Who Has ‘Daddy Issues’?

Today would have been my Father’s 75th birthday. This is completely insane to me! That was around the age my Grandfather died (My Mom’s Dad) I was thinking how I have siblings who are close to my Father’s age when he died. It’s a weird day for me for sure.

I was watching Goldmember to fall asleep to last night. For any of you who remember the scene where Austin Powers and Dr. Evil are talking in the jail, you’ll know why I was laughing so hard.

But part of me laughs because I really did have Daddy issues. My father passed away when I was nicely turning 6. He was a good Daddy and a strong leader. He kept his house in line, that’s for sure!

Some people say the Stever men are too tough but I think that would have been better than the alternative which is what I ended up with; a household with a single Mom raising four children on her own and each of us had the fiery Stever personality so talk about having challenges!

It’s another phrase which gets used a lot. I’ve heard the term given to women who are promiscuous, ungrounded, angry and misled or depressed. Well, some of those applied to me…I’ll let you argue amongst yourselves which ones…hahaha!

At some point in my life, I had to get past the labeling of ‘daddy issues’. Am I going to use that as a crutch for my whole life just because some counselor told me that’s what I had? It’s fine if that is the clinical term although I doubt it is, but it’s another phrase which doesn’t seem to be very helpful. Oh good, so I have Daddy issues, awesome…now what do I do with the information? Do I just tell every man I run into to stand back as though I have a contagious illness? Do I sit in Daddy Issue support meetings week after week until I earn enough club points to cash in for a vacation?

I had to realize that my issues were not that simple. It might take an mildly ok psychologist to diagnose the illness as ‘Daddy Issues’ but it takes way more effort to first of all, understand what the phrase means and then systematically get through the series of sessions required for healing. There is such a danger with given that phrase to someone because the label can be like a ball and chain on our ankle for life! Without properly getting to the root of the problem, the label makes us completely incapacitated. We act like a bird who is downed by a torn wing.

As it turns out, my ‘daddy issues’ were just a nice way of saying every male contact I had was problematic but what I don’t like is that my father’s death had to take the blame for it all. My father loved to fly, he was free and he accidentally died doing it. This is not where the blame should be.

My childhood was perfectly lovely until I was sexually assaulted by a man when I was 11-14. That is not a daddy issue, that is an assault issue. In looking back, it should have been dealt with better. I have only recently been truly dealing with that recently because I quit viewing the man as a Father figure and started looking at him as an assailant. I was attacked, that’s the issue. This is not my Father’s fault nor is it my Mother’s fault. She didn’t set me up for it. I could go onto to say I have Mommy issues if I blamed her for setting us up that way, but as if she saw that one coming!

We are all given so many labels and we are over-labeling children as well instead of addressing what is happening to us and to them.

So, on this day I will celebrate my Father by relieving him completely of being at fault for other men attacking me. There is absolutely no way he could have known that by building and flying his airplanes it would have lead to a death that would have caused his children years of troubles which could as some experts say, bleed into the lives of his grandchildren. It’s true that his absence was felt in my home, but I am not going to give myself or anyone else the term ‘Daddy issues’. I can’t think of a scenario anymore where it applies. If your own Father was a jerk or an abuser, you have issues with an abuser. Of course it adds a unique dimension when they are related to you, but I’m not sure it leads to anything healing nor is it helpful.

Happy Birthday Daddy, you gave me way more than anyone could ever accuse you of taking from me…

Karen :)

How true Daddy's words were when he said: all children must look after their own upbringing. Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.” ~Anne Frank


  1. You know what Karen Stever, as bad as Myspace is messed up I hope to God that you see this from me. I'm posting it everywhere, just in case! YOU are the one that helped me with 'daddy issues'. I'll bet you don't even know that. You, are the one that helped me see that my 'issues' were not with daddy, at all. My issues like yours, were with sexual abusers that my dad never even knew about, but others attributed it to my 'daddy issues', without ever knowing him or our relationship.
    So, Happy Birthday to your dad, and thank you from the depth of my heart and soul, for giving me back my daddy, long after his passing. YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU! :)

  2. Yeah! Good to see you here Debbs!!
    As with most of your blogs, Karen... there are so many times when I could -insert a comment-, which means you struck a vein ( I say vein, because it is not a nerve.... it's not something that causes pain but just touches beyond the surface ).

    I think the term "daddy-issues" has been widely abused to label something. To give it a "name" so it can be put away.

    The absence of a father can have so many reasons but when it comes down to it we all feel the void. What we do with it ultimately is what matters.

    Makes me wonder.... are there just as many "mommy-issues"....?

    Love to you Karen! You rock!!!