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  1. Daddy Issues (I feel like such a whiney baby)

    Warning- this is very long. I do feel like a whiney baby for writing this, but this is in no way meant to insult anyone else who feels the same way. I am usually a harsher critic of myself, and I have low self esteem, so I guess I am picking on myself. The thing is, I am 22- almost 23- and I still have freaking daddy issues from years ago. No, my father never abused me in any way. He rarely even spanked me and when he did he really didn't do it hard (though it did hurt my feelings, but I don't think it hurt my butt much) and I deserved it. I can only really recall this happening once though. So you could hardly call the man physically abusive towards me! He was tolerant of a lot of things and seemed pretty easy going with me, so verbal abuse wasn't a problem either. He never touched me innapropriately. So he wasn't physically, verbally, or sexually abusive at all. My dad never hit my mom in front of me that I can recall either, though he did throw a huge hard book at her once (the jerk), but it missed. That was the fight that led to their divorce and I don't think he'd ever swung at her before. My mom was the type of woman that didn't take much and any man that hit her (and I'm guessing even tried) wouldn't have stayed around long. Had he suceeded in hitting her, she'd prob. have blacked his eye before kicking him out or calling the police. They did argue a lot, but I don't remember most of it because I was so young when they divorced. However, that isn't what is getting to me right now. I haven't seen my dad in years. In almost half my life. I feel like I should be over it. I tell myself it happens all the time, it's no big deal in this cold hard world, and it's been years. I tell myself, you (meaning me) should be over it, you should be healed, you never cared much anyways. I tell myself I got off lucky. I was never abused personally by my father and I never had to watch him beat my mom or any of the rest of the family and don't know of him abusing anyone. Also, I tell myself, it's not like he died. That would have been horrible. I tell myself I am lucky my dad wasn't abusive and that he didn't die on me. I tell myself that as a child he didn't neglect me and spend all of his money on alcohol, drugs, and women, and that he didn't spend all his time partying and sleeping around. That he saw me. I tell myself I am lucky to know who my dad is and to have had him at all. I tell myself I'm a big whiney baby and I need to grow up. I tell myself I don't care if he's in my life anymore and that I never did. I have believed that for most of my life, but now I am not so sure. Here's the thing. My parents divorced when I was 4 and I started seeing dad again when I was 5. I saw him every other weekend for awhile, but didn't stay overnight. Eventually I started staying all night and staying the whole weekend sometimes and sometimes seeing him two weekends or more in a row and I saw him during them Summer whenever I guess. When I was about 12 or 13, my dad dropped out of my life. I sort of feel like maybe it was my fault and I am not basic that concern on pure judgement- it does have some backing in reality. The thing is my mind seems so clouded on some of the issues involved that I am not sure if I think it was all my fault, or partly my fault, or if I think he was dropping out of my life before I ever did anything and would have done it anyways. Did I cause him to leave or did he cause me to turn on him or was it a combo, I don't know. For whatever reason, he is gone and so are the two half sisters I had on his side. I also have another half sister on mom's side whom I see still. Well, I have tried in the last couple years to reconnect, but to no avail. I really believed I had a chance. My cousin by marriage on mom's side used to see him out a lot and would tell me that dad asked about me often. Also, just a year or two before I tried to reconnect with him, my mother was talking to my father's sister and she said that dad wanted to contact me about 3 years before mom and her conversation, but for some reason hadn't. Mom said from what she gathered from the convo and could remember, that it was basically like dad didn't know if I would welcome him contacting me again. Then, about a year or less before I contacted him, I saw my cousin on dad's side of the family and he told me that I should contact my dad. That my dad loved me. I took all this as a good sign. Then later, I called my dad's brother and sister-in-law ad told them who it was. I told them that I wanted to contact dad- could I have his number? My uncle put the phone down to holler at my aunt and tell her who was calling and what I wanted. I heard her say my dad didn't want his number given out. She then got on the phone and told me his number was unlisted. I knew that of course. I had checked the phone book- why'd she think I was calling them for the number? I know they knew it, but whatever. So, I asked them to tell dad that I called and wanted to speak to him and that my number was in the phone book and he could contact me if he wanted. They said they'd tell him. He never called. Or maybe he did. I didn't have my phone hooked up like I should have because of the internet (had the phone line in the computer a lot) and was gone a lot or on the phone. Yet, my mom's number is listed. He could have called and told her to tell me he was trying to call. He could have gotten a hold of me somehow or eventually if he cared to try enough. Anyways, I let it go. Then I got sick. Like, I was dieing. I didn't know it though. I didn't feel like I was dieing, but I knew I was seriously ill. I couldn't eat much- somedays I could barely eat at all and what I ate, which was very little- just a few bites the whole day, was forced. I was losing weight. My stomach was bothering me really bad, even for me, but I won't give you the details of that. My heart was fast, even for me and my chest felt funny a lot. I was having more anxiety and for no reason. My skin had turned pale, then yellow. I was jaundiced. My yellowing arm ran down to a huge bruise that was swollen as if it was bleeding underneath. I didn't know how I got it and pushing on it didn't even hurt. I had a couple blood spots on my shoulder, in another bruise. My tongue was spotted with purple dots, which I know now was blood spots. My usually normal menstrual period was acting weird and I knew something was wrong, but didn't connect it to everything else that was going on. I won't give you the details of that either. My urine was really dark. It was actually brownish. I was so tired. I didn't want to get out of bed. I thought I had hepatitis. I had TTP. One doctor said that had I waited before coming to the hospital, I prob. would have died in a couple of days. While I was in the hospital, my maternal aunt, unbeknownst to me, called one of my paternal aunts and asked for dad's number so she could tell him I was in the hospital. Well, this was a different aunt, but she turnewd her down on the number too. She wouldn't give it out. So, she told my aunt to tell dad I was in the hospital and the name of the hospital and that "we" as in the family, thought he should know. He never came to see me. Okay. He never called to check on me either. That wasn't so okay. Yes, most people who have TTP live now if they make it to a hospital and get proper treatment, but I still could have died and he didn't even know what I had I don't think. Only that I was sick and hospitalized. If he did know what it was he probably didn't know what my chances were. And anyways, it can be fatal. I was upset when I found out he knew and never checked on me. Maybe he didn't love me at all. Some more stuff had happened since we stopped seeing each other that might have ticked him off at me. So, again I blamed myself. I caused this. I caused him to stop caring. Yet, was it that bad, what I have done? So bad that if I want to talk and make nice and after all this time, he still wants nothing to do with me? Even iof he was upset over more recent events- I was sick. Did he not care?! I found out that dad was supposed to have been contacted only sometimes after i left the hospital, and I called my uncle (the one I origionally called for dad's number) and asked if dad knew I had been sick. I had assumed him and his wive's were the ones that were contacted, but it turned out it was someone else, but he didn't know who had been contacted because he said he never knew I was sick. He asked what had been wrong and how was I now and I told him. Then, he said he didn't think dad knew because he himself never heard of me being sick. So I don't know if dad was contacted or not. So I asked him if dad knew I had tried to contact him before and he said, yeah I think he knows. Well, he had to know if dad knew or not because it was him and his wife that I had asked to deliever the message. I take it dad does know that. So, I asked if he knew what I had done that was so bad that dad didn't want to speak to me after all this time. He just said "I don't know that he doesn't (want to talk to you)." All I could say is it would seem that way. Then I told him that if he thought it would cause trouble that he didn't have to do it and it'd be okay, but I'd appreciate it if he could tell dad that I said I loved him. He said "I will." I believed him. I still believe him. He's told him. That's what I think. No phone call. No letters. Nothing. I don't understand. If he loves me where is he? If he wants to talk to me like everyone would have me believe- why doesn't he?! Why?! I just want to talk to him to at least have some closure. I want him to tell me how he feels and what he wants and why for once and it'd be nice if I could tell him how I feel, too. I can't even get one last time! *sighs* I would take him back in my life and I would apologize to him for everything I'd ever done wrong and not expect and apology in return. I would. I would even appreciate a phone call that said I hate you and here's why. At least I'd know then. I think he'd started dropping out of my life before certain crap went down with me and him (my fault). I am almost sure he had started pushing me away. Maybe I am wrong. Things are so mangled and fogged in my head when it comes to that whole part of my life. It seems like he had started already though. So even if stuff I have done in more recent years has scared him from coming back and made him hate me now, it still doesn't explain something. Even if crap I did back then made him push me away even more....why had he already started to abandon me in the first place? Why? I am so confused. There is a lot that I never knew and even stuff I used to think that I knew about the situation, I am now so mixed up over. I just want a phone call. A letter. Something. An explanation. An ending or even better- A knew beggining. I love him. I miss him I think. I feel so numb most of the time. In the beggining I didn't even feel hurt. I didn't think. But I began acting really angry, even for me. I got frustrated so easily it was insane. Mom thought it was because of dad, but I didn't know why. I've always had problems with anger and anyways, I had gotten my period just a little before dad pushed me out of his life. Like less than a year before. Maybe 6 months. So maybe the extra hormones had something to do with it. Or maybe mom was right. I didn't know what the problem was. I think I really did care and still do, but the hormones and my natural disposition probably factored in. I would apologize to Dad, but I can never get to speak to him. No number listed and no one to give it out. I don't know his address and am not sure where he lives anymore. On an interesting side note, at one point I got to speak to another cousin on my dad's side who is the child of the uncle and aunt I had deliver my messages, and he is a bit crazy, I think so I don't know how much I trust what he says, but I was talking about calling them and about dad and he said something about dad being mad at his mom (dad's sister-in-law/my aunt), but he never said why. I don't think he knew why. I don't know if it had anything to do with my having them deliver the message or not. I couldn't tell by the way he worded it and I don't know if he even had a clue as to why dad was upset. He did offer the idea that dad's wife might be to blame for him not spreaking to me, but offered no explanation besides- she's weird like that or something like that....I can't quite recall exactly what he said. Anyways, Dad is weird to, so who knows? Well, I know I have babled on forever, but here's the thing. There is more to this situation than I have mentioned, but really I just want to skip to something else that is related to this, but a bit of a different topic. I have heard of people trying to replace their fathers before, with substitute dads. Most of the articles I've seen on it have to do with boys trying to replace their dad's though. The times I have heard of woimen trying to replace them, it usually involved them sleeping with older men in an attempt to replace their dad. Now, I'd be a liar if I said I was never attracted to an older man- even a much, much, older man,m but I don't think I wanted him to be my dad. I wanted them to be lovers or lovers and friends or husbands or something, but not fatherly. Plus, I was also attracted to boys my age and younger boys as well, as long as they weren't too young. I mean I wasn't sick about it. The point is, I don't put much emphasis on age as long as they are old enough. So, it isn't like I only liked/like older men and again the ones I did like romantically or sexually I feel had nothing to do with my dad. I knew a father's love because unlike some less forunate people, I had experienced it for awhile before he left me, so I knew what it was like. It was definetly a different kind of love and affection than what I felt when I wanted someone romantically or sexually, so it wouldn't have mad sense for me to replace it with that kind of relationship even if it was with an older man. So, I feel that wasn't the case with me, though I do know someone whom I feel does do that. However, she had never known her father so maybe that makes a difference. However, I do feel like I have tried to replace my dad- and the lack of men in my life in general- with several older men that I never thought of sexually or romantically, but I liked as friends and I think I sort of saw them as fatherly. I know I probably would still try and make friend siwth older men anyways, even if not for my dad because I also try and make friends with older women. Actually I try and make friends with anyone that has a personality or interests or beliefs and so forth, that I take a liking to, regardless of age or gender. The thing is though, I am more concerned with the older men I think. I honestly don't want these men romantically or sexually, but I find that if I take 2 people that I am just getting to know, and I like them both the same pretty much, the older man seems to take most importance. I want them to like me as a friend even more. After I get to know someone well, I will like or even love them just as much despite gender and age, but in the beggining, while I know the age and gender isn't why I like them, it does seem to make me crave their attention and acceptance more. I mean if I don't like who they are as a person anyways, the older male thing means nothing, it's only if I like who they are otherwise that I care about them, but then the gender and age thing seems to make it more important. At first I don't think I knew for sure I was doing this, but it's become really obvious to me. I don't think I actually sought the people. I would just meet them and fall into it, the whole trying to replace my dad thing. Now it's like I think I would still want to be friends with these people regardless of age or gender or my dad, but it does seem to heighten importance a bit in the early stages of getting to know them. I think I not only want an older man in my life, as a friend, and father figure, but also just men in general as friends. I know gender shouldn't matter and I will befriend people regardless and I know people are just people, but I feel sort of like something is missing. I have a boyfriend, who is also my friend in general. I knew him somewhat and liked him as a friend before we started dating. We just hadn't gotten to be really close friends at the time, but we were aquaintances who liked each other as friends and we wanted to become closer and we were building a friendship, then I started noticing how cute he was and he started taking notice of how I looked too apparently, and his attitude, personality, beliefs, interests, and everything combined and I realized not only did I like him as a friend- I wanted him to be my boyfriend and my lover. That later turned into I love you, I want to marry you! So, I do have a male friend/mate, but other than my boyfriend there are no men in my life hardly. I mean in other positions. Like, I have three sisters- no brothers. One is married so I have a brother in law I see a couple times a month sometimes. I also have 2 nephews and a niece from them, so there are my nephews. Some men in my life I guess, but I don't see them much and the nephews are so young it's hard to relate sometimes, but one of them is getting older and I swear he has always been so much like me. If I believed in the stork, I would say there had been a mix-up in deliveries and he should be my son! Everyone says that! lol. Anyways, I used to have my dad and my maternal grandpa as close male relatives. My grandpa and grandma on mom's side used to stay with us a lot and vice versa so we were all close. We spent so much time together. My grandpa died when I was a little younger than 6 & 1/2, but I remember a lot about him and we were really close. My dad's mother died before I was born and I didn't see his family as much as I did mine, so I have only one memory of seeing his dad, when he was sick in the hospital. He died when I was about 4. I know he loved me.....he wanted to see me and spend time with me, but he was so sick and died when I was so young and had other grandchildren and children to tend to and dad never took me around much I don't think. I don't really remember though, so I guess that's unfair to say. I just feel like dad never took me around his family as much as mom took me around hers but we lived a little closer to hers. Not much though, since dad's family lives really close by. Most of them anyways. He never even took me to see one of my half sisters who was older than me by about 3 1/2 years, until sometimes after him and mom divorced then he told me he was taking me to see a sister I never knew i had before. That might have been partly her mom's decision though- who knows? Anyways, I am just saying I don't blame my grandpa on dad's side and we prob. would have been close too if we had had the time and chance to be. From what I hear he loved children and I think he said something about a house not being a home without lots of little kids running around. I wish I had gotten the chance to know him better. Well, anyways, my dad and mom got divorced when I was 4, then I saw dad at 5 again, then at 6 my grandpa died. Then sometime during age 12 or 13 and dad was gone. I used to be semi-close to my male uncles on mom's side too, but now that I'm not a kid anymore that's pretty much disintegrated. That's prob. partly my fault too though. I am not close to any male cousins. Most guys either don't want anything to do with me or they want to have sex with me. I think men and women can be friends and nothing more. I see really good and I truly believe genuine examples of close platonic long lasting friendships between opposite genders all the time. A lot of people I know get a long better with members of the opposite sex. Not so for me. Well, they won't give me the chance to know if we would get a long. Well I don't make friends easy in general, but every guy I've ever tried with has either not wanted anything to do with me or wants to hump me. I don't get it. I am friends with girls for reasons other than sex. So if a guy is all the things i look for in a friend, why would I turn him down just because he wouldn't sleep with me? I wouldn't. Even if I wanted him, I'd rather be friends than nothing at all. People are ignorant. Some of these guys are of the mindset sleep with me or you are no use to me, but others I think don't weant to sleep with me but they don't like me as a human being either, so either way I basically have no close male friends besides my boyfriend. My relationships with male family members is either not as close as I would like, some have never been as close, other relationships have deteriorated, or are non-existant, and then my grandpas are dead and I am dead to my father. I actually thought I was starting a relationship with someone in my dad's family. Basically I have no relationship with any of his family anymore, but I have seen some of his family out and about, but amazingly haven't seen dad out in public anywhere even though he lived and still lives close by (just not sure exactly where at this point). Anyways I saw a handful of my cousins out. Some female, some male. I spoke to them. One of them and me hit it off since we had a lot in common. When I was younger, there seemed to be a lot of a bigger difference in our ages. Well technically there still is I guess. H'es like 10 years older than me. Maybe more. He's in his 30's and me in my 20's. So he never really even spoke to me much when I was little and visiting although I saw him often. It was like I wasn't there mostly, but a lot of times he wasn't there- he'd leave while dad and I hung out with the rest of the family and I mostly would talk or play with dad and my other cousin who was female and closer to my age. She's only a few years difference. Seemed like quite a bit then though, but not as much as the difference between me and him. So, I never really knew him before and I was learning we were so alike and I thought maybe we could be friends and I'd have a relationship with someone in dad's family for once. We discussed art and religion and life and whatever. It was cool. Also, he ended up being my eye into the world of my dad's family that I feel so estranged from now. I think that whole family doesn't really feel like I am a part of them. Then one day, he basically told me he wanted to have sex with me so bad it hurt. I knew he had problems, but I didn't know he was a sick incestuous pervert. He was one of my first cousins. Our parents were siblings. I was disgusted and said he had to know that that would never happen. He said he did. Needless to say I don't talk to him anymore. I would feel akward and wrong even chatting with him. That furthered my theory that for some reason, although lots of guys I knew were friends, real friends, with females, that in my life, men would never want a close relationship with me again unless they were banging me- and that apparently went for my own sick a** family. Well, most of my family isn't that way, but hey one of em surprised me. Besides my boyfriend, whom I think would have been friends with me anyways. And besides that one of my nephews wants to spend loads of time with me and well the other one does like me to and my brother in law loves me. I don't see them much though and well you know what I said about that earlier. Then there are my step fathers. My mom has been married two times since my dad. The first man was insnaely jealous and possessive. I really liked him in a way though I think he might have been jealous of me. He seemed to like me maybe even love me though, but he was a jerk in a way and after awhile he and mom started arguing a lot because he was crazy jealous- he got Playboys in the mail but if she hugged her cousin he would get mad- and it was so loud the neighbors could hear it so sitting in the yard or even going next door didn't really get me away from it and I am a nervous person so I ended up getting emotionally distaught and started wanting him to leave. Then they seperated. Later I wanted him to come back and they did eventually get back together. After awhile, they went back to them fighting and had me tore up again. Then I wanted him to leave again. They seperated again. I wanted him back. They got back together. Repeat cycle a few more times. Finally it was over. Divorce. We don't talk anymore. He'd probably write if I did or talk if I called, but I tried before and it gets him thinking about mom again and he trys to start their relationship back up and I think that bothers her, so.....besides looking back on some of the stuff he did I don't know if I should even want to talk to him. But he did care for us both, even if he was a jerk. I dunno. Well, then there was another step dad. He was a decent man, but he was kinda pettish and excluded mom from parts of his life, like his previous chiuldren and he wasn't really sociable with most of our side of the family. He tried to be a dad to me though, but I was a th this stage were I wanted everyone to stay away and let me curl up in a hole somewhere, so that didn't take. Then they seperated sorta. I mean okay, it ended up in this weird marriage were she stayed at her home and he at his, a walking distance away and they would go out on dates or visit each other for dates ocassionally and talk on the phone sometimes. This lasted for years before the divorce. He really was nice to me and he did try but like I said, at first it just wasn't happening. Later, he said something that made me feel like he was hitting on me as in making a pass at me. I brushed it off and thought I was making a mountain of a molehill. I didn't see him or talk to him for a long time afterwords. Then later I spoke to him again and there might have even been a couple calls or appearances before this other call happened, but anyways if there was they were fine. Then he called and I felt again that he was saying innapropriate stuff but I couldn't be sure. I think he eventually got that I was really uncomfortable and shut up. He didn't say anything else after that really, when he called or saw me so I thought maybe he hadn't meant anything and I misinterrprited and he finally realized I was uncomfotable and respectfully backed off. Yet, maybe it's because of my nature to dissect and dwell over everything in my life, but I couldn't shake the thought that maybe he had mad a couple passes at me. Then one day when he was over a long time later, and after many innocent conversations and visits (he'd visit mom and I'd see him) he asked for a kiss. I was a little uncomfortable cause of the stuff that had been said before but I was never sure he meant anything by it and he had quit long ago, so I kissed his head or cheek or something, but then he asked for a kiss on the lips which I thought was strange, but other family members (mine) were there, so I thought he wouldn't do something he thought was bad around them. I went in for a kiss, but wasn't sure he was serious so I pulled back. He stood still, so I thought yeah he's serious, so I gave him a quick peck on the lips, but it made me a tad uncomfortable. Anyways, they eventually divorced and now I don't see him anymore, but ya know. Well, then there are other men who have been friendly with me, but I don't think they'd ever really be friend with me. They are just nice to me and talkative when they see me sometimes. Some have actually pursued something a little more, with calls or invites to hang out. Yet, I think most just speak to me in passing and want nothing more to do with me either because they think it is innapopriate or too taboo to be friends with me because I am younger and female, or they think I am a dumb child, or they question my motives. Now the rest, well I question their motives. Most turn out to be pervs or I suspect that they may be. I want a friend and a father figure. Not some incestuous father figure either. Actually I have gotten to the point that any man that is nice to me becomes suspect though. It's sad really. Oh well, i don't know what the point of this is. I needed to talk though. I feel like I'll never replace dad though. Even if I had dad back I don't know if it could ever be the same. Would that even fill this hole? I don't know, but I feel an empty spot where he used to be and I am trying to shove something in it but it never fits. I am afraid to even try to be friends with older men anymore because so many of them turn out to be perverts (just like the younger ones- no offence this doesn't mean all guys and hey no one said most women were perfect either- most people are creeps, myself included, if you ask me) and I am afraid they will think I have alterior motives too. My friend told me that she used to try to replace her dad she thinks, but that it was subconcious though, and that she knows now she already has a father- God. Yet, to me, God gave us father's for a reason. I mean, God doesn't give hugs, or partake in two-way conversations, or- well I could name so many things. I'm not insulting God. I just mean there is a big difference in a father you can touch and talk to- an Earthly one, flaws and all (hey flaws can even be good- makes em easier to relate to)- and God. And God obviously feels that we need earthly dads, too, for some reason. So it does not fill the hole, because God may be better, but not the same. I know some people would say that was blasphemous, but I don't think it is. I think God would agree that children- even grown ones- need their parents love and companionship.

  2. Daddy Issues (I feel like such a whiney baby)

    I know I already wrote so much, but would like to add this. When I was little I actually felt closer to male members of the family. I guess because the ladies in our family were more cleaning the home or whatever and my uncles would carve stuff out of wood which amazed me, and my dad would take me on hikes and we'd catch frogs and crawdads (most people here call em crawdeads. I say both- crawdad crawdead) and pick berries and stuff. And my grandpa played with me a lot. The women folk loved me and tried to do things to take care of me and make me happy, but the men played with me. Maybe that was why I was closer to them. I didn't love them more or anything.....just felt closer. But then again, maybe it was more than that. My little niece when she was really little, but old enough to reach for people, would get really excited every time a man would come around and she would start reaching for him and squiggling until he would get her then she would be very happy and excited. She's just always naturally drawn to men. Anyways, now I am closer to most of the women on mom's side than most of the men. And I am not talking to any of dad's family. I just thought I'd mention it because if I was naturally more drawn to men too then it explains even more why I feel the need to have men in my life now as family and friends. Also I noticed a lot of typoes earlier, in my previous post but wanted to point this one out in particular- . I sort of feel like maybe it was my fault and I am not basic that concern on pure judgement- it does have some backing in reality. Erm, I meant to say,- . I sort of feel like maybe it was my fault and I am not basing that concern on pure emotion- it does have some backing in reality. Anyways, how did emotion turn into judgement? Somewhere between my brain and my fingers I guess lol. Also, I wanted to sya that towards the end when I said that I think some of the men are perverts and then I said it has gottern to the point that all men who are nice to me are suspect- I was reffering to the fact that I suspect any man who is friendly, of wanting to sleep with me. I used to have the hardest time thinking anyone could want me. I mean they basically had to strip naked and beg me in plain English (or a lot of filthy slang) for sex before I'd think they wanted me and even then I'd be like, this is a joke right? You want me to get exited so you can embarass me later and say I actually thought you'd like me, right? Now I am paranoid that everyone who's nice to me wants me. It's not that I am conceited. It's that I am paranoid, becuase most people who are friendly with me do want sex.....then when they don't get it they have nothing to do with me. Usually if they don't want sex they never talk to me to begin with.

  3. Daddy Issues (I feel like such a whiney baby)

    but I don't think I wanted him to be my dad. I wanted them to be lovers or lovers and friends or husbands or something, but not fatherly.
    From what I've heard about this, it isn't that the dad is being replaced, per se... It's more that the person will just naturally be attracted to someone significantly older than she is. And then want to make that person the boyfriend or husband. Like, not that you're looking for someone to *act* like a father, but kind of look like one.

    For instance, when I was 8-12 years old, I was really attracted to guys that were older (Like 25-35). I think it's normal for girls to look about 5-10 years ahead of their own age when getting crushes (hence all the prepubescent girls who love the guys in those Teen magazines), but I had minimal interest in that set.

    Plus, I was also attracted to boys my age and younger boys as well, as long as they weren't too young.
    Well, you're still pretty young, and it could be that the whole impact of your situation hasn't settled on you yet. That's how it happened for me. I'm 27 now but rarely even glance at 30 somethings. I regularly look at the 40s and 50s. However, in high school I did have some interest in people my own age. So the Father Figure was less noticeable then, but has gotten more pronounced as I get older.
    The thing is, I am 22- almost 23- and I still have freaking daddy issues from years ago...he wasn't physically, verbally, or sexually abusive at all.
    Don't feel bad. A LOT of women have daddy issues! Your situation sounds justified to me because your parents did divorce when you were so little. That commonly causes a lot of problems for kids, and the divorce rate is what now... 50% ? Yikes. I don't think it's reaching to say that half the people in the US likely have Daddy or Mom issues.

    Also, I don't think a dad has to be abusive to create a Daddy Issue. He doesn't even have to be *absent.* My dad was neither, and I still have Daddy issues just because our relationshp was kind of strange, and the whole family dynamic was messed up.
    Did I cause him to leave or did he cause me to turn on him or was it a combo, I don't know.
    Kids are naturally egomaniacs. (My term, obviously LOL) They tend to think the world turns for them, and that they are responsible for everything. Just like kids often blame themselves for their parents' divorcing, they are apt to take responsibility for everything their adults do. This might just be something you've taken with you from the time when he dropped out of your life. Like, you sound like you are kind of "stuck" in the same place emotionally as you were when your dad left.

    The reality is that all adults have totally complicated lives. You're one now; can you imagine having a child or two now and working that into your daily mix? And having an ex-husband to deal with, too? And children from another marriage to worry about ?? Things get real complicated, fast.
    So even if stuff I have done in more recent years has scared him from coming back and made him hate me now... Even if crap I did back then made him push me away even more....why had he already started to abandon me in the first place? Why?
    I think it's unlikely that you caused any of the situation. Think about what this is like from your Dad's point of view. He broke up with your mom almost 20 years ago and has probably tried to move on with his life. Is he remarried? If his number's unlisted, maybe it's because he really is trying to just separate himself from his former life.
    Also... Bear in mind that your dad is probably just as uncertain about you as you are about him. He hasn't seen you since you were 12, right?... a little girl. That may be how he remembers you. That you have grown up and are now 23 could be unnerving to him. I mean, jeez... before, you were a child. Now you're an adult, and you probably have SEX, and boyfriends! Maybe a fiancee! Does he even know if you're married or not? What if you already have a child of your own?? All of these things have to make it hard for your dad to reach out to you. In his eyes, you've changed so much and may be a totally different person than what he remembers.
    Also, everything he's heard about you has come secondhand. Just like you have "heard" all the stuff about what he says and what he wants, I'm sure he gets the same relays about what you're saying and thinking. I think he probably questions the truth of those things, just as you do. He may really think that you don't like him, or that you resent him for leaving.
    If I were you, I would try to find out what is going on with your dad for sure, and then respect whatever decision he has made. Father's Day is coming up. Is there any way you could get in touch with his family and ask him to call you? (Do you know where your dad lives, even?)

    Your dad either:
    *Doesn't want to have a relationship with you, OR
    *Wants to, but is nervous/scared/uncertain of what you want

    So if it's going to happen, you're going to have to do it. (I'm starting to feel like it's usually women who do this kind of thing... Guys are not usually as good at the relationship stuff.) Track him down. HUNT him !! lol. If you pester his family enough, say PLEASE, "I really want to talk to him!" and of course, be kind to them, tell them you feel like your life is incomplete without them (they are your family, too) so they will be more likely to work with you.... I think that is the best way to get in touch with your dad.
    Most importantly... TELL his family how YOU FEEL. If you love your dad, tell them that. And how much you want to talk to him and make him a part of your life. Try to make it all positive for them, and they will be more likely to help you.

    Just my $0.02, but I hope you can make it work. :o)

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