Did Not Having a Dad Ruin My Life?

Not sure where to begin. I am a middle aged man who has never had or even known the name of my birth father. My mother, for whatever reason, refuses to tell me who he was, even after 40 years. As I get older I begin to wonder how that mystery mans genes will affect me. Did he suffer from diseases or conditions that are passed on in family lines? Did he die of a heart attack or stroke at an early age? is there some preventative measure I could take, but don't know about?

Did he even know I existed???

I have pressed my mother for decades but all she would tell me is he was a big guy like me and that it might have been a result of a one night stand......

Early in my childhood my mother became a lesbian (I know it is not supposed to be a choice to be gay, but apparently it was for her, as she is no longer gay) This confused the crap right out of me and actually caused me a lot of personal problems and grief. Not with my mom, but 30 years ago if anyone had found out I was the child of a gay parent I would have been physically and mentally abused on a regular basis. I learned very quickly how to lie and cover up the reality of my life. Though uncomfortable then, it has not been a major issue in my life, other than teaching me dishonesty and shame at a very early age as I was never really helped with thie situation or the emotions I was experiencing. As the only male member of my family (to this day) I had to figure everything out myself.

But the daddy issue still bothers me. Much more now that I am a dad myself. I can see how my interaction with my daughter is helping to mould her personality and make her into a little version of myself and her mother, my wife. Even though she is a beautiful little girl I can see the difference having a male influence is having on her and the positive things it brings. But then I feel sad because I never had that input myself. Even though my mother loved me, I was still a seperate entity in my own family as "men were evil" the the highly feminist and strong willed lesbians of the 70's and 80's. I was taught that my sex was "bad" and not to be trusted.

Now I lose sleep at night wondering how different my life would have been had I had a father figure, even a seperated or divorced one, to give me a second opinion that didn't make me feel my own penis was a liability and something to be ashamed of. I grew up poor and with little to no support. At the age of 12 I beagn working everyday after school to "pay my way" meaning, if I wanted new clothes or books for school, as a man I HAD to go out and earn that money myself. At 15 I was expected to pay rent to live in my mothers house, so I moved out on my own and became a man too quickly. I never had the opportunity to get a secondary education and due to the hard facts of life (buying food and paying rent) I never even got to finish high school. After years and decades of alcohol and drug abuse, I never really found myself and as a result stayed obese, high and lonely 80% of my adult life.

Now my life is changed. I have a loving wife and amazing little daughter who are the light and joy of my life. I know every aspect of their lives and treasure it. However, I still have that dark hole inside myself which has never been filled and it does drag me down sometimes. I can't stop thinking about how much better and happy my life could have been had I had another parent with whom to share and grow. Ostracized by the females in my own family I felt useless and worthless, so much so that I believe I have suffered self-fullfilling prophecy and bacame what my family told me I was.

Now I am 10,000km away from home. My mother and sister, out of greed and selfishness were invited to my new home overseas to meet my family here. They took the opportunity to come and try to scare my wife into leaving me, in the hopes I would become a broken man, and end up back with them to take care of all the "man" jobs they no longer have me around to do. They told my wife blatant lies about prison time I NEVER ever served (never even been arrested!) told her I was a wife beater, alcoholic and hard drug addict in the hopes she would run away.

Thankfully, the angel who is my wife knew the truth. Though we have only been together for 5 years, she knows the kind of man and father I am, and she was outraged. Her support has meant so much to me. But to have those evil women try so hard to take away the one light in my life has crushed me. Now I consider myself an orphan, never a father and the poor excuse for a family I did have in my home country I never want to see again.

I pray and wish every day I could at least even find out the name of the man who was my father, so I might at least say hi and learn about him and thus, myself. I will continue to be the best father and husband I can and I enjoy my family life, but something deep inside is aching so badly to know my dad.

I know theres nothing I can do, but it does help a little bit to get it all out. I may not have had a dad, or even a supportive family, but I know in my heart I am a good man and my suffering of years gone by only makes me stronger.

Don't suppose there are any nice older men out there looking to adopt a 40 year old kid who has never had a dad?


sirant sirant
6 Responses Feb 27, 2009

This is both sad and encouraging you're a great dad and husband and despite all odds you done this. I always try and find a bit of dad here and bit of dad there, perhaps as advice, as a shared story in passers by. It's too risky to put all your emotions in one basket! Your mother and sister don't deserve you, even if all those things they had said were true, they had no right to interfere in your new life.

You could try volunteering for an elder services place like a senior center or a meals on wheels type of place. You'll have the opportunity to get to know people of your parents ages, some of whom my want someone with the time to talk to them and listen to their stories and regrets. I don't know the name of my father but my mother was supportive and did teach me that sometimes you have to make your own family. When one of her close friends died leaving an elderly mother alone without a relation in the world she choose to be the family his mother needed.

I never once knew my father in my life and i am 20 years old every time i think about it i want to cry because seeing my brothers have there real father there for them makes me cry because i want to have a good relationship with my father. i just hope one day he realizes that he missed out something special:(

man i know your pain... im still young ... 14 yr old... never knew my dad and i lived with him for about 1 year 1/2 but never got to know him... he took his gf over me idk why? but i got kicked out of his house... now i live with my mom and a step dad that trys to take care of the family.. but isnt around to come and talk to me?... we all need a father figure in life to complete man...

Is there anyone else who might know your father's identity? I can't imagine going thru this lfe without my daddy. Life gives us a rise every now and then....but you can overcome it. Be the father to your daughter that you never had. Good luck and God bless.

... difficult one. I can sort of relate to what you are saying. My story is slightly different though. I was brought up by my mum, my dad and her split when I was a baby. I don't ever remember them being together. Although I occasionally saw my dad and he tried to support me financially it was all a bit mad. My parents never agreed on anything and I was always caught in the middle. Anyway when I was 17 yrs old I left to go to another country to live with my sister. I never saw my dad after that for ten years and when I did he just demanded stuff from me. It was so hurtful because I had all these dreams about what it would be like to have a 'real' dad and I thought now I was grown up we could bulid a real father daughter relationship. My mother and I on the other hand were never close, she had been married 3times and my sister, brother and I were just dragged along with whatever was going on with her chaotic life. She was and still is self-absorbed and very bitter about how her life turned out. And of cause she always took it out on us the kids. Anyway to cut a very long story short I grew up with no parents, the parents I have were often a source of harm rather than nuturing parents. I struggled with all this for a long time because I just wanted to be 'normal' and really wanted parents. <br />
What I learnt was knowing who your parents are is not always the best thing and sometimes it is actually harmful. Yes my life would have been different if had a relationship with my dad but he wasn't there for me. I realise as an adult I have the power to shape who I am. I learnt to get healing for what my parents did or didn't do right by seeking help. I had therapy and it helped me realise that even if I did not really have a father I could still function beautifully in the world and get my love from other people. We cannot choose where or who we born to. BUT we can as adults seek help to heal the missing parts and find true fulfillment as you have with your wife. You are clearly a good father and you need to concentrate on that, never mind the past. I understand that not knowing who your dad must be terrible, but remember 'all that glitters is not gold' .<br />
In terms of health inheritance, just eat healthy, exercise and take good care of your body. Thats all we can do to maximise our health.<br />
I wish you and your family well, stay strong and don't let the past spoil your beautiful present. Love the family you do have but keep them at a distance if they threaten your life with your wife and daughter.<br />
God bless.