Updated: May 2, 2019
By Maurice L. Williams
The theme song for children who grew up without fathers or positive male figures should be the song by Destiny's Child "Survivor" because that is exactly what they are, Survivors! Facing and overcoming the obstacles presented by a harsh and often cruel world is not an easy feat. One can only imagine the courage and tenacity a young person must possess to endure, especially when there is no masculine energy around to help fight battles and ward off physical and spiritual warfare.
Studies show that among other things adults who were abandoned by their fathers at birth or at some point during their formative years commonly battle with three things:
A. Low Self-Esteem
C. Attachment Issues
Lets identify some common self defeating behaviors in order to recognize them in ourselves or in our children, family and friends. The purpose for this is to become aware of the counterproductive thoughts that prevent us from being happy.
1. Low Self-Esteem derived from abandonment can be revealed through displays of inadequacy when the abandoned person is forced to discuss or navigate through feelings that caused them pain.
2. Anxiety signs in young people who were abandoned vary but can
manifest through defiant behavior and sleep disorders.
3. Attachment issues include but are limited to lack of trust in others and reluctance to get close to people due to fear of losing them and reliving the hurt of previous rejection or abandonment.
The ability to self regulate is among the survival techniques fatherless children develop to stay healthy, physically, mentally and spiritually. For most young people who grow up without fathers, emotional discomfort, fear and uncertainty are always just a thought away.
Below are five methods to help cope with abandonment:
1. Build a network of trustworthy friends
2. Focus on activities that build self-esteem (e.g., reciting daily affirmations and working out)
3. Identify fears, don't generalize the situation
4. Be mindful of " Stinkin Thinkin "
5. Always remember you are a SURVIVOR!