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I Am Writing a Collective Memoir About Daughters of Absentee Fathers

My father abandoned me when I was 12. I am writing a collective memoir of other women's stories about their absentee fathers. I'm interested in hearing stories of women who have defied statistics-- women who have risen above the abuse and neglect they lived through and are not in abusive relationships, a drug abuse lifestyle, etc. Women over 18, college graduates, successful businesswomen, stay at home moms with supportive husbands, etc who are willing to share their story, please contact me.

Here is my story:

My parents were never married. They had my brother when they were around 30 years old and my twin sister and I 15 months later. Our father moved out when I was 3 to a larger town about 30 miles away. They had split custody of us, and he soon found another woman with two children around our ages who he eventually married.

The three of us did not get along well with our father for most of our childhood. He was never physically or sexually abusive; instead, he emotionally abused us by constantly speaking ill of our mother, among other ways. Also, he was racist and used his Christian beliefs as a weapon against us because our mother raised us in a secular home.

At age 12, I got in an argument with him about my mother's new boyfriend-- my father got angry that I was talking about him. During the argument, I told him that I didn't want to talk to him ever again. He took my words to heart and never spoke to me again. He continued a relationship with my brother and sister and he became a taboo subject-- he drove a rift in between myself and my siblings. My sister got in a similarly petty argument on our 16th birthday and he cut off communication with her as well. Our brother talks to him every now and then, but my father will disappear for about a year at a time. My sister and I have written letters and e-mails with no response.

The hardest part of our situation is that our father, his wife and her adult children live seven miles from us. My mom and step-dad run into him at the store often, and there are certain stores and areas of town we don't go to because we're afraid we'll have an awkward meeting. Our step-siblings have two different fathers who are also absentee and they are high school drop-outs, drug users and one is a teenage parent. My siblings and I are in college on the dean's list, moving into successful careers, even though life with a single mother was hard and we lived in poverty. I guess that proves we were better off without him as a daily presence in our lives.

It is our choice as adults to make our own happiness. Our family is only our family as long as we wish them to be-- even if I try to get in touch with my father again and start our relationship again, I will never please him. People are in your life for a reason, and likewise, people leave your life for a reason. If he didn't care enough to stick around during your adolescence, you don't deserve to have sleepless nights, tracking him down and asking him to love you.

whatwehavelost whatwehavelost 18-21, F 8 Responses Jun 4, 2009

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I too am writing a paper on this subject because it is something that has affected me throughout life but never really realized it until recently. Now that I am 32 and a mother of two beautiful daughters myself I am very aware of how many of my decisions in life may have been different if I had a father in my life. I dont want my daughters to ever suffer or make some of the mistakes Ive made throughout the years.

Mine left my mother when she was pregnant for me :( Then I found out he died when I was 12. Message me if you'd like to hear my story. Thanks for sharing.

I know that I'm commenting about this quite a bit after you posted it, and I apologize. However, if you're writing a book, you may interested in my story. My parents got divorced when I was three months old, after being married for ten years. Throughout my childhood up to high school, I had a good relationship with both parents. This isn't to say that there weren't the occasional rough patches or arguments, but for the most part life was good. After graduating and pursuing my college education things started to get crazy. Long story short, my father actually abandoned me as an 18 year old college student. There's much more I can tell you, but this is just the simplified, straight facts story!

Hi,

I could relate to your story. My father left the home when I was between two to three years old to start a new life. I had to grieve this loss. I went on to college and the work world. I would like to share my story. Please feel free to contact me.

Hi I have had a similar story in the seance that my father lived a few miles away and on very rare occasion i would see him but he never knew who i was as he hadn't seen me since i was 3, i however knew who he was because people would point him out to me, Please read my story I would love your thoughts.

Thank you so much for sharing that story. My situation is pretty similar and I let it get to me a lot, even though I know I shouldn't let it get to me because he's not worth it. I do not let it dominate my life though. I am finishing my bachelor's degree in university, have loads of friends, party a lot... I am happy.



But there will always be that small part inside of me that's still missing him and is so angry with him for 'dealing with us' like that.



Feel free to read and use my story for your memoir and to ask me more questions about my story,

I was very interested to read your entry and learn about your collective memoir project. Having been raised by a single mom after my father abandoned her(shortly after my birth, I never even met him, and, needless to say , no contact or support of any kind),I've always been bothered by the statistics thrown around about the terrible fate awaiting children of absent fathers... usually by individuals or groups with a political or religious axe to grind. Obviously it is harder to grow up in a single parent situation; however, if one is able to overcome the pitfalls (and some unfortunately don't , and become "statistics") I believe, like any form of adversity , it can actually strengthen one's character in some ways. The majority of people who grow up in fatherless families are normal productive citizens.... Like you, despite financial hardship and and assorted bumps in the road, I managed to graduate from college near the top of my class, travel , stay married to the same man for a quarter century , and raise two great kids, all while avoiding prison, addiction, dependency on public aid, etc, etc. I'm happy to share my experiences. Kids in this situation need inspiration and hope. Thank you for posting your story!

I wonder if you'd share some insights with me, concerning my own abandonment issue... only I was the abandoner. I thought then, it was for the best reason, and i still do, but there are always those 'thoughts'; check out my story about it. Leave a comment, if you would...