what i want you to know about the lifelong effects of an absent father

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is by Tara.
What I want others to know is the heartache that a woman can suffer without a father. You see the heartache starts as a child when they are asking their mom where their daddy is. The heartache continues when a young teenager starts seeking attention elsewhere, usually in the guy that shows them any amount of attention. You see it again, in a young woman now bitter that her father was never there. Then as a wife and mother promising that her children will never go through what she endured without a father.

That is where I am. Married, mom of three, seeking the "fatherly love" that I so desperately desired my entire life.

I want to back up just a bit. The pain truly set in as an early teenager when I realized that my father loved himself much more than he ever loved me. I so desperately wanted his love and attention, however when he moved away from me, I knew it would never be the same. I remember girls gossipping about other girls calling them terrible names because of the choices they made with guys. Maybe one guy, usually many! I was that girl. Desperately seeking any "love" that I could get my hands on. I never thought of myself as one those girls, however looking back, that's exactly what I was.

This lifestyle brought on a relationship with my now husband. We met at sixteen, a month later I became pregnant, and now we have been married for almost nine years. We had a rough start to our relationship but through our growing faith, we have made an incredible life for our family.

Even in the early stages of our marriage I wanted my husband to fill this void that resignated in my heart. He showed me that he would never leave me and that I needed to forgive my dad. He shared with me that my dad was never going to be the dad that I was still longing for im to be.

I allowed this emptiness to spread into my friendships. Anytime someone was slowly slipping away I would become extremely jealous of their other friendships. I was always paranoid of them replacing me with someone better.

My relationship with God has become much stronger and that has healed some of the broken pieces of my heart. I know that this can be a life long battle for me, however I now have hope knowing that one day this pain will be gone. I am just grateful that I am aware of the destructive behaviors that I have created because of the absence of my father.

Mentoring young teenage girls has become a passion for me. It has allowed me to vulnerable and yet honest with where I was 15 years ago. I want them to understand that God will always love them more than any other human can, so seek his love and approval, and no one else's.

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