Fatherless: A Collection of Anonymous Stories

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fatherless

kristina campeau







to all of those who consider themselves fatherless, this is for you. you are not alone.



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editor’s note Considering yourself fatherless can be quite lonely at times: it’s a situation that you can’t relate to unless you’ve experienced it yourself. Being fatherless myself, I’ve never really had anyone in my life who understood my situation and how it affected me. This was especially difficult for me as a teenager but as I got older, I started meeting other fatherless individuals and saw how our shared experiences had similarly affected us. I’ve been open about my experiences but I know that not everyone feels comfortable doing so. That’s kind of how this project came to life; I want fatherless individuals to be comfortable enough to share their stories and how they were affected by it, even if it was done anonymously. These are their stories. Warning: some of these stories include topics such as abuse (substance, sexual, etc), sexual abuse, suicide, self-harm and eating disorders.


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24 year old female


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24 year old female


4 what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? My father was never emotionally present in my life since day 1. He became physically distant when my parents divorced when I was 12 years-old.

how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? My father was present, even in the same household, until I was twelve years old. Yet emotionally, he has always been absent. Actually no… he was present emotionally, just viciously instead of virtuously. It feels as if the moment I existed on earth, the hell began. My father sexually and emotionally abused myself and committed some form of abuse (that I do not know the details of) to my brother and mother as well. This created an extremely toxic and dangerous environment to grow up in. Because my father is a diagnosed sociopath, he is clinically unable to feel remorse for his actions, no matter how vile they may be. Having a primary


5 caregiver who has a relentless disregard for right and wrong, is a persistent liar and master manipulator, does not understand the consequences of his own actions, and has significant hostility, aggression, and violent tendencies is a critically distressing environment to try and develop within. My father’s actions of horrendously yelling at me since I was a toddler, sexually fondling my prepubescent body, and only emphasizing my failures instead of accomplishments led to my diagnosis of severe anxiety and depression around the age of seven. It became so bad that I could not go to school without having full-blown anxiety attacks. I would have to have a teacher accompany me every single place I went, and sometimes a panic attack would occur during class that would distress me so gravely that I would crawl under my desk and start screaming and crying, and sometimeswet myself in the process when I was much passed the age of that being acceptable behaviour. The random outbursts of tears continued until I was about twelve years old after my parents finally divorced after years of constant abuse. These adverse childhood events curated into a plethora of emotional development issues during adolescence; my anxiety and depression got worse, and I was also diagnosed with Borderline


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7 Personality Disorder, bulimia nervosa, PTSD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and agoraphobia. I began self-harming multiple times per day, had a suicide attempt, overdosed three different times, and began isolating myself from others as much as I could because I felt so unworthy of other people’s time. Thankfully, I have one of the most supportive mothers in the world. She urged me to get professional help, and I am in a place today where I never would have pictured myself being, even just five years ago. Although the affects of my father’s deeply rooted misdemeanours still weigh heavily upon my mental state, I am slowly but surely recovering as much as I can and learning how to sbe my best self every single day.


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26 year old female


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26 year old female


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what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? My father was an alcoholic and physically abusive. There was a breaking point for my mom when she had a near-death experience from him, and so she took me (3 years old) and my brother (17 years old), and we immigrated to Canada as refugees. I never knew his face and didn’t know his name until he passed away when I was 20 from health complications as a result of his chronic drinking and smoking. I feel sorry for the existence he lived, he probably was suffering and was never taught how to express it without harming others.


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how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? I don’t think I suffered specifically from paternal abandonment, but more so the unsupervised childhood from my mom being a single-parent working all the time. I was never properly loved or taught essential personal skills that manifests today as anxiety disorder and panic disorder. I never got to see what being in a loving home with family members looks like, and this definitely impacts my ability to be comfortable in a stable relationship, both romantic and platonic. I regularly see therapists to essentially “re-parent” myself, and life has started to become much more manageable since.


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27 year old female


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how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? I don’t think I suffered specifically from paternal abandonment, but more so the unsupervised childhood from my mom being a single-parent working all the time. I was never properly loved or taught essential personal skills that manifests today as anxiety disorder and panic disorder. I never got to see what being in a loving home with family members looks like, and this definitely impacts my ability to be comfortable in a stable relationship, both romantic and platonic. I regularly see therapists to essentially “re-parent” myself, and life has started to become much more manageable since.


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27 year old female


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what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? My mother and father separated when I was young. After their separation, he has never made an attempt to contact me.

how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? His absence left me with a great void on the inside. I’m emotionally dependent on others, and know that this stems from my lack of a father… I’m always afraid of being abandoned by those closest to me, and afraid of not being loved.


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21 year old female


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21 year old female


18 what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? I was about 14 years old when my father had an affair and my parents divorced. As a little girl, I used to share so much with him, but then my entire perspective changed and I closed myself off for a couple years. We began seeing each othe here and there overtime; however, meetings were sporadic and we rarely communicated. He ended up getting re-married and I acquired a step-brother who, it seemed, my father cared more about than my sister and I. Even though we saw him on special occasions, conversations at the dinner table were always lead by my father and never pertained to asking questions about my life and well being, etc. I felt as if I didn’t matter to him anymore. To me, fatherless doesn’t necessarily mean you do not have a father in your life at all; it means feeling a void or longing for more effort from your father (or a father figure) to be a part of your life. He may be present, but if he doesn’t try and get to know who you are or what your interests and goals are, he’s just another person — not a father.


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how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? I definitely have lost a sense of trust in people since “losing” my father... If my own dad doesn’t care about what I’m doing with my life, who will? And how can I trust anyone else’s words when they make promises?


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21 year old male


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21 year old male


22 what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? My father abandoned my mum and I a few months before I was born. They had known each other for years but had only been dating for a couple months before she got pregnant with me — she had been told by a number of doctors that she would never be able to get pregnant due to some complications as a child so regardless of how unexpected I was she was thrilled. He had a family before us and told my mum he would help raise me but somewhere along the line he changed his mind.

how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? Growing up all of the boys I knew would always ask me where my dad was; they all had different ideas of how he died, or how my mum must have been a lesbian because of her short hair. I had no idea where he was and frankly I never thought about it until they started talking about it. I grew up feeling such heavy grief about losing my dad to some accident that never happened and when I found out that I just wasn’t enough for him it, changed a lot for me.


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24 I’ve hated him for a long time but years ago it was for leaving me while today I can recognize how much better off I am being raised by my mum, no matter how broke we were or how many hours she worked or how many times I got teased. Now I hate him because my mum hasn’t trusted anyone but me since then and I have absolutely no idea how to help that. I often used to think about what it would be like to sit down and eat lunch with him someday. I’m tall like him and I’m losing my hair the same as he was in the last photo I saw of him but all I know about him is this blip of his importance in my life. Would he light a cigarette while we spoke ? Is his voice deep ? What hand would he pick up his fork with ? It’s really strange having half of what biologically makes me who I am so hopelessly unknown despite its lack of importance.


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19 year old male


24 I’ve hated him for a long time but years ago it was for leaving me while today I can recognize how much better off I am being raised by my mum, no matter how broke we were or how many hours she worked or how many times I got teased. Now I hate him because my mum hasn’t trusted anyone but me since then and I have absolutely no idea how to help that. I often used to think about what it would be like to sit down and eat lunch with him someday. I’m tall like him and I’m losing my hair the same as he was in the last photo I saw of him but all I know about him is this blip of his importance in my life. Would he light a cigarette while we spoke? Is his voice deep? What hand would he pick up his fork with? It’s really strange having half of what biologically makes me who I am so hopelessly unknown despite its lack of importance.


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19 year old male


26 what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? When I was 16, my mother committed suicide because she found out she was pregnant with twins. At the time we were already three children: I was the oldest (15), along with my younger brother (12) and my younger sister (5). My father was really excited as he had always dreamed of having a big family. He always said that twins bring good luck and fortune. Every night, after my father tucked all of us into bed, my mother would start anargument with him and blame him for the unplanned pregnancy. When I turned 16, I remember my mother telling me “You’re 16, you are old enough to help more around the house”. That’s the last thing she told me before committing suicide. Killing her and the unborn twins. For the first two weeks my father acted fine. But after a month he was diagnosed with major depression, anxiety and PTSD. Every night he would sit in the room that was prepared for the twins, and read nursery books till he fell asleep. When he got diagnosed, that’s when I started to feel fatherless. He was still physically present, but absent emotionally. It came to the point that I had to pick up two jobs to help pay bills and food because my father had stopped working


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28 and simply stopped caring. I had to start taking care of my siblings as though they were my own children. Feeding them, making sure they did their homework and making sure they were keeping up their grades. This caused me to fail grade 10. 6 months after my mother’s death, my father packed his bags and left. That’s when I felt completely betrayed and considered myself completely fatherless. Luckily, my best friend and his family helped prepare lunches and took me and my siblings under their wing. But I will never ever forgive my father for his actions. Yes, he was excited for the twins and yes he lost them. But he left behind three children that had to raise themselves.

how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? Being fatherless has affected me in the way of trust; I had trouble trusting my teachers, coaches, girlfriends, etc. I wouldn’t allow myself to get emotionally attached in fear of being left alone again. I saw everything in shades of gray and believed that I would never surpass the feeling.


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18 year old female


28 care of my siblings as though they were my own children. Feeding them, making sure they did their homework and making sure they were keeping up their grades. This caused me to fail grade 10. 6 months after my mother’s death, my father packed his bags and left. That’s when I felt completely betrayed and considered myself completely fatherless. Luckily, my best friend and his family helped prepare lunches and took me and my siblings under their wing. But I will never ever forgive my father for his actions. Yes, he was excited for the twins and yes he lost them. But he left behind three children that had to raise themselves.

how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? Being fatherless has affected me in the way of trust. I had trouble trusting my teachers, coaches, girlfriends, etc. I wouldn’t allow myself to get emotionally attached in fear of being left alone again. I saw everything in shades of gray and believed that I would never surpass the feeling.


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18 year old female


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what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? I disowned by father following years of only seeing him once a year. He has never made any effort to contact any of his children — he cares about his step-children more than anything else. I was able to witness this as I recently lived for with for about 6 months. That, combined with the fact that he only cares about his women, made it that I had enough. He constantly cheats on the woman he is with — him cheating on my brothers’ mom with my mom, cheating on my mom with another woman, cheating on his current girlfriend. He is constantly going between two women.

how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? My mental health has gotten worse, but I know that it is for the better. I never really had much of a connection with him, after all I only say the guy once a year for the 13 years following my parents’ split.


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25 year old female


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25 year old female


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what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? For my entire childhood, my father was physically present but was emotionally absent. My parents got divorced when I was 5 years old, and it was a pretty rocky relationship moving forward. I remained in contact with him until the age of 12, when I finally took the decision to cut off all ties with him. I have seen him maybe a handful of times since then, through court-ordered meetings and therapy sessions but they felt like nothing more than an obligation to fulfill.


35 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? Due to the fact that my father was emotionally absent, I felt like I had to work to get his attention, let alone impress him. Whenever I had an important event — whether it be a school play, a dance recital, a soccer game or anything really — my mother would have to force and beg my father to attend; she knew that if she didn’t, he wouldn’t make the effort. Once she even had to buy his ticket as he told her that would be the only way he’d actually attend. Most of the time he would arrive to said event late, while other times he wouldn’t even bother to show up at all. It bothered me and made me feel unworthy, but I was young and he was my father so I never voiced my feelings. My father would constantly manipulate me, trying to turn me against my mother. If I ever did something for myself, he would turn the situation around and make me feel guilty for doing so. Whenever I had some sort of achievement, it was never good enough — according to him, there was always something I could improve.


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About three years before I cut ties with him, he became fixated on my weight: he would constantly tell me what I was fat, keep tabs on my weight every time that I would see him by making me go on the scale, and put me on diets. He got into my head, making me believe what he was saying. This eventually lead me to develop anorexia, getting a proper diagnosis after I stopped seeing him. When I finally cut ties with him, I felt broken; I had no self-esteem, no self-confidence, was a people-pleaser and felt lost. It took me years to build that up again, to find myself. To this day I still have attachment/abandonment issues, scared that those closest to me will leave me. I get attached to people really quickly, and am dependent on them. Although it took me years to come to terms with this, I do understand that cutting ties with my father was the best thing that I could do for myself.


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22 year old female


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22 year old female


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what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? My father was always physically there but he was never there for me. Never bought me food, clothes, cooked for me, paid for school fees. Sometimes I feel that it would’ve been better if he wasn’t there at all. He never physically hit me, however, he had anger issues that really scared me as a young child (throwing around chairs, flipping the sofa). Whenever he was home, even though we didn’t talk much to each other, it made me feel really uncomfortable and on edge.

how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? I think it’s affected my perception on boys/men. I’ve never been in a romantic relationship ever in my life. When men pursue me... I feel extremely uncomfortable and almost repulsed, even if I feel somewhat attracted to them. I also don’t really trust men very much. I feel like they can easily become abusive, scary, etc.


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20 year old male


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20 year old male


44 what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? My father suddently passed away one morning when I was 11 years old from a heart attack he suffered while at work. Personally, I believe anyone who was abandoned in any way by either parent could consider themselves as either mother or fatherless whether it be willing like abandoning, losing contact because of a divorce, or death that separated you from that parental figure still ends in said person not having them in their life anymore.


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46 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? It has been hard dealing with mainly as I grow older knowing that my father was never and will never be there for any of my accomplishments. He never got to see me graduate, which is seen as a fairly average thing that most of the population does, but for me that was one of the hardest things. I was lucky in that my family always offered to help me with anything that I needed or wanted help with that a dad typically teaches his son but it wasn’t the same. I still suffer from some of the issues that have come from that time but slowly I have come to terms with them and have started getting over them.


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18 year old female


46 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? It has been hard dealing with mainly as I grow older knowing that my father was never and will never be there for any of my accomplishments. He never got to see me graduate, which is seen as a fairly average thing that most of the population does, but for me that was one of the hardest things. I was lucky in that my family always offered to help me with anything that I needed or wanted help with that a dad typically teaches his son but it wasn’t the same. I still suffer from some of the issues that have come from that time but slowly I have come to terms with them and have started getting over them.


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18 year old female


48 what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? I became fatherless at birth: my mother had hidden the real identity of my biological father from me since I was born. I grew up with a huge void inside of me, constantly questioning whether or not he was even still alive. When I was 17 years old, I found out that a customer who came to my work establishment regularly was actually my biological father. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, there was my adoptive father whom I referred to as my “dad” but lost contact with him when became violent with my sisters and my stepmother. He was arrested and sent to prison, and upon release became violent with me as well. Ever since this man grabbed me by the throat when seeing red, I lost all the love and happiness of having a father… it has now been two years since since I have disowned this man I called “dad”. Since learning about the possible identity of my biological father, I have been doing my own research to learn more about him. In my opinion, the absence of a father is unacceptable: it is cruel to abandon a child who isn’t even aware of your existence, and having a mother who concealed the existence of his child when the father had just made the remark that he wasn’t ready for this.


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50 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? Living without a biological father took a huge toll on my psychological being. The absence of a biological father creates a huge void inside oneself: what I mean by that is that when I look at children playing with their father, giving them hugs, or seeing them do anything a normal father should be doing, I start crying as I have never had this opportunity to fill the void. When I see my friends with their fathers I start questioning myself, asking questions about whether it’s normal for me to become jealous of the father/daughter or father/son relationship that all of my friends have; questioning why I have to live like this. I’m still caught up in my thoughts and sadness, and I will be until I can find a way to fill this void.


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18 year old male


50 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? Living without a biological father took a huge toll on my psychological being. The absence of a biological father creates a huge void inside oneself: what I mean by that is that when I look at children playing with their father, giving them hugs, or seeing them do anything a normal father should be doing, I start crying as I have never had this opportunity to fill the void. When I see my friends with their fathers I start questioning myself, asking questions about whether it’s normal for me to become jealous of the father/daughter or father/son relationship that all of my friends have; questioning why I have to live like this. I’m still caught up in my thoughts and sadness, and I will be until I can find a way to fill this void.


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18 year old male


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what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? Oh boy, where do I begin. First things first: my “father” is still very much alive and still very much present in my life. But believe me when I tell you. I wish he wasn’t, and I’m sure he wishes the same. When I was 13, I came out as pansexual (meaning that you’re attracted to people of all genders) but only to my mom because I knew how my “father” would’ve reacted. When I turned 15, I spoke to my mom about believing that I might be transgender and since then she has been my biggest supporter! Helped me get testosterone and is even bringing me to my top surgery (which is in a month!!). My “father”, on the other hand, hates the idea and constantly says things like “Trans need to burn in hell” or “They should bring back stoning, because that’s what you deserve”. He would purposely hide my meds and needed equipment for transitioning and laugh at me when my body began its withdrawal phase. He has started going as far as if I say my name with his last name, he will correct me and say my dead name with my mother’s last name. So my “father” is very much present — but due to his actions, I consider myself fatherless.


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how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? His actions lead me to a diagnosis of major depression. I started self harming because he told me I deserved pain and I believe him. In 2018, I attempted suicide 3 times and was kept in the hospital for over 3 months an eating disorder. My “father” made me hate my body to the point where I thought the physical pain I was inflicting on my self was reasonable and normal.


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52 year old female


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52 year old female


56 what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? In a way I became fatherless after my parents divorced when I was in my early teens. I did see my father after that but he had moved away so I didn’t see him often. He was never really there for me after that. Then in my 30´s we stopped talking all together. It was really hard growing up without him in my life. I would remember how all my friends would say that they always wanted to marry someone just like their father. Some would say how much it meant to them to have their father always there for them. It was hard not having him there for the little things like when something would go wrong on my car or I needed advice on how to fix things that a father could only do. But the hardest was that my girls never had a grandpa. I always felt like there was a big part of me missing.

how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? It affected the way that I trusted men. I would always worry that one day the person that I was with would just walk out on me like my father did.


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23 year old female


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23 year old female


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what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? My father is still alive today but I would still consider myself fatherless. He used to be in my life up until the age I turned 15 due to my mom forcing him to leave and him disowning me. He was an very abusive physically, emotionally and psychologically which made me want to distance myself from him once I reached the age where I realized what he was doing was wrong. I did not always know since that was the environment I grew up in. He was very manipulative in the way he would play me against my mother, wasn’t completely supportive of my dreams and would body shame me by telling me not to gain too much muscle since men did not like that. In many ways, for me personally, I would have considered myself fatherless even at the time my father was in my life. To me, fatherless means not having the support I needed to navigate life, not having an additional person to exemplify ideal parental/adult behaviour and being emotionally disconnected from my biological father.


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62 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? It has affected me in many ways. In the beginning it was mostly negative since I was 15 and still figuring out who I was as a person, what my place in the world was and who I wanted to become. It lead to a severe depression and deep questioning of my worth in the world. I had really low self-esteem due to my self-talk being the way my father would talk to me. Every single time I would make a mistake, regardless of how small, the words of my father would echo in my mind and I would think “he was right.” That lasted for a few years until I turned 20 after attempting to make amends with my father, failing and started looking at life in a different way. Now it affects me in a more positive light even though there are still bad days were my self talk takes over due to anxiety. I know who I don’t want to become, I know the signs of an abusive person/ relationship and I know how it feels to feel really low. All of the lows I have experienced as a result of being fatherless has helped appreciate the highs and all of the genuine and supportive people I have in my life today.


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23 year old female


62 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? It has affected me in many ways. In the beginning it was mostly negative since I was 15 and still figuring out who I was as a person, what my place in the world was and who I wanted to become. It lead to a severe depression and deep questioning of my worth in the world. I had really low self esteem due to my self talk being the way my father would talk to me. Every singe time I would make a mistake, regardless of how small, the words of my father would echo in my mind and I would think “he was right.” That lasted for a few years until I turned 20 after attempting to make amends with my father, failing and started looking at life in a different way. Now it affects me in a more positive light even though there are still bad days were my self talk takes over due to anxiety. I know who I don’t want to become, I know the signs of an abusive person/ relationship and I know how it feels to feel really low. All of the lows I have experienced as a result of being fatherless has helped appreciate the highs and all of the genuine and supportive people I have in my life today.


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23 year old female


64 what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? I would say my personal definition of being fatherless, is one not having a father-figure in their life. Having a father is not only reserved for the individual who’s DNA you share but an individual who holds the place of father (biological or not). I became “fatherless” when my parents split up when I was about three years old when my father cheated on my mum and had a child with another woman. My father has been absent financially and emotionally, I never really had the experience of being “in touch” with my father as I was very young with the split occurred. As I got older, I had no interest in fostering a relationship and never attempted to despite my mum’s encouragement. I definitely believe I was affected by my paternal abandonment as it has resulted in trust issues in regards to men and that has been displayed in both romantic and platonic male relationships. But, I don’t see how I was affected by it in only negative terms, I have a strong sense of independence that has stemmed from being raised by strong and independent women. I have never felt the need or want to rely/depend on a man.


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66 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? Psychologically, I believe that I have a fear of abandonment to a degree and this has lead to various trust issues and anxieties around men in general (romantic and platonic). There was a point in my life that I later realized was heavily affected by the question of why I never had a father figure. I questioned my worth as a daughter and overall as a person who may or may not be worthy of love.


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20 year old female


66 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? Psychologically, I believe that I have a fear of abandonment to a degree and this has lead to various trust issues and anxieties around men in general (romantic and platonic). There was a point in my life that I later realized was heavily affected by the question of why I never had a father figure. I questioned my worth as a daughter and overall as a person who may or may not be worthy of love.


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20 year old female


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what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? My parents have been separated since I was born, always living in separate houses. While I did see him once every few weeks — I have always considered myself fatherless. The last time I spoke to him was in 2009.


69 how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? In every sense of the way. I have always been plagued by the thought that he didn’t want me. That I wasn’t enough for him. And that has been my main insecurity. I wasn’t enough for my own father so how can I be enough for anyone else? Let alone myself. I see the way not having a father in my life (and then also having an abusive father figure) has distorted the way I cultivate relationships. I seek out approval from guys older than me, I’ve put myself in dangerous positions to garner that approval as well. I seek out relationships that I know won’t last. I see a dad and a daughter and I get so resentful for everything I’ve never had. Everything I won’t have. I don’t even know the reason he’s not in my life, my mom says he’s a shit person and I’m better off and I believe her. But I’m still stuck with the thought of not being enough. And I resent myself for letting him have this space in my mind because he does not deserve it. I haven’t seen him in over a decade.


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I am terrified of not being enough, of growing up and being alone. I don’t believe in the institution of marriage or see the desire to have children or even love. Love is an ideal that may not actually exist. I latch onto fictional characters who are fathers for comfort, to allow myself a moment to pretend that I have a father. Even though I don’t. When I was twelve, I nearly ended my life because I thought I was never going to be enough (along with other reasons but that was the main one). There’s probably more that I just haven’t unpacked yet to recognize.


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22 year old male


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22 year old male


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what are the circumstances in which you became fatherless? For this specific scenario or question I guess I could say that I have been fatherless twice or at least experienced the act of becoming fatherless twice. To start off, my biological father and mother had my siblings and I at a very young age. Shortly after having my older sister my mom realized that my father was dangerous and unhealthy and so when giving birth to my twin brother and I, she made sure that we were born in Canada so we could become Canadian citizens. Shortly after, she fled her home country to move here and I have yet to see my father. This is what I’d consider the first time of me becoming fatherless. After moving to Canada and living here for a few years, my mom met someone. After years of dating, they got married. Now growing up without a father I wasn’t used to the idea of another male dictating what I could do and couldn’t do, so it was a difficult adjustment at first but eventually I saw him as my father. Though having a step-father that looked like my biological father it never seemed to be quite the exact same: there was always something different about it, like in the back of my head I always knew


75 that he wasn’t my real father. I didn’t let this affect our relationship too much but as I grew older and became a teenager I relied on him for guidance and support which any teenage male tends to do with their father. When I turned 17 my mother had decided to get a divorce and the experience of being fatherless came rushing back in. For the next five years since my step-father and I have slowly grown apart and see each other less and less often.

how has being fatherless affected you psychologically? Growing up knowing what it’s like to have a father, to lose that father, and then to live the rest of your life without a father has taught me many things. Psychologically, this is affected me in multiple ways, but the most noticeable where has affected me has to be my insecurities with relationships. The first being that I always feel like my significant other will leave or that a new friend of mine will suddenly disappear… I guess this is well known as separation anxiety and is something that only recently I have seen as a problem.


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77 The second way it has affected me was with vulnerability, it is something that does not exist in my life because I have never experienced it. I learned vulnerability through my last relationship and it taught me more in the short two years than I learned my whole life on the topic. Growing up with a mother who had to play both parental roles which left very little time for emotions and vulnerability around the children. I know that it is not only me because my twin brother and older sister also lack the ability to be fully vulnerable and express emotions properly. Through talking to other friends who are fatherless I’ve come to realize that many of them and myself lack the ability to hold ourselves accountable. In no way do I mean this in a negative way, it is meant in a way for people to learn how to grow. Not having a father to talk to and a mother who is playing both parental roles made me feel like an only child because I couldn’t talk to my siblings as well, and with this a lot of thoughts were kept inside. So my one piece of advice for those of us who are fatherless is to learn how to accept your actions and trust other people.


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thank you I don’t think there is another way for me to show my gratitude other than saying thank you. Thank you to all of those who were willing to participate in this project. Your willingness to put yourself in a vulnerable position and share your stories and experiences with me… I am beyond grateful. Without out, this project wouldn’t have become a reality (I wish I was joking)! I know from experience that fatherlessness is not always an easy topic to openly talk about, especially when you have no one who can necessarily understand your situation. I hope I did your stories justice.







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