WHO IS THE ABSENTEE DAD?
We have already seen that the father does not have to be physically absent to be an absent father. An emotionally detached father who was present only physically could generate the same issues in their children.
The father is critical. That is an undeniable truth.
What happens when there is only an absent father at the core of a family who does not establish any relationship with his children?
A child’s brain is very active. In their day-to-day life, they need more than anything positive reinforcement to grow healthily and maturely. An absent father creates inconsistencies, gaps, and difficulty in the way they interact with their child. A child will wait and hope for affection, communication, and daily interaction, which will open them to the world through their father. However, when the father is absent emotionally, the child is faced with a wall.
Empty and distant treatment by the father generates anxiety in children. They don’t know how to adjust. They develop expectations that are never fulfilled. When they are older and become more aware, they compare other children’s parents with their own. They notice that the fathers of their friends act differently than their fathers. The lack of a father figure generates emotional detachment. It makes a person more insecure when the time comes to establish certain relationships.
The child may grow to be an untrusting adult. The idea of projecting high emotional hopes on someone creates fear. They fear being betrayed, nor recognized, or worse, ignored and neglected.
ADULTS WITH ABSENT FATHERS
Once a person has grown up and has made their own life, they wear their impregnable armor with pride. They know very well what they will do every day not to make the same mistakes their father made.
However, the impact of their absent father remains. It doesn’t matter if in the present, they have a relationship with him, or if he passed away, or if they act like the past never happened when the family all gets together.
The first thing to do is to “understand.” You must understand that the absent father is a man who did not know how to take on his role as a father because he never understood his role as a person in general.
It is possible that he did not have well-developed personal abilities, like strong self-esteem, internal balance, acceptance of his mistakes, fears, and own personal shortcomings.
So, does that justify what he did to his child and the emotional vacancy he left behind? No, but understanding can sometimes help us adjust to reality and avoid withholding more negative emotions.
Healing from the Past Wounds
As an adult, the child knows they have grown and matured with many gaps due to upbringing and lack of affection. However, there always comes a moment in which they should cut ties with the suffering of their past to heal their present wounds.
Without a father, it is most likely that the person had a more meaningful and healthier attachment bond with their mother, grandparents, or even friends. They are who stand as their pillars of strength day in and day out.
They are the authentic family, those who are truly important. A father does not just give life. A father is a person who is there for their child, picks them up, tends to them, and guides them safely through each day, building a path of significant moments in the life of their child.