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Men who grew up without a father

August 7, 2021

I also did, how did you make up for the lack of a father figure growing up? Did you do anything to replace those unfilled life skills lessons? Growing up fatherless has never really bothered me but I've always had a lingering nagging feeling that I missed out on a pivotal part of my childhood development. What all have you other fatherless men done to fill the gap?

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[–]happygloaming 6 points7 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I grew up without my father. I was raised in a city and when I grew up I decided for many reasons to move to the country/mountains. As a fatherless metro guy it was quite scary and a had a young family to care for aswell. Fast forwards 2 decades and I fell in love with the outdoors, mountains, adventuring etc and have helped heal my own void by providing mentorship to other men and boys including my own children by way of alpine climbing and hiking etc.

Not only is mountain climbing deeply meditative but it requires planning, fitness and facing fearful and uncomfortable situations, and fosters inner strength and resilience. There is also the social element aswell, climbing with others necessitates that you put both your trust and even your life in the hands of your companions, you absolutely must work as a team and must support eachother. My children have benefited immensely from our endeavours as have I. I've also helped some lost and struggling men to find themselves by stretching their idea of who they can be.

Giving what we weren't given is immensely valuable and I give the gift of brutal struggle against and immersion in the natural world to others because it was such a great benefit for me.

[–]Complex_Experience83 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you for sharing ❤️

[–]Complex_Experience83 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Brother, I grew up with a father, and while I don’t know the feeling of not knowing my father, often even though I have a father, I’ve felt his absence from my family and himself. Im excited to watch this discussion unfold.

[–]a-man-from-earth 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I grew up with a father too, and while he was present, he definitely had his shortcomings. Didn't help we joined a fundamentalist cult when I was 7.

[–]EgalitarianFacts 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Short Answer: Boys need a responsible adult male to teach them how to be men. 100%

[–]MrElderwood 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

My experience was slightly different, as I grew up with 3 fathers - all of which were degrees of bad, but you'll understand the point of my post by the end. I'll try and keep it brief!

My natural father is estranged. I have probably known him for less than 5 years of my life and I'm mid 40s. He left when I was an infant.

My 1st Step-Father (1SF) ran up massive debts, left my mother to pay for them and deserted us. As my natural father was not paying any sort of financial support for me, nor was 1SF paying anything in maintenance for my younger (step)brother that he fathered, we were financially crippled for years.

Then came the 2nd Step-Father, the worst of them all, who was physically, emotionally, mentally and financially abusive to my Mum, me & my younger brother as well as his child - my much younger (step)sister.

I had zero positive male role models in my life. I had no idea how to act, or indeed react, in almost any situation either as a child or a young adult because of this. I am only the man I am today through benevolent stubbornness and pure 'trial and error'. How did I make up for the absence of a father figure? I'm not sure I ever have, or ever will.

I was bullied relentlessly & daily, both at home and at school, which meant I had no safe haven and grew up in a constant state of fight/flight/freeze (for me, almost exclusively freeze). I still don't really know who I am even now, and I have recently been diagnosed with lifelong, untreated, cPTSD. My life has been an almost complete waste of time, energy and effort.

So, although I could 'boast' 3 'fathers', they were all pathetic excuses of 'men' and did me nothing but damage. None qualified as 'fathers' and all as abusers.

I have never had children because of my fear of me damaging them, even though I was determined to not perpetuate the cycle.

[–]Iceman_Hottie 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

In my case I was lucky that my mom pushed me to be around men. A lot came from my grandfather and the neighbour that taught me woodworking. I also read about what differentiates men from boys, and philosophy. Reading Miyamoto Musashi and Markus Aurelius helped me learn to be and listen to myself, taking control over what kind of person I am.

Now more than happy to pass this on to anyone wanting to learn it.

[–]Algoresball 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Jean-Luc Picard

[–]leelbeach 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I never grew up without a father. I generally feel like I'm more of a bitch who's quite emotional. I don't really stick up for myself, and my voice is more feminine.

[–]teufelinderflasche 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

My dad was around but didn't give two shits for parenting or doing anything fatherly. I was jealous of a boy at my school whose father was the basketball coach. His dad spent more time with him in a week than my dad did in a year. I have two kids now and spend as much dad time as I can with them. Being an active father has helped a lot.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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