Apple founder Steve Jobs was a genius in the world of technology but as a father, he was far from good. His daughter tried to gain his love all her life.
When a child is born and until a few more years later, their entire world is their parents. They know nothing but what their parents teach them. Kids inhabit the spaces their parents allow them to but what do you do when one of your parents doesn't let you inhabit their space even a little bit? Many children might find their sense of self altered because of their parents' unloving words and gestures. It might take years to find some sense of friendship with your own self afterward.
We know of Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs as a visionary, who changed the field of computers and technology, but as much as a genius as he was to the world, to his first child he was just a bad father. Jobs, who was adopted as a child after being abandoned by his biological parents, was raised by his modest Christian adoptive parents. When he was in high school in Cupertino, California he met Chrisann Brennan. The high school sweethearts dated on and off for five years before Brennan got pregnant in 1977, according to CheatSheet.
Right from the start, Jobs denied that the child was his. It was also the same year that he founded Apple and he was focussed on making his company succeed above all else. Lisa Nicole Brennan, his daughter's birth name, was born on May 17, 1978, on a farm, which was a commune, outside of Portland, Oregon. Her 23-year-old father wasn't there.
"My father arrived a few days later," she writes, according to Quartz. "'It’s not my kid,' he kept telling everyone at the farm, but he’d flown there to meet me anyway. I had black hair and a big nose, and [his friend] said, "'She sure looks like you.'"
Since he denied paternity, it led to a legal battle, and later a DNA test proved that he was indeed Lisa's father. However, he continued to deny that saying that "28% of the male population of the United States could be the father," according to CheatSheet.
During that time, he had also been working on a computer, which he named Lisa, but denied that it was named after his daughter. He said it was an acronym for Local Integrated Systems Architecture but much later he said that it was in fact named after his daughter. Eventually, he ended up calling his daughter "Small Fry" but that was seven years later.
By the time they tried to repair their relationship, his daughter had gone through a lot of pain. "All I wanted was closeness and sweetness and for him to relieve me. To let me be the star, probably. To be like, ‘Well, how was your day?’ And to listen. And at such a young age, and so used to the spotlight, and to everybody fawning on him… he didn’t know how to be with me," Lisa, who later took on the last name Brennan-Jobs, said of their relationship.
She eventually wrote a book about her father after his death in 2011. "When I first started writing the book, I wanted to garner self-pity, because I felt really badly about myself,” she told the Guardian. "I mean, gosh, that’s gone. A lot of the veil of shame has dissipated and I don’t know if it’s age, or writing the book, or both. But I wanted to have some scenes that would make you feel really bad for me, because I felt ashamed of the fact that I had this father – clearly I was not compelling enough for my father, this incredible man, to unequivocally own. I would think, was I an ugly baby? I even asked him that once. And I knew it was cheesy and facetious even as I asked it, or possibly manipulative. But it was a feeling that kept coming up because he wouldn’t look at my baby albums. I’d leave them out, and then once he was like, ‘Who’s that?’ And I was like, ‘It’s me!'"
When Lisa was an adolescent, she moved in with him after having a fall out with her mother. But, even then that relationship was frayed. "You’re not getting anything," he snapped at her when she asked if she can have his Porsche when he’s done. "You understand? Nothing. You’re getting nothing." He eventually left her millions.
Eventually, a few years before he died of pancreatic cancer in 2011, they were in a much better place. However, the book talks of her pain as a daughter of an absent father very starkly. "I was not capable of making him melty the way fathers seemed to be around daughters, and I of course took that personally," she said. And, that has lived on with her even though she doesn't seek self-pity anymore.