My dad disowned me

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by Californiablonde, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Okay first off let me say that my dad and I have never been close. As a child, he was incredibly mean and verbally abusive. He was also physically abusive to my mom and brother. I was scared to death of him as a child, and I still have PTSD from growing up with him. Any time anybody for any reason gets the tiniest bit upset at me, I get a full blown panic attack. This is why it is so hard for me to do my job. I get parents pissed off at me all the time, therefore my anxiety is very high at my job. I blame my dad for this.

    Anyway, now that I am an adult, our relationship is strained. He has been living out of state for the past 20 years, and we see each other once a year when he comes out and visits. We spend maybe two hours going out to dinner, make polite conversation, and that is it. OH, and he sends us $150 for Christmas each year. OH, and by the way, he is now a reformed born again Christian. We grew up Christian and went to church every Sunday, but my dad was a huge hypocrite. Anyway, supposedly now he is reformed and a huge devout Christian again.

    My dad has always shunned social media in the past, but he recently got talked into getting a facebook account. I decided to add him as a friend, and was hoping perhaps we could grow closer now that he's an adult and supposedly he's changed. What a big huge mistake. So far he has nothing to say but negative on every single one of my posts. One time I posted about having a cheat day on my diet and having funnel cake at the fair, and he told me to quit giving excuses to not sticking to my diet, and he told me to "get with the program." I didn't appreciate it, but left the comment alone.

    This last week I posted about God. I am a Christian, and post lots of scriptures and inspirational quotes on my page. Last weeks post said something like, "Wouldn't it be nice if people followed Jesus as closely as they do Facebook?" His comment to me was, "Wouldn't- it be nice if people claiming to be Christians didn't put posts up about horoscopes?" Even though I personally don't believe in astrology, I sometimes put up random jokes about horoscopes. I told my dad they are just for fun, and he responded saying "You can't follow two Gods." He then told me there is a place in hell for people like me, who go to church on Sundays and fake being a Christian

    Okay I have NO idea where this is coming from. My dad does not know me at all. My life literally consists of going to work, coming home, making dinner, watching over my kids, and going to bed early at 7:00 p.m. every night. On weekends the kids and I rent movies and on Sundays we go to church. That is literally all my life consists of. So what am I doing wrong?

    Well a BUNCH of my friends, including my boyfriend, jumped to my defense and tried to shame him for judging his very own daughter. My boyfriend even quoted bible verses at him. My dad's response was to tell my friends that they don't know me in real life and he knows me better than any of them. Ha! I was so scared of my dad for years I avoided him and never talked to him. My friends know me WAY better than he ever does!

    When I defended myself, my dad then told me that he "knows all about the bad stuff I've been doing because my mother tells him everything. I have zero clue what he's talking about. I asked my mom what she has been saying to my dad. (They've been divorced for over 25 years.) She said my dad and her never talk, and she has no idea what he's talking about! My dad also told me that my whole family is against me, and they have all defriended me on facebook because of all the horrible stuff I do in real life.

    Okay so I checked my friends' list, and every single family member is still on there. Nobody has deleted me, except my niece three years ago who deleted me over a silly little argument. But my brother, aunt, uncle and all my cousins are still on my friends' list. And I am seriously baffled at what bad stuff my dad thinks I'm doing! I am seriously the most sweetest, kindest, most boring person I know. So I questioned my dad, and he refused to say anything except that he is going to unfriend me, like the rest of my family has done, and he will pray for my soul.

    I have not heard from him since. I am left dumbfounded and confused. I was really hoping that as an adult, him and I could repair our relationship. Well now my kids and I will never know him, and he will continue to think I'm this horrible person. So now I'm left with no dad, and have to explain to my kids why grandpa isn't sending Christmas money this year. I know I shouldn't care, since my dad was so mean and abusive in the past, but I can't help it. My anxiety has been a lot worse since this happened. So how do I get past this?
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    CB, I'm sorry about your father. I'm not a Christian so maybe I'm wrong, but he sounds like he thinks he is God's messenger, not a Christian. How does HE know what is good and not good? The social media isn't mentioned in the Bible, is it?

    I'm not a good one to answer you, really, because I have concluded without a doubt (to me, at least) t hat DNA does not equal family and t hat sometimes our DNA is bad for us and our kids and that our "made" families who love us unconditionally are our real family. Your father was mean and abusive in the past. He hasn't changed because he goes to church. It's a good cover for many abusive or criminal people (not saying he is a criminal) who want to LOOK to others and themselves as if they have changed. His $150 is not important enough in my opinion to put up with his meanness.

    I do not know how you, in particular, can get past your anxiety. I got past mine when I went through the grieving process of not really having a strong or loving family or origin (myself, I mean) and just accepting that they are what they are and I need to move on and be good to ME and my chosen family, and I think it would help you too, if you can do it. If not, and you are in counseling, do bring it up. Or talk about it here. These ladies will help you just like they helpled me!

    Some relationships can not and should not be repaired if both people do not both work hard at it. One person can't repair a relationship. Sounds like you are doing all the heartfelt work. Be good to yourself. Don't do it all. You can't.

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  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If you ask me, he was looking for an excuse. He sounds like a hateful man, very much like my dad, although my dad did not beat my mom so far as I know. He just bullied us all to death and presented a very pretty picture of himself in public. I do know how difficult it is, especially at this time of the year, but "Good riddance to bad rubbish", in my humble opinion. If I were in your shoes (I'm not) and I were to reply to him at all, I'd just say "Matthew 7:1-3".
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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    ((HUGS)) to you.......

    It sounds like he is still trying to control you and that is just sad.

    I am a Christian and I can tell you that his response is driven from a legalistic view which a lot of people who claim to be Christians share. My opinion, if he were truly a born again Christian he would be operating out of love and grace, instead of trying to shame and guilt you.

    Good for you for defending yourself.
    Whether you choose to keep him in your life is up to you. If it were me, I would see how things go over the next few weeks/months but I would change my response to him. Just like we do with our D-Cs, the less you say the better. Perhaps you could have a "canned" response like, Hmmm, that's interesting, or You are entitled to your opinion.
    You can also set clear boundaries with him. Tell him that you will not allow him to treat you with such disdain. Also by doing this, you will be taking back the power and you may find your anxiety improves.


    Attached Files:

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  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This was cruel and uncalled for. To know these words were spoken by a father to his own daughter is horrifying. I am so sorry this happened to you. We can tell ourselves over and over again that it doesn't matter, but it does matter, very much, how our fathers speak to us.

    I feel so badly for you. You are such a nice lady, and you have been so strong and making such good progress toward your goals.

    It makes me want to cry to know your own father said those filthy words. I wish I knew my Bible verses better, but I am sure we are not supposed to judge or threaten with the authority of the Christ.

    I feel so badly for you.

    There are people so broken themselves that they relish hurting others. Your post indicated your father has victimized you all of your life. I wonder whether he feels threatened by your independence, and by the good, healthy changes you have accomplished.

    We have followed your posts here, Californiablonde. I remember how scared you have been, and how strong you have been, and I have seen the growth in you.

    That is why the father is slicing into you with religion. You are getting stronger every day. His other weapons no longer work to devastate you, to freeze you in place, as they once did.

    I just feel sick that a father threatened his own beautiful daughter as your father has done.

    You are doing well and you are getting stronger and healthier the longer you are away from his influence. He wanted to reach out and hurt you, and he did.

    I am still so shocked that a father would post that to his own daughter.

    He likes to hurt you in private. I think he had no idea that you have people in your life now who know you, and who will come to your defense. I am proud of you for having told your people what happened with your father. That must have been shaming, but you held faith with them and yourself.

    You are doing so well.

    What a horrible attack.

    He must be an awful man.

    Typical abuser talk. You are the one who matters here, not him.

    He doesn't like that you are getting away from him. He wants a victim, and he will lie to hurt and break you.

    Yay that you told your friends. Abusers like to victimize in isolation. You were very smart and strong to expose him.

    Good for you.

    Abusers lie.

    How foolish of him to have told such an obvious lie. He wishes you had no one, so you would be isolated when he hurts you.

    What a terrible man he must be.

    How strange and awful.

    It sounds to me like he is the one who needs you to pray for him.

    "Pray for their peace and therein, find our own."

    I'm sorry. I don't remember where I found that quote.

    Of course you care, CB. You love your father.

    I would be anxious, too. We cannot help but be affected by our abusive people we love. It isn't possible to just stop loving them, I don't think. We believe them when they say these terrible things to us. But they are wrong. Often, they are very sick, people who do things like your father has done.

    When we were little kids, these people were our heroes.

    We had no way of understanding they were ill. We had no defense to them then. We do, now. We can share our stories. We can decide to learn the truth about those we love, and that can be so hard to face, and so scary.

    You are here with us, now.

    Others of us will be along soon.

    Take good care of yourself through this time, California.

    I am so sorry.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    YES! This is the key. They lie or twist things about us to make us feel bad, which is abusing us.

    Cedar, what a kind and comforting post.

    CB, you must know your father is wrong. He just isn't nice. In this forum we try to help one another deal with family of origin members who are abusive or were abusive. Stick around. You'll get help and support. We all understand, trust me. It helps to see we are not alone.

    You are NOT alone.
  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so much for your kind responses. You really do make me feel better. I was hoping that now that I'm an adult, and parent myself, my father and I could bond, but it's obvious that's not going to happen. What's hardest is that I am a total people pleaser. I have literally spent all my life trying to make everybody happy and to be accepted by everyone. I don't have a single mean bone in my body. It's hard to be rejected, by my very own father none the less. I guess I have to learn to try accept that not everybody in my life is going to approve of me. It's a hard lesson but I've got to learn it. And thank you all so much again. You really do make a difference.
  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi CaliforniaBlonde,
    I am so sorry for your sadness.
    What a forgiving person you are,
    after a tremendously difficult childhood experience,
    to reach out as you have done.

    Some folks are just downright mean spirited.
    I don't know why, but they are. Maybe they are reflecting things that happened to them somewhere in their lifetimes.
    This does not excuse mistreatment of others.
    They become toxic in their ways.
    Their actions, words and deeds may be toxic to us and for us.

    There is a good article on toxic people here-

    It is hard when the toxic people in our lives are family members.


    I am so sorry for the pain of it. It is very sad.

    Please take time to do very nice things for yourself.
    It is important to feel what you feel, then take steps to heal and rebuild.

    My heart and prayers are with you.
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  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You have been as close as breath, California. That is how he could hurt you. You were a defenseless little baby girl, or a sweet four year old little girl. You weighed no more than thirty to fifty pounds, California.

    And he still did what he did.

    There was no one else for you to trust; there was no one else to teach you how to define yourself in the world.

    And he still did what he did.

    And you were just a beautiful little girl, perfect in every way, when he poured that poison into you.

    Can you rephrase this for yourself, California? Can you see the parents' upsets and your anxiety as part of your growth process? This situation seems to have been custom designed to help you develop your whole, compassionate center.

    Anxiety is neither good nor bad. It indicates that we are challenging ourselves. I have to stop posting for right now, but I will find two quotes on anxiety that were really helpful for me, and will post them here for you, today.

    Later, though.


  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Here you go, California. I haven't had my quote box open since we came here. It was good for me to go through them, again.

    Thank you.


    "We are seldom aware of the profound effect that unresolved negative emotions have on us. Dampened by years of self-distrust, displaced by years of co-dependency in which we have channeled our creative energies into managing others' perceptions of us, those energies awaken with startling power and poignancy. We are like avalanche survivors, coming to with tingling limbs as we rejoice in our survival, throwing off the numbing weight of others' agendas.

    Artist's Way at Work
    Julia Cameron


    "Anxiety demonstrates that we are engaged in activities worthy of us; that provide a suitable test of our courage, ability, and resolve.

    The Myth of Neurosis (?)


    In order to experience yourself more powerfully, you must will to do so. If you want to radiate from your own source and stop depending on other people, you must work very hard at learning to trust your own mind. When you succeed, you will have preferences, instead of needs and dependencies. You will operate from your heightened intuition and honed awareness, and your behavior will be calm, appropriate, and exacting. You will use your will with consciousness, and take responsibility for all of your decisions. When problems create minor upsets, you will live through them with dignity, fluidity, and exactitude and then, you will move on.

    The Myth of Neurosis (?)


    This is a quote from our own Somewhere Out There.


    "Dysfunctional families routinely pit one against the other, sometimes changing it up a bit, but if you are in a dysfunctional family you usually feel more upset than love. The reason is: Those families are not about love.

    They are about control.


    "The fearful are often holders of the most dangerous power. They become demonaic when they see the workings of all the life around them. Seeing the strengths as well as the weaknesses, they fasten only on the weaknesses."

    Bill Ransom
    The Jesus Incident


    This may help you know how to think about your father, California. It is from The Diaries of Etty Hilesum, a young Jewish woman targeted by the Nazis. She died in a concentration camp. Her diaries were found after her death, and were edited and published.

    "I knew at once: I shall have to pray for this German soldier. Out of all those uniforms, one has been given a face, now. There will be other faces, too, in which we will be able to read something we can understand ~ that German soldiers suffer, as well. There are no frontiers between suffering people, and we must pray for them all.

    Etty Hilesum
    The Diaries of Etty Hilesum


    And here is something beautiful for you, California. It is from Dance of the Spirit, the Seven Steps of Women's Spirituality by Maria Harris.

    "We begin to look at things and people with more care, hearing words and music not heard, before...."

    "Layers, crusts, and shells which may have been built up over years become brittle, break apart, and begin to disappear. Muscles relax. And a realization dawns that a personal daystar has begun to shine, giving us its light."

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  11. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    CB. I am not a person of faith, but I have some familiarity with what Christians refer to as the teachings of Christ.

    Your father is the sort of Christian who uses his religion as an excuse to be vile and judgemental as today many who call themselves Christian do. Thankfully, there are still Christians who follow the actual words said to be the teachings of Christ and they are usually good people.

    Your father is a sick, sad, and vile man who twists his religion to justify his actions.

    You are much better off without his poisonous negativity in your life. Be grateful that he's disowned you and made the break for you. It is better so, and perhaps you wouldn't have been strong enough to make this necessary break on your own.

    Go out, go on, and live a good and kind life. Let your father wallow in the filth and poison of his vile and twisted beliefs. I believe there is nothing after death, but if you believe otherwise, perhaps he will be called to answer for his actions at the end.
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  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    CB, Everybody already said the important things, but I want to add my voice here.
    You deserve kindness and care. You deserve support and generosity and acceptance.
    This man is trying to victimize you. You labeled him correctly. He is abusive. I agree with Going North. Every word.

    You will not find from him what you want and seek.

    I am heartsick for you that he has tried to attack you and bring you down. The reality is he cannot touch the goodness in you. Cedar nailed it.

    He knows your goodness and gentleness and vulnerability. Next to you he feels his own cruelty and worse. He must feel that if he attacks you, he becomes bigger and more powerful. Instead he reveals more of who and what he is. A small and desperate man who uses the name of G-d and the bible to hide behind.

    You have learned from this and now you know that you must protect yourself. You have built a loving family and a life of integrity and purpose. Know that.

    You are strong enough to not need somebody like this in your life.

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