How To Deal With Father Hunger

I’ve had a few fears about writing this blog. I’ve been afraid it would become too heavy and few people would read it. Then I received your incredible, meaningful, and insightful comments on Father Hunger. I realized then, trying to find healing from Father Hunger is a big, big deal. The poll showed that 90% of you agreed with me. Then I received a comment from Danielle and it rocked my world. She said,

When I was 11-13 my dad never even talked to me. He would tell me I looked and acted too much like my mom (who had just left him) so he wanted nothing to do with me. I went online and started getting into major trouble. Phone sex, cyber sex, webcam shows, you name it I did it

If this blog helps one person like Danielle, it’s worth it. So how does one go about getting healed from Father Hunger? And how do you deal with father hunger? I have a few ideas, and the thoughts from your comments gave me some more. Some of these suggestions might just work and that would be awesome. So here goes.

  1. Every person who overcame Father Hunger had to first overcome denial. Denial is an unconscious defense mechanism used to reduce anxiety by denying thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable. No one wants to think about or have those awful feelings of being neglected, rejected, or even abandoned. So it is very easy, when it comes to Father Hunger, to pretend the hurt that comes from a broken relationship with him doesn’t really matter. The only problem is denial only works for a little while, and then the hurt comes back, and usually even stronger. There is a saying from the Bible that goes, You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there! It’s kind of like finding out you have Cancer. The doctor tells you if you don’t have an operation, you will die soon. Yes, the surgery will hurt, but at least you will live. Emotionally, healing can’t really begin until we admit the painful truth that Father Hunger is real.
  2. Don’t react to Father Hunger by acting out and thereby making matters much worse.It’s easy to overreact to the kind of pain Father Hunger brings. Sometimes people who have Father Hunger lash out in rebellion. Others look for any kind of medication they can find to try to make the pain go away. But acting out to solve Father Hunger never works. I received a comment from a really honest girl named Rheagan. What she had to say stopped me in my tracks. Her father really hurt her sister and her.

    He left us with a shovel and no direction on how to fill a huge hole. It seems we’re using guys over and over and hurting them by tossing them away and going for another one different trying to see as if maybe, like a puzzle, the piece will fit in. Sometimes you get a piece that is almost right, but the edge is different and the only piece that fits is the father. Without him, we keep searching trying to find it, without realizing the piece is hidden.

    Tossing guys away and purposely hurting them is a wrong response to Father Hunger. And as I have said all along, giving in to guys isn’t the answer either. Take a look at the comment I received from Juli.

    A lady who goes to schools and talks about abstinence holds up two hearts cut out of foil then she crumples them together. She makes everyone laugh by saying ‘I bet you’ve never seen foil having sex!’ After she takes them a part she tries to make them look smooth again but she can’t. It means that even if we don’t think it does, sex does something to crumple our heart. We need to protect our heart as much as possible.

    Then I received a comment from Cali. I was stunned by her anger.

    They say that you hurt the ones you love most. Well then in that case I guess my dad loves me to death!

    Trying to cover the pain by rage, sex, drugs, or any other false feel good never works. In fact, acting out can cause more hurt to ourselves than even what our fathers may have done to us. If you are acting out, you need to stop. You’re only making matters much worse. And in the end, the only one you’re hurting is yourself. Colleen’s father was abusive and so she turned to cutting to numb the pain, but she got help from a HopeCoach. Read Colleen’s story of HOPE here.

Let’s talk next about “Reaching out for a Father.”
Your friend,
P.S. TheHopeLine has put together an Ebook on self-worth. Click the link to download it for free. You matter!
self-worth help

Dawson McAllister Dawson McAllister (born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania) is an American speaker, radio host, and author. He is the founder of Dawson McAllister Association and TheHopeLine and host of the national radio program Dawson McAllister Live, which is aired on Sunday nights. Dawson has been speaking to and in support of teenagers and young adults for over 40 years.
TheHopeLine reads every comment. The purpose of the blogs are to provide help through the content, stories, and struggles of others. If you are looking for immediate help please click on an option above.
  • Breanna

    My father finally realized what he did to me(abandoning me for 7 yrs) caused me alot of psychological issues.. leading to meaningless sex and abuse on my self. Hes working hard to regain my trust but its really hard when I always feel like hes just playing me and will be gone by the end of the year..

  • TheHopeLine

    Lindsey, you sound like an amazing person. Your dad is missing out on an incredible daughter. But it also sounds like he is a really messed up person himself. Please know that rape and sexual abuse are NEVER your fault. So proud of you for working towards healing. If you ever want to just chat about it, HopeCoaches are here to encourage you, pray with you, and listen with compassion and understanding. We are cheering for you! Chat online with us anytime –

  • TheHopeLine®

    You sound very compassionate and caring. It sounds look you are a tremendous support to him. You are welcome to chat with one of our HopeCoaches to find more resources for him. We help teens and young adults globally. Here is where you can chat with us

  • Mingaile

    My ‘father hunger’ cuts very deeply… I can’t seem to get over it even though i understand it…
    Maybe I am wrong, like my mum says ‘you are an adult – deal with it!’ Even though she was raised by a narcissistic mother, she had a dad, my grandad; who died when I was 8. To me he was a father figure, from what i remember about him and stories from other people – he was very much like me in character and stuff he enjoyed… sometimes I wish that it was my overbearing, jealous, vindictive grandma that was gone instead of him ;((
    I am a daughter of an abusive alcoholic father that my mum ran away from when i was 3. He is okay now, not drinking, working, married. He tried to have a relationship with me but it didnt work out because (in my opinion) he’s just too ashamed of himself. His mum died when he was 5 and i think he’s still stuck at that age. He’s had many relationships with a lot of women (i have a 6 yr old sister from one of them). The woman that he is with now (not my sister’s mum) controls him and tells him what to do. Like a mother would. That is what he’s been looking for all his life – a mother figure.
    I am now 25 years old. I used to blame myself for my ‘daddy’ not wanting me and not having a proper father-daughter relationship like my friends had with their dads. Self-harm, eating disorder, alcohol and substance abuse – you name it i’ve done it. Only now i realise why i felt abandoned – it wasnt me, it was him. Thank God for my mother who’s got balls of steel and was raised by the greatest dad that anyone could wish for; i did not sink. I have a Bachelor’s degree, a job and i am happy. Although i am attracted to older men and have a boyfriend 16 years older than me and I do sometimes wonder why my ‘daddy’ is not there to celebrate my acheivements – i understand… in his head, he is still that 5 year old boy looking for a mother. He can’t take care of me…

    • TheHopeLine®

      Thanks for sharing your story so openly and honestly. You are an overcomer and encourager to others who are struggling. Way to go on getting your degree and beating your addictions!