My 8-year-old daughter hasn’t seen her father since she was 5 months old. It was an mentally and physically abusive relationship, so we moved to a different province and he hasn’t attempted to see her at all.
When she was 5 or 6, she would ask why she doesn’t have a dad and why isn’t she special to have a dad. She didn’t ask often, just when she started school and started to see other kids with fathers in their lives. I always told her that not everyone has a mom and dad and that all families are different and pointed out how special her family was and how many people there were who loved her.
Earlier this year a classmate brought up that she had to have a father and asked where her father was. I heard her tell the classmate that some mommies can have babies on their own and they don’t need daddies. Soon after I told her that yes, you need a man and a woman to have a baby, but that doesn’t always mean the man becomes a daddy.
Then, something came up at school and she asked me straight out who was her father. I told her his name and where he lives, I said we were in love but he wasn’t ready to be a dad and that doesn’t change anything with our family. She asked did he ever see her, and I said yes when she was a baby.
I don’t know where to go from here. I just see how devastated she was and how she doesn’t trust me, she thought for so long that it was just us and now she sees that I lied to her and how does she trust me? She’s acting out and she doesn’t tell me as much about her friends and school. My family doesn’t talk about her dad at all. I’m the only one who has ever mentioned him so that has to be weird for her but I don’t know where to go from here.