Father’s Day can be difficult for some individuals for various reasons, and there are plenty of books looking at the other side of fatherhood. Here are a few possible factors:
Trigger warning: abuse, neglect, bereavement
- Absent or estranged fathers: For individuals who grew up without a father figure in their lives or had strained relationships with their fathers, Father’s Day can serve as a reminder of the absence or difficulties they experienced. It can bring up feelings of loss, longing, or unresolved emotions.
- Grief and loss: Father’s Day can be challenging for those who have lost their fathers. It can be a time of mourning and sadness, as they miss their fathers and feel the void created by their absence.
- Complicated relationships: Some individuals may have complicated relationships with their fathers, characterized by unresolved conflicts, emotional distance, or strained interactions. Father’s Day can amplify these feelings and remind them of the challenges they face in their relationship.
- Non-traditional family structures: Father’s Day traditionally celebrates the role of fathers within a family. However, some individuals may come from non-traditional family structures where there is no biological or present father figure. This can make them feel excluded or out of place during the celebrations.
- Personal circumstances: Father’s Day can be difficult for people going through challenging life situations, such as those who have recently lost their fathers, are struggling with infertility or the loss of a child, or are experiencing strained relationships with their own children. These circumstances can evoke complex emotions and make the day emotionally demanding.
It’s important to acknowledge that everyone’s experiences and emotions are unique. If Father’s Day is difficult for you or someone you know, it can be helpful to seek support from loved ones, engage in self-care activities, or consider speaking with a mental health professional who can provide guidance and understanding.
Books for those not celebrating Father’s Day
If you’re looking for books that don’t centre around Father’s Day, there are plenty of important options across various genres. Here are some books about fathers that haven’t been great:
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This memoir tells the story of a young girl who grows up with an alcoholic father and a nomadic mother. It is a heartbreaking and inspiring story about resilience and the power of the human spirit.
- Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. This memoir tells the story of a young boy who grows up in poverty in Ireland with an abusive father. It is a raw and honest story about the challenges of growing up in a difficult home.
- A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer. This memoir tells the story of a young boy who is physically and emotionally abused by his alcoholic mother, and neglected by his father. It is a harrowing story about the effects of child abuse.
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker. This novel tells the story of a young black woman who is abused by her father and husband. It is a powerful story about strength, courage, and the power of love.
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This novel tells the story of two boys growing up in Afghanistan, one of whom is abused. It is also about the craving of a father’s affection, who favours the other. It is a moving story about friendship, loyalty, and the power of forgiveness.
These are just a few examples of books about bad or absent fathers. There are many other great books out there that deal with this topic. Reading these books can help you to understand the challenges that children of absent fathers face, and they can also provide you with hope and inspiration. Here is what Dr Nerina Ramlakhan says on what stress does to the nervous system, which is often affected in childhood.