The purpose of the Distant Dad Project is to provide hope and inspiration to men that want a more connected relationship with their daughters.

He Thought He Wasn't Good Enough to be My Dad

So I came across one of your articles and felt compelled to share my story and a little advice. I'm sorry this is long. I know you may have to cut it... I just didn't know what to leave out.

My parents separated when I was 5. My father continued visiting my brother and I for a few years. He met someone who had a daughter of her own during that time. I don't remember a lot of the visits, but I remember feeling like an outsider. Like they were the family and my brother and I were in the way.
Please... if you meet someone with children, don't let your own children feel left out. They should come first.

My father left when I was 10, he dropped me at a friends house and asked what I thought about my step father adopting me. I laughed thinking he was crazy... I already had a dad, why would I need to be adopted? But I soon realized that he said that because he wasn't coming back. My mother hired a PI when I was 15 and they found him. I went to the court hearing with every intention on telling him off, but when I saw him I just cried and hugged him. He was my dad. My mother signed away the back child support as long as he would see us. Which he did every Sunday, he would bring us to his house where we could also see our sister (he had another child).

When I was 18, my brother, who had been diagnosed with selective mutism caused by my father leaving, had a dr appt, the dr asked if my father could join the appt, hopefully get to the bottom of the problem. But when I asked him to join us, he had to check with his girlfriend. She called me back telling me "they" didn't think my brother was his. So I stopped talking to them.

I met someone when I was 21. He was loyal and I knew he would never leave. I married him. I was young and marrying for the wrong reasons. I was just so scared my unborn children would go through what I went through... and I knew this man would never leave. I was divorced by 35, but he's still an amazing dad who loves his 2 daughters.

I have severe daddy issues... I finally after years of therapy, suicidal thoughts, cutting... came to the conclusion that my father left me because he thought he wasn't good enough. He thought my stepfather was better off financially and could be a better dad to me. If i can get this through to just one man who thinks this way: YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! A girl needs her dad's unconditional love. That's it. She doesn't need trips to the amusement park and new clothes or toys. She doesn't need to go out to eat every time you take her out. Just visit. Take her to a park, go for a walk at the beach. Tell her she's perfect. Tell her she matters. Make her feel important.

There is only one man in this world that could be my dad. My grandfather stepped up, and that's why he walked me down the aisle at my wedding. He's amazing and I'm thankful for him. But he's my papa. I don't have a dad.

We got back in touch with my father when I was 26, we found his daughter on Facebook. I have now been talking to him for 10 years. We never actually discussed what his leaving did to me. We have semi-normal conversations but I can't call him dad... and I'll never trust him. He's a flight risk and because of that I'll never let my guard down again with him.

I'm a good person. I don't entirely know why he left. I don't know if he missed me. I know he was a dad to his stepdaughter. I know he had another daughter. So it wasn't that he didn't want to be a dad. He just didn't want to be my dad. Nobody should have to feel this way. I think I'll be working through this my whole life. ~ K.B.

The Worst Part is That He Would Absolutely Pick His Girlfriend Over Me

But What if My Daughter Won't Communicate With Me?