Malin Andersson says lack of fatherly love lead to ‘distorted view of men’ and toxic relationships – EXCLUSIVE

I was 13 months old when my biological father passed away. I didn’t know him at all.

My dad had skin cancer three times and the third time was after I was born. It spread to his bones and it took him quite quickly. I’ve seen videos of him and my mum used to tell me stories about him, but that’s all I know.

When I turned about three, we moved to England, where my mum met my stepdad. My mum's relationship with him wasn't lovey dovey, they were more like partners or best friends.

I don’t think my mum loved anyone properly after my dad. So my stepdad was my father figure for over 20 years. He did everything for us: paid for uni fees, supported me with all my jobs, read me books.

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But I never had that proper love with him. He never said things like ‘don’t wear that’ or 'don't do that' like a father would. My stepdad never said ‘I love you Malin’. So my brothers would step in when it came to me dating.

Then when my mum passed away, he disappeared. He met a woman and got married to her within two months. It was the weirdest thing – and he blocked us all.

I’ve lost two dads, I grieve over him too.

What I’m trying to say is, not having a father figure distorts your view of men and how you should be treated. It can make you look for love in all the wrong places and allow yourself to be treated badly.

And I think that has a lot to do with abusive relationships. It’s to do with not having that love in your life. Not having a dad in your life, you don’t know what the right qualities in a man are.

So you try and fill a void. Anytime something happened in my relationship, I’d think ‘well I’m not worthy of this love’. I was scared of being thrown away and rejected. So you cling on to everything you can and get treated like s**t. Your self-worth becomes diminished.

Everything that’s happened to me – tragic wise – pieces together and makes sense and made me who I am.

I used to not value myself. I always needed someone to text, because, in my head, they made up for the lack of love.

But after I went through an abusive relationship I started isolating myself from any toxicity, anything negative. Since then, I haven’t invested in texting guys, I’ve had to be sufficient and super happy with being alone.

When you’re on your own, you really discover yourself as a person and you realise you don’t need anybody to fill that void.

I was on my own and dealt with my emotions, and cried for hours at night through all that pain instead of dealing with it with external things like drinking and partying. That’s when I started getting better.

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To develop as a person, you have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Pain and trauma really grows you as a person.

It’s so easy to avoid your emotions, to travel, shop, surround yourself with negative people. Healing is not linear, it’s like grief.

But I feel like I’m in a good place now and I feel like I’m ready to meet somebody – but it's not a necessity.

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