It’s been said that every girl’s first true love is her father. But what happens when you are raised by a shitty dad?

1. You learn to take care of yourself

From an early age, you learn that no one will have your back as well as you do, and so you learn to take care of yourself. You learn to get things done on your own, not because you want to, but simply because you have to.

2. You stop believing in love

He was supposed to be your first true love, but he made it as clear as day that he couldn’t be bothered, so how can a stranger come into your life and love you? A shitty father will make you question the whole idea of true love and you will have a hard time believing anyone who says they love you.

You may even convince yourself that you are not deserving of love. You will blame yourself for his actions, and become too scared to put yourself out there because you believe something is wrong with you.

3. The walls will come up and you will set boundaries

You will keep your emotions all caged up and will not let people in. You’ll also have very little patience with people and will set boundaries from the get-go. You will go through life using that as your defense mechanism so that people don’t get too close.

4. You will carry that loss for life

There will always be a hole in your heart because you missed out on a father’s love. You will go through life wondering what it would have been like had things been different. You will have a deep sense of longing and crave for that love which no one except him can fulfill.

5. You learn to be strong and independent

Being raised by a shitty father will harden you and make you learn to be strong and independent. You face the reality that no one will come to save you and ensure that you do it all so you won’t even need saving. And when the hard times come, you don’t turn to anyone, but handle it all by yourself.

6. You learn that life is not easy

That life is no walk in the park becomes one of your earliest lessons when you are brought up by a shitty father. It hardens you and prepares you for when things don’t work out quite the way you hope. You understand that you can’t always get what you ask for.

7. You do your best to be nothing like him

You cringe every time someone points out a similarity between you and your old man. You try your best to be nothing like him. You work on yourself to become the best version of yourself. If you have kids, you do everything you possibly can to ensure that they never have to go through everything that you did with your dad. His actions and inactions become a motivation for you to do better at all times.

Good fathers leave indelible imprints in their daughters’ lives, and so do shitty fathers. It’s no wonder then that the strongest women are those brought up by shitty dads.