Emotional Abandonment: Letter from a Daughter to Her Father

Emotional Abandonment: Letter from a Daughter to Her Father
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Unfortunately, pain is a reality in our society. There are many families that break for various reasons. One of the most heartbreaking is emotional abandonment.

Today we present the letter of a little girl to her father. In it, we will discover that emotional abandonment can be even more difficult for children to handle than physical abandonment.

Childhood emotional abandonment

When parents separate or divorce, it is quite difficult for children. It’s hard for them to accept or understand why it happened. It’s also hard to express in words the intense feelings that can be caused by the separation of parents.

Childhood emotional abandonment ranges from an identity crisis to low self-esteem. These children have problems relating to others, develop insecurities and often think they will never be valuable enough for anyone.

Children may believe they did something wrong that caused their parent to leave.

For a child, it is very difficult to accept that one parent preferred to have another family and that he decided to never return to the one he left behind. For children, the acceptance process is so difficult that they need stability and constant love, an emotional refuge.

Childhood emotional abandonment can be really painful. Next, you will discover the letter of a little girl written to her father who left.

They say we don’t know our own strength until being strong is the only option we have left. This little girl decided to be strong and close the wounds with this beautiful letter.

Letter from a little girl to her father

Dad, I want you to know that I think about you all the time.

Every day I wonder what would have happened if you had not left, but I suppose it’s better this way.

I have found my passion: art. If you were with me, I would ask you to take me to museums, photo exhibitions and galleries, as well as to plays, orchestral concerts and book readings. Surely it would be great.

Art has helped me to discover many things, to observe people and to let my imagination fly. Today the only thing I would like to be able to imagine is what your smile looks likes.

I wonder what your eyes look like when you get sad, or how your forehead wrinkles when you’re angry. I would take many pictures of you, because I finally have the camera I always wanted, the one I asked for so much.

Sometimes I dream of walking with you in your arms and walking down the street while I rest my head on your shoulder. I was always left wanting to know what it would feel like if you said to me, “How beautiful you are.” Too bad you could never do it.

Nothing is wrong, dad. I understand that you are very busy.


You left. But I know it was not my fault, nor my mother’s. I’ve always wanted to be as strong as her, but I cannot because, in spite of everything, I miss you so much.

I still remember the day you left. I would have liked to know then that I would never see you again so that I could hug you tightly and tell you that I will always love you.

Why did you not tell me the truth, dad? If you had, today this would all be easier.

I wish you had chosen us. I needed you. I needed to listen to your words of encouragement every morning, your advice and above all for you to make it clear that no man should treat me poorly, because I am valuable.

Today I am aware of all that, but it would have been easier to hear it from you.

I do not blame you. I do not blame you for my insecurities, for the terrible fear I have of abandonment, for emptiness. Many times I have believed that my defects are greater than my virtues. All of that is in my mind and I must learn to deal with it.

I have tried in many ways to fill that deep emptiness that I feel, even ways that do not make me proud.

My love relationships have been disastrous for fear that they will leave me. Sometimes I cried at the thought that I would not get married and that made me very cowardly in love.

The truth is that I would not like to suffer what mom did with you.

What good are the vows if they are not fulfilled? 

the effects of emotional abandonment on children

Mom and I managed pretty well, and I admire her a lot. She is always by my side. She taught me that no matter how hard life gets, it’s always better when you smile. She is a real woman.

When I see mom, I have a hard time understanding your departure. Sometimes I think you were afraid, of your strength and of your desire to get ahead. When you did not feel capable, you ran away. Although I do not pass judgement. 

I know that if I had to choose again with whom to stay, I would always choose her. I also know that you would stay with your other family.

I hope with all my heart that you are for your wife and other children what you could not be for us: a father and a faithful companion. I say goodbye with dry eyes, because tears are no longer necessary today.

I know I said that I was always going to love you, but today I am convinced that the only thing I love is the idea of what you could have been. I only have to thank you for your life, because it is the greatest gift you have given me. I really hope you are well. I send you a hug and a goodbye kiss, wherever you are.

Today I healed.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.