I Am Recovering From Fatherless Daughter Syndrome.



The picture above is from 5th grade. It’s an important picture because my dad did my hair that day.
My dad…
…was tall and slender.
…could throw down in the kitchen.
…was artistic and musical, and was the person who taught me how to sign my name.
…did drugs.
…hit my mom.
…made empty promises.
…was not around much.
…should’ve never procreated.

I used to say to myself “I don’t have daddy issues.” That was a boldface lie, I just didn’t know it. My life manifested itself into a clusterfuck that I sometimes don’t recognize, but through continual self-awareness, development and honesty I now know why – because I have fatherless daughter syndrome.

Fatherless Daughter Syndrome is a disorder of the emotional system that leads to repeated dysfunctional relationship
decisions, especially in the areas of trust, and self-worth. It is caused by the lack of a father/daughter bond, which leads
to the daughter not having a clear understanding of what a healthy, loving male/female relationship looks like. It can be
a lifelong syndrome if the symptoms go unrecognized and unacknowledged. The first relationship a little girl has with a man is the one she has with her father. This relationship gives life to what that little girl, who will eventually become a woman, will believe she deserves in her relationships with men. It is poignant, life-shaping, and oh so necessary. What happens to the little girl who doesn’t have the chance to experience this relationship?

Well, you are looking at her.

Without that relationship I had a hard time deciphering what I deserved or who I was worthy of having in my life. There
was no blueprint, no outline, or guide to help me understand the right way to be loved, and because I didn’t truly know,
I settled. I wholeheartedly could feel when something didn’t feel right in my relationships, but elected to stay in those
relationships because my sense of self was not fully developed. My decisions came from a place of scarcity rather than
love. There were so many things my dad could’ve showed me and saved me the trouble of letting my mistakes show me,
but he was selfish and put his needs before that of my brother and I.

I haven’t seen my father in close to ten years, which is by choice. I know where to find him but I haven’t decided if it is

Since I have taken the time to be away from the world and reevaluate my life and my decisions, I have had the
opportunity to understand my pattern. This is why I say I am recovering from Fatherless Daughter Syndrome because I
have taken the time to really look inside myself and understand what I want. It has not been easy, but it has been
necessary because the life I want and work hard towards everyday will not allow for it to be any other way.


Toi is a single mother to 4 wonderful boys and the creator of the single mom blog, Baby Mama Lessons. The piece above is crossposted from her site. 

2 thoughts on “I Am Recovering From Fatherless Daughter Syndrome.

  1. I’m a single mom of a daughter who’s dad is not involved and I worry it will effect her negatively. Any tips on how to avoid “fatherless daughter syndrome”? What can I do to ensure she grows up strong and without any relationship issues?

  2. I wanted to badly NOT to find similarities in your story. But it was impossible. I struggle not to classify my issues in relationships to being fatherless – putting the blame on me, that somehow I’m dysfunctional. But I realize without the support, guidance of a man of a father – I missed out on alot and my mother wasn’t around to support me – I really was on my own. After the birth of my daughter, I hadn’t seen my father in almost 9 years. He passed away this past April and I wasn’t sad. Sounds terrible right? I grieved his absence from my life a very long time ago. Kudos to you for taking a look inward and for taking the necessary steps to heal yourself.

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