I have Father issues. After my Dad and Mom split up, my Dad went to work in another city for over a year. I was 7 years old, and it felt like forever. I took a plane to visit him once or twice and he wrote me letters.
But despite the relatively short time and connectivity he felt as a grown-up, it was very different for me as a child.
I never really internalized my Father’s love for me until much later in my life. He was the kind of parent who praised me for my good work along with a reminder I could always do better. As a driven professional adult, I appreciate this, but as a child, it doesn’t feel good. It felt like I was never good enough and my Father didn’t love me for who I was.
He had a second child with my stepmother and he became much more overt about his love.
But the damage was done.