OMG. Now my dad. Does it ever end?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    So I've always said that my dad is ok in my book, although he is definitely a narcissistic, but at least he doesn't treat me different than the other kids. Well, maybe now he I could be on the way to my second disinheritance. I don't care.

    This was the conversation that lead to my saying calmly, "You can't talk about my family that way. Call me back when you can be nice."

    Dad: So is Geoff going to marry Julie?

    Me: No. They can't. He'd have to pay too much in insurance.

    Dad: That's horse (fill in the blank)

    Me: (trying to stay calm) No, it is. That's a reason a lot of people don't get legally married.They've been together and true to one another for eleven years. That's not fair or nice.

    Dad: (interrupted me) No, it's horse (fill in the blank) and he's just a piece of (bathroom reference) and then more abuse on and on and on.

    And then I told him not to call until he can be nice and hung up.

    You do not hang up on Dad. He may never call you again.

    I'm so sick of my family of origin I could scream. Just when I'm over the loss of my sister and her betrayal THIS happens. Yes, he's ninety, but he's of sound mind. This is how he ha talked all my life. Do I let it go because of his age?

    No. I'm not going to call and apologize. For what? H anging up on his mightiness? He deserved it, in my opinion. I don't care about his dang inheritance.

    I've been poor so long I'm used to His inheritance would just mess with my benefits anyway (this is the truth).

    I want to go to an Al-Anon meeting soooooooooooooooo badly, but don't think there is one tonight. I'm going to look around. If not, there is one first thing in the morning tomorrow and you bet your bottom dollar, I will be there.

    I feel so sick and disgusted. I have to face that THIS is my father. He never apologizes, never thinks he says anything wrong, never is wrong. He is a total narcissistic and if you see it in the dictionary, his face is pasted next to it.

    I just called to see how he was. He told me my brother was coming in. I told him that didn't mean anything to me, and maybe that set him off.

    I think I may need to let him go too. It seems wrong to let go of somebody who is ninety and who, at times, did help me out, at least with small bits of money, although every single time he did he screamed at me first. And we're talking $100 here and there, not thousands. I should never have taken a dime.

    Jumper came home and I gave her a hug and she asked what was wrong and It thought about not telling her, although she knows about the family. I did tell her. She is a young woman now.

    I feel like calling him back and getting in a last shot, but that is so childish and so wrong.

    I feel like being hypnotized so that I can forget my family of origin and think I was an orphan.When I was a kid I used to fantasize that these weren't my real parents or family and that I'd find out one day. It's kind of the reverse of being adopted. I WANTED to be adopted so that I didn't have to claim them.

    What was this really about?

    I set a boundary. And I'm not going back. He has been talking this way to me all of my life. It's over.

    Now watch him have a heart attack and my sibs will blame me, only I'll never give them a chance.

    And I doubt he cares about me enough to have a heart attack over a tiff with me.

    They are all so vile. I asked Jumper if I ever treated her or her siblings badly and she shock her head hard and said, "NEVER."

    Thank God I at least learned how NOT to parent.

    And maybe that is why I'm here on earth this learn how to love from the family that diedn't know how. I believe we pick our parents and our journey. And I sure have learned a lot!!!!
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Hontestly I think you did the right thing. What I might do is call him back and say, "Dad I want you to know that I love you and want to talk to you but that I wont tolerate you putting people down or calling me or any member of my family names." He isn't a 14 year old difficult child so I would give him the courtesy of an explanation of your boundaries. If he choses not to respect them then go from there.
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  3. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I'm so sorry MWM I know that had to have been hard to hang up on him, but what would have been twice as hard would have been to stay on the phone and continue to listen to it.

    What else could you have done? Does he believe you have the super mom power to force 2 adults to get married? Especially if that marriage would complicate things more for the mother and the child?

    I totally understand about the insurance, for 6 months I had no medical insurance on Angel when she was 3yo... income didn't matter because her father was living under this roof they canceled her medicaid. Not sure what I would have done if she got hurt and needed an ER, was lucky our pediatrician doctor slid both girls thru on youngest ones office call and prescribed enough medications for both when they got sick.

    Chalk it up to his generations line of thinking... my mother was same way when I showed up pregnant with my son, kept insisting we get married so "your child will have a name". My thought was my child will have a last name MINE and there is no way I would consider legally attaching myself or my child to that abusive monster for life. I left when 4mo. pregnant never to return, the whole relationship went from fine to I'm out of here in 6 hours.

    Not comparing Geoff to my son's ... donor I guess would be the word for it. Times have changed, single mothers are accepted more now... 50 years ago not so much.

    Try not to let yourself feel like the rope in a game of tug o war, your dad has reasons for his opinion and Geoff and Julie have reasons for their decision; and this is their relationship so what they do is ultimately no one's decision but theirs.

    You are completely powerless in their decision or any ability to change your dad's mind, at this point he is set in his ways and too late to change his ideals in life.

    refer to the serenity prayer often; please accept cyber hugs and wishes the world would let you have a moments peace.

  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    He doesn't care if they get married or not. He knew they weren't going to marry. And it's not his generation. He lived with a woman for over twenty years. It's just him being himself...mean. This is how he always talks to us. I don't make excuses for that anymore. It's not ok to talk that way about me or my kids for any reason.

    It wasn't hard to hang up on him. I just never did it before. I am not calling him back. LIke the rest of my DNA collection, I've had it.

    Examples: Once he was screaming about how not one of us ever gave him one moment of pleasure, not one with lots of cuss words in it. He meant it. He did not apologize.My family is very abusive.

    Mods, can you move this to PE?
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I said, "I love you, but you can not abuse me or my children and if you want to talk to me nicely, you'll have to call me back." Then I hung up. I was hard pressed to say that "I love you" part. I am not calling him back. Enough is enough. He has done this sort of garbage forever and it stops now.

    I wonder if I should tell Julie. She isn't close to him. Does she have a right to know what he said? She'd never see him again, not that he runs to see her now.

    It is my dad who is the a*****. I really am feeling right now like I don't owe him anything for all his abuse and he doesn't owe me anything either. I don't care if he never speaks to me again the way I feel now. I do not miss my sister anymore either. This is an evil family. I talked to my husband. He was very caring. THe meanness of my family just blows him away.
  6. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    wow he does sound abusive and I think you may be right about cutting ties with that whole family... they sound toxic.

    on what planet is it the kids responsibility to give the father pleasure? If wants to be "pleasured" he should go to a hooker not lay that responsibility on his kids! It is the parents job to make their children feel loved and secure not the other way around.

    I'm so sorry your family is like that, and you did the only thing you could set down that boundary (set in stone) and if there is anything of the relationship to be saved he has to be the one to get over himself and pick up the phone to fix some of the damage he did today.

    stay strong and hopefully the others will get home and log on soon.

  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Yep, Angel, but I'm so used to it it doesn't even phase me that It's not just him. My mom was just as mean, if not worse. Never hit me. Ever. Emotional abuse is worse.

    Sis is like that too when she's mad.

    That's why I don't believe that anyone's family automatically makes anyone responsible for each other. Sometimes everyone is better off if all of you separate or disappear. My husband and kids think the family is nutty. And they don't like how I get treated. I don't feel any obligation to any of them other than my husband and children. It's too bad Scott did something similar, but I can't blame him the same way I blame my DNA loonybin collection. Scott was adopted at six from another country...he has real, sincere issues that often can never be overcome.

    My DNA collection has no excuse other than they did the best they could, which is pretty pathetic. I really don't believe that everyone does the best they can. I think many people just aren't nice and get a mild thrill when they hurt other people. I think some of our difficult children aren't nice and are not doing as well as they can.

    I don't think my mother, sister and brother could not do any better. I think they could have done better, but didn't want to. Right now, I loathe them all. I don't like the word hate or the actual emotion because it takes up too much of your person. But I am going to Al-Anon tomorrow morning to work on detaching. And I don't know if it's detaching with love. I do usually love my dad because he normally is sorry when he spazzes out. But I do not feel love toward my sister and brother anymore. Now that my sister is out of my system, I don't feel much of anything at all. Can't even say I wish her good luck. I just want her to go away and stay away and whatever she chooses to do with her life is her own decision. I don't want to know what the outcome is.

    Sadly, I feel no connection, no identity to this collection of people. My identity is largely a part of who I am apart from them and my husband and children with no extended family involved.

    Sorry for the long vent.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    MWM, take a breath. I say this out of love. I am having to do the same thing today. My emotions are on high alert right now. Yours are too. We are in this together.

    When we are like this, we need to take a deep breath. We need to wait. We need to have silence and space and distance and time. We don't need to do anything right now.

    You stood up for yourself. I just sent my sister an email and stood up for myself too. I waited and I changed the words several times so that I said it clearly and kindly.

    We need to stand up for ourselves, and it's hard for us to do it in the best way when we are so upset too. I know your heart, and I know how you want to be to your family, regardless of how they are to you. You have done the work, and you are more than what he did today.

    Yes, he is a product of his generation. And you know his history and who he is.

    And you know who you are.

    He is your 90 year old father, and like you said, you don't want to cut off all ties. That is your choice and none other than your choice. You don't have to, you can just create more space, more time, more distance and tread very lightly and carefully when you do encounter him, if you so choose.

    You are dealing with way too much right now. Your sister is fresh. You have so many changes in your household---wonderful ones and hard ones. That is still stressful, even the good changes.

    Yes, I SO get that today. My beloved sister has done it twice today, subtly, but still. It hurts. It makes the other hurts hurt even more. It makes me feel even more alone. And I don't need that right now.

    We were born into these families, and we didn't choose them. We love these people, regardless, most of them, most of the time (or not). We can only be who we are, and when we are full to the top with them, we need to take a break. Sometimes a long break.

    But it doesn't have to be black and white, MWM. Not all or nothing. We can slow it way, way down if we choose. And that is okay too.

    You were trying to be kind. That is who you are. And then, it's even a harder hit when you are trying to be kind and you get the whap up side the head. I am sorry that he hurt you like he did. It's just too much, right now.

    It's about people being who they are. It's about reality. It's about the good and the bad of all of us and of him. Like you said, he has done good things for you and with you in your life. It's just not a black and white thing.

    Who knows what he was thinking? What he believes? And who really cares? They are going to do what works for them and you stated that. You don't have to defend them or their decisions. They stand anyway.

    MWM, take a break. Take a long deep breath. Take a walk. Sit in silence. Watch the sunset. Get back in touch with all you have learned and experienced and who you really are today. You are a wonderful, giving, caring, very smart and very seasoned person.

    Do nothing today. Just let the day pass. Tomorrow will be a better day. And this too shall pass. Warm, hard hugs for you.

    We'll get through this stuff. Thank goodness for this board.
  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    As I have been determinedly healing, I am shocked at the nastiness I listened to and made excuses for my family for.

    In a way, MWM, you have given your father a chance to think about the way he speaks to his own daughter, and to mend his ways now, before it is too late for him. At the same time, you have given yourself the priceless gift of having stood up for yourself and your children before it is to late for you to do that with him in person.

    I am sorry for the scary feelings, the angry feelings, the feeling that you've done something very wrong. They raised us to be people without rights, MWM.

    That belief system they hurt into your very core is what you are standing up to right now.

    You did the right thing.

    I am proud of you and so happy for you, that you have been able to know in your own heart that you merit decency and respect ~ whether your family of origin agrees (and they probably won't) is not the issue.

    It is just scary to think what might happen next, because you've done something more courageous than anyone in your family has ever done ~ stand up to the patriarch and demand that he treat you with respect.

    What will happen next (at least, it is with me) is that you will see more and more how inappropriate your family of origin was and is.

    You confronted the dragon, MWM.

    If he has courage and integrity, he will call back. He would have, already. That is what any decent parent would do ~ clarify the situation. That he has not called back helps you to know who he is.
    The same thing happened with my mother (who hung up on me).


    You have more courage than me!!!


    I'm so sorry those words were spoken over you, MWM. But here is a thought: What kind of person is it who does not take pleasure in a child?

    A liar, that's who.

    What else has he lied to you about, to make you feel broken, to break your will and your spirit?

    And what, in all that hells that ever were, was the payoff that made it worth it to this grown man to break the spirit of a beautiful child, a beautiful young woman?

    I love it.

    You were polite, respectful, and appropriate.

    At some point, yes. But let it sit for now. This is your growing time, MWM. Journal through it, talk with husband about it, post here. Let it settle and let's see what it means to your spirit and to your heart to have begun breaking the layered chains of verbal abuse your father used to break your spirit from the time you were a little girl...from the time you were a baby, Pam.

    It helps me to imagine what it would have meant to the little girl I was if I had been spoken to gently, it I had been treated gently.... We need to acknowledge what happened, but we also need to realize how the abuse changed and limited us. The world is a competitive place. We went to school, to high school, to college, from a hurt, bruised place to compete against children raised to believe in themselves.

    Our parents' choice to abuse their children cost us more than shame and heartbreak, Pam. We went into the world believing we were less than we are.

    That is what their abusive pleasures cost US.

    He owes you everything. And everything, for you or for me, MWM, would be a parent who said: "I am so sorry. I loved you so much. I wanted to be better."

    That is what he owes you.

    My husband, too.

    Sometimes, when I tell him what I tell him, it's like I am thrown into that shamed place all over again.

    That tells me how much it must have hurt to be me, when I was little and defenseless, and didn't even know it was wrong, to treat me that way.

    I am so proud of you, MWM.

    What happens next between your father and yourself is less important than that you have come to value yourself enough to hear what he said without excusing him, without pretending he didn't mean it, and without forcing yourself to allow him to subject you to verbally abusive behavior because he is 90.

    You have courage.

    This thing you are doing is very hard. At the end of it? You win yourself, MWM. You win back who you will let yourself be. You erase all the bad messages, all the negative tapes, as you confront them.

    It is so worth it, Pam.

    Holding you in my thoughts and prayers.

    I know how scary this is, how wrong it feels.

  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Pam, you probably arent going to like what I have to say. I dont think you should cut him off. I doubt he was thinking about his will when he was asking about the kids getting married. Most people of his generation do think that people who are having kids together should get married. It took my father quite awhile to get over the fact that I never married Tony. He didnt explain it to people, he just referred to him as his son in law.

    If my dad had made a big deal out of it I would have sat him down and explained exactly why we never married. There were a lot of good reasons.

    I would not have wanted to lose my relationship with my father over whether or not one of my kids married someone. He well knew his first great granddaughter was born out of wedlock. It didnt make him love her any less.

    Take a breath and give it some time. I would then be the bigger person and say something like maybe one day they will marry and you will have all the fun of attending a wedding but for right now financially it makes more sense for them to not marry.
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  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thanks, COM. A lot of what you said hit home. I do love my dad and he called me back and did tell me to forget it; that he was just (not sure what he called it), but that he liked Julie and Geoff and to please forget he said it. With my Dad, and only my Dad, can we sometimes fight and have this type of moment.

    COM, I really don't want to be around my sister and brother. I don't want that at all. I just want them to leave me alone. My sister will not communicate to work anything out and the same thing happens over and over again. So this time it is me who does not want her in my life. I am taking it slow, but can't think of it ever being different because she has done the same thing with cut offs and cops so many times. The cops are downright scary. She makes out phoney reports about harassment...I don't want to deal with that at all. My brother lives in NJ. I never see him and once he sent me a letter that his therapist told him to write about what bothered him about me. I didn't read it, but tossed it out. I did give it to my husband first and he just rolled his eyes and said something about our crazy family. I *am* t he family black sheep and it's not fun.

    I thought you wrote therapeutic letters but didn't really send them. I guess he wanted me to read hurtful, horrible things. That was pretty much the last time I had contact with him. I haven't really had a desire to see him since. He could have called and spoke with me. I hadn't seen him for years when he wrote that so I wonder what his beef was. He did spend a ton of time with our mother. He never married or had kids. I'm sure she fed him a load of crapola. That's all I can think of. At any rate, I have NO desire to have these two in my life. It isn't like the connection you feel to your sibling. It is more than fighting. It's a gang up...I did everything wrong...there is no communication at all...I just want out.

    But even though I can talk to Dad, he is no peach. He has always been this way. It is not his age. Yes, he helped me out once in a blue moon, but when I called my parents to tell them I was getting divorced, the first thing my father said wasn't "I'm sorry." It was "Well, you can't come here and I can't support you. Don't count on me." He didn't call me for about three weeks. That's not much different than my mthers's, "Well, you can't count on me so don't even ask." LikeI'd ask.

    I am much happier when they are all not around, sadly, that includes my father. He has little interest in us...he never even saw his great-grandson before they moved to Missouri. Never saw him once. Wasn't interested in him. THat says tons.
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Cedar, you get it the most, like you always do. Thank you. Although we spoke again...and I lied. I did. I called HIM back to tell him I was going to tell Julie and Geoff what he said because I was being a bit revengeful and knew he would freak out at that. They have always been very nice to him. He was calm and told me to forget he said that and made some excuse that I don't remember. I won't forget he said it though. It's just the meanness of who he is.

    Cedar, I am already to the point where usually my father and I do not talk about anything except the weather. I stopped sharing my life with him years ago. He was too abusive. If I ever talk to my sister again, which I hope I don't, this is how I will deal with her too. Nothing but the surface. Not my feelings. He doesn't care or understand. I'm mad at me for calling him. I do know he loves me, unlike my sister and brother and mother and her ticky old brother and the rest of her crew. But it is still appalling the way he talks to us and I have been good about not allowing it for a long time. Another thing I do is limit our contact to maybe once every two weeks. Less is more, so to speak.

    Janet, I know you mean well, but you obviously have a stronger bond with your father than I have with mine. He does not get into sit downs and listening to us. He is narcissistic and if it's not about him, he isn't even hearing. I did not love my mother when she died. I hadn't seen her for over a decade and she didn't even send my children birthday cards on their birthday. I believe in karma so I kept trying to mend things in this world by sending her beautiful cards and letters and calling her. She never called me once. When I managed to gulp up "I love you" she'd say "I know you do." She never said it back. I went to her funeral and diedn't cry. Nobody in my little family cried. I was mostly comforting those she had been nice to. I do love my father because he doesn't treat me any worse than he treats my siblings, but that doesn't make it warm and fuzzy between us. In our case, no, I don't want him to die and think I didn't love him. But he is very hard to love and, trust me, his kids and grandkids are very unimportant in his life. Every time I visit the Chicago area, where he lives, he has to check his calendar before he will see me. If there's a dance or he has a date, too bad, so sad for me. I'm used to it, but he's not a very loving man and has a limited capacity to love me back. Even when I was a baby and little kid, he was never home. He was always at work. Leaving me stuck with super-abusive mother.

    THanks to all for the ear. You are all so smart and caring.
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  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM, I moved your thread in to our little corner of the Universe.

    I am so sorry this happened with your Dad. I have a lot of empathy for you.

    I am from a dysfunctional family as you and Cedar are so I do understand your response to your fathers abusive comments. I have had similar experiences with family members. My take on your experience MWM, based on my own recent experience is that I don't think it's an accident nor a coincidence that you have 'suddenly' refused to accept this bad behavior from your family, or I would imagine anyone. I think when we are able to make strong, impenetrable boundaries around our kids, those boundaries are now erected to prevent any kind of disrespectful behavior. What you used to accept as okay your boundary won't allow now.

    I was told that when we are products of dysfunctional, abusive families, the normal and healthy "fence" we would ordinarily have around us to protect us and yet allow love and comfort through has "slats" missing. If we don't heal from this abuse, others, similar to those who first penetrated those 'slats' continue to slip through those openings gaining entry to our personal space where we are vulnerable and have no protection......and they can wreck havoc and do harm. As we become healthier, we build new 'slats' and our 'fence' becomes impenetrable and those who try to harm us, can't.

    Your fence is now firmly erected around you and once that happens it becomes obvious to us who has slipped past our boundaries in the past and who does not deserve to enter again. Whether that is your father, your sister, your child or the guy at the grocery store, it doesn't matter, no one gets to treat you with disrespect, without compassion and kindness, without dignity and understanding.

    I believe that you have strengthened your self respect and self love and now it is apparent what you will and will not accept. I believe that is a wonderful testament to your own growth, transformation and healing. You can decide to have limited contact with your Dad, OR NOT, it is entirely your choice.

    There are members of my family whom I have absolutely no contact with because they are always hurtful to me, they just don't know enough to NOT be abusive. Others I have expressed my truths to and I had an experience of being seen and heard so I can be connected to them in some measure. And, that is as good as it is going to get.

    Over many years I expressed my hurts and truths to my mother, who is 89 years old. Remarkably she was able to hear me and apologize, she has a willingness to take responsibility for her actions. She is still who she is however, so I have to remember to keep those boundaries intact because that is simply how she learned to behave in her own background, she did not heal from her own childhood. I can have compassion for her and I love her, however, I also am very clear about what my boundaries are.

    From my own experience it seems when we get to setting boundaries around our family of origin, we are now at the root of our own issues and our sense of self respect has grown to a point to have the courage to address those archaic issues with truth and compassion. Compassion for ourselves FIRST.

    As you move through this, you may decide to risk telling your Dad just how this makes you feel. Or not. If you did, you would have to become detached from the outcome because it wouldn't be about him, it would be about you and you sharing your truth. He may or may not be able to hear you. It could be a transformation for him..........or not. I have shared my truths with my entire family and the only one who has been capable of hearing me is my mother. It seems my daughter has been able to hear me as well.

    You are very brave MWM, you've faced the Patriarch and it appears he has backed down. I recall when I confronted my raging Dad, he actually said to me, "it's about time." Whatever you decide to do about your connection with him, I think the important thing is that you put a stop to his abuse, you said a resounding NO and you didn't get down to his level to do it, you remained on higher ground. I am very proud of you. I am very happy for you. You done good MWM.

    Once you get over the anger, really let yourself know how amazingly honest and truthful you were, how much courage it took and how it turned out that he backed down. If I were you MWM, I would celebrate, this is a victory of epic proportions. Nice job.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much, RE. From your posts, and Cedars, I can tell we share the incredibly-hard-to-understand issue of having many family members, if not most, who don't want to hear us and paint us black. I am so glad you were able to at least be heard by your mother. I think, for some reason, mothers mean the most to us when they understand.

    My mother was out for punishment and no matter what I did, she was going to stay hateful, even when I truly reached out time and time again, and even took 100% of the blame (I question this now) just to get her to have a semi-normal mom/daughter relationship with me. It failed. I'm not sure why. She spoke little of her childhood. I adored her mother, my grandma, but now I look back and see that she was playing me against her own daughter and grandma favored her son so some dynamics that went on will never be known to me. I do not, however, think she tried her best. She maybe did all she knew, but all WE knew was what WE were taught and we still did not act like they did. It's not an excuse.

    I was always afraid to hang up on my father because he held the purse strings and kept threatening to disinherit me. We don't have money (husband and I) so this scared me. I look back and laugh at myself. Why did I care so much? Why did I care at all? If he didn't inherit me, I'd stay poor? I've always been sort of poor and material things never meant much to me so what would change if he disinherited me? My mother did it and the world didn't fall apart. I will never him have monetary power over me again and, in my frame of mind, I truly don't care if I get money or not from him. So I'm not afraid of him. Actually, when my mother disinherited me it hurt me more emotionally than stung me because I didn't get the little money she had. I did not even consider going to court to fight it. I was too devestated as I felt that was her slap at me from the grave. It said to me, "Ha, ha. See? You really DON'T mean squat to me." If there was an obit I didn't see it and I wonder if I was even mentioned in it. My Dad could never hurt me as much. I now look back and feel silly that this bothered me so much or surprised me.

    Heck, she was all but shouting her intentions and I thought that if I just tried to be nice, it would work out in the end.

    How naive.

    Unfortunately for me, but not tragically, there is NOBODY in my extended family I can sit down and talk to and work it out with. To be honest, there are very few people in that family...Dad, Sis and Brother. THat's it. My uncle, who was a source of great pain to me, is deceased. I did not attend his funeral. He was vile to me and I hadn't seen him for over twenty years and he was just an uncle. He started calling me "brat" when I was as young as four and my mother, who worshipped his butt, let him do it even when it made me cry and they'd both laugh. I have that memory even though I was so young that we lived in an old apartment in Chicago that my only memory that exists of it is my uncle teasing me until I cried and them laughing.

    RE, I am starting to realize how far I've come. Any nastiness from my DNA collection used to make me feel like they were right, I was horrible, I cried for days, I couldn't function, they had so much power over me! Now...I am fairly apathetic. With Sis and Brother I am almost 80% apathetic and getting more each day. My dad was the only one who was outcasted like me and whom I have any connection to in my heart. However, he can NOT talk to me that way. And he does not possess the ability to love the way most fathers do. Hhis greatest wish for me and my sister was for us to marry somebody tremendously wealthy...not for OUR sake...but so that he could brag about it to other people. That we didn't, made him think we were useless. Also, they had to be Jewisih. That didn't happen. He was most proud of my sister and I when we were young because both of us were extremely pretty and, trust me, he embarassed us by talkling to strangers about it, like waiters in restaurants. He'd say, "This is my daughter. Pretty, isn't she? Doesn't she look like ME?"

    Me, me, me. His swan song.

    Thank you all for making me see the progress I have made. And I feel in my gut that I really HAVE let go of so many trite things that used to make me so sad. I appreciate your help, all of you.
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

  16. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I'm up with insomnia and saw this First off, I'm so sorry MWM. Similar to how only another parent with a difficult child can fully understand what you are going through, I FULLY understand you. My Father was also a narcissist. Plus abusive.
    And it is a very ugly and painful part of my life. He died about three years ago. Like a little girl I had hoped that he would give me a death bed apology. One day at the end he shocked me to death and started to cry and within seconds, his tears dried up and he was mean, ugly and cruel to me. Borderline???? The last several years I only spoke to him at Xmas time to see if he needed anything. And I helped him out as best I could at the hospital when he was dying. He never "got it" and missed out on everything. Do whatever you need to dO to save yourself. I suppose on some level these men are profoundly insecure. But they are profoundly abusive and draining and often it's best to simply walk away. My heart goes out to you.
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Recovering once likened dysfunctional family systems to a litter of puppies, all trying to nurse from the one nipple the mother dog has. If the mother dog were healthy, she would acknowledge that she had only one nipple, and allow each of the puppies to nurse until each had her fill. If the mother dog were very sick...she might tease and taunt and starve her puppies, weakening them and making them detest her, themselves, and each other. In such systems, the oldest daughter is often "parentified". Without any nipples at all, she tries to nourish the other puppies; they hate her for it.


    I am glad you called your father, if that is what you wanted to do, MWM.

    There is no wrong or right in this hurtful place we find ourselves.

    I am sorry, MWM.

    But I like the courage you displayed. I like it that you took the situation by the horns.

    Good for you.

    Just like it is with our kids, it takes as long as it takes for us to know what is the best thing to do. Be aware of his tone of voice, and of whether he respects you. As you become healthier, as you break through those chains of abuse everything is sealed in and the blood begins to flow free and to nourish all of you as it was meant to, instead of being cut off from your source of strength, you will feel strong and whole in a way you may never have felt. All at once, little things and then, bigger and bigger things fall into place.

    Everything will look different.

    It will still be a sadness? But you will not feel sick, you won't feel chased or guilty or rejected, anymore. You will see that those are just the names of the games your family plays...but the difference now is that, though they will play harder than ever to hook you in, it just doesn't affect you in the same way.

    I wanted to comment on the inheritance issue, MWM. This is huge in my family of origin, too. I think dangling something of value in front of the puppies to keep them coming back, to keep them divided and fighting each other for whatever there is replays the whole set up from when we were little kids. Here is a story: So, husband and I actually have more stuff than my mother. So, we are not quite as amenable to snapping at whatever is dangled for inheritance though my mother uses the power of her Will in every possible way, as often as possible.

    She uses her person as a power game, too.

    She uses the jealousy between my sister and myself to elevate herself in her own estimation. I know this because my mother was kind enough to point it (my jealousy of my sister and hers of me) out to me, herself.

    So it must be true.

    She found it quite entertaining.

    Do you see the illness there?

    So that must be a pattern in dysfunctional families.

    And it makes sense that it would be.

    Anyway, here is the story.

    After my father's death, my mother offered this, that, and the next belonging of his to anyone and everyone except for his own children. It was almost like she was buying friends, or buying influence, or...I don't know. Something was the matter there, but I don't know how to describe it. Anyway, husband and I didn't need anything she had. husband had no interest in my mother and never went to her home. He barely tolerated her in our home. So, at dinner at our house one night, my mother asked husband point blank to choose something he might like. (husband had already offered to buy several things my mother had offered for sale. The game seemed to be that she wanted husband to want the things she had. She did not sell anything to husband. She would either give the items away, or sell them elsewhere. In any event, my mother asked whether husband would not like one of my father's fishing poles. After much encouragement by my mother and against his own better judgment, husband said he would.

    And he was hooked. And the game was on.

    husband never did get one of my father's fishing poles.

    husband has multiple poles of his own. The pole from my father would have held sentimental value only.

    And that is what my mother used to hook husband into the inheritance game.

    The way husband felt about my father.

    I thought about that incident when you wrote about the importance of inheritance in your family of origin, too.

    When our families are dysfunctional, nothing is sacred. The hope for dignity, for something sacred at the heart of things, for some decency at the end...that did not happen for me, MWM.

    The sickness escalates, instead.

    The abuser clings to power like Miser hoarding gold. Money and stuff are power when we don't have any gold. In the Miser myth, the king realizes the horror of what he loses for the sake of gold and the power it represents.

    I think my family does not understand that lesson, yet.