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      « Email questions | Main | How do you find happiness when you only feel numb? »

      Without a father I feel like all love is lost.

      Without a father I feel like all love is lost.  Imagine never knowing your dad cuz he died before you was born.  Seeing all the girls with their dads on Father’s Day.  I’ve lived with it my whole life and still don’t know how to handle it.  I go to his grave and just cry, what do I do?  Who do I blame?  Why does this have to happen to me?  All I do is cry when our song comes on.  How would you deal with my situation?!!!! Please help me!!!!


      Firstly, please understand how much of my sympathy you have.  I have two bio daughters, a step daughter, and a soon-to-be daughter-in-law, so I think I know how important a dad is to a girl.  Plus, my dad is my number one role model.  I would be a very different person without him. 

      It does seem a bit odd that your sense of loss is still so profound that it brings you to tears regularly.  I wonder if that loss that you feel is less for the person, as for the life you wish you would have had if he were alive.  I’m guessing that things were tough for your mother raising you alone.  You don’t mention a step-father, so either your mom is by herself with you or your step-father situation is not good.  Either one would make a young woman wish for a father that will always remain perfect in your eyes, since he never had the chance to be a real person in your life.  Real people can disappoint you, this man never can.  This allows you to project every positive virtue on him and every negative one on everyone else in your life.  You have a built-in excuse.  “If my dad were still alive ____________ wouldn’t have happened.  Fill in anything you want in the blank: my cat wouldn’t have died, Mom wouldn’t have lost the house, we’d have enough money so I could get an Iphone, my step-dad wouldn’t hit me.  Anything bad that has ever happened to you, big or small, wouldn’t have happened if only he were alive.  Of course, when you step back and think rationally you know that isn’t true, but it is hard to do in an emotional moment.

      So, my advice?  First, you need to see a counselor, if you aren’t already.  A support group might actually be a better choice.  We have a grief and loss group here at school, and there are support groups all over town for things like that.  (I know Dr. Spangler personally, and he is a good guy) 

      Other than that, my only advice would be to make sure that you are making the choices in your life, not anyone else, and that you take accountability for those choices.  Good things and bad things happen to everyone, and while your dad’s presence in your life would have certainly made some things better, other things would be just as tough and tougher.   Hang in there.  Don’t allow the defining moment in your life to have happened before you were even born.  You can take control of your own life from this point on, today.  You are in control of your destiny, now go do it.


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