Fathers who are emotionally absent leave a legacy to their children. Their children usually grow up feeling incomplete, empty or lost in some way. Although many of us disapprove of this legacy, we discover during life between lives regressions that this “father absence” has a purpose.
“My father was absent even when he was present,” mused my client, Lara, as we explored her childhood. Her father read the paper in the morning, rarely acknowledging his three children. He sat at the head of the table at dinner, watching the news on TV. The only time he engaged with Lara was when she had done something that he considered incorrect. Even this critical attention was rare.
Adult children of absent fathers use different strategies to deal with the emptiness they carry.
Desperate for her father’s love and attention, Lara spent her childhood being ‘the good girl, hoping to get a few crumbs of positive attention. It didn’t work, her father had his mind on other things, mainly his work, fulfilling what he believed was his male role—providing for his family.
In her teens, Lara gave up being the good girl and rebelled. She decided her father wasn’t important. In fact, her behavior was largely a reaction to him. Subconsciously, she was trying to get his attention and punish him by being the bad girl.
Lara struggled with her relationships with men. She didn’t know how to relax and be herself. She didn’t know how to express her true feelings. She was always afraid her partners would leave, and they did.
She was attracted to men who were like her father, expecting them to treat her the same way as her father did. And they did. No matter how much she tried to get her partners to love her, they remained distant.
Of course, there was a part of her that would have been terrified if her partner suddenly become loving and attentive. She had no model for dealing with that level of intimacy.
When we did a regression, she realized she was still living with her ‘internalized father.’ She was guided to look more deeply at her father and his history. She saw that his father, her paternal grandfather, was also distant, never emotionally connecting with his children. Times were tough, back then. There were wars and danger. Nearly everyone shut off their emotions and focused on surviving. The father absence had come down the ancestral line.
Lara’s guides told her she could change her relationships with men and attract a different type of man. First, she had to heal her relationship with her father.
She was given an image of her father as a child. He was alone, afraid and confused. She knew what this felt like and she started weeping. She wrapped this little boy up in a blanket of love, crying many tears, not knowing if the tears were hers or her fathers.
After this session, her relationship with her father changed. She didn’t see him as the cold rejecting father anymore. She saw him as the hurt child. She was gentle with him and just a little affectionate. He softened and sometimes asked about her life.
Her guides told Lara that she was here to learn to be loving rather than judging. She had been hurt by her father’s absence, believing it was about her, thinking she was unlovable. In truth, it was not about her at all. Her father was emotionally shut down. His heart had hardened to survive and when Lara was acting out the bad girl, her heart had hardened too.
Lara realized that there is always a reason for people being cool and distant. Sometimes, by asking our guides to help us see the truth, we are given a glimpse of their pain and suffering. Seeing the truth of people, their inner pain, fear and isolation, can lift us out of judgement. Then, as loving souls, we are inclined to treat them carefully, with kindness and compassion.
In part 2 of Absent Fathers, we explore two more illuminating cases.