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What's a father without a child?

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

I have been asking myself that question since I was in a presentation of a thesis a few years ago.

The thesis was about support for women unable to have a baby due to age, fertility problems, religious reasons, or even choice. I was in the same training as the presenter, and I was interested in what she had to bring.

At a specific moment in the presentation, it struck me: "I am a father without a child!". I realized the pain I had repressed for years of not having a child. It all seemed to release at that particular moment. Not only the pain but also the loneliness I felt in this.

I never looked for support; I have dealt with this pain alone. I mean, I have talked to people about being sad about not having a child and even shared the struggle with the unfulfilled state of that desire, but I was never supported in this pain. I never sought support.

Three other men came to me afterward. Seeing me, they realized how they avoided the pain of being without children. It dawned on me that there is a lack of awareness in men, but also a lack of support for fathers without children.

From when I was 30 years old, I felt the desire to have a child, but never put myself in the circumstances to be able to welcome a child into this world. For a long time, I was traveling the world in an adventurous job; I never had relationships long enough to think about children, and when I did, it was relationships with women that had children and did not want to go for another. On a subconscious level, my system seemed to avoid going for children.

However, if I am connected to all of me, I am a father too. I can feel the aspect of a father in me. That aspect of me is a beautiful man who is caring, responsible, clear, and has an unlimited capacity to hold space. I held this part of me under the radar when repressing the pain of not having children. In relationships, I withheld it consciously because I was scared that it would be a showstopper.

Since I started to know this part of me when I started my Core Energetics training in 2018, I am embracing the father in me more and more. To show up in this world as the full me, I need to show up with all of me, so also with this part of me. This part's qualities are beautiful and incredibly valuable in my relationship and friendships and my work as a therapist and group facilitator. Embracing my inner father means that I also have to embrace the pain this part carries.

I am 50 years now, I am developing myself in my work, building a practice in a new country, I am in a lovely new relationship, and I have a full and amazing life. So, to be honest, I do not longer feel the desire to welcome a daughter or a son. However, I still desire to create something that will carry parts of me. I can feel that my legacy will be the child that I can leave in this world.

I love working with people in my practice and the groups I facilitate, and I believe that in every session, I am giving something of myself. So the things I know, my love, my passion, and my life experience are not going to one being but in bits to everyone I meet and who I work with.

For me, that is a wonderful feeling which fills my heart.

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