Lindsay’s fame and fortune still can’t fill the void

Lindsay Lohan and I went through a stretch where we didn’t think much of each other.

OK, she’s never thought anything of me; she doesn’t know me. And I thought I knew her. Well, sort of. I thought she was a spectacular child actress whose fame, riches and success turned her into another spoiled, narcissistic drama queen birthed by Hollywood.

The public records of her arrest and rehab history since 2007 detail her infamous jewelry theft, DUII and coke busts, five trips to rehab, car wrecks, jail stints, and a third-degree assault arrest for popping Tiffany Mitchell in the face at a Manhattan nightclub.

I was shocked recently to learn she’s only 27 years old; in recent pictures she looks sick, depleted and broken, at the end of the line. Yet in her childhood images (and films The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls), she is spirited and full of life.

Something big happened along the way to adulthood. And she tells the story poignantly in her song “Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father).”

The first time I heard the song was during a recent meeting of the dads group I’m in, part of The Abba Project. There weren’t a lot of dry eyes in the room of a dozen dads when the music video ended.

It’s a muscular song musically and moving lyrically. It tells the story of Lohan’s father, a former Wall Street trader and her mother, a one-time singer and dancer. They split when she was three, reunited, then split for good in 2005. Two years later Lohan’s drug, alcohol and legal troubles began saturating the tabloids. Shortly thereafter, she wrote the song, and the video (which is on the home page of this site) is worth the four minutes if you have any interest at all in fathers and daughters. It is truly the confession of a broken heart.

“And I wear all your old clothes, your polo sweater
I dream of another you, one who would never
Never leave me alone to pick up the pieces
Daddy to hold me, that’s what I needed

So, why’d you have to go?
Why’d you have to go?
Why’d you have to go?

Daughter to Father, Daughter to Father
I don’t know you, but I still want to
Daughter to Father, Daughter to Father
Tell me the truth, did you ever love me?”

It’s a hard video to watch, not because it’s the story of a world-class talent circling the drain, but because it’s the public version of a story that plays out anonymously all over the world.

The world is full of women like Lindsay Lohan, with broken hearts on the inside and broken lives on the outside, women without the fortune and lawyers to prop them up. Jails are full of these women. So are rehab centers and strip clubs. So are companies, law firms, and workplaces of every sort.

Word has it that LiLo has turned up at a few events in recent weeks looking clean and sober. Let’s hope she’s on the rebound for good. She has much to offer the world. And so does your daughter.

For any man thinking of becoming a father, or who is already raising a young daughter, watch the video. If you’re married, or have been, you get that her parents struggled as a couple. Raising a daughter and hanging in there through thick and thin may be the hardest work you ever do. It can break your heart. It can break your bank account. There’s a blur, an instant, between playing with American Girls dolls and anorexia, cutting, booze, drugs and promiscuous sex.

Watch the video, Dad, for yourself and your daughter. She and Lindsay and every other daughter are wired the same deep down inside. They need someone they can trust and feel safe with, someone to hold them and hug them and love them. They need you. As she cries in her song, a “Daddy to hold me, that’s what I needed.”

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One Response to Lindsay’s fame and fortune still can’t fill the void

  1. George Orban says:

    Dear Kevin,
    Thank you for your thoughtful column about the significance of fatherhood that appeared in today’s Oregonian, calling attention to the sad travails of Lindsay Lohan.
    I am a father to two daughters and a son in their teens and early twenties who are turning out ok, and you have made me feel good about “hanging in there through thick and thin”.
    Best wishes.
    George Orban

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