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Dear Wendy

Daddy Issues

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Dear Wendy Dear Wendy 3 months ago.

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  • #805399 Reply

    I met my father around 19 or 20 years old. He left my mother when I was an infant and I never had positive male figures growing up. It shaped the way I viewed men and how I engage in relationships. After a series of bad decisions and relationships in my 20s, I took some time to work on personal growth and healing. I am now 31 years old, in a great relationship, more confident and pursuing my career, financial and personal goals.

    My father periodically reaches out to me with superficial and sometimes vague messages. Our phone conversations are typically one to two minutes exchanges, empty promises and then we don’t speak again for months. I attempted to develop a deeper relationship with him. I have even expressed how I feel but all of our interactions leave me feeling like he is only trying to clear his conscious but has no real interest in getting to know me as a person.

    I am ready to cut him off for good. I need to protect my peace. And I’ve made great progress over the years yet everytime he breaks a promise, quickly shoo’s me off the phone or just disappears, I’m left having to repair the broken pieces within myself. Yes, family is important to me and some of my close relatives tell me I should not cut my father out of my life. I get their point but at some point I must take control of my healing. Would I be wrong to cut him off?

    #805403 Reply

    Absolutely not. You have a duty to protect yourself. Your relatives are free to have a relationship with anyone they like, you have that same freedom. Your sperm donor father sounds like he is capable of offering little if anything positive to your life. You’ve given him ample opportunity to step up in small ways and he seems to have failed miserably. You don’t owe him or anyone else an explanation. He abandoned you as a baby and he brings you pain now. You have zero obligation to this man.

    #805405 Reply

    It’s not wrong at all. You gave it a shot, and it turned out that he still isn’t capable of being a dad and isn’t worth your time. Cut him off with no guilt.

    #805407 Reply

    From somebody who cut off her narcissistic, likely paranoid schizophrenic mother around four years ago: No, you are not wrong to cut him off. Everything @juliecatherine says is correct. Your mental health is the most important thing. A therapist greatly helped me work through my feelings about my relationship with my mother, so I highly recommend therapy, regardless of whether you cut your dad off. Good luck and stay strong when your relatives pressure you!

    #805408 Reply

    Your peace is the most sacred thing. I’m glad you realize that. You need to do what’s best for you. If you find yourself hurting every time he lets you down, maybe allowing him into your life is not worth it.

    I would also encourage you to see a therapist if you can. I had similarly tumultuous parent issues and have found some better coping skills with a therapist.

    #805410 Reply

    From the going-through-the-motions-as-quickly-as-possible contacts your father has had with you recently, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that he has only been in contact at all because the same family members who nagged you also nagged him. Some people think there’s nothing worse than a family estrangement. Often not being estranged is worse. Your family members may mean well, or they may only be interested in keeping up appearances, but they are busybodies in either case, who have zero idea what is in your best interest. It’s hard to see any possible benefit in your remaining in contact with your father. If he was voluntarily absent for 20 years, he can remain absent.

    #805429 Reply

    In this situation you do what’s best for you, not anyone else. You owe this person nothing. You can go low contact – meaning you exchange superficial messages and maintain a very clear boundary around sharing personal information and news. You can go no contact if that’s better for you.

    You are your best advocate. You are your best protector.

    #805431 Reply

    If your contacts with your father reopen the wound of his abandonment, without bringing anything significant positively, what’s the point? Yes, do what is best for your peace of mind.

    #805454 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy
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