Father’s day is a time to celebrate fathers, but for some that day brings up more painful memories than happy ones. And if you don’t deal with feelings it can lead to overeating.
Maybe you didn’t have a father growing up, so you never knew what it was like to have a dad to play with, who taught you skills or made you feel special.
But maybe your father was around but was distant, critical or unavailable. Maybe he came home from the pub drunk, angry, hit you or your mother or abused you sexually. Unfortunately these kinds of experiences are not uncommon and they leave a mark. Here are three tips to tackle emotional baggage with fathers:
Protect Yourself From Further Abuse
If your father is still alive, you have a choice about what kind of relationship to have with him now. It depends on the situation and what you want. You might confront him, you might avoid contact, or if he continues to be abusive and resistant to change, you might have to let him go and grieve the father you never had. It can be done and is easier with support of counselling.
Healing takes time and resource and it is wise to have some counselling support while you deal with painful memories. If you don’t do this work, there is always a danger of repeating old patterns from the past to your detriment. The conditioning is hard wired and it takes work to disentangle but it can be done.
Treat Yourself Well
Childhood abuse often leads to low self-esteem so it can be hard to value yourself enough. So get in the habit of practising positive self-care. Take time to think about what you want, do what you enjoy, treat yourself with kindness, appreciate yourself, and parent yourself the way you should have been parented. And seek out positive relationships where you feel valued and make being treated well your new habit!
If you had a difficult relationship with your father and think it is still affecting your self-esteem and relationships, even a few hours of counselling can make a difference. Call Grace today and arrange a 30 minute complimentary consult.