Intro to the Psyche of the Unfathered
Many of us who can relate to experiencing The Daddy Issue acknowledge that in our own fathering, our natural inclination in certain situations is not often what we would deem to be our desired response. We who lack the experience of being fathered or have faced paternal absence have to consciously think about the decisions that we must make in order to derail the generational train of apathy upon which we WERE once passengers and intend to ride no more. Before reading further, please review this video interview of two young teenagers who are describing their experience of fatherlessness."
Hearing these two young men just took me back to me at age 14, verbalizing for the first time my vow to break the chain--to father better than I had ever been fathered. These boys’ desire and commitment reminds me of the all-consuming passion for fathering, especially fathering sons, that took root at that tender stage in my life. Although such desire is good and wholesome, I wonder about the negative impact this focus may have on a boy’s/young man’s life. They, like me, run the risk of being so focused on preparation for fatherhood that they miss years of just being a son. That, to me, is one of the many dangers of paternal apathy and paternal absenteeism—young men, boys that are forced to grow up too quickly.
Let's recap some of the quips they made:
“My goal in life is to be everything that I never had”. This pressure cannot be healthy. From my experience, this mindset, though originating in determination to make a change, thrusts many into a spiral of perfectionism that may be terribly dangerous to the emotional wellbeing and psyche of a man.
“One of the positive things I have gained from not having a father around is the fact that I am a more sensitive person”. Sad but admittedly, this is the truth that sons may endure. I have heard it said that sons are often taught that two emotions are acceptable--sexual attraction and anger. How misleading and unfortunate? Do we have to experience paternal absence or apathy to acquire some emotional sensitivity? I think not!
“To fill that gaping hole, I turn to my friends”. Fatherless children are prone to fill the void with something unhealthy.
These quotes emphasize the challenging situation that fatherlessness thrusts sons and daughters into. Upon reading this blog, I implore you to:
Forward the blog address on or leave a comment. Let us build the awareness inside out from those who have experienced father neglect to those who have no clue why some of us are the way we are.
Encourage a child who is fatherless or an adult who dealt with fatherlessness and never quite got over it. Fill their gap with positivity and encouragement.
If you are/were fatherless and struggle with the myriad of unanswered questions that still linger, have a casual conversation with someone you trust. Hopefully, you will be meeting someone doing Step 2.
Until next time…