To just want to be left alone? (Sorry long post)

(21 Posts)
MiauMau Wed 17-Jul-13 20:02:22

My parents divorced when I was 3 and I went to live with my mum, she was completely penniless so, we ended up living in her friend's house. After three years of extreme hard work she managed to rent a place for us and although my mum barely had any free time she did her best by me. After she divorced my father, she got together with her DP and has been with him ever since. He's a lovely person, together with my mum they worked hard and became quite successful and raised me and my siblings (who are much younger than me, never suffered any hardships) into happy and stable adults.

So, where was my father in all of this?
Well, the custody agreement forced my mum to leave me with him every other weekend. During that time, he did to me basically what made my mum leave him, he was neglectful and uncaring. He would leave me by myself in his apartment for hours, or he would leave me at my aunt's house and collect me just minutes before dropping me at my mum's with giving me a change of clothes or a tooth brush.
A few years later he got together with his current wife, who wasn't exactly a fan of mine, and things got worse. I got so sick of it that when at 14 I found out that I could refuse spend weekends and holidays with him I jumped at the chance and my life got immediately better.
I still had to visit him occasionally and on one of those occasions he managed to quash my already tiny ego by telling me that I wasn't good enough to study abroad. Making people feel tiny was always one of his special gifts.

For years we barely communicated, just the occasional phone call and dinner whenever I went back to my country. However that changed when I had DS, all of the sudden he called all the time, I mean all the time! So, I stopped answering the phone, he started calling DH, who stopped answering his calls, then he resorted to texts and facebook, eventually I blocked him and got an angry text.
I was tired of it that I sent him a message where I poured my heart out and told him that I didn't want to dealt with him any more, that my mum's DP was the one who raised me and was always there for me, that if he never was a proper father to me he didn't deserve to be a grandfather to my son. I don't want him to belittle my son like he did me and my siblings on his side.
After he got the message he called my mum and asked if I was mentally unstable and started sending more messages saying that he never realised that I felt like that about him but, never owning up to anything.

I know that a message was a bad way to do this, and I have talked to him and shown him DS apologised for that but, not for the content.

He's not a bad person, he's just a bad father. I'm lucky that he didn't raise me as I can see the results in my siblings. My brother suffers from aspergers and tried to commit suicide several times and my sister as her self confidence completely damaged from years of berating.
Sometimes I think that maybe he suffers from aspergers himself, as I have never met someone as blind to other people's feelings as him.

Sorry, for the long rant...

bumblebeaver Wed 17-Jul-13 20:10:47

Try to care less what this rather insufficient man thinks and then his guilt-tripping and emotional blackmail will be less of a weapon. You have come so far, your own life, family, future. Just be proud of all that you have and accept that his bitterness and regret make him want to blame his shit on everyone else. No love and respect for me? It's not because I was a bad father, but because you were a bad daughter, etc, etc. ad nauseum. Leave him behind. Good luck.

Sparklymommy Wed 17-Jul-13 20:26:55

You poor thing! Whilst I totally understand how you feel perhaps you could arrange to meet with your father and discuss things in a calm and controlled manner and try and come to some compromise? I understand that you feel your father was a bad dad to you but just because he wasn't great doesn't mean he can't be a loved grandfather.

Could you not make a regular effort to spend a couple of hours with your father? Maybe once a month meet for coffee on neutral ground, maybe take you ds to the park or a soft play and make it clear that this is the only time you will be available to talk to him. Maybe a phonecall to confirm arrangements but not constant calls that are making your life unbearable.

If he really didn't know you felt that way maybe it would be good to see if he makes any attempt to change things.

Only a suggestion. YANBU to feel that way, but if you give him the chance to change you will be the bigger person and may even get a good relationship with your birth father in the end.

MiauMau Wed 17-Jul-13 20:59:49

I did have a long calm talk with him, where I apologised for the way that decided to show my grief to him and I introduced my son to him. He basically told me that it was all my mum's fault because she was "mentally unstable" when she decided to divorce him. My mum always defended his right to be my parent, and each time we talk he slanders her.
He didn't own up to the neglect, he said to my face that society always played a more important role in his life (he was aunion leader) than parenting but, saying that he believes that this is what makes him a good father.
When he met DS, instead of saying that he was beautiful, he said that my photos of him where bad because his nose looked bigger in them and started teaching him how to slap his face. By the middle of the meal he wasn't paying attention to DS any more sad

I tried for years to get along with him, to the point of believing that I was worthless because, not even my father loved me.

DoJo Wed 17-Jul-13 22:26:13

OP - I can really relate to what you have said, and although I had a lot more contact with my Dad over the years, we have come to a similar place as you. I have tried to explain to him how his behaviour has impacted on me, how I felt about it as a child and as an adult, and how difficult I find it to be around him. He did a similar thing to yours - turned it around, blamed others and never really acknowledged my feelings. I was blunt, and told him that unless he could give me some sign that he had taken everything I said on board, that I didn't want anything more to do with him. He chose not to, and to this day we have no contact. He did get in touch when my son was born, but I didn't reply as the thought of him treating my beautiful boy the way he treated me gives me chills. I am also now in a position to know that I would never choose being 'right' over being in my son's life, and the fact that this is the option he went for makes me sad, but glad that I am no longer in a relationship that simply wasn't working.
Basically, I don't think there is anything wrong with not wanting this man in your life, but I do think you need to let go of your guilt that you cannot put up with him. It sounds like you gave him ample opportunity to start again and make an effort, and he is either unwilling or unable to do so. Whichever it is, there is no point blaming yourself for it (and probably no point blaming him either realistically) but focus on the fact that your decision is helping you to protect your son from any negative impact he might have on him and avoid him feeling like you did. I am prepared to believe that my dad might be a good father, but I am not prepared to risk my son's well-being to find out, and if my dad wants a relationship with him then he has to build bridges with me first.
I think it's especially hard when you have a much-loved step parent because you really don't even have a gap in your life for a father who doesn't live up to someone who did an even harder job really well. Do you think your father would accept a request not to contact you again through any means? Could you just block any means of contact that he has to curb his ability to intrude into your life? Or are you still secretly hoping that he will 'get it' and make amends (I kind of am, so this is not a judgement BTW)?

Mumoftwoyoungkids Wed 17-Jul-13 22:43:22

I am the grandchild of an inadequate father. (ie my mum is you.) We had very limited contact with my grandparents. Can't say I got much out of it. Don't feel I missed out from not having them as "proper" grandparents.

I would hate to think that my lovely mum put herself through upset because she felt she should for me / my brother.

Your son already has grandparents in the shape of your mum and her partner. It's not impossible that he could be a decent grandfather to your son. But it's not impossible that I will win Wimbledon next year.

Just pretty damn unlikely.....

YouTheCat Wed 17-Jul-13 22:44:41

Aspergers or not makes no difference. Plenty of people with ASD are excellent, supportive parents.

I know he's your dad but none of that excuses him for being such an utterly crap parent and human being. He will never admit he was at fault and is still at fault for hounding you.

Tell him, no more of this rubbish.

MiauMau Wed 17-Jul-13 22:59:15

He wants to be in my life, when I sent him the message he was really surprised by it, somehow in his brain our relationship was perfectly fine and I destroyed it by maybe being "mentally unstable" as he mentioned.
The thing is that he has basically been abandoned by his three kids. I left the country when I was 18, my brother did it a couple of years ago and my sister did it this year.
I see him whenever I go back to my home town because my mum asks me to do it, the same person that he blames for everything. DH has accompanied me for most of the years that we've been and always ends up saying something like "he would be a perfectly nice person if it wasn't for the fact that he keeps on belittling you and your siblings all the time", DH always feels really awkward during this meetings, but luckily he never lets me go on my own.
I had put all this behind me when we came to Canada a few months back, but yesterday I got another message. DH and I married on Sunday, it was a tiny affair as we don't really have anyone that we deemed important enough in our lives here to invite. We managed to bring DH's parents over but, unfortunately no one else. My family couldn't afford to come which up until then was the only thing that marred the near perfection of our wedding day.
His message said that he was happy for me but, sad for not telling him.
I didn't tell him like I didn't most people and they did complain, all they had was well wishes for us.
He has a short memory too, he seems to have forgotten that he also didn't invite me to his wedding nor even told me that he was getting married even though he lived only a couple of blocks aways from me. I found out in the saddest most backwards way possible.
I guess that this makes me as bad as him.

YouTheCat Wed 17-Jul-13 23:03:35

No. It just means you don't owe him a thing.

He doesn't believe he has done anything wrong and it's all a surprise to him because he is so wrapped up in himself.

The man brings nothing but grief and pain to your life, if you don't want to see him don't.
Don't let your mother guilt you into seeing him each time you come to the country. It's your decision you are now an adult and a mother and must do what you think is best. Stop apologizing to him, he screwed up not you.

He's a dick. It's fine to cut contact with him completely. If he won't fuck off and persists in sending abusive texts/emails/phonecalls you can actually get court orders against him to keep him away - no adult can be forced to have unwanted contact with a biological parent and grandparents have no legal right to contact with grandchildren.

That you don't want to see him is his fault. You have given him more than enough chances to be a good parent/grandparent and he hasn't taken them. It's perfectly all right to reject him.

pictish Thu 18-Jul-13 01:29:22

There are some things there that fit with my dad too.
He's a selfish, unempathetic sod, and while being perfectly personable, will never accept that he was a shit dad. It was all my mum's fault, to listen to him tell it...even though my mum was totally sound, and he's an utter berk.
He was always putting my brother and I down as kids. I too felt very sad that I was so awful my ownfather didn't love me. That, apparently, was of my mum's doing too. hmm

I just keep him at arm's length. I'm jolly and friendly, and get off the phone as soon as I can, inventing people at the door, or one of the kids crying and so on...just to get shot of his waffle.

I have given him a fair chance, but he's just not capable of being anything less than totally self absorbed...so I smile and nod, and keep my distance.

Sparklymommy Thu 18-Jul-13 07:01:59

Fair enough, if you have tried a compromise and it hasn't worked then you are definitely within your rights to ignore his calls. I am sorry you are struggling like this but congratulations on your marriage x

MiauMau Thu 18-Jul-13 18:20:56

I would like to thank you all for your kind messages.

My family hasn't reacted the same way. My mum believes that I should forgive and carry on seeing him, I haven't told her all the nasty stuff that e told me about her, i see no point in doing that. My cousin who has similar issue with her father, told me that he was my father so, I had no choice but to put up with him but, the one that surprised me the most was my mum's DP. He was really chocked when I told him that I didn't want to see my father any more, he told me that family is family and you can't just get rid of it and even though his own dad abandoned him when he was litte, he still fed and washed him when he was old and ill.

Ironically, my father's wife also butted in and sent me an email with a "family secret". Apparently when my mum left my father, he disappeared off into the woods with a shotgun and nearly commited suicide, the thing that stopped him was the thought of me growing up without me hmm

MiauMau Thu 18-Jul-13 18:21:26

Sorry... Without him

It's a crock of shit that you owe loyalty to unpleasant people just because they are biologically related to you. Your family is you, your DP (if you have one) and your DC. I wonder if your father was very good looking or successful in some way and that's why other people seem to think that he should be indulged despite his selfishness and general nastiness.

Honestly, fuck him off and forget about him. He had his chances and he blew them all. Best of luck.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 19-Jul-13 11:40:39

Perhaps you should tell her all about him.

You owe him nothing

But you know who you do owe? Your son.

Why in the name of all that is holy would you ever allow that man to get a foothold into that child's life when he's done all that he's done - and when he's already shown you that he hasn't learned a bloody thing?

He doesn't care about you, he's demonstrated that very clearly.

It is all about him. Always has been. That won't change.

You deserved a father. You didn't have one. You deserve a father. But that isn't him. It wasn't then and it isn't now.

Don't lay yourself and your child open to this. It would be a huge mistake.

DNA means exactly and precisely fuck all.

If someone treats you like shit they deserve nothing and are entitled to nothing from you.

Think what the people around you are saying. they are saying that it doesn't matter what he did or does, you have to take it.

That is not correct. Please believe that.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 19-Jul-13 12:29:02

Agree with Solid. It takes more than biology to be a good parent and sounds like he's failed spectacularly.

EldritchCleavage Fri 19-Jul-13 16:37:27

My mum believes that I should forgive and carry on seeing him

For her sake, or for yours? You get nothing out of it. Does she want you to stay in contact so she can feel validated in some way? It's not up to her. You are an adult now, and you get to choose whether to see him at all and if so, on what terms.

I wouldn't bother, really.

MiauMau Fri 19-Jul-13 16:59:40

I do have a father, my mum's DP. Even though he himself was abandoned by his own, he is an amazing father. He never distinguished me from my siblings and always did his absolute best by me.
He was the one that was there when I needed help and supported me in my life choices. When my own father told me that I wasn't good enough to study abroad, he told me not to worry and it is thanks to him that I don't have a massive student debt and I work in what I've dreamed of since I was a little kid.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 19-Jul-13 19:42:07

Precisely, the man who brought you up is your father in the true sense of the word. You don't need the toxic other man in your life.

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