119: Healing the Wounds Left by the Negligent Father with Rachael Chatham

“There are really lifelong implications for children who grow up with an emotionally isolating or absent dad.” Some wounds take longer to heal than others. The wounds of paternal abandonment are ones that take a particularly long time to heal. It requires time, a mental and emotional journey, and a definitive decision to let go of the idea that the father will change his ways. In this episode, Rachael Chatham talks with us about the experience of the negligent father and general paternal abandonment, and how this particularly impacts daughters. This experience of the negligent father is very common; Rachael sees it in her practice, but it’s part of her personal narrative as well. Rachael shares with us her journey that led to a transformative experience that allowed her to start taking care of herself—she let go of the fantasy she had written in her head about her father coming back around. Take a listen to learn more about how to heal the wound left from a negligent father, and how you can help a loved one who’s healing as well. About Rachael Chatham: Rachael Chatham is a Licensed Professional Counselor, psychotherapist, and published author. Her private practice is located in Asheville, North Carolina, where she specializes in navigating relationship challenges and healing complex trauma. Her education is rooted in somatic and transpersonal psychologies, and she approaches her work from a perspective that all beings are whole. Rachael will be launching her first online course in January 2020: Reclaiming the Self: Returning to the Truth and Beauty of Who You Really Are. Some Questions I Ask:
  • What drew you to focus in on this area? (2:42)
  • How does the impact of parental abandonment reveal itself in children? (8:31)
  • Why is the absence of a father so impactful? (10:29)
  • What advice do you have for someone who wants to explore this healing process? (26:40)
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
  • How motherhood affected Rachael’s relationship with her negligent father. (6:14)
  • How parental abandonment still happens, even with fathers living in the home. (10:12)
  • How the effects of parental abandonment influence the child’s sense of identity. (15:16)
  • What the grief process looks like when a child lets go of the fantasy that their father could be different. (23:13)
  • About Rachael’s transformative experience that allowed her to start taking care of herself. (27:06)
Resources: Whole Self Therapy The Skillful Self Healing the Father Wound The Fatherless Daughter Project by Denna Babul Will I Ever Be Good Enough by Dr. Karyl McBride