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We are born into this world with very few fundamental needs, including the need for love, security, and affection from our parents. Unfortunately, not all children receive this love and security and because of that, they grow up with scars on their hearts.

To help readers understand and heal from the impact of an emotionally distant father, “Daughter Detox: Recovering from an Unloving Mother and Reclaiming Your Life” by Peg Streep offers valuable insights and strategies for personal growth and healing.

The relationship between father and child is a special one and one that isn’t often discussed. Unfortunately, more and more daughters are growing up in the world without their fathers. And in many cases, even when the father is physically present, he is emotionally distant and in some cases, even emotionally neglectful. Growing up as a daughter of an unloving father is not easy. It leaves scars on your heart and an empty seat on your soul. For those who grew up with a loving father, consider yourself lucky. If you grew up without one, keep reading, because you will likely relate to the following.

1. You have trust issues.

When your father is emotionally absent, it sets the stage for a difficult time moving forward with trust. Our fathers are supposed to set the stage for us, to teach us how to love and how to properly attach to others. Unfortunately, when they do not give love freely, it can make it very hard to trust.

2. You have attached to the wrong people time and time again.

Oftentimes, the children and daughters of unloving fathers will end up unintentionally attaching to emotionally unavailable people. This is because they are emulating the relationship they have with their father and attempting to find closure or finally break through the barrier.

3. Your self-esteem is low.

When a child is not given the love and attention they seek, they don’t take this as there being something wrong with their parent (which is the truth) but instead, they internalize it and believe that something is wrong with them. In turn, it destroys their self-esteem.

4. You have addiction problems.

A common wound among unloved children is addiction problems. While this can manifest as a drug, alcohol, or even gambling addiction, it can also manifest as something as simple as a cell phone addiction, social media addiction, or even shopping addiction.

For those dealing with low self-esteem and trust issues stemming from childhood experiences, “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk provides a deep understanding of how trauma affects the body and mind and ways to overcome it.

5. You have a hard time getting close to others.

Our parents really do set the stage for our future relationships. When your father is emotionally neglectful and unloving, you will believe that others are too. And in turn, you won’t even really try to get close to anyone.

6. You have anger and rage.

Being emotionally neglected is a major form of trauma. And, the thing about trauma is, despite it being an emotional problem, it attacks our physical body. In a lot of cases, those who are traumatized have emotional regulation problems, because of how their trauma attacked their central nervous system. This can cause those who are the daughters of unloving fathers to deal with a deep rage.

7. You have a hard time understanding boundaries.

Boundaries are taught to us through our parents. When our parents instill healthy boundaries, we learn to set healthy boundaries in our future relationships. But, when our fathers put up a wall (too rigid of a boundary) we learn to keep our walls up. When our parents have no boundaries with us (too free of a boundary) we never learn to set boundaries with others and let them run over us.

8. You have a deep-seated fear of abandonment.

A major fear of abandonment is a common scar daughters of unloving fathers report having. In a very informative article by the Mighty about emotional neglect from fathers, three of the people who spoke to the Mighty reported having a massive fear of abandonment.

In addressing the challenges of boundary-setting and emotional regulation, “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend is an excellent resource. This book offers practical advice on establishing healthy personal boundaries in various aspects of life.

9. You constantly apologize.

Another thing you may notice when you are around someone who is a daughter of an unloving father is how she will apologize for every little thing. Deep down, she still blames herself for her father’s neglect, and you can hear it in the way she talks about herself.