Psychological Effects of Growing Up Without a Father

Updated on January 14, 2018
Michael Kismet profile image

Michael is a self-taught expert in human behavior. He enjoys writing and sharing his insights on the human condition.

Fatherless Sons

Fatherless children are at risk.
Fatherless children are at risk. | Source

I Grew Up Without a Father

The psychological effects of our childhood experiences can have an outsized impact on who we become later in life. Earlier today, I read an article that provoked what one might describe as a panic attack. As I read this very disturbing article about the psychological ramifications of growing up fatherless, it all just sunk in for me ... that I was damaged. When I finished reading about the studies on fatherless sons, it completely altered my state of mind.

Unfortunately, I have personally experienced many of the psychological consequences mentioned in the article. Most alarming for me was this statement: "Growing up without a father could permanently alter the structure of the brain." Notice the word "permanently." Maybe I've had my head in the sand—or the clouds. I already knew that children from single-parent families tend to have more difficulties in life, but hearing it framed with these words? I was devastated.

This is what I learned about the likely psychological effects of growing up without a father.

Growing up without a father could permanently alter the structure of the brain.

— Ben Spencer, The Daily Mail

More Likely to Be Aggressive

Psychological studies show that children growing up without fathers are more likely to be aggressive and quick to anger. I've always had a copious amount of anger—not just loud anger, but quiet anger, as well. For me personally, quiet anger is more insidious and volatile. Silent anger doesn't have a proper release valve, it just builds up like a growing monster, maturing right along with you. I've spent nearly all my life containing myself because I know it isn't particularly productive or acceptable to be outwardly angry.

Anger makes you think and act with stupidity, and that's just a bad way to release energy. Additionally, I have a greater chance of passing on my aggression to my children. Now I am forced to consider this if I ever decide to have a family. Do I really want to have children that are aggressive and prone to anger? Would I be doing the planet a favor by just letting it end with me? We all want to think or believe that we are in full control of our actions and goals—but are we really?

Depression

Depression is more likely in young fatherless teens.
Depression is more likely in young fatherless teens. | Source

More Likely to Be Depressed

Teens growing up without a father are more susceptible to emotional distress. This is a hard subject for me to discuss because it forces me to recall very dark times in my life. I get bouts of depression that just seem to permeate every aspect of my life. My natural introversion magnifies the sense that I am alone in the world, and that no one can possibly understand what I am feeling.

Thankfully, I have always managed to pull through these bouts of depression. I attribute this to the ongoing support of my friends and their unrelenting efforts to help me restore balance in my life. I also remember high school teachers and college professors who went out of their way to urge me to apply myself and do better. In many ways, life is a team sport. Don't be afraid to lean on your teammates for emotional support and reassurance.

Males or Females?

Do you think growing up fatherless affect males or females more?

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More Prone to Low Self-Esteem

The psychological effects of growing up without a father can lead to self-esteem issues. Over the course of my life, I've had very few conversations with my father. I always believed there must be a reason why my father wasn't ever there for me. I was introverted, and I never really opened myself up to others. I could never be myself with my friends or anyone in my social circle; I always carried the feeling that I was damaged or unwanted. Yet, I was lucky. I made healthy friendships that exposed me to a lot of positivity and optimism.

For a teen looking forward to college, I was also fortunate that I never had trouble dating. The women I've dated and had steady relationships with have taught me a lot about how to be a gentleman, and how to treat a woman with the utmost respect. Today, I feel good about myself; I'm content with not being perfect. Concurrent psychological effects have a way of compounding one another; the key is to be more self aware and battle your demons head-on.

Fatherless students are more likely to fail high school.
Fatherless students are more likely to fail high school. | Source

More LIkely to Do Poorly in School

Growing up without a father can affect your education. During high school, I did just enough to get by and get into a decent college. I'm embarrassed to say that so far I've dropped out of two colleges due to lack of effort and motivation. I've never felt good about this—I've robbed my mother of the pride and happiness of seeing her eldest son walk across a stage with a college degree.

I can't go back and make things right, but I hope one day I will be able to achieve some success that will give my mother some assurance of my worth as a son. The negative psychological effects of being raised in a one-parent household can hold you back in life, but you still have a choice—sink or swim. It's entirely up to you.

More Likely to Use Drugs

Fatherless children are more likely to turn to drugs. When I was younger, I battled several addictions. My mother was justifiably busy holding down a job that supported the entire household. I would never portray my mother under a negative light; she loves her children, and she did the best she could. My two older sisters were preoccupied with their college studies. I was pretty much left to my own devices as a teenager.

I always had a circle of friends who were much older than me; whatever they did, I did. They got tattoos, I got tattoos. Suffice it to say, the things they chose to do to pass the time, I ultimately partook in, as well. You might be interested to know, however, that today I'm as sober as a priest. I was able to pull myself out of that tailspin, and realizing this fact gives me hope that I can overcome other hurdles in my life, too. At this point, knowing that I have that inner strength means everything to me. It means I can, in good faith, declare that there's hope for me.

More Likely to Be Incarcerated and Commit Suicide

Even when factors such as income, race, and parent involvement were held constant, fatherless children—especially boys—are twice as likely to wind up in prison. That is an alarming statistic, yet it just makes sense. They are more prone to aggression, more likely to drop out of high school, and more susceptible to negative influences. Given those tendencies, it's not hard to see how that can lead to higher levels of incarceration.

In addition, one of the most unnerving statistics is that nearly 65% of youth suicides are associated with fatherless homes. Growing up without knowing my own father, there is no question for me that children who grow up fatherless are at a much greater risk for depression and, unfortunately, suicide.

Fatherless America

Important Lessons My Father Taught Me

Through his absence, my father taught me that life isn't fair. There are no guarantees that we will attain anything, achieve anything, or be loved by anyone. No matter what predispositions we are born with, or what psychological effects may be associated with our childhood experiences, we are the ultimate forgers of our destiny. I have to believe I can overcome the disadvantages of growing up without a father. I have to believe that I can still determine my future.

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Michael Kismet

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        Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson 

        2 weeks ago

        Great article and enlightening comments. I also grew up fatherless - he didn't actually LEAVE until I was 12, but he checked out shortly after I was born. He was always gone, and the rare times he did come home, he was so high I wasn't allowed to be in the same room alone with him (I think he got caught being inappropriate with me from what I can gather from others, but I don't recall that personally). In 12 years I can count the memories with him on one hand, and they weren't pleasant.

        Then he decided to get his act together, and start a new life in another state, cutting us out of his life like a tumor. I got the joy of watching as he became a celebrated local celebrity and "man of God" who happily dispensed parenting advice and wisdom on local TV and radio to the constant praises of the unsuspecting public.

        When he passed away a few years ago, I was not welcome at the funeral - turns out, no one in his new wholesome life (save his wife) even knew he had abandoned his previous family, and his wife wasn't about to let her local reputation be tarnished by "inconvenient" facts like my brother and I having been born.

        I'm nearing 40 now and I've done okay for myself, despite a lot of challenges that I've had to overcome. I've fought through poverty, drug addiction, depression, anger, and I'm still standing and I don't take those problems out on others. It does still kill me to see happy families, and it's the reason I've never had one of my own. It just goes to show - be careful of who you idolize. You never know the skeletons just behind someone's closet door.

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        Liam 

        6 weeks ago

        Did you write this all yourself, I am writing a paper and quoting this article and I don't want to plagiarize.

      • profile image

        My life turned into good 

        6 weeks ago

        Hi all,

        I'm mixed,my dad is black and my mum is white. She raised us up almost all alone which was not at all easy.

         I experienced the hate on my father,I saw him when I was 6 and tried to :find" him when I was 18, that's when we met each other.

        I felt that insecurity which was a frequent part of my personality, I did not love myself because I was like"how can a person  love someone like me?" But my life changed when I truly listened to the gospel and decided to trust God:

        I would like to encourage all of you young men, life makes no sense sometimes but always remember that GOD has a plan for you and that he loves you. You are not an accident.

        The bible says in 2nd Corinth. that he would like to be our father.

        Also:

        I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:  But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

        2 Samuel 7:14‭-‬15

      • profile image

        Sean 

        2 months ago

        It's almost like reinventing the wheel. You have to figure out how the world works on your own.

      • profile image

        William 

        2 months ago

        It does effect children because they depend on there dads

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        Waylon Smithers 

        3 months ago

        Yes. This does have an effect on children. That's why some kids grow up being...

      • profile image

        Sad without dad 

        4 months ago

        My dads black my moms white i'm mixed people make fun of me becuse of that what do I do ???? So plz approve this i need emotional support ):

      • profile image

        Time 

        4 months ago

        Every

        Time

        i talk about my dad i cry and i cant help to think why should not

        just kill myself cause my mother is in Sc and my dads in Airzona

        what do I do?????):

      • profile image

        4 months ago

        My father has been in jail most of my life. My mom raised me, my sister, and my brother by herself. I am 28 years old and just realized I may hate my father. I blame him for how I turned out. I am black so the fact that he was not there made me part of the statistic. I am very awkward and dealt with depression most of my life. Because of how I was raised, I have so much respect for women that it's harmful. I do not plan on getting married cause I know a woman could easily use me. I can't tell women 'No'. I wouldn't say I'm afraid of them but intimidated sounds right. For years I told myself I don't like my father not realizing it was actually hate.

        I will never find happiness until I can forgive him. I mean, where do I start?

      • profile image

        Wowd 

        4 months ago

        Man i went through some of these things quite recently; depression, weed addiction and lack of motivation, as in, why does it even matter. And nobody around me seems to understand this. I have no memories of my biological father, so i shouldnt even know that i miss one. But I do. Because of this i feel like i am the odd one out, i feel uncomfortable about things others do not think about. It is so weird to feel this painful insecurity (which does not have a word) of not having an example to walk in the shoes of, be it the way you walk or talk or maybe even the things you "like" but hey, we humans thrive in discomfort right? I guess in some ways it has set my mind free in the sense that i can think about things from a different perspective compared to people that have been taught to think a certain way because of their parents (theory) which sometimes i feel also has a downside (bad trips with weed, i know anyone can have them but maybe extra sensitive towards it. Im also off the weed because i had them often). Maybe the upside to all of this is that i have more control about the person i want to become instead of having absorbed characteristics and just "act" a certain way because i have learnt so. And maybe i should stop thinking about all together and just do life because blaming it on things from the past makes you unable to proceed in life right?

        To every man whom is having the struggle of not having grown up with, or still growing up, without a father: we dont really have a say in this, so make the best of what you have and become the person you really want to be, become the best version of yourself. You owe this to yourself

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        SuperSunrise 

        4 months ago

        I have a 4 yo son who has had a father in his life - we separated when we was 2 bc dad found a side relationship with a coworker more fun than family life. I feel I kind of dodged a bullet there and we've remained friendly and I have done my best to foster a healthy relationship between them. I've made it easy for his father to choose a schedule that works for his life, tried to be supportive where I could, put up with constant changes to said schedule, which makes my end of things a big difficult and so on. I've essentially been the 24/7 nanny that pays for everything to keep a father/son relationship in my son's life. He pays no support, and not one month went by without major changes or omissions to what was a very limited schedule to begin with. At best this was a 10% of the time kind of thing - nowhere near the 50/50 that most couples end up with. I had a difficult time with the last minute changes, explaining his out of town trips with girlfriends and why daddy didn't come this week, his putting off time father/son time to go somewhere with friends instead, spending all of his income on cars, etc. I don't say negative comments to my son about his dad, but that doesn't mean my son hasn't figured out that his dad isn't like other dads (even in the divorced families).

        Now I've limited contact lately and I'm not making all of the effort to be sure it's too easy for dad to blow it off - bc there does not seem to be a way to make it easy enough for him. I don't agree to last minute changes or "hey, I'll take him Friday night", when this doesn't come up as an option until less than 24 hours beforehand on late Thursday evenings. I don't make it my priority to fill him in on everything and send updates, etc. when he doesn't read emails or ever ask on his own how things are going with kiddo.

        He is a needy man, always the victim, tends to be depressive and anxious and rather seems to enjoy wallowing in it (yes, I realize there are things to help out there, but he has to want to help), life is always about what he wants, that he needs support and love and, and, and... He is great with my son when he does bother to spend time and will bring a little token gift or something now and then, but day to day doesn't think how the child is feeling, is he doing well, is there something he actually NEEDS in life, would more time with dad or at least consistent time with dad help him feel better? My son actually didn't know how to answer when a young cousin asked him "do you have a dad?" (bc he of course doesn't come to family functions now so the cousin was wondering), and my son has said "I need a new daddy" when he doesn't show up as scheduled. It's overused these days, but these narcissistic tendencies really get in the way.

        So, now I'm thinking that maybe it's better that my son isn't learning that his father's half baked attempts to be there are the way to be a father, that musical girlfriends every few months (the coworker he left us for didn't last long) are the way to have a relationship, that sitting and wallowing in self pity and victimhood are the way to live a positive and fulfilling life. I certainly don't want my son to be fatherless and after reading articles like this and comments of fatherless now-adults I'm even more worried about it, but I'm also having serious doubts that having someone in his life that is so obviously uninterested in my son's welfare and long-term interpretations of fatherhood and childhood is healthy. Who knows? I may find someone that loves us both, that would be a good male influence as a father figure. Yes, it would be a step-parent, but I know many many many men that stepped in and stepped up and raised a child as if it were their own and truly benefited the child in so many ways.

        It keeps me awake at night, this is no decision taken lightly, and I fully believe that a father should step up for his children, but you can't MAKE a father do that. He's an adult - there is only so much I can do and frankly, I need to spend the energy on my son and making our life the way we want it and not wasting that precious energy on begging and cajoling and orchestrating things to make it easy on his dad.

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        Bru 

        4 months ago

        My dad died when i was 4 due to him being alcoholic. Till this day when I see fathers protecting their little daughters in public it touches my heart. We were 6 kids and my mum who wasn't well at the time tried her best to raise us. at 13 i went into foster care. I can honestly say though, that since I learnt that THE MOST HIGH ABBAH YAHUWAH( Father God in hebrew original biblical language) loved me and sent his son YAHUSHUWA HA MASHIAC (jesus the messiah) to die for me so that i could be HIS DAUGHTER my healing started. As i continue to dwell in mine and my HEAVENLY FATHER'S personal relationship, he helps me understand hidden scares and continues to heal and fill voids in me. I cant even successfully feel sorry for myself no more because I KNOW I HAVE THE BEST FATHER WHO LOVES ME MORE THAN MY OWN EARTHLY FATHER COULD IF HE WAS ALIVE! shaluwmyah.

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        Jesus Loves 

        5 months ago

        Everyone has a father in heaven. This is all anyone needs to be whole and live a full filing life. So stop feeling bad for yourself.

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        Shhhh 

        5 months ago

        Glad I’m not the only one :) . Always stay positive

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        Casey Ice 

        5 months ago

        It hurt a lot reading this. Every effect on this list has happened to me in shockingly grave detail. From bottling up rage for years to developing a dependency on marijuana then getting incarcerated for the first time at age 12. Turned 13 in Chesapeake Juvenile Services that year and life really hasn't gotten better since.

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        Shawn 

        6 months ago

        I feel for all the little ones that don't have a dad or even yet a mom... I am one of the few dad's that wants to be there for my son and his mom has it out for me...

        I missed him being a star qb in football in high school...

        As long as he knows in his heart I never left him but did so his mom then I am at ease... my heart hurts every time I see him cause I know I could have done better for him and caused him less pain in life... What exactly is the best part about pain??? "It eventually goes away"... learned that from my amazing combat veteran wife!!!

        Y'all keep your heads up high and always know you are loved by Many!!!

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        Rose 

        6 months ago

        My father I hate him he left my mother and went to another woman she got two daughters and he stayed with them but not me I was not born yet this is upsetting I get aggressive with my friends sometimes its for useless things I have I feeling I must be depressed but my friends don't know and I hate my father and when I become successful in life I'm gonna show off and say "Oh I don't know him security!" I hope he goes to hell for what he put me through and I never saw him in real life only in pictures and I always see kids with fathers to teach them how to be strong I wish I was never life this I hate him ill never forgive him ill stop writing cause I'm about to cry my anger tears I HOPE YOU F*ING DIE DAD GUESS WHAT ONLY SPECIAL MEN EARN THE TITLE "DAD"SO BASICALLY YOUR A STRANGER I HATe YOU THIS IS COMING FROM THE HEART

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        Medinaman 

        6 months ago

        I don’t know how to feel. I grew up with my dad but he never spent any time with me or never decided to teach me anything or learn how to act like a man. I doubt all the choices I make because I don’t know if I’m making the right ones. I don’t know what it’s like to see a man make decisions and have that alpha role model. My dad was a gambler and that’s all he ever did. I want to be confident as a man! I want to know what I’m doing! Why do I feel this way

      • profile image

        Mira 

        6 months ago

        I have faced some of these issues growing up without my father being there much. In his case he would occasionally see me, take me for a burger as a kid or so. But never wanted to spend time with me, all my childhood i tried to make dad proud and make him want to be with me more. It's easy to blame all issues I have on him not being there.

        Today however I often tend to think that my alcoholic father with depression and a lot of hatered would not have been the best person to grow up with either. All the issues I have had, I might aswell have had anyways for different reasons, and probably even some more. Ultimately if a father decides to leave maybe the lack of love of a dad they see everyday would have affected a child way more. I don't know.

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        Legionar 

        6 months ago

        This is my first comment here. On September I will become a "father". However, the feeling is the same as I will kill someone or someone will die. Why? I meet a beautiful nice woman 32, we were together for 3 months, both wanted to have children and also she was having her health issues so there was really almost no "possibilities" to have one. Things got worsen. I realized she is not mentally stable. From her panic attacks to her obsessive cleaning disorder. Not to mention that everything I done was wrong. If I moved a glass on the table on the other side there was a question "why did you move glass there". Anyway she has support from her family, 2 apartments on rent, from material point of view the child will be fine. However I decided it is the best I will not recognize him as a father and since everything I do is wrong not to see each other anymore wit the woman. Yes, off-course you should hear also the story from the other part, but I did what I could, tried to be a father, explained her the children from broken families are more prone to have more issues, again arguing, huge one. Anyway, for me it is the best to give time someone who will appreciate it and be the only father (not in the way - ok this is not working lets split), if I will ever been able to go in any relationship after this shit. Will this child want to meet me? Will he ever understood situation? I have no one to talk with about this. Really painful.

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        Winter 

        6 months ago

        My father took his own life at the family cabin when I was 7. The details are important but I'm not going to give them to you unless otherwise interested. Except I was never physically injured by him on purpose. I can't relate to those who were so I won't even try. I've tried to study and figure out why I'm such a hard piece to fit into society. Nobody really knows what to think of me or do about my weird views. I feel they were formed by not having a father and forced to think for myself with no barriers. But that also means getting no helpful pointers off the bat so I fail a lot or get discouraged easy . Fathers day was the worst. Now I'm a father. It's hard. A lot of the attributes I read above I believe are things I live with as well due to the circumstance that has brought us all to this thread.

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        Lonely 

        7 months ago

        I grew up without my dad because he passed away before I was 2 and it has had a effect on my intire life. I’ve had step fathers but it wasn’t good with the first one and by the time my second step father came along I was eighteen. I have looked for a father figure for years. I’ve not had any success in finding one and even though I am grown I still feel the emptiness of not knowing one or what it would feel like to know one and be disciplined by him. I have tried to deal with this but not having any luck with it. It’s embarrassing because I feel the need to find someone who would be willing to be a father figure to me even at my age and to show me what it’s like to be disciplined by him since I was never disciplined by one. I wish I could find one that would be glad to be a father figure to me and give me the discipline I have missed out on. I would like for him to understand completely and not be afraid to discipline me even at my age. If there’s any place I could find one it would be appreciated very much. Thank you. He and I could talk things over before we made any commitments. Please let me know if you can help me.

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        Cade 

        7 months ago

        My dad died of heart attack when I was 4 years old, of course I was sad about it when it happened but 13 years later, I'm really starting to feel the full significance of it now. I feel like I do have anger problems, little things tick me off and just build up inside of me because I don't know how to express that anger or release it, but if I do release it I snap, I feel like I release it all at once. My "fatherless" situation is unique to most people's because he didn't leave and it wasn't any of my parents fault. But I think it's still relevant because I feel like I'm missing key traits that a father usually gives. I think I'm a little soft and I lack discipline, since I only grew up with my mom.

      • Michael Kismet profile imageAUTHOR

        Michael Kismet 

        7 months ago from Northern California

        I want to take the time to thank everyone who has shared their experiences with growing up fatherless. I am quite overwhelmed with the feedback and varying opinions of all my readers.

        I want to reaffirm the belief that although we are predisposed to the consequences of growing up without a Father, it does not have to define us. We all pave our own roads in life and ultimately our fates are in our own hands.

        Thank you again for all the support and spreading awareness of this polarizing social issue. I am deeply humbled for the individuals opening up their hearts and sharing their story with the collective.

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        Devin 

        7 months ago

        Well to start off this comment, my dad was sent to prison for drug dealing once when I was four and again when I was 11. In my child hood, I grew up without my father. I’ve always had a lot of anger because of it. I’ve also had to take anger management classes and started smoking pot at age 12 to get rid of my anger because I felt like I was going to hurt people if I didn’t. All much friends had there father. My father had his father. My mother had her father. So as you can see no one around my life understood what I was going through. Seeing my friends fathers helping them with sports or supporting them through hard times would hurt me so deeply. So much so that I often thought of ending my life because of the heart ache I felt towards that. I really wish I was not the way I am. Now I’m 23 and I live with my father. It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life. He tries to treat me like a friend which hurts and all I want from him is an apology. It’s been 23 years and no apology. Instead we argue and disagree on everything. I really wish I just had someone to talk too.... I hate this world. It’s cruel.

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        Anthony 

        7 months ago

        I applaud you for bringing up the subject. it's a sensitive issue but one that should be talked about in a calm rational environment. Paragraph we all have issues with anger especially young males it doesn't matter whether your fatherless or not. I can tell you I was abused by my father and I've discovered that being the oldest is a very difficult task to take the Brunt of it all I have PTSD because of my father the Catholic School and the army I've read a lot about this subject and try to educate myself so I could call myself self educated. I've always been taught to promote peace but actions speak louder than words why can't we all just get along

      • profile image

        7 months ago

        I just feel very lost without my dad I don’t feel whole!

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        bitter-sweet 

        7 months ago

        having a father isn't for everybody. my dad left me when i was 11 and that was the best decision he ever made as a father. 3 kids and 2 lovers that never actually loved. he was abusive. although he had fought in 3 wars and has ptsd his abuse was not right. he has scared me for life he that is all he is now, a fading scare and not a open wound. life has been better since he has stepped out of my life and i am thankful to God for it. my mother takes care of me and my sister and she is our rock. i know not everybody will have a father like mine but just know that if they are not there for you there is a reason why. you will be better off without them

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        A Fatherless Kid like you 

        7 months ago

        Hi All,

        I am 25 years old now. I don't even remember when my father left me. I have faced too all the problems that we discuss here. I run my family now consisting of my mother and grandmother. I want to share the good and bad things about fatherlessness also my accomplishments.

        Bad Things:

        1. I can't share things about my father to my friends

        2. My friends glorify their fathers. That makes me feel ashamed for not having father.

        3. Everyone who knew my situation use to keep on pointing to the fatherlessness all the time. Their advices hurt me

        4. Whenever I fail day to day, even for small things, I think its because i am fatherless

        5. Thinking and crying why we deserve this. I understand everyone have their own problems. Yet, this negative energy tend to take me over.

        6. When someone bullies me emotionally or physically, a part of my mind curses me that i deserve it for being fatherless.

        7. On seeing parents showing their love towards their children, it hurts

        8. Zealous on even small kids who have fathers.

        9. Self abusing all the time in form of self-talk

        10. I can't make close friendship with anyone as they would come to know all these and I dread it.

        Good things:

        1. My mother became more responsible and resilient

        2. She made me resilient too.

        3. After seeing my mother's sacrifice and never give up on me attitude, I got the responsibility

        4. This responsibility saved me from drug usage

        5. Learnt to control my needs financially. No interest in dress, bike or cars anything

        6. Fatherlessness acted as a driving force of my life. There is no way to retreat from anything. I had to be successful.

        My Accomplishments:

        1. I secured very good marks and made my mother and grandmother proud.

        2. I got graduation in engineering. My mother and grandmother are proud of me being an Engineer.

        3. I landed up in a good job with awesome salary. No more financial problems in life.

        My Suggestion:

        I shared almost everything I could. After reading my accomplishments, isn't it feel good ? Yes, but it is undeniable that the path was never easy for anyone including me. It was rough, painful ,filled with tears and shame.

        We have got to manage it. I believe that all fatherless kids should find their resilience. This is something mostly uncommon in kids with their fathers. We are independent to some extent. We know the worst side of life. I always think about my mother. At least we have a hope on our future and can get married to a girl. What about our mother ? We are her only hope. Think about it and work on your success. No excuses should be given. It its painful cry, never think of quitting.

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        7 months ago

        When I was only 3 months old my parents seperated, I didn't see him a lot because he moved back to his country after they broke up. He visitted me sometimes, usually once in a few years. We couldn't understand eachother well because we didn't have any languages in common so I never got to know him. The last time I saw him I was 9 years old. After that he called me once a year on my birthday, but I never saw him again. A few years ago we started emailing for a few months but I wasn't very happy about it because he was never there for me before so I decided to stop emailing him. I was in a restaurant when he sent a horrible text which caused me to have a melt down in public. After that I never had contact with him again. My mother isn't what I'd expect from a mother either. I cry myself to sleep atleast once a week. If you can't take care of your child why get one? A single parent can raise a child, but I can't deal with a selfish mother and an absent father.

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        Destiny 

        7 months ago

        I was born with both of my parents there for me and years later my dad cheated on my mom and left for a better family he was in my life for a few years after the fact until he shut me out. I have manic depression a.k.a Bipolar disorder, and i've attempted suicide many times. My mom has done everything to make me happy again.

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        Andrew 

        8 months ago

        I was born because an affair my father had after he had his first son with his wife. I only see him in pictures of me as a baby then he return to his life and got two other kids after I was born. It is tough not having a father figure. I cried my self to sleep many nights because of the huge void I have. I do not know what is like to have a father. I don't know what is like to have someone to look up to. I have my mother who is as perfect as a mother that you could hope for. But still I don't relate that much to her. I feel something in my life is missing. And that breaks me. I wish I could see him and give him a hug. And talk about all my problems and my accomplishments to him. I wish he could be proud of who I am. I wish he would be there for me when I need him the most. But not everyone has what he wants. I just... Need to fill that void that he has left on me the moment he drifted away from my life. And I feel that is just not possible anymore. Time has passed. I'm turning 20 in a few days. I'm almost a fill grown adult and the void that he left on me must live with me thew rest of my life. And I can't ever fill that void that he has left on me but I'm looking forward to having a family on my own. To do all the things my father couldn't do with me. To be for my children all I ever wanted my father to be to me. But Its never too late. I'm still hoping for him to come one day to visit me and catch up. But I know the damage is done. But one neve knows. We may build a healthy relationship and even hang out. But even he's in another city. I would love seem him one las time before it's too late

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        El Lobosolo 

        8 months ago

        Fatherless. Turned out OK with a few big bumps in the road.

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        hannah 

        8 months ago

        hi my name is hannah im in love with this boy called cole and i cant tell anyone these are even fake names im useing but anyway im more a daddys girl like id rather play footbal with him then paint nails with my mom now im not gay or a lesbian because of that but i want to share the good moments with my dad who i never had and its only effecting me 12 years later thanks for reading this hannah

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        Chris 

        8 months ago

        This article has touched me and I want to tell my story to other people who may not have a father in their lives and are on this page can know they are not alone in the world. I know this pain, I have lived with it all my life. Before I was born my father drugged and raped my mother which is knowledge that would haunt me all my life. My parents divorced when I was only a year old leaving me devoid of understanding the love that spouses have with one another toward their children. Instead I was a rag doll between my parents always in the crossfire when all I ever wanted from them was love. My dad raised me since I was 10 while my mom got to see me on the weekends because the courts unjustly deemed her unfit to take care of a child because of my father manipulating the courts and officers against her story. In 2009 my father was arrested for Sexual assault with the same drug used on my mom all those years ago and taken for 4 years in captivity. I was placed in the justice system for 3 years until I finally got out and my mother got full custody of me. I have not seen or spoken to my father since which has utterly ruined and destroyed my life in all relationships I’ve ever had because I couldn’t tell anyone my story, they would be afraid of me and run away. Its left me broken and angry always leaving me in a position where I don’t know where to turn or who I am because no one in this world could ever understand my pain. When I look on tv and see the families all together with a father figure it makes me enraged for every birthday missed, every Christmas, Every holiday, even my high school graduation and college acceptance. In my teenage years I was suicidal living with my mother because she never fully understood my pain because she wasn’t me. During this time my mom became controlling and insecure with us living alone together invalidating my feelings and making me feel like nothing I felt mattered. I had no support from anyone going through my life causing me to grow up faster than other kids my age. I only have one thing pushing me forward, hate because hate is all I have ever felt for my dad not being in my life. But I use that pain and that hate to fuel my desire to do something worth living for in the world when it comes to my ambition to be an attorney later in my life that nothing can ever stop me from achieving because no judgement or thought can ever amount to what I had suffered without having a dad, But I didn’t let drugs and alcohol win. I stayed clean for all my life because there was no way I could succumb to the sadness and pain, ever, I keep pushing forward because I allowed that pain to make me strong. I made the choice to succeed. Life circumstances don’t define you it’s how you handle them in the now that shapes who a person is no parent not being there can Change that, Thank you for reading my story.

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        Nick 

        8 months ago

        I have a father, but he does not have any presence in my life. We hardly talk and if we do, we probably just say a couple words. I felt alone all my life. I only have a couple people to turn to, but they are now busy with their own lives. I try to stay positive and am hopeful for a better future.

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        Carla 

        9 months ago

        Dear Confused and Tired,

        Don't be so hard on yourself, you probably are just confused and tired - pregnancy does that. I'm sure that you have found your life worthwhile. It seems that you have a stable financial situation and have made a home for yourself even if you didn't really come from a stable house yourself. Thats a real achievement and you did it by yourself. This is something you can do by yourself as well. It might seem hard or even impossible now, but at the moment you can not imagine the kind of love you will have for your child and you will give them a wonderful life. Men break our hearts, disrespect us and leave us to raise children, do we really need men in our lives? You may feel like you missed out on a lot because you did not have a Dad, but it seems you have had a life full of experience and growth, you dont need anybody else to do this, you will be great, you will surprise yourself and one day realise that this was the best thing to ever happen to you, regardless of what baby daddy decides. Women are very supportive, especially of women with children, you will find your world changes and there is more out there for you than you can imagine now. Best of luck with whatever you decide for yourself, you will do great, just like you have always done.

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        Noah Haney 

        9 months ago

        Hi when i was 10 i am 12 now everyday i want my dad to just pull up and give me a big hug but i know that will never happen i can cry and wish but all i know is that i love him so much and my mom got together with someone i hate just people with dads u are luckier than u think to have a dad just remember that

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        Cindy 

        9 months ago

        I grew up without a father and don't even know who he was. I remember at about age 11 crying while looking out my window at night wishing I knew my father. After reading the dreadful stories about abusive fathers, I may have been the lucky one!

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        Jim 

        9 months ago

        Hi Michael,

        I appreciate your article. I'm a father of four; three daughters and one son. I am fortunate enough that my wife and I have a good marriage and together share life and parenting. I know that my role as dad is an important one which I take seriously. Your honest article was both an encouragement to me in what I've been, but also a good reminder of how important it is that I stay legit and involved in my family and kids life. (i.e. - I'm thankful for what we've been, but I'm never out of the woods and can put things in cruise control..just have to keep engaged, humble and courageous)

        I do have a nephew who's been raised without a dad and has experienced most everything (except suicide thankfully, or even attempted suicide) that you mentioned in your article. I benefitted from your article, and am mindful that I may need to be more proactive in going toward him. I've lived outside the area and country for about 26 years and have just moved back to where the rest of my family lives. Reading your article has me thinking about my nephew, and praying about what I could do to be a positive element in his life. I don't feel responsible to fix him, but just wonder about being a positive element in his life right now.

        Thanks

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        Me 

        9 months ago

        I married a man who grow up without a father. We have a son who is the most precious gift from god. As my husband grows older he has become more angry less patient and increasingly disrespectful. I have decided to end our marriage of 18 years because his behavior has become intolerable.

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        Finding Answers 

        9 months ago

        American Destructive Culture

        Valuable Topic (thank you!) -Generalizations inaccurate!

        Look, most people regardless of parents have some of what you have describe - that's life.

        I can introduce you to numerous people with two parents and those with only a father and the same problems.

        In the work place, I'm responsible for training significant numbers of people at all income levels. There weaknesses become evident.

        What's going on ?

        In the last 20 years, massively destructive cultural shift in the America. Over 50% of children born out of wedlock, and 50% of those born to mothers living at or below poverty income levels. Result: No wedlock -no committed relationship and no responsible parents. Even worse, child born in poverty means basic needs of love, care and education are not met.

        Big Key: Be it one parent, two or a gay couple; parents must: be focused, fair, aware & care about what you are doing 24/7, encouraging, disciplinary; provide weekly chores with accountability, say no, be fun, demand the value of the library and a solid education. Finally, weekly positive/flexible understanding of a love for God found at church - where youth programs teach how to be fair, respectful and how to get along with others.

        What can you do? Millions of people have recovered using the ACOA meetings. They go on to live productive meaningful lives. You may not be an ACOA; however, the issues you are facing are in most cases the same.

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        Confused and tired 

        10 months ago

        This totally breaks my heart... First I didn't want to have children because I grew up without a father and I know all the struggle and the pain. I've talked about my problems, I had professional help and I was ready to open up for love. I met this perfect guy... Who I felt deeply in love with... 2years later... I'm pregnant and suddenly he is acting like he isn't that into me anymore. This hurt like hell... Cause it looks like my child is going to be without a father... Just like me. It hurt me so much cause it's my first child, I am supposed to be happy.. But I'm sad thinking about an abortion. I'm over the 30, I have a job and my own house... I can give this child anything he needs... But I wouldn't be able to give him a father's love... I feel like I have failed and I just want to die. Cause no child deserve being born in this situation. I feel like a failed, I failed myself and my unborn child. This is not okay.

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        Gloria 

        10 months ago

        You haven’t robbed your mother of anything. I don’t know your situation, but it sounds like she robbed you of a proper childhood. She chose to bring a child into the world knowing that it’s more difficult without a father. Maybe your father left her, then I’m sorry, but please don’t ever blame yourself for taking things from her. She couldn’t have expected a normal kid graduating college on time and everything if she knew you grew up with something missing. She watched it happen and should have known there was a problem

        I’m a sperm donor child and my father was incredibly abusive to me. He wasn’t fit to have kids and my mom pushed him into it. There’s a reason he was impotent, he was basically senile from when I turned 10, he was in his late 60s, but still strong enough to beat the shit out of me- his words- with every senile anger episode.

        Also he cheated on giants first wife while teaching high school alongside her, with one of his students. The cops said it wasn’t rape but hey, it was the 80s and I wouldn’t put it past him. The girl was his daughters friend. His daughter was in the same class with that girl. There are large gaps in my childhood and I’m afraid he molested me. I don’t remember anything. Sorry, super off topic. I had to get that out, I’ve only told 1 person.

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        Damian 

        11 months ago

        I grew up without a father I've spoken to him 3 times throughout my life twice around the age of 5 or 6 but he was only around to try and get in my mother's pants again and once I saw him when I worked with his best friend at the age of 14 he didn't even wanna give me 2 dollars to get a burrito his best friend gave him hell for that and it wasnt intentional to work with his best friend just happened also I have faced all of these as well I have bad anger I barely passed high school by bringing up 4 f's in the matter of two days not that I'm not smart it's that I didn't put effort into it I've been depressed and had suicidal thoughts I'm 18 now and recently got my self out of my home town where I'd party often and just was heading down a bad dark road but I can honestly say I've changed for the better and still am but I still honestly get depressed out of no where often sometimes the whole day sometimes for just an hour or so

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        Madison  

        11 months ago

        I lost my father a couple of years ago due to cancer, and I can't explain to you in words how bad it hurts. I'd do anything to get him back, and I feel like nothing without a male role model in my life. I feel like I have anger problems, it's like I'll get mad at the littlest things. I try to at least have a decent relationship with my mom, but that never works out. The only thing our family can do is fight now day, and since I'm only 11 I don't know how to take this all in. My older sister told me to look up fatherless children, so I did, and this popped up. I feel I can relate with everything on here, and hope that no one else has to feel it too.

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        Carole 

        11 months ago

        I am a woman who had a father but lost him in a moment when I was 9 yrs old because he sexually molested me. I now know that emotionally detached myself in that moment because I suddenly didn't know who this man was, and I feared him for the rest of my life. Your description of how being fatherless left you feeling, molded your personality sounds exactly like me. You sound like me, almost to a T. Introverted, angry, letting the anger build up to where you explode. You never outgrow that. I haven't, you described how life is perfectly growing up without a father. A father to nurture you, love you, guide you thru adolescence. Life has always been a struggle for me in the exact same way you described it. And like you, my "friends" are what have been my safety net all my life. But I still and will always struggle with depression, and trust issues, and relationship issues. I've divorced, I've never had children. I could never make the decision to want to have children, I believe because I had such a horrible childhood experience, I just could never get past relating being a child in this world to something "negative" and "difficult". I didn't want to bring in a child to possibly suffer what I had. No, I guess I decided "subconsciously" to end it with me. When you said, "I've spent nearly all my life containing myself ". I'm not a writer, so you expressed in writing what I couldn't. Thank you for sharing your story.

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        l. scott 

        11 months ago

        Perhaps you grew up without a father because your father had these very same traits and lack of innate or learned coping skills.

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        11 months ago

        I grew up without a father and I've always felt a gap in my life. I never had any male role models in my life and it can be devastating. I don't want children If I may end up doing the same to them.

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        mmintiens@skynet.be 

        11 months ago

        Paradoxically , I always have wished I should have been an orphan or, to loose my parent early in my childhood ... At home, there was absolutely no love around at all, despite an apparently normal family and family life with three kids ... I never had or might have any confidential conversation neither with any of my parents, nor any of my brothers. Every try ended in a betrayal. Though the parents, dad and mom, looked satisfied and proud about their family !!!

        This makes I 'm always wondering why the absence of parents (and pecurlarly unloving parents) is considered as an handicap ? Isn'it a lesser brake on development to have no than having some of that kind of unloving or indifferent ones (which I am convinced, must be many) ?

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        Not that simple 

        12 months ago

        We, all are touched by this fatherless problem, in some way or another, since we know first hand what it feels like, how are we trying to change this?

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        moeketsi 

        12 months ago

        i grew up without a father since birth.It is hard for me to open it to anyone.I`m a fist year varsity student i need help.

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        James 

        12 months ago

        My parents split in the 50s, my pop was a drunkard, my mom had to raise us on her own. My younger brother myself and my older sister. Some times our father would come around to visit and our mum would turn on us and say if we love him why don't we go and live with him. Kids dont understand relationships or where the next buck is coming from. My mom tried to have a relationship with me that wasnt all that healthy. It greatly embaressed me, when she told all her friends that i was a good kisser. I was'nt doing well in school, I never did homework as there wasn't anyone at home to help me. I covered up the shakey home life I had. I was angry with both of my parents and still am at 64.

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        Greg H. 

        12 months ago

        Typically when children grow up fatherless we may naturally think it's due to the father choosing to avoid his paternal responsibilities in favor of filling his life with selfish and hedonistic pursuits. I'm here to say that this not always the case. In my personal story, I've been driven away from having an active, present role in my son's life due to his mother's desire to have him all to herself.

        I set up a beautiful nursery and home for him but just before he was to be born his mother decided to take him and go live with her parents. My son is now nearly 5 months old and I've never spent a single overnight with him. His mother has no intentions to ever leave her parents (she is 37) and give him the appropriate family life of a loving mother and father that he deserves. They take the baby out of state to their vacation home for weeks at a time and I barely see my son at all. From the beginning I have always wanted to be a consistent and nurturing father, there for my son each and every day. However, his mother and her parents have decided to make him their own and have severely alienated me in the process.

        There are so many reasons why a father may not be a regular part of their child's life. I have been heartbroken over the situation I'm in. All I ever wanted was to be a father and I've been denied that because of the psychological issues of the mother to my son.

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        soshamoore 

        14 months ago

        hi everyone I was just reading this and it touched me .

        I looked up a 1 year old growing up with out a father I am a single mother who has a young son and has no father or should i say left out of state and lives else where yes we could send out child back and forth and everything else but as a mother of 1 its hard to sit and let a man get your child and has lost lots of trust from you and you ask of him to build the trust and he can have him he has to learn to be a fatuer away from his son before his son comes in front of him

        but any way ..

        it hurts to know that maybe one day the man may never try or my son will grow up most of his life with no father figure and really don't have a choice about it or a say so till he gets a lottle older it hurts me so nuch every day i cry I talk yo my young child and let him know every day mommy loves him and mommy will do her best by her self taking care of him it hurts me cuz i know as a woman I won't be able to teach my son everything it hurts me so so much I just wish and hope any woman who stop and read this or even my long text that you stay strong no matter what and another woman is out here with the sane hurt the same tears the same feeling trying and doing what she knows best.. Thank You and this made me look at things different and ill try my best to alter my life to try and change some of the things that was said above that could happen

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        mom 

        14 months ago

        This article really touched my heart and I appreciated it so much. So much awesome insight here. I grew up fatherless, and have fought to make sure my son has kept his. Life doesn't always go as planned.

        God bless everyone on their path, and if we're able, lets help to fill the void of other young men/women who spend a lifetime feeling unwanted.

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        Naomy Nyoro 

        15 months ago

        Growing up without a father makes people make unreasonable decisions that are of rage. If your dad left you some kids think of revenge. If you are out there in such a situation don't let not your aim to prove to him your worth for you are more valuable than the world for you have a father that's GOD. Don't waste your time proving your worth let the world know that you are excellency . Don't let your child go through the same situation or another child be responsible for the world security you can do this if you are reading this.

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        Just a Sad Girl 

        15 months ago

        i lost my dad in 2015 not knowing him because of a stupid car crash and just im so mad because eventually i have to explain to people and this one girl always makes jokes about me not having a dad. And she laughs and i just shrug it off and play like i dont care, but just like the song mockingbird im sad and i want to cry behind my eyes even when i smile even when i laugh. and im just so mad and upset and i really just wanna sit home alone and i cant open up top people about sitting in my roo m at night crying because i dont want them to lookat me different and i have photos ofhim and i talk to the pictures and i think about if he wouldve loved me and ive started to see things and all i want to do is just. talk to him.. sorry for the rant

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        friend 

        15 months ago

        Thank you--I am pleased you are sober as a priest and I too learned how life is not fair.

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        RL 

        15 months ago

        Hi Everyone,

        I'm writing as a young adult who has known his dad for most of his life. It's terrifying being without him for over a year, but what matters is that you have support from your family (I don't normally share this with my friends at school). This article defines what people like us will be when they grow up- and that is a terrible way of looking at things in the midst of such a deep psychological scar. My advice for all the other kids and mothers in my struggle is this: we are the ones who define who we are. Sure, I get more inexplicably angry and frustrated at my friends without a moments notice. But these things are out of my control. Since last year, I have continuously pushed myself to do even better at school than the years before- I know that this is what my dad would have wanted. I've been getting A's in my honors classes, and although it was hard to find motivation, I just think: what would he want for me? What would he want for my future? Look at this loss as an opportunity to succeed; reverse the mindset imposed by the article. I have since pushed myself to run every day and I am on track to run a sub-20 minute 5K. Knowing that I have that much less to lose makes everything bearable for me. Sure, there are lots of memories and flashbacks that will make you cry, but either you stand and take the hits or fall and quit. In addition to balancing my academics and athletics, I have picked up gaming as a hobby to clear my mind. It's a great escape for me, and for you, this might be meditation or therapy. A life without my best friend is a bit grueling for 15 year olds like me, but knowing that there are others like me is very encouraging and motivating for me.

        To all the other victims of fatherlessness, stay strong and always be there for your mother. Really. They will always have your back when you need them. And to all the widows, your kids really do think that you're the strongest person alive, so always be there for them and prove them right.

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        Alfonso Soberanes 

        15 months ago

        My father was never around. Last time I seen him was when I was at the age of 3 or 4 but now that I am older I just get curiousity of how his character is like. Hopefully some day I get to know him in person and actually thank him for not being in my life because I probably wouldn't have come to be how I am positively motivational onto others as I am now. When the time comes if it comes, and if I have to I will take care of my father once he gets older and doesn't have anyone to help him. I just don't find the logic in hating my father for not being in my life. We all have flaws and are not perfect. Yeah he wasn't in my life so what, there's no excuse for one to not live our life's to our fullest potential.

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        AREC14 

        15 months ago

        dealing with the fact that my husband may not be a part of my life anymore due to drugs. we have two little girls 3 1/2 and 9 months... I'm am scared beyond anything that this is going to have negative ramifications for their future... I know life it's always the smoothest climb. I am a teacher, a respected member of society with no background in this life. It touches everyone and anyone. I need help. I need to know my daughters can grow up and be successful while I fight everyday for them.

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        Vicky 

        15 months ago

        Iren, your comments give me hope for my son who's never met his dad. I worry about him although he's only 3 now. I wish he had a great dad but I'm giving him all I can. I he too can focus on the positives. If anyone has any advice for the single mom, dos and don't, please share. I hope those of you who suffer will find peace and love and hapiness. You deserve it!

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        0Boy1 

        15 months ago

        Im fatherless, never knew him, and it makes me feel really alone and helpless when researching "daddy issues " online because hardly anything helpful appears online. It feels like no professionals are working or caring for the scarred fatherless children and teens out there. Its a major issue and getting to be more and more common, yet nobody seems to have a straightforward plan to help people with their daddy issues. It's just frustrating and I wanted to share.

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        Been there 

        15 months ago

        Kobus du plooy,

        I also had problems that I believe stemmed from growing up without a father.

        If there's one thing I can recommend to you or anyone in our shoes.....it would be to LIFT.

        Start hitting the gym & lifting weights. I did this & suddenly I began to love myself & it gave me the support I've needed all these years.

        After I started working out, I began to care about my body so in return I started to eat & drink healthier, getting my necessary amount of sleep. I gave up a lot of addictive habits once I picked up working out. Trust me on this one.

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        Harry 

        15 months ago

        I'm 35, have very few friends, am hardly social, work as a cleaner, dropped out school and an apprenticeship, have little interest in life and have almost no contact with the rest of my family.

        I'm like a boat out at sea with no motor, no sails or no oars. Just there, slowly drifting through life. Waiting to wake up from this dream, hopefully having developed something of myself.

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        Ronan 

        16 months ago

        Hi guys

        i'm just letting you all know that i have grew up all my life without knowing my dad and i don't feel like i have any of these issues. I don't have depression, i don't have anger issues and i am definitely not aggressive.

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        Kobus du plooy 

        16 months ago

        Hi guys,i never do this stuff.... Just feels like i need to share my story as well. I can relate to alot of not just the articles but comments as well....So i grew up without an dad i had numerous step dads thy come and went but my mother was beaten up by not just my father he was an SA champ boxer back in the day so he broke her nose twice, she always told me this storys of my father being a bad man thy called him "devil" because of his boxing, that was his nickname in the ring. But as the years go by i was always curious who my dad was obviously.. I grew so much hate for any man who lifted his hands to a woman thanks to all the low lifes my mother used to date, i had one wish and that was to become 18 so i could kick the living shit out of anyone who dares lift there hands to a woman doesn't matter how much i hate that woman per say i would disintegrate that male person.. I saw my dad once in my entire life and he was a good man he loved me so much just for that week but my hate and anger towards my dad would never subside.. When i saw him i saw him beating the woman i carried close to my heart my mother.. But yeah i fucked out completely long story short drug abuse used alot of drugs and still am i use weed cause it calms me down and distracts my mind i never finished high school cause we kept on moving around we had nothing i stayed at a bar with my mom for a good 12 years of my life and clearly if you read this post you can see i didn't finish school, im 20 years old but i feel 4 0 cause if been throughout so much shit in my life.. So yeah that screwed up my entire life and im unemployed and my life looks really bad i don't know where life is taking me.. Im depressed if im alone im starting to get alot of suicidal thoughts but thats been keeping me up and running all this time and giving me hope is my real father in fact the father of all of us our creater our molder our reason for opening our eyes in the morning our almighty God.. I can seek comfort by him and i can cry and talk to him without any judgement or pitty.. I know the lord wouldn't have put me on this earth if i was to just fade away... But anyhow i became 18 and i smoked every single guy touching my mom and 2 sisters now 20 and i put my step dad in the hospital foe choking my sister i broke 3of his ribs and broke his bridge... Really not proud of what i did but i grew up in that mind set and im trying to change for the best but theres a struggle between these emotions and i guese that gives me a split personality... But i can relate with the silent anger issue cause im a quiet person in general... But thanks for reading this... And if its of any help for youngh people always try and make the best of youre life every opportunity you get RUN JUMP AND GRAB A HOLD! cause there's some people that don't have that opportunities to make a success of them self.. Be grateful, be grateful for even the smallest things in life.. God bless you all

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        Bb 

        17 months ago

        I grew up with a big secret around me. My mom and step dad briefly separated and during this time I was conceived and she lied that she didn't have sex with anyone else during this time. I had no clue until I was 25 when I asked my step dad if he was my real father. He firmly said no and he knew it the day I was born. Wow what a shock. I've been living with this emotional hemotoma for the last 30 years. Finally did DNA tests to confirm in 2012. My mom has total amnesia so I have no clue who my real dad is. Wish there was some support groups out there for something like this. Even after all this time it's still very difficult as far as having confidence , dealing with shame, trying to be a good father myself etc.

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        bernie 

        17 months ago

        Iren Pronk you win the chocolates,what a superb piece you 've written here ,you are an example of humble greatness and a guiding light to anyone who has been dealt a cruel card of fatherlessness.One thing l would like to add here also is yes there's there is a huge number of dead beat dad's unfortunately in this world in which all good parents and society in general acknowledge and condem and so rightly so but çould l remind everyone here that there are huge numbers also of loving dads +moms that have and are being denied the chance of giving their kids of all ages the love they hold for them by the actions of alienating parents through either lies,manipulation and money ,this l know as lve gad 13 years of wait Ing and wanting for my 4 precious girls to come back into my life even though it wasnt l that had the affairs or chose to leave the family unit which was my world .For further understanding of this area of child abuse google "Parential Alienation".

        Lets all learn to put kids before our own selfessness as they have no say in the matter but we so called adults do.

      • profile image

        Dnr 

        17 months ago

        I myself can relate to this throughout my teens I attempted suicide many times because I didn't have a father today not so much but I'm still greatly sad and depressed that I never had an old man to guide and protect from the horrors of the world growing up

      • profile image

        Jewels 

        17 months ago

        @framcisco I don't even have to type my story. I can relate to yours

      • profile image

        Vickie 

        18 months ago

        I grew up not knowing my dad because he passed away when I was 20 months old and have had a difficult time most of my life and have tried to find a father figure most of my life and now that I am grown I feel bad about still trying to find a father figure. I wish I could let it go but for some reason it still haunts me. I am 65 years old and it bothers me that I still feel

      • profile image

        Francisco 

        18 months ago

        All of this I have and still am experiencing. I grew up in a "single parent home" with a stepdad but single parent home indeed. He was an alcoholic stepdad who would come home every night and beat my mom senseless in front of me and my two other siblings who were too scared and weak to even defend her. We were victims of his atrocious and horrendous beatings. I remember being labeled as the "devil" by him because I would break many things in the house (kids do that, it's normal) but he didn't understand that. Him and my mom would argue , scream at each other constantly and he would take it out on us. To give some background info my mom was a small fragile 5 foot 1 woman , we are Mexican and she was too scared at that time to even report him to the police because she was scared of deportation. We grew up extremely poor, I had to steal toys and even go to bed hungry because sometimes there wasn't enough food to eat. I would despise coming home because I knew he would be there or even if he wasn't whenever I heard the door lock being opened me and my siblings would anxiously scramble about and try to hide. I used to get punched, beat with belts, wires, hangers, smacked for every little thing. My mom "loved" him too much to even see the harm that she was putting herself and us through (something I can never be mad at her for because she was also a victim). I never had a childhood, instead of playing with toys I would be locked in a cold dark room doing 5 digit multiplication problems because "he" believed that I should be studying and doing anything remotely academic. I grew up bullied in school, insecure of myself, and having to deal with it all over again at home. My mom worked every day and I would always be in the hand of a babysitter until she could pick us up from there and take us home to where I believed was "hell". Fast forward years later. In high school I had severe addiction to drugs, ecstasy, molly, coke, over the counter prescription cough medication, acid, and recently I've had an addiction with oxycodone. Anything that could remotely distort reality and make me escape it all, hell. Luckily I dropped it all and started working out and that eventually became an outlet for my anger. Fast forward more years and now I'm 22 but the effects have already taken a toll on me. I'm now an attractive young man, who is in great shape, can be seen as a "perfect masculine figure" but I'm still insecure. I have had problems with relationships because I tend to get angry easily , controlling, and jealous. I get mood swings from time to time and sometimes I get periods of just wanting to escape everything and deleting my social media accounts and just wanting to be left alone, working out, not talking to anyone. I'm a huge procrastinator, I consider myself weak because I'm emotionally unstable and am a ticking time bomb because i don't tend to show my anger but once it comes out it's extremely volatile and I become a walking bomb. Yes one does have a choice and can't blame other for their failures but once it's been conditioned in your mind for your whole life, so many fucked up factors that just make you a shit being just wanting to end your life as the days go on it's hard to just say "man up" or "you can get out of this mindset if you think more positive" if it were that easy I wouldn't be writing this. Also for me not having any decent male figure in my life has also been trouble finding out my sexuality because it took the outside world to teach me what it was to be a "man". I'm in college, I have laid off the drugs, I still workout and workout religiously because to me that's therapy and the only thing keeping me sane. I work, I do everything by the books, haven't had any encounter with law enforcement but I'm still emotionally unstable. I have problems being intimate with others and I tend to break away from people who tend to show me that I'm not the shit being that I think I am. For some odd reason I dwell deeply in the past and it might sound weird but I actually like being hurt now, physically and emotionally because it gives me that drive to just excel and push myself even harder even if it means deteriorating my own self. The show goes on though. Growing up fatherless, never meeting him has impacted me a lot, all I have is hate and pity for that man (who is now dead since 2009, hit and run accident) so I'll never get the chance to tell him all of this. Thank you to anyone who has read this. Takes a huge load off of me at 2:26 in the morning. Thank you.

      • Iren Pronk profile image

        Gerard Spong 

        18 months ago

        So what? I grew up without a father too - but in the end we can decide how we let the situation affect us. Within every situation, we face a choice on how we let it affect us.

        The choice is simple. You don't let it affect you negatively, let it make you stronger. If nobody taught you how to find the right woman? Go out there and learn how to talk to them and find what type of girl makes you happy, just to name one example. Or find a friend who knows it better than you do. There you go, you are encouraged at a younger age to learn about life yourself. I want to emphasize: yourself. We are encouraged to become more self-reliant at a younger age, and therefore become more equipped to find solutions to problems we face ourselves.

        My point is: that in our fatherlessness, we can find strength. We are put in a position where we are forced to find out about life for ourselves. Just do it and stop the self-pity. Learning about life yourself will probably equip you with a more unique and original view of life compared to others. Embrace it. Own it. Share it. Test it. Refine it if you feel like it. Or not. Who cares, you choose.

        The problem with the article you just mentioned is that it sets us up for failure, not for more happiness in life. We have to redefine the fatherless household narrative to a more positive one. For our own good.

        More likely to commit suicide? Yes, oh that's so true! I've thought about it plenty of times when faced with huge setbacks and with no-one to talk about it. What did this give me? Wisdom. I was forced to reflect and find a solution myself, I looked for additional sources of advice, books, the internet or from other role models I admire. Because I had no father to teach me how to deal with setbacks. I was forced to learn how to deal with huge setbacks and blows myself, I had to learn it myself and now I can teach my peers how to deal with theirs. Great practice to become a good father yourself. Boom.

        With all respect: eliminate the word suicide from your vocabulary, rise above any situation you face and be reflective enough to understand what it is that you miss to properly deal with the situation and go out and get it. Do things your way. It's the right way. Follow your gut. Your way might be a way ton of others need that their fathers couldn't give them. Again, we can find strength here, an asset we are encouraged to develop.

        Ignore the article you just read. Don't let random articles online give you random panic attacks. This is confirmation bias in action. We start looking for ways to reaffirm that fact. To give you an example:

        More likely to use drugs.

        "Oh no, that's so true, I was addicted to cannabis at the age of 14 and sold it myself at 15. That's so true, I am definitely to use more drugs in the future. Totally. Let's get some cocaine!"

        In this particular case, we are making ourselves believe, that indeed, we are more susceptible to drug addiction. This is why I think we must make a collective effort to redefine the fatherless household narrative. Did you know Obama grew up without a father? I wonder how his fatherlessness made him who he is today.

        In order to shape our future, we must look for our past to understand the present. I am more mature now and I understand why I did what I did. And I forgive myself, and I looked at what unique characteristics each life event gave me, what unique coping mechanisms it forced me to develop and now I have the luxury to choose how I can apply them in other areas of my life.

        Do we continue to let our fatherlessness define us? No! Let it make you unique, original, better attuned with your own emotions, a more sociable person, a quicker and better learner, a more helpful person to your friends. Anything you want it to be.

        Because in our position without a role model, without any male guidance, we have the luxury to find our own role model, we have the luxury to guide ourselves. Because, when we miss our father and ask ourselves, what should I do now dad? This is where we find ourselves. Our strength.

        We are mature now, we understand what's going on. So do we continue to let it shape us for the worse, or for the good. The choice is ours. What an awesome choice to have. Choose right.

      • profile image

        Leonard 

        18 months ago

        What I would love to see is an article that compares the effects of growing up without a father in different races versus cultures.

      • Haider Mama profile image

        Haider 

        18 months ago from Melbourne

        I wouldn't say permanently but yes growing up with a single parent does alter your brain.

      • profile image

        meine komische welpe 

        20 months ago

        Yep, I got all these symptoms, I'm 48 and grew up without a dad. Fortunately for you, you could at least date. I've had decade long dry spells. I'm good looking, high IQ, but just completely hostile to women. I have never been able to overcome it, no matter how much therapy I go through, how much exercise, self-exploration. I am just hostile to women I find attractive. I can't stand even looking at them. My sister is fucked up in the head too.

      • profile image

        Mandy 

        20 months ago

        Thanks for an interesting article as I struggle with a 10 year old boy whose father lives states away and ignores him. Luckily, he has wonderful family and a step-dad to help guide him. The holidays and his birthday are still difficult for him. :(

      • Michael Kismet profile imageAUTHOR

        Michael Kismet 

        21 months ago from Northern California

        Thank you for your comments Chuck, they are much appreciated. It is rare that I learn so much from the comment section, of one of my articles. But every thing you shared makes total sense, and it is personally very thought-provoking. When it is time for me to be a Father, I'll make sure to incorporate what you taught me here today.

        Thank you again Chuck, I am deeply humbled.

      • Chuck Bluestein profile image

        Chuck Bluestein 

        21 months ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

        Then at age 10 I read Psycho-Cybernetics and got into self-improvement. The author was a plastic surgeon and made ugly women beautiful looking. The thing was that they still felt ugly. So he did a lot of experiments on feedback. He found that if you told school children that they were smart, they did better in school. If they were told that they were stupid then they got lower marks in school. You have heard of nature versus nurture.

        The IQ of your children is up to the science of you and your wife's genes. Anger and emotional intelligence is up to how you and your wife act. Children learn by imitation. If you and your wife never get angry, your children will never get angry. In the Yequana village (in book Continuum Concept) the children were raised with attachment parenting. The children never got angry and neither did adults. With meditation it does not matter where you are at. Everyone has a chance of becoming perfect. Not doing perfect things but feeling perfect peace, endless love and joy unparalleled all the time.

      • Chuck Bluestein profile image

        Chuck Bluestein 

        21 months ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

        This was a very good subject and article. My cousins consider my not having a father to be great luck or fortune. My grandfather struggled with his own businesses while his children grew up. But he retired wealthy. When my mother divorced my father, my grandfather decided to be like a father to my brother and I so I grew up wealthy and with a retired person taking care of us. That was so great that I had a better childhood than Charles, Prince of Wales. His sons are Prince William and Prince Harry.

        Then my mother did something that defined who I was. She took my brother and I to the library every 3 weeks (longer than that & you are fined). My brother & mother read fiction and did not learn. I only read non-fiction and learned about insects, rocks & minerals and snakes. We stayed all day at the library and left with about 10 books each.

      • ladyguitarpicker profile image

        stella vadakin 

        3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

        Hi, you have written a very useful hub. You said everything in your sentence that you are the one that decides. I have a great believe in Jesus and he brings me where I need to be. Christ can help you over come anything. Stella Voted up and sharing.

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