Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Emotional Signs of Father Hunger

Over the years, the depth of the hunger men and women feel for father is becoming more and more evident. Even those in their sixties will tell you of the hunger and longing they still feel. Oftentimes, the need is hidden, like a deep river of water flowing under the surface. The hunger may be out of sight but is never gone.

Most of these people are highly functioning members of their communities. They are respected in their relationships. They are responsible employees. Nevertheless, they obviously have unresolved pain associated with their fathers. They thirst for "father water." They have been left with a void, an injury, a thirst that only a father can quench.

You may be surprised to see the extent of your father's role in your most cherished relationships, your vocation, your satisfaction with life, and your experience of God.

Another good reading material for educational purposes and awareness.


Emotional Signs of Father Hunger

Many people have a void inside them that is due to "father hunger," and this disguised hunger has had great impact on the way they live. Do any of these statements apply to you?

  • When I think about my father I become emotional-insecure, sad, or angry.
  • When I'm with my father I don't act like myself; I'm either childish or grandiose.
  • I consider my father wonderful, but others think I'm fooling myself.
  • I feel numb toward my father.
  • I have trouble with competitiveness.
  • My motivation is poor because I feel beaten down.
  • I have difficulty establishing relationships.
  • I move too quickly into new relationships.
  • I'm confused about my identity-it's not as if my father ever made me feel good about myself.
  • I don't feel like a real man.
  • I lack confidence in my femininity.
  • I feel unattractive.
  • I feel incompetent.
  • It is difficult for me to relax.
  • I have problems with my sexuality.
  • Being assertive is hard for me.
  • People seem to feel that I violate their boundaries.
  • I'm afraid to get too close to others.
  • I fear being abandoned.
  • Authority makes me uneasy.
  • My father's criticism hurt me too much. Now I have difficulty accepting criticism.
  • God often feels a million miles away.
  • I have little interest in spirituality.
  • When my father does not provide the emotional support my mother needs, my mother unknowingly tries to get me to provide that support.
  • My father confides in me too much.
  • My father and I do not talk openly and honestly about our lives.
  • I keep trying to please everybody-especially father-types or mentors.
  • I run to things and people to nurse myself in a compulsive way.
  • I am rarely satisfied.
  • I live with a vague, diffused fearfulness.
  • My mother's boyfriend annoys me.
  • My stepfather and I do not get along very well.
  • I am a parent who worries I am repeating my father's and grandfather's mistakes.
  • Sometimes I feel like an orphan.

The conditions listed above are often associated with incomplete father relationships. The absence of a mature father-child connection creates a void in the soul, a residual "father hunger."

Father hunger is the result of receiving too little quality fathering as a child or young adult. Some argue that even grown men and women need fathers or father surrogates and that the absence of such role modeling and support is associated with less fulfillment in life. In general, father hunger results from too little intimacy between child and father.
James L. Schaller, M.D., M.A.R., P.C.
Clinical and Research Psychiatry and Medicine
Adult Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Services
Subspecialty Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Hormonal & Nutraceutical Consultation
Anti-Aging & Obesity Consultation

1 comment:

  1. indeed someone who loss their father image while they grow have some of these statements. as i can relate myself, for i have grown without father, i feel a big part of myself is emptiness, but no matter how i tried to look for some father image, i can't even find one because i am afraid on rejections or the acceptance of people towards me.

    to grow with this so called father hunger, i feel growing in a different road from others.