To those who have lost a father at a young age, how has it affected you as an adult?

My parents were 17 when they had me, babies having babies. My mom left him in the middle of the night when I was about 1 and drove us 4 states away. My dad didn't come around again until I was 6-7 years old. He and my mom tried to give it another shot, my mom ended up leaving him for someone else after a few months of trying to make it work. He moved in with a strange woman and I was always afraid of staying with him. I remember there being porn mags on every surface, cigarette butts everywhere, spider webs and cockroaches and florescent lighting in every room. The last night I saw him, I woke up from a nap to find roaches crawling on me, I wanted to go to my aunt's where I felt safer. He got angry with me for not wanting to spend time with him and dropped me off at my aunts house without checking to see if anyone was even home. Luckily my uncle happened to be sitting in his car in the driveway about to leave. That was the last time I ever saw him, he drove back to his home state that night. A year later, my mom got remarried and Bio Dad signed over custody to my mom and my new dad and I didn't hear from him again until I was 18. My aunt actually tracked him down for me as a birthday present. We talked here and there, when I felt comfortable. He would call and text constantly in what I assume now was an attempt to make up for lost time, but I had just started college and my heart had already been closed off to him for years. He'd had other daughters in the time he left me and was close with all of them. I felt like I was some experiment gone wrong, tossed aside to make room for a better daughter. But he was a great dad to those other girls and for that I'm resentfully grateful. A couple months before he was planning a road trip to come see me, he passed away in his sleep from what I think was heart failure. It felt like he abandoned me all over again.

I think it has always effected my self-worth, I'm really bitter, I'm always afraid of disappointing or angering people close to me for fear they'll just take off like he did. I'd say his death was the cause of all my brand new anxiety/depressive issues which have actually been a blessing because for the first time, I'm aware of my self-distructive and unhealthy behaviors (past and present).

When I remind myself that I'm giving all this power to the ghost of an 18- 24 year old kid who had no idea how to be a father, its easier to let it go and forgive the man who tried to reconnect with me. I'm still resentful as hell though ;)

/r/AskWomen Thread