you were tired and overwhelmed. When you yelled us to clean our room, go to bed and get good grades, we knew you weren’t really mad at us, you were just defeated. Dad rarely showed up for his visits. The days we sat outside and he never came, you would come out and sit with us. You told us how much you loved us and dad maybe got busy or forgot. You would make us feel better with an ice cream cone and hug. You never spoke ill of him. I guess you knew, we would grow up and figure out who he was. You found that working 50+ hours a week was too much, so you decided to go back to school. You worked during the day and took classes at night. We did what we needed to do. We went to school, came home and stayed out of trouble. Well, sometimes we got into trouble. We felt so guilty watching you head up to the school for a meeting regarding our behavior. You let us have it as soon as we got home. We get it. We understood. You dated here and there, but you made it clear we were the priority. Teenage years came and it got a little wild. Puberty brought attitude. We wanted to do more than you would allow. Now we realize you wouldn’t let us do things out of fear. You were on your own and didn’t want anything to happen to us. Of course, at the time we didn’t see it that way. We snuck out of the house to try to find the love and connection that was missing from dad. We ran into the arms of friends, gangs, and lovers, who may not have been the best for us, but they kept us company. We may have tried drugs and alcohol, not because we wanted to, but because we wanted to fill the emptiness of not having a father around. We were involved in extracurricular activities, however, there were times you couldn’t make our activities. At times, we were upset and hurt, but now we understand. We managed to graduate high school and go to college. We moved out because we wanted more. Some of us ran the streets, got arrested and sent to jail or prison. Some of us got pregnant or married early. We just wanted to get away from that life. We didn’t want to be reminded of the house that was missing our dad. We ran from you, even though you were our rock. Now, many years later, we realize how much you did for us. We love you so much. When dad left you stuck around. You honored your commitment to love and cherish us. We have to remember, that dad left you too. You had no one to lean on like we had you. You could call a few friends here and there, but at nighttime, we could hear you crying yourself to sleep. Although you felt shame, fear, anger, sadness, loneliness, we saw you as brave, courageous, disciplined, strong and loving and we still do. Thank you, thank you, thank you for loving me and being our rock. Happy Mother’s Day! We love you.
Please share this with a single mother or single mother-figure that had to raise children on her own. Let her know how much you appreciate her and all that she has done in your life and/or the life of someone you know.
If you are a single mother or know a single mother who may still be struggling with negative emotions or self-esteem issues stemming from the abandonment of her children’s father, have her reach out to me at (510) 250 - 3091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s time for her to get the support she needs.
Loneliness is a feeling no one likes to feel. Loneliness is defined as feeling unhappy or sad when you have no one to connect with. Sometimes people get it confused with being alone, which is just being by yourself. You can feel lonely in a room full of people. If you are alone, you are alone.
Day after day, women tell me how lonely they feel in the Bay Area. According to the 2010 Census data, there are around 7 million people in the Bay. If this is the case, why are people feeling so lonely?
Social Media has been wonderful. You are able to reunite and reconnect with old friends and family. You can find a job or get customers for your business. You can meet people all over the world. You can have 1,000 friends online. However, you can still feel lonely. You may not feel comfortable calling your Facebook friend if your mom is sick in the hospital, your boyfriend broke up with you or you were laid off from work. There may be several reasons for this. You may feel everyone is too busy or you are the only one dealing with this.
These feelings can intensify when you have a history of abandonment. If you were abandoned by your father, many feelings come up for you. Rejection, anger, sadness, fear, or anxiety. Loneliness is also a feeling that comes up. Loneliness after childhood abandonment could have showed up in the following ways:
Do you see how loneliness appears in childhood/adolescence after abandonment? Let’s take a look at how loneliness appears now, in adulthood.
The list goes on and on. You continue to feel lonely and triggered over and over again. Reminding you of childhood, when daddy left.
I understand the sadness and the lifelong reminders that occur when people leave you.
I'm here to let you know, your feelings are normal. Of course you would feel lonely in any of these situations. However, you don't have to stay there. Here are some tips on how to make peace with feeling lonely.
Admit you are lonely. Denial, avoidance, get you nowhere. Loneliness will rear its head every time.
Yep, this can be a little tough for you, because you might cry or get angry. That is okay. You've been running from these feelings for years. Grab the tissues and cry it out. Go to kickboxing to punch and kick it out. I suggest journaling too. Writing down your feelings gets them out of your head and on paper.
Reach Out for Support
I am not recommending the type of support which is really a distraction. This is when you call your girl and head to the club or Sunday brunch for bottomless mimosas. When you get there, you avoid talking about the loneliness you feel, and instead you just want to hang out. Reach out to the friend that you can be vulnerable with. The friend who you can share that you are feeling lonely and you want someone to listen. The friend that will hug you while you are going through a snotty cry. Yeah, that friend. The one who loves you no matter what. No more hiding, reach out.
Seek Professional Help
If that girlfriend or family member doesn’t work out or if you don’t want them to know what is going on, seek out a trusted professional. Mental health clinicians like myself are here to help you recognize and sort through your feelings. We can also help you learn more ways to cope with loneliness. You are not alone in your feelings of loneliness. Your father may have left, but you are still here and can take control of your life and feelings. You are no longer that scared little girl who had no control of what was going on. You are no longer the little girl who did not know how to manage her feelings. If you are ready to grab loneliness by the horns and make peace with feeling lonely, give me a call at 510-250-3091 or email me at email@example.com
Happy April!! Yes! Yes! Yes!! Can you tell I am excited? You wanna know why? It’s my birthday!! I am actually writing this blog on my birthday. I always go big on my birthday because it’s a day that is all about me. I did the usual shopping spree, day at the spa, dinner with family, hotel stay and champagne toast, however my favorite part of my birthday celebration was the bike ride. I was able to enjoy the present. I took in the lovely sites. The trees, flowers, birds chirping, and everyone else around me enjoying their Sunday. I was so present, I noticed a butterfly land on the handlebars of my bike. It felt like God was saying, “I got you! Happy Birthday!”
During the bike ride I got excited about thinking about the birth of my brand new baby. No, not that kind of baby! Two kids is enough! My new baby is my website and brand! Do you like it? I love it! With a little help from Samara Stone and Keisha Kells at www.bebrandconfident.com, I created a website and brand that really speaks to my heart. I love working with women dealing with self-esteem issues, however, over the past year, I’ve wanted to go a little deeper. I wanted to focus on women who were having issues with self-esteem and relationships. I wanted to help them see how these issues are connected to their relationship with their father. In other words, I wanted to work with women with daddy issues.
You may be asking “why would I want to focus on women with daddy issues?” and “what makes you an expert?” Sure, my education and training helps. However, I’ve been there right where you are. Yep, I said it. I had my own daddy issues. I can totally relate.
I remember it like it was yesterday. My father left our family when I was 11 years old. He left a few days before Thanksgiving and we were blindsided. When my dad left, so did the financial, physical and emotional support. By the grace of God, my mom pressed on. She pulled up her boot straps and told us life doesn’t stop, so we need to keep going. My brother and I continued on going to school and my mom went back to school in order to get a better paying job. Times were tough, and I had to grow up pretty quickly. My dad made sporadic visits, however, there were many no-shows. There were many missed holidays, birthdays, 1st days of school and graduations. When I was 18 years old, he disappeared and I didn’t hear from him for 14 years. I started college and began looking for men to fill that void. I remained in relationships that were not good for me due to my low self-esteem.
So I get it and I empathize with the women like you that come into my office and cry on my couch after a relationship ends or dating just isn’t working out. I help women like you become aware that break-ups trigger the same emotions that came up when their daddy left. When you are in a relationship, you are constantly worried and fear that the person may leave you. You may feel sadness, rejection, shame, anger, disappointment, loneliness, mistrust, anxiety and depression, on a daily basis. Feeling not good enough, unworthy, unlovable and disposable is an everyday occurrence.
I get you!! I’ve been there. After awhile I wanted a change. I didn’t like feeling unworthy, unloveable and disposable anymore. I was tired of being fearful and angry. I wanted to meet the right man who respected me. Most of all, I wanted to respect and love myself. Celebrating my birthday was a start. When I turned 21, I decided to throw myself a birthday party. I was tired of feeling lonely and waiting for my dad to come celebrate my birthday with me. I took my birthday into my own hands as a way to start my healing journey. That’s why my birthday is so meaningful to me. Therapy, self-reflection, self-love, journaling, supportive family and friends, a conversation with my father, and every Mary J. Blige CD, also helped me on my journey to healing. This August, I will be married 10 years to a good man who loves and respects me.
As for my dad, he is back in my life. Do we talk everyday and see each all the time? Nawww. I’m okay with it. I’ve forgiven him and love him and accept him for who he is. What matters more is I am loveable, worthy, and good enough, no matter who is in my life. Healing can happen, when you are ready for it.
How are you going to take your healing journey into your own hands? Are you ready to take a look at how your relationship with your father or lack thereof, affects the way you see other relationships? Are you ready to trade in feelings of sadness, shame, loneliness, rejection, unworthiness, desperation, and not feeling good enough, in for feelings of joy, pride, hope, acceptance, good enough, peace and confidence? It’s time girl!!
Feel free to give me a call at (510) 250 - 3091 or send me an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org. I am here for you. I get it.
Subscribe to my email list too. It keeps you apprised of future workshops, support groups and a digital product soon to be released that will help you with healing your daddy issues.
Happy New Year 2019!!
I know, I know, it’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog. To be honest, it’s been a tough few months. Between work and the holidays, it got a little crazy in my neck of the woods. What made it worse is I got really sick right after Thanksgiving. It started as a cold, but became worse over the next month. I have to admit, I did not take care of myself whatsoever. I kept plugging along, full speed ahead. I pushed myself even harder because I wanted to make a little more money and take time off at the end of the December. Because I became so sick, I missed a Christmas play with friends, lunch with friends, and family time. I was on antibiotics and still wasn’t getting any better. The entire household got sick, but I was the only one who didn’t recover. That is when I knew I had to slow down. I was tired and was walking around like a zombie. I had never felt this bad. When I wasn’t getting any better, I began to get scared. I thought “maybe there is something else going on.” I saw in the news how the flu and pneumonia were causing death in children and adults. I contemplated going back to the doctor again. I decided to do a little research on flus and pneumonia and saw the best cure was rest and staying hydrated. Oh wait, that is what the doctor said when she gave me my antibiotic in the beginning. Oops. Well, after a few days off from work, social media and life, I got better in time for Christmas.
So why am I telling you this? TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH. If it is the one New Year’s resolution you need to make, do it! I know I am. I never want to feel this bad again..
I encourage my clients to boost their confidence and self-esteem by taking care of themselves. Well guess who wasn’t listening to her own advice? Well not anymore! I decided I need to take care of myself. Bad health is no joke and I want to be around to support, encourage and motivate all of you to live your best life.
Here is a list of what I am doing to take care of myself. Hopefully, it can help you too.
What about you? How are you going to take care of yourself in 2019?
I am a therapist who helps individuals who are motivated to transform their inner voice of self-doubt and self-criticism into a powerful voice of positive self-talk and self-trust. We help individuals recognize their inner worth, build their self-esteem and speak their truth.