Today is Father’s Day, a time of love and bonding between father and child. Some of us do not have this luxury and, of course, there are long lasting impacts because of it. Now, there is research letting us in on why.
I was drawn to this because I wanted to see how much of it applied to me since I never knew my dad. I was ready to use myself as a test subject against the outcome of the study. This article I read was about a research study that was comprised of several studies taking place over many years all over the globe. It analyzed the relationship that children have with their parents. What they found was that, more than anything, rejection from the parents – specifically dad – was the biggest factor of the developing personality.
Why dad? It appears that most often dad has the strongest sense of power in the family dynamic. Even though the child spends more time with mom, dad’s words last longer and seem to be more important.
The biggest personality qualities linked to rejection are hostility, low self esteem, negativity, personality issues.
So how did this add up to me? It seems like everything added up pretty well.
I have a lot of hostility and anger towards my dad for not having been apart of my life or getting to know me. It’s sad to know that half of the reason I’m here never got to see me smile, laugh, cry, fall off my bike, dressed for my first dance, get my license, start college.. etc. I had a terrible childhood as well and always thought that maybe if he knew he could have fixed it. When I was in foster care, I asked to go live with him but he didn’t want me. Unfortunately, no bond will ever be between us because he passed away when I was 15. To this day, it angers me that this is lost to me forever. I would have been such a daddy’s little girl and we would have had a fantastic bond. Now, that will never be. Did I mention I am up for adoption? 🙂
Low Self Esteem
I have had a low self esteem for quite a long time. I was made fun of a lot in middle school which added to that. I know a lot of people go through that but it was pretty bad for me. While I was picked on at school, I would go home and have an even more challenging time. There was no safe haven. This just made me fall into a pit of despair which is hard to get out of. I used to be uncertain that it would ever end and had a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This made me feel pretty low about myself. I was always poked fun at by my own mother for being chubby which had a lot to do with her. She’s chubby too but always felt the need to poke fun at me for it. I feel better about myself now but still super self conscious even though I’d like to not be.
I do try to not be negative but it is a constant struggle for me. I have to consciously choose to be positive. In order to achieve this, I have a 10 minute morning meditation where I focus on being positive, my goals, and being happy. I feel like I accidently attract negativity. So if one unfortunate event occurs, it can easily send me down the dark hallway of sadness. I have to fight it. Luckily, I’ve become adept to this rainy cloud and learned how to put up my umbrella. I do strive to always be positive.
I have these, too. For many years I was unbelievably shy. I would excuse myself from excessively social situations because I could not handle it. This has evolved into just anti social behavior. Many people link these together as if they were one in the same. This is not the case. Being shy is like having a door in front of you with a window. You can see the interactions taking place amongst your peers and you want badly to go and be in it with them. No matter how hard you try though, you just can’t seem to open the door and get involved. Being anti social is no longer caring and reading a book instead. I was always told I’d grow out of being shy in high school but I never did. I no longer mind not being in the midst of chatter.
With all these personal discoveries in comparison to the findings, I have realized how much not having my dad has impacted me. Sure, these traits can easily be from other things. But it is interesting to see that people across the world have the same traits after having a similar experience. Knowing that my personality was molded this much by a lack of a father figure is humbling. I had no idea how much of me was shaped by this.
What about you? Do these personality variances resonate within you? Do you have the opposite reaction because of a great bond you had with your father? Or, do you have none of these and still have no father figure to attribute it to? Let me know, I’d like to learn more from the general populous on their experiences.