True Story: I Haven’t Talked To My Dad In 4 Years

What's it like to be estranged from your father? To not talk to him for years at time? Click through for one woman's story.

What’s it like to be estranged from your father? To not talk to him for years at time? Karen and her father haven’t spoken in four years. This is their story.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Karen. I’m a musical theatre student currently studying in the UK but I’m originally from Belgium. I love to read – currently reading Walker’s Vivien Leigh biography and the fifth volume of A Song of Ice and Fire – and listening to music.
But most of my time is spent in college rehearsing or researching songs/monologues for my rep. Basically I’ve managed to make the things I love most into what I do every day.
Growing up, how was your relationship with your father?
I loved being around him. He’s a great father for young kids: very imaginative and creative. Bedtime stories were always a highlight for me. We had these two volumes of fairy tales and stories for every day of the year. He did all the voices and was (is, I presume) a very good storyteller.
My parents’ divorce came as a bit of a thunderbolt right before I turned twelve. I do not know the full details but from what I’ve been able to puzzle together he sat her down one day and just said he was leaving her for another woman.
We didn’t hear from him for six months. After that I kept visiting him until I was eighteen. He often claimed to not have enough money to have us over for the weekend or just not show up. I did not understand that: I did not require fancy meals or expensive days out. I just wanted to spend time with him, something in which he did not seem very interested.
What lead you to break off communication with him?
My first year of college I decided not to go visit him on weekends anymore. I was swamped with work and needed a stable environment to study.
A few years later, after some business with money and bank accounts I told him that I did not want to see him again. He would occasionally try to call or text me.
Right before I came to the UK in January of this year was the ‘official’ talk though. I had gone to the bank to sort some things before I moved and it turned out he had still been receiving my bank statements and my new bankcard.
When I rang him he refused to give me either and said we ‘had to talk about it’. We first arranged a meeting the next day but then he changed it and said he wouldn’t be home. I wasn’t convinced so I went to see him the next day. He didn’t answer the door so I figured I might as well see my grandparents and say goodbye to them.
It turned out that he was indeed home and after my grandma suggested I go say hi I knocked on his door. He was livid. When I asked him for my papers he still refused. I finally told him he could keep them and went back upstairs. He raced after me and kept shouting about how badly I treated him.
I’m still really proud of myself for standing up for myself at that moment. I very clearly and calmly told him that I did not want to see or speak him anymore and that I did not want him to contact me. He did try to sway me by playing the victim but I had made up my mind.
Since you’ve stopped talking to him, has he tried to contact you?
He would occasionally text and email me. For my 22nd birthday I got a page-long email detailing why I was a childish coward for not coming to see him. Charming.
Since I moved to the UK I have not heard from him or seen him, luckily. He did try and follow my twitter a couple of weeks ago but I blocked him.
How have the people in your life responded to your decision not to talk to him?
When I was still underage my mum made sure I visited often. Once I decided not to see him anymore she supported me all the way, especially during those monetary episodes.
My close friends are very supportive. I wish I could say the same about my father’s side of the family. They know that I do not visit and don’t want to speak to him. Unfortunately his oldest sister took it then upon herself to become the one person to ‘bring us back together’. She actually sat us next to each other on my eldest cousin’s wedding. Not my best family memory.
Do you think your lack of a relationship with him has affected other relationships in your life?
Definitely. Before that whole episode in their house I hadn’t seen my grandparents for a while because I didn’t want to run the risk of bumping into him.
I do not really see his side of the family any more. The fact that they don’t know everything that happened between us makes it awkward and I do not think it is my job to tell them.
I think it has made me very conscious about finding the right person to share my life with. I find it hard to trust people and let them be close to me. I made the conscious decision to take care of myself so that has become my default setting. It’s hard to break that and be vulnerable.
Has it affected your feelings about having a family of your own?
I do want to have a family of my own somewhere in the future but as I said I am very careful when it comes to relationships.
What are the benefits of not having a relationship with your father? Are there drawbacks?
The biggest benefit was a big cut in the daily drama. Life is a lot less stressful and painful when I am not constantly reminded of everything that has happened.
As far as drawbacks go I think not having that father figure in my life that I can rely on was/is hard. I love my mum very much but we are so similar and would often clash. It would have been nice to have a third element there to sometimes help smooth the waves as it were.
Is there anything your father could do that would make you want to have a relationship with him?
I’m afraid not. It often feels as if now he no longer has to take care of us and I am doing well in life he wants to see me and be the father of a successful woman. It does not work like that for me.
What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of breaking off communication with a family member?
Tell all of your family that you are breaking contact with them and why. You might hurt their feelings but if they do not know why they will probably try to convince you to reconsider which is a very exhausting conversation to have.
Trust yourself and your judgment. It’s a pretty big thing to break off communication with a family member and not a decision you will have taken lightly. Do not let them talk you out of it or make you feel bad about it. You are not weak or a coward for not speaking to them and not giving in to them. You are not a bad for breaking off communication with someone.
Change your phone number. I did not do this while I was still living in Belgium but in hindsight it could have saved me a lot of trouble. However do keep their number in your phone so that you know it’s them when they call and you can just screen the call.
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Karen.  Have any of you broken off communication with a parent or family member?  How have you dealt with it?
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


Sarah M

I haven't' spoken to or seen my father in over 17 years. My parents divorced when I was 2 and although I don't remember this, she told him after a year or two to either be in my life, and be responsible (same thing, wasn't showing up when he said he would, not calling) or get out. He chose to get out. He has tried to make contact with me since I became a teen, and he only lived about 2 hours away from us the majority of my life. I've moved to a coast now and so physically I'm nowhere near him. It took me a long time to realize how his absence shaped me, because when I was young I'd brush it off, "he's like a stranger to me; like going up to anyone on the street and calling him 'dad' " was how I would let it roll off me when people asked. I am still very close with his sisters and his step-mother (the only grandma I've ever known on that side). They have just recently reached out to me and brought him up. It makes me wonder if he's sick. It's hard to say because it sounds harsh, but I just really have no strong feelings one way or another.
Sarah M


I got told at age 13 on my 13th birthday by my dad that he wanted nothing to do with me and that he regreted my exsestince now im living with my mom and im happy im 17 now and will be 18 in october Dont get me wrong i miss my dad but my stepdad has taken over and helped me out been there always has cared for me and is still here for me my bio dad could care less but my stepdad was there for my first surgery my bio wouldn’t even pick up the phone to know i had my first surgery he says imma fuck up just like my mom .


Been here….. I broke off communication with my father when I was 12 (I am now 30) and obviously with a court's approval. I'm still in contact with a few members of his side of the family…. which gives me just enough information to know that I made the best decision for myself.


Terrible – to even suggest one parent is more important than the other is a disgrace. For any parent to block or interfere with parent time is disgusting requiring the mentality of a sociopath. For any parent to block a relationship between parent and child is pure evil…….family courts, attorneys, and judges are lawless criminals Abetting this psychotic destruction of parental rights…..there is simply no excuse in preventing a child from having a relationship with the a parent….NONE………


I haven't spoken to my mother in two years. Like Karen, I have a lot less drama and now that I've set that boundary she can no longer place blame onto me. It's hard to walk away from family because of other people; they can make you feel shameful for walking away. But also like Karen, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that they don't know your side of the story. I don't think anyone should take crap from anyone, family member or not – positive relationships are the ones worth the effort.

M. at Making Sense of Cents

I sort of broke off communication with my mother. I have only seen her once in two years, and we hardly ever talk. She just wasn't meant to be a mother, so I see our relationship more as acquaintances, and try not to hold it against her.

When I tell people about our relationship, they usually think it's my fault. They think I was just an angsty teenager and that I'm just overreacting. However, whenever I tell people the backstory, they find it unbelievable that I talk to her at all…


I like they way you handle having your mom in your life. I have tried to view my father as the same: an acquaintance and it is less painful. My father will never be and can never be what I want or expect him to be. He is actually quite a sad, selfish person. I think viewing my relationship in a different way has helped me to know that it will never be what I want it to be because he has been so absent from my life. I have a wonderful mother who makes up for my selfish horrible father. I am lucky to have such an awesome mom!

Alisha - the.wineglass.manifesto

This is so interesting to me. I didn't speak to my dad for four years between 21-25. Interestingly, my parents were still together but as I was living in a different country it was easier. I also had the full support of my cousins/other family so I stayed with them when I went home to visit. My mum didn't fully support it and I know it broke her heart a little, but she mostly let it be.

However, when I was 25 I moved to Canada and made some amazing friends and read a whole bunch of clever books and started to see the world a bit differently. I flew to Belgium, where my parents were now living, and sat down and had a very intense, stressful, heart-wrenching conversation with my dad. Without going into too much detail (because it's not only hard to think about but I've also just moved on from dwelling on it) he has VERY different memories to how my childhood played out. It was actually shocking to me to hear him downplay the trauma and abuse he bestowed on me as a few little incidents – luckily my mum was there to remind him!

Anyway, we are now in a MUCH better place – and I'm glad. I force myself to only look ahead and not to dwell on anything that happened in the past – it's just not worth it. During those four years I was mostly happy, but every time I thought about my dad and my childhood I was just filled with hate and rage. I try not to have too much hate in my life in general, and I realised that by not talking to him I was the one creating the hate.

And I describe the whole scenario as this: I stopped associating with him because I felt like I had so many good people in my life that I didn't need someone who was bad for me (and it was just a bad coincidence that that person was my father – that whole you can't choose your family thing etc) – but I forgave him because I felt like I was being a better person (both to myself and those around me) by rising above it and forgiving him.

That being said, I totally understand and respect all decisions to never speak to family again. You all have your reasons and situations, and while forgiveness might not work for some of you it definitely worked for me.


Over the years I've wanted to cut ties with my father. He's emotionally immature and suffers from a mental illness, which he chooses not to treat. It can be incredibly painful and soul crushing to deal with him when he is having an episode and I've often thought that removing him from my life was the only way that I could protect myself. Instead I've chosen to seek counseling, it's there that I've developed skills that protect me from his outbursts. After two years of counseling I've learned to look at my father in a different way and I'm grateful for this. I had a dear friend, in a similar situation, who did cut ties. Four years went by with out a word and then her father passed away unexpectedly. The entire situation was heart break on top of heart break.


Same here, my father was diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder and that prevents him from feeling any empathy for others.
“Since you’ve stopped talking to him, has he tried to contact you?
He would occasionally text and email me. For my 22nd birthday I got a page-long email detailing why I was a childish coward for not coming to see him. Charming.”
This part of the article really spoke to me since the exact same thing happened to me. The only difference is that I was 16 when i recieved the message. That was when I realized that it was not my fault thaat he was this way. He has hhis own issues that he needs to work through.


I have not spoken to either of my parents or any of my six siblings for almost three years. My father is the leader of a fairly radical religious group that he created and has complete control over. Growing up, I was always subject to rules that my peers had never heard of. I never resented the rules or the control that they had over my life until I was 21 and in my last year of college. It was around that time that I started to realize that I was no longer interested in the religion of my father and wanted to branch out in life. It was also around that time that I met the man that I will marry. When I told my father that I had met someone wonderful who I would love for him to meet, I was told that he was not welcome and that I would break off the relationship if I knew what was good for me. I refused, and so my father hit me and waved a pistol in my face while threatening to kill me. When he realized that I was no longer under his control, he told me to pack my things and leave his house. That was two and a half years ago. Since then, the only correspondence that I have had with my family has been a handful of short emails from my mother. I miss my mother and siblings, but I will never go back to the life that I had. My life is so much better now. I stood up for myself and I am so proud of myself for doing that. I hope that eventually I will be able to reconcile with my mother and siblings, but I honestly never want to see my father again. I used to think that he was the most amazing person in the world, full of answers and guidance. Now I see that he is an egomaniac with profound control issues. I made the difficult decision of removing him from my life (and sadly, this meant also losing contact with the rest of my immediate family). My extended family supports me and has little to no contact with my father. Sometimes I still struggle with excepting the reality of my situation, but I know that I made the right decision.


This story is similar to mine. My father left the family when I was about five (I'm twenty now) and that was it. For some time he called and sent money, promising he would come back some day. Almost four years ago, I refused to answerr a phone call, since he last called several months before. My mom got mad at me, bu from that day on, we never heard of him anymore.
His family tried to be friends with me on Facebook, but I refused. I have nothing to do with them, I don't even sign their last name. I believe the hardest moment will be if he comes back someday.
And as the girl interviewed, I'm also a person who hardly trusts other people.

digital aj

"…he wants to see me and be the father of a successful woman. It does not work like that for me."

This line stood out to me as especially pivotal, self-aware, and mature. Well done. May you keep being that successful, strong woman!


Thank you for sharing. I know several people who are estranged from family members and for some it seems truly in their best interest, esp. in cases of abuse, etc. I guess I wonder whether not speaking to someone again amounts to never being able to forgive them? Does putting forth the effort not to communicate fuel the anger and negative feelings? It it like grasping a hot coal as Buddha put it? I don't mean to sound harsh, I just wonder. I'm sure it is complicated.


I had a great relationship with my father until yesterday when I found out he'd been arrested for something I can't even bring myself to repeat. I was sickened. My mother and sister were fine with him coming home but I secretly wasn't and I've been hiding un my room only talking to my mum and sister since. I've hid in my room all today and taken a day off work because I couldn't handle it. I'm still in deep shock and utterly disgusted with him. My mum said I'd have to talk to him eventually but I don't want to. I dont think I ever want to see him again. I want to break all contact with him and get him out of my life forever. I'll never be able to forgive him for what he's done. We used to be so close and it sickens me to know what a disgusting person he was whilst acting so lovely.

Deborah Roberto

im 18 and i was searching the internet to find out if i was the only one. Everyone i know has their father around them, and i dont. My dad was abusive, manipulative and liar. I never got on with him, its like he isn't my dad, and recently i found out i had a sister i never knew of. I have not talked to him in 5 years and although i would not want to ever meet him again or make him part of my life, i still feel a frustration that i dont have a normal family set up. All my family live in brazil and me and my mum are the only ones that live in the UK. It troubles me everyday


i havent talked to my father in about 3 years. i dont know why….he was actually a good guy! but i just felt so unwelcome everytime i spent the weekend there with his new wife and step son. i felt like i was the child he never wanted. ive lied to my father and his whole family my whole life and i do truly regret it!!! i dont know what to do. i want to talk to him but i feel like i just cant. he doesnt even know if im okay if im still alive or anything that is going on with me. like i said i want to contact him but i guess i just let my pride and ego in the way. i feel terrible but at the same time i dont. idk what to do.


Sounds to me like this is really troubling you, an inner conflict if you will, and I know exactly what your talking about, apart of you wants to call him amd another part feels like something is tearing up as you call him, but my suggestion to is , just try calling him, it might feel a bit awkward, however that awkwardness will go away as you are conversating…I just posted below , and believe me it wasn't easy to make that phone call, and although he refused to speak to me, I now don't have to think about , well what if I had just called him…in the future you might not have a chance to talk to him, God forbid something happen to him, but the truth is, you spending time thinking about calling him means you do wantbto call him , but you just need a little support, it is a phone call , that will always be in the back of your mind, so try it , and remove it from the back of your mind once and for all…I wish you all the luck.


Sorry to interrupt but I actually have a problem of the similar characteristic. I haven’t spoke for 4 years, and the story is messy. I live with my mom, which is mental. And she always swore revenge for the divorce, even though it was her call. She always positioned against him, actually both always did the same. My parents divorced when I was 2, I’m 22 now by the way. I lost contact after a conflict about many things, but for him it seams mostly about the money. I recently have had problems with my mother, which is always getting worse on this. I recently have been so much troubled without speaking to anyone for years and lost contact with everyone in college, losing friends, being manipulated to live inside and not go out at all, indirectly, subliminally. I think something is going on with her. I really never wanted so much to be good with my dad in all those years. I don’t really know what he thinks about me. My grandmother is very old and being cared by my mom as well as my gandfather with altzheimers. I don’t know what she was/could be up to for them. But I perceived what she is doing with me. I cannot trust her anymore. I really just can’t! She is even starving me to control. She knows that I’m not stupid, I scored a really high IQ don’t want to tell. There is something going on, I still care about them. I could easily drop out of here and get off to some fantastic place like New Zealand and let my business run itself. My dream was to go to Canada for a long time, still is. Reality is I live in Brazil and we all know what is going to happen with this whatever they call “impeachment” or “coup”. My greatest frustration was their underestimation of my capacity from them. It’s a very complicated sexist underground story behind my androgen insensibility syndrome, I guess is the issue. I’m really ok on this part. But the problem is my dad is wealthy and he could easily bring things up from the poverty I’m falling into. I’m more desperate about reconnecting on emotional level with him because my mother is being very harsh and she never blames her mental illness, it’s all my fourth, plus she told me in a recent fight that I’m a “useless drunken whore”, considering I did pass really great during all my school years, scoring 100% in Geometry, Algebra, Physics and Chemistry for more than 2 year straight on High School (which is about only 3 years here, rushed). Just because my father did all that and she is blaming him on me, as if she was no ex-wife from anybody. And that is being too harsh for too long while getting worse. I’m really disappointed at my mother for what she has done in comparison. She never apologizes and getting a kiss or even a hug is like interrogating her for her empathy and feelings. I cry everyday now. I really wanted to talk to him. But on my anniversary which was recent she fought with me and I tried to call my grandmother and speak to her. I knows she is dishonest as everybody knows and she can fake tears very easily, she showed me. My grandmother received from someone a list of phone numbers from my family so I would call them. I was really conflicted about how my mother was doing everything in my back. I was angry for her betraying our trust when she swore not to bring them into my life for a long time not even with a specific period. I really was bad on my anniversary and I tried to call my father that night, but the phone number my grandmother gave me was wrong. I was so much angry I could not have an expression anymore. While my mother makes her circus, I am planning on going to his workplace and just personally directly talk to him in surprise. I am scared about his reaction. This is my fear. If he is going to keep our trust. Because if he doesn’t, I really will have problems of unfathermable scale with my mother. She would go so crazy about me wanting my father back. As she always blamed me for liking him after the divorce because he was a bad husband. Even though she is not entitled. I am going anyways to find him back and try to confront my mother if necessary. I think she would finally understand the gravity of our situation and be very depressed. I can’t babysit her adult life anymore. I want my life back. I want my father back! But we truly need to be very secret about this from my mother. She would go so mental, maybe dangerous. I really don’t know what is gonna happen if I do as I plan.


Thank you. I saw him maybe about a month ago. HeHoist came to our house in the middle of the night. I was actually shocked that I saw him bbecause I wasn't expecting anyone at that time of course. We talked a little but it was the same thing all over again. I let my emotions get to me and I don't think I could ever change. And dad if you are reading this right now. I want to let you know that I love you even though I haven't seen or talked to you in awhile that doesn't mean I don't care about you. I'm sorry.


My father caused many hurtful problem's; he was good in the that he was very supportive of my dreams but the pain he caused was to much I felt as though I was slowly dieng in my suffocation, so , a year ago i confronted him and things didnt go well at all,I moved out and we both decided to not speak to each other, and in that time my mom constsntly tried to persuade me to speak to him, and I would respond to her as always I'm the one who has to ask for his 'forgiveness' eventhough he is the one that is beyond wrong, so I refused and realized that I felt better without his neg. influence.
two days ago my mom called and said he is very sick and he doesn't have much longer to live, so I decided to call him, as it may be the last time I speak to him, I could hear him in the background saying I don't want to speak to her, I sort of felt good, in that I took the initiative to reconciliation, but I couldn't help but think, he is on his dieng bed, and he will not even think to apologize for all the pain he caused, he was wrong and HE doesn't want to speak to me?? If he really cared or had love, he would have answered least to say.


I haven’t spoken or seen my dad in almost a year. I am sixteen years old and he had the courage to tell me I wasn’t worth his time on my birthday when I called him the next day to see if he had forgotten about it. Well no he just me to call HIM on MY birthday…um no


I am thinking of breaking off communication with my father too. For me my relationship with my father has been nothing but pain. My parents divorced when I was nine and my father married a woman who has been very cold and hard to deal with. I have always felt that my dad has had one foot in and one foot out in our relationship. He is very selfish. The last straw for me has been getting engaged and planning my wedding. I sent both my father and his wife an invite and his wife emailed me to tell me they were going to be in Europe over that date. Most of the reason’s I know they are not coming is both of them hate my mother. I have never felt welcome in their lives and I went to their wedding reception but they are not coming to mine. When I was nine years old Susan my dad’s wife said ” I was too old to spend the night at my father’s house now.” My dad lived in loft’s growing up with a lot of open space and my sister and I never had any room of our own at my fathers. I felt like my father never tried to make us feel at home at his house and it got worse with the years. They do not have a guest room now even. They only life 3 hours away and they are almost like complete strangers to me. With the holiday’s approaching I always get stressed because I just really don’t want to see my dad or my stepmom and I feel pressured to go and see them. It is always very awkward seeing them over the holidays. I just don’t want either of them in my life anymore. Do I tell my father I want to cut off communication?


I hadn’t spoken to my dad for a year because I found out that he and his side of the family treated my step-mother the same way they treated my mom (beating her & treating her like a slave) around that time his mom had a stroke and of course they have to know why I’m not visiting every couple days, so I told them that I found out how they treated my mom and step mom and that I don’t care what happened to them, so for a year I was so pissed at them & when I called him and apologized for saying that, all he said was, “it took you a year to tell me that? Good night.” I have a very selfish biological contributer and incredible mother.


When my father wanted to divorce my mother (when I was 10) I started to resent him because just one year later he wanted to get back together with her (after being with other women). It felt like he was playing with us. He also started to take his anger and frustration out on me after the divorce (and still do) by yelling at me. Today I’m 18 and he’s now starting a new family. His girlfriend started talking bad about me to my sister, so my sister is not on my side of this. Every time I try to fix my fathers and mine’s relationship; we always end up fighting. I don’t want to talk to my father family (my grandmother) because she blames me and says “it’s your job to keep this family together”. My father also told me one time after I reached out to him (after 6 months of no contact) that “I didn’t contact you because you need to realize that I can’t live without him”. I’m just hurting so much and I don’t know what to do. He has called me twice with 2 months apart, but I never answer. I’m 19 in one week. What should I do? I’m hurting and he dosen’t seem to care at all when I have tried to tell him how I feel.


I just recently told my father that I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. He left our family when I was around 8 (I’m 48 now). He married the woman he was cheating on my mother with and they were married for over 30 years. I’m not really sure how long they were married because he never told me when they got married – I only found out years later. Anyway, he would come and get me and my brother and take us to their house for weekends. Eventually the sleepovers stopped and he’d pick us up for pizza or bowling and then take us back home. He never came to any school performances or other functions. He barely came to my wedding (I still wish I hadn’t followed “tradition” and let him give me away. That privilege was really earned by my mother) and didn’t stay for the reception. He didn’t come to any of my children’s birthdays or school events nor to my 40th birthday celebration. His wife died two years ago and I hoped we would be able to build a new relationship. We were okay for awhile until he decided to marry his new girlfriend and not invite me or my family to the wedding. He claimed it was a small gathering with only her mother and the preacher, however I saw pictures of his other grandson and some of her siblings. I let him know that I am tired of feeling like an outsider in his life. My children questioned why their cousin was a part of the wedding but they weren’t invited. That was the last straw for me. I’m still working through my feelings, but I think it’s better this way. No more feeling let down or disappointed.


So im 14 and last year i left my dad to live with my mom because i couldnt handle it anymore. He was a great dad before he meet my stepmom and had a shit load of kids… The reason i left him was because the house was a complete mess and i was basically a mother to all the kids, because my stepmom wasnt and that was from the age 7-13 so thats 7 years of knowing how to feed,clean, and take care of kids and a house by myself.. i never got to be a kid/teenager when i lived there, they fought every single night [stepmom and dad] and i never got sleep witch made me almost fail 4,5,6,7th grade but i slipped by. one night one of their fights got physical and that was the night i decided i was going to speak up and have to guts to tell my dad that i was moving to my moms. They hurt me , not physically but emotionally he called me horrible names like horrible names……. would tell me i wasnt apart of their family anymore and that they hated me.. so just recently i stopped visiting him and havent spoken to him in 2 mouths, but now fathers day is coming up.. i miss the old him, i miss my dad i use to have.. but i want to see him but idk what i should do


Thank you for this article! I know it’s a few years old now, but I’m glad I found it. I haven’t spoken to my father in three years and it’s comforting to read something like this.

My tale is a long a complicated one, but when I was a junior in college my dad got a job in California (our family home was in Chicago at the time and I was going to school in Georgia) and my mother stayed home to sell our house and pack up our old life. Selling the house took way longer than any of us expected and my father just slowly drifted away. In the beginning he came home every weekend, then it was every two weeks, once a month, until the only time we saw him was major holidays. He claimed he couldn’t because work was too crazy and called a few times a week. When the calls became more infrequent, I got a front row seat to my mom’s depression as she tried to sell and pack up our old house without any help from my dad. I tried to help when I could, but I was also trying to finish school in another state. It took me a long while to cut off communication and I would make excuses for him to try and rationalize his actions; he’s busy with work, he’s earning money for the family, I’m being irrational and dramatic, it’s hard because he’s across the country… A lot of other stuff happened in between that I can’t possible fit in this one comment, but I finally had had enough when I discovered he had a girlfriend through Facebook and I’M the one that had to tell my mother. One of the worst moments of my whole life.

I wrote him a letter telling him I didn’t want to speak to him anymore and why. My mother and close friends have been very supportive in my decision, but this article is right in that his side of the family has not been. By cutting off communication with him, I cut off communication with my closest aunt and cousins. I can’t blame them at all, he’s her brother, but it still hurts.

The longer I go without speaking to him, the more I question my decision. I don’t regret it in any way, I’ve been able to focus on myself and get my life together. After fighting depression, I’m in a really good place now, but I worry that I’m being too dramatic or irrational. Reading something like this makes me feel not so alone and reasserts that my decision was a good one. I gave him countless chances and I won’t be taken advantage of anymore. <3


My father left when I was two and got an apartment close to my home (in Georgia) but still never made an effort to come to my soccer games or eat lunch with me at school. When I was six, he moved to Maryland and I saw him twice a year, despite the fact that as an airline pilot he could have visited on a free flight anytime he wanted to.

He instead focused on everything else he could besides being a father and also became an drunk. I stopped visiting at twenty-two because of the alcoholism, but we still talked regularly on the phone. When I was twenty-three, he moved even farther away — this time to California.

I went to see him once a year ago and it is one of my most awful, painful memories. I had to leave early and get a hotel room in California after he (surprise) got drunk and become physically belligerent. I called him out on his alcoholism, like I had many times before. But this time I *really* told him what I thought about it. I stood up to him when he tried to rip me down and call me an immature and childish failure (despite my acceptance into and attendance at law school on a scholarship, the four languages I speak, two novels I have written, the four instruments I play, and the fact that I toured Europe in a orchestra). I told him that I no longer wanted a drunk for a father and left to get a hotel.

I truly think he thought it would all just “blow over” in a week or two and that we would be close again, so he gave me space at first. Then he tried to call and text me, but I have barely talked to him in a year. I spoke to him once at Christmas to thank him for a gift he sent me, and sometimes we play online chess. But I don’t know if I ever want a drunk in my life again.

It took me twenty five years to realize that although he thinks he’s been a good father, his actions plainly communicate that he doesn’t care about me. Because what father moves across the country farther and farther away and then tries to say with a straight face that he loves me? I just don’t believe it anymore.


Me and my sister have a complicated relationship with our dad. Our parents divorced when I was 5 and my sister was 3. He regularly paid his parenting payments and saw us once a fortnight as kids and once a month as teens. Then when we turned 16 he just didn’t seem interested in us. It’s like he done what he had to then when he didn’t have to anymore he just wasn’t interested in us anymore. He would call us every now and then but if I’m being honest, I’m lucky to get a bday card or a phone call on my bday. When I moved interstate and came back to visit family, my sister and I drove to his house to say hi and he told us to go wash his car, which we thought was a bit wierd. When I moved back in the state, I made an effort roughly every month for about 2 years to go and see him but it was never really reciprocated, so I just gave up after a while. His parents, my grandparents have since passed away and all of a sudden he mentioned something about moving closer to me, maybe 1 or 2 towns away or something which I was happy about. Then a house came up for sale one street away from me and he rang the agent expressing interest. For me that was a bit tooo close. He hardly expressed any interest in me then all of a sudden he wanted to move a street away! I was thinking oh my god what do I do, so I told him the truth, that it was just too close for me, that I loved him but needed a bit of space. He took offence and since hasn’t spoken to me. About a year ago he was telling my sister that he was going on vacation to Europe and America and my sister said well just make sure you have the means dad. He was retiring soon (and has since retired) and she didn’t want to see him finding it hard. He stopped talking to them and their toddler children (his grandkids). Now he’s stopped talking to me and my partner and our kids (his grandkids) because I told him the truth saying it was just too close. All I could see if he moved that close was our relationship going south VERY quick, and that’s why I told him the truth. He doesn’t seem to understand social etiquette and my sister and I have very often wondered if he genuinely has something wrong with him. He once got in contact with someone he knew from when he was in primary school and once went around to him and his wives place about ten o’clock at night and made himself a cuppa while they were asleep. Scared the hell out of his wife when she got up to the toilet and needless to say got yelled at to get out of the house. He didn’t have ill intentions (he wouldn’t hurt a fly), he just didn’t realise it was inappropriate. But really, that is just one of the many things that he has done, just because he doesn’t understand that it’s socially inappropriate. I am thinking of breaking the ice with him but to be quite frank, I’m sick of being the one to always make an effort. My relationship with my father definitely bothers me. All my sister and I really wanted from him was to be able to sit down and have a coffee and just be able talk to him about whatever.

Julia B

I haven’t seen my dad in 3 years. My family got divorced when I was 15 and after a year we moved to a different country( my mom and I) and my dad stopped talking to me after that for no reason 🙂 I just don’t get him . I miss him every day and night. I’m almost 18 right now . Whenever I see my friends talking about their dads I just feel so sorry , bc I have nothing to say . I text him , call him almost everyday and he just hangs up the phone or doesn’t reply. I just wanna ask you dad , where are you?? What are you doing right now? Where are you while I’m crying every night to hear your voice ? Where are you to calm me down and tell me everything’s gonna be alright ? Thanks for not loving me back, thanks for not being here when I really need you, thank you for leaving me in such a pain , and thanks for teaching me that everyone’s gonna leave you even your dad.


Unless I am a danger to someone being cut of from family members or being given the silent treatment is emotional abuse. An immature act of revenge, power and control. There is no excuse for it. Setting an example by setting boundaries is healthier and is necessary. Half of my family members have been given the silent treatment for 6 years without explanation. This is the most painful and frustrating thing I have ever experienced. The thing is the person giving the silent treatment doesn’t understand that – they don’t know how it feels. Talk to a therapist with this perspective and they will tell you. Love and forgiveness for self and others is what life is what we will all find out in the end is most important. Relationships take work and cutting people off is a cowardly and lazy approach that causes unimaginable pain – no matter what they did. There is a difference between cutting people offer and keeping your distance. You can still answer the phone and be kind. Every human makes mistakes and should be entitled to forgiveness. And another point is that one estrangement in the family causes dysfunction and pain to the rest. Like wind chimes when one or two are not working it affects the rest.


For me, I haven’t seen my dad in 10 years. My family got divorced when I was 3 and sometime after he moved away. We stayed in contact and I visited him every second weekend. It was okay at first, but I quickly became anxious of him. He had this tense aura whenever I talked about mother or family relatives from her side. He would talk and be negative about her and forbid me talking or text her over the phone when I was with him. This made me sad and scared as I just wanted to say how much I missed her and just tell her how my day was.

He would also express weird opinions of things I did like, I was blinking too much. He would kind of force me not to blink more than once per 10 seconds for whatever reason (i was just tired that day from school). I was just 6-7 years old at that time, so I became kind of anxious, because of him. He would also have this stupid parties with like 10-15 people in his apartment when I visited/stayed overnight. He and his friends would drink, laugh and all the typical things u do at parties. Later at night, his friends would come into my room while i watched kids tv and bother me. This one time, some of his friends joined around me all drunk. They would ask this uncomfortable question about which of the parent I loved most. I told them I loved my parents both equally, but they forced me to say one of them. I felt uncomfortable and sad but I said, mom because she wouldn’t accept this kind of behavior from others. They pushed me to say I loved dad more while he was there, because of the situation. I felt terrible and at that time I didn’t really know what drunk was but still, it was no excuse for that he did.

There were many more events with my father that I remember and don’t remember. But I couldn’t take it anymore. I could be happy one week and angry, quiet and sad the next week. It usually took me a couple of days before I told my mom and stepdad about the things that happened and how I felt. They, friends and my teachers noticed when I was in that stage.

Towards the end of 2 grade in primary school, I said to mom;

“I don’t wanna visit my dad anymore”.

I was hard but that’s how I felt, it wasn’t some one-time event which made me say it. It was over 3-4 years of mental torture. I was scared, angry, sad and anxious to visit him when I was 7 and I had enough. I had a talk with my mom about it, she supported me but would ask me kindly if I wanted to visit him for a couple of hours or just in the park, with her. I refused and made it clear I wasn’t going back.

Even if there are parental rights, they couldn’t force me to go if I didn’t want to. My mom talked to my dad over the phone and in person because I said it the day he was gonna pick me. He was angry and accused my mom that it was her will, not mine. My mom tried to convince my dad to take it easy for now, and just meet him in a park for the time just to talk and try to reconnect and understand each other. But he refused and was plain naive. He didn’t think wisely, he just thought about himself and his feelings. He didn’t try to connect with me or talk about my feelings or why I felt this way.

He went full south and decided to sue my mom. I was shocked and didn’t understand why he just couldn’t understand how I felt. So for the next three years, I had to go to a psychologist and a lawyer. I had to talk and explain my feelings and all that cause my dad wouldn’t listen to reason. I lost many hours of school and became depressed. I changed completely and wasn’t this happy kid who just thought about football and school. I became this kid who was traumatized. I couldn’t completely relax cause I was always reminded and had to bring up my childhood experience.

In the end, we won and I didn’t have to visit my father anymore. I’m 18 today and changed for the better as that life experience made me stronger. We lost a lot of money cause of this and ended up paying 18352$. I made things harder for a couple of years but we managed and are better than ever. I have come to the point if I want to cut off my dad completely cause he still thinks it is my mom’s fault and after I turned 18 he talked to me over the phone like now that I am 18 I can now visit him like nothing happened. He has also invited me to go on vacation and all of that stuff. Which is just wrong and weird. I haven’t told directly about my feelings now but I should tell him.

Thanks for taking time to read 🙂


My Story is… hard.
My father and mom divorced when I was less than a year old. They had my sister then got married. They had problems and to fix those problems they had me. Not the perfect band-aid. My father was/is abusive. Mostly to my sister and i.

When my mother began to fight for custody my gather blackmailed the child advocacy lawyer and the child councilor Al (my sister) and I was required to see. Because of those action Al and I were awarded to him. I then spent the next 13 years in his sole custody with Al. When I was 10 he moved us from Missouri to Ohio. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through with him. I no longer had family in town, or friends houses I could run away to in the dark times. I was in a freezing state a thousand miles away from my mom and step-dad and there child Izz.

Ohio was hard for me. It was a completely different dynamic and town. My father remarried to an awful woman. She was very focused on starting a new family. One that did not include the “other children from Ed’s first marriage.” We were quickly forgotten, and when we weren’t forgotten we were blamed as the source of all monetary problems or family dysfunction problems. For that, we were punished.

I tried ending my life twice. The first time I ingested an extra large bottle of ibuprofen. My friends Hannah and Sarah broke in and made me throw up. My father did nothing for me after that. He told me I was weak and a coward for not dealing with my problems correctly. The second time I slit my wrists.

After living with ed and kell from hell for 13 years I started to sell my belongings on eBay or at school. I saved enough money for a bus ticket. Al wouldn’t leave with me. She didn’t want to leave our father. I escaped and went back to Missouri to be with my mom.

After that my life fell apart. My dad moved to Missouri because “he couldn’t stand to be away from his children.” He stalked me for a bit. He kicked Al out and she moved in with my mom. The three of us clashed. We had never lived with my mom before. We didn’t respect her as a parent. we blamed her for giving up on us and letting us live with him and get abused by him. She knew what kind of monster he was! I moved into my car shortly after that. I showered at school, my teachers bought me lunch, and I washed my clothes in the home education room. My father threatened me, manipulated me, and belittled me for a long time. I stopped answering his texts. I never blocked him though because of my half-siblings. They may need me or need to contact me. They were born 10 years after me and were only 2, 4, and 6 at this point and I had left them with my dad because I could possibly care for them in my car.

I later met my sweetheart, my greatest love Chris. He protected me and let me live with him and his parents till I was 19 and we got our own home. He bought me a new car. (giving up the one I lived in was really hard though. We had been through A LOT together!) And then I got my phone stolen. Which sounds like it sucked but was the most wonderful blessing in disguise! I got a new number out of it. and I don’t get Ed’s texts and calls. Or his side of the family’s guilt and shamming. To them, Edward, the first born son of a very Catholic family could do no wrong! I was constantly told this. That they were there, Eddie did nothing wrong. He was the perfect father.

Al and I are now being treated for PTSD. Al and I don’t speak to one another. I think I remind her of those 15 years of moving and stalking and abuse. I love her and miss her, but she still requires Ed’s approval and has suppressed all the horrible things he did to us. She pushes me away because I remind her and try to save her.

So that’s my story the short version at least. My father and I haven’t spoken since I was 18. I’m 21 now and Chris, the boy who saved me more times than I can count, are getting married in Oct 2020. He won’t be there and Chris’s dad will be walking me down the aisle. My mothers side of the family is invited but I have no one from my father’s side. That, unfortunately, includes my five siblings. It breaks my heart.


I would like to end everything with my father but then I feel like I am playing the blame game. I am recentyl divorced and have 4 and 7 year old girls. I am afraid my negativity and bad attitude were major causes in the dissolution of the marriage. I beleive I learned these behaviors from my father. He has a mental illness, but I still resent much of what he did. However he is good with my
children and I need help with that so I cannot totally excommunicate from him. My wif hated him and at first I resented her for that but now I am starting to understand it.


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