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My Birthday Surpise:"Your father died last year"

(16 Posts)
iPost Sun 07-Feb-16 10:28:57

Just that really. He left us for an OW not that much older than me on the second day of my O levels.

And somebody randomly googling names from the past means I found out he died late last year last night. The day before my birthday.

He evidently doesn't want to break that habit of making sure he fucks up important(ish) moments for me.

I can't post on bereavement. I'd feel like a fraud. He left in 1984. There were very few moments of contact in the years after that. Then I left the Uk in 89. The very last time I spoke to my father my 15 year old son was latched on to my nipple, doing his best impression of an oversize, pink leech. How can I be properly bereaved if in real terms, there is no difference between yesterday and today. Yesterday emotionally, physically, actually he wasn't in my life. Just like today. Other than no breathing anymore, there isn't a great deal of difference.

I feel so weird. And so angry. Nobody let us grieve when he left. The message of ".children can't be happy if parents aren't and lots of people have divorced parents and are Just Fine, so get over it". They call you bitter and twisted if you can't. So stuff it down and fake it like a good girl.

And now he's dead I still don't get to grieve. Becuase he wouldn't take responsibility, he wouldn't proffer so much a tiny, sorry for what he did to us and the primary condition of contact was us putting up with him trying to wear down our resistance to his stance that everything is everybody else's fault. So he was out of my life far longer than he was ever in it.

What am I supposed to grieve for ? A memory that bears no relation to the man he became. I don't even know where to start with that.

Maybe by Monday it'll be fine. He was gone, he still gone, just "not breathing" gone. And I deserve grief-lite due to absence making the heart grow forgetful.

I deserve it becuase he knew he was dying and he didn't lift a finger to make sure we didn't find out for a random Internet posting. A final punishment for refusing to say nothing was his fault and everybody was to blame.

Thanks for the lovely birthday gift dad. Sure makes up for the thirty two you didn't acknowledge.

This post does not require replies. My husband doesn't speak English, I don't want to say it to my 15yo son, my sister doesn't need the added burden of hearing it. I do not relish the idea of my friends finding out exactly how "messy" my family background is. I just need to put it down somewhere. Get it out of my head and heard. And then maybe I'll go back to normal.

Those of on this board teetering on the edge of an affair. Go read the post I wrote as Atomik, to another affair teeterer. And put into context the pain I talked about being risked for the children of parents with muddled priorities.

Becuase it's not necessarily just there and then that you hurt them. It can hurt for fucking lifetime, which is not something the parent gets to control. Once in a cycle of "me first", it can be hard to put the selfish behavoir and thinking on hold. Even if it is costing your children more than they ever had to give. For all the stories you hear of the now adult children who were just fine, there are as many unspoken "socially unacceptable" stories of those of us who were not. There is no affair pick'n'mix. You don't get to chose the precise outcomes you'd prefer for your kids. But they do get to live with the dice you threw, like it or lump it.

iPost Sun 07-Feb-16 12:55:03

Yeah, on the off chance I don't get this deleted an edit is required

"The very last time I spoke to my father my now 15 year old son was latched on to my nipple *cos he was a baby*"

Pre edit that did sort of read like I was breastfeeding a teenage boy. My family sounds fucked up enough without me adding the shadow of "really rather too extended" breastfeeding to our dubious history. Note to self. Do not post when sleep deprived.

summerwinterton Sun 07-Feb-16 13:00:25

I am so sorry. You don't deserve one moment of this. It is not your fault! You have probably already done a fair amount of grieving already but that does not stop you doing so now too! You are allowed to grieve for the man he never was or whatever you want.

And I hope you have a lovely birthday x

LineyReborn Sun 07-Feb-16 13:06:25

I just want to say that your post resonates a lot with me, and you have helpfully articulated some feelings that I was struggling with. So thank you flowers

Do PM me if you like.

NNalreadyinuse Sun 07-Feb-16 13:13:13

Hi ipost.
I think you are grieving for the dad you should have had and now that he has died, there is no chance of him ever taking responsibility or saying sorry for how he behaved.
I think maybe you would benefit from speaking to a grief counsellor, if possible.

If you can, try not to let it ruin your birthday. In real terms, you are right in that there is no difference between your life yesyerday and today. And he has taken too much from you already.

starry0ne Sun 07-Feb-16 13:14:24

I found out my Dad died over a year after he died... It is a weird feeling... I had already grieved for him a long time ago...I was more angry than anything.

After a while I found it comforting the chapter in my life was closed for good

Yoksha Sun 07-Feb-16 13:15:24

Ipost flowers brew cake for you. Your post left me feeling sad for you. Sometimes when we grieve, we grieve for what we didn't have/missed out on. My mother had npd, and boy did I suffer. She developed alzhiemers and died totally removed from any accountability. My DB remarked just before she died "karma's a bitch, mum's getting her's now". "I said no she's not, she's out of it, so no awareness of terrible behaviour to account for".

I was glad she died. I felt released. But over the last 3yrs. I've grieved for what it should have been like. I was suprised at how I felt.

Goingtobeawesome Sun 07-Feb-16 13:47:18

I wish I had words of wisdom. Just feel what you feel as it is the right thing for you.

When my parents die there will be relief but I'm sure frustration they weren't ever held to account.

RobinsonsSquash Sun 07-Feb-16 14:02:03

Please don't get it deleted. It's a righteously angry post and I hope writing it helped.

We need to hear more about how children's lives get fucked up by their parents, I think. It's entirely reasonable to be devastated, as a child, by a marriage or relationship breaking down. It's also entirely reasonable for parents to make choices based on what works for them, but they need to do so in the knowledge that they carry the responsibility for their children's feelings about it and that those feelings might be difficult at best and long-lastingly damaging at worst.

I was furious with my parents when they split up, and was furious with my dad when he died. I still am, to a greater or lesser extent. I also love them both. Complicated feelings are complicated.

Hissy Sun 07-Feb-16 14:04:24

You absolutely have the right to grieve.

Looks like you are well overdue that right to grieve, since when he left.

You aren't a fraud in any way. Please keep talking about how you feel. It's time for you now. ((Hug))

iPost Sun 07-Feb-16 14:25:27

I don't want to cry, I don't want to hurt.

It doesn't feel very fair. No father for the last 32 years but grief for one all the same.

I can't see a grief counsellor. I don't live in the UK, and while I'm fluent in Italian under normal circumstance, I go all incommunicado when upset. I'd never be able to afford the time and expense of travelling to Milan to access an English speaking counsellor. It's not just language, it's cultural too. I've integrated well over the last 20 years, but I still don't fit neatly (or even untidily) into the Italian paradigm, so I can see myself getting deeply irritated by a councillor who'd try to squish me square peg in in a round hole style.

Plus, I am a bit concerned the whole thing is a can of worms best left unopened. I'm not sure everything is fixable. I've learned to live with my broken bits. Maybe poking at them will upset a delicate balance of pretending the broken bits aren't there, all while making sure they never get asked to do any heavy lifting.

I think maybe the best thing is to ask DH and DS not to say anything to anybody so the village grapevine doesn't go off, and I can just carry on like nothing happened.

I think most people have assumed both my parents are dead. I have long evaded any uncomfortable questions by implying I "lost" them. It's true. I did "lose" them. No idea where either of them live. And people naturally enough thought I meant dead and changed the subject. Which was the cunning plan.

If they don't know then I'll have the space forget, and just go back to "not in my life" without giving any attention to the "no longer breathing" aspect.

Yoksha Sun 07-Feb-16 14:26:23

Yy to what Hissy said ^^

summerainbow Sun 07-Feb-16 14:47:33

Can councillor that does phone sessions?

LineyReborn Sun 07-Feb-16 15:02:33

OP, you could be right about the counselling, and the possibly better option of learning to live with the broken bits. My sister has had 20 years of therapy and it hasn't helped her at all - in fact I don't think any of the counsellors has ever really 'got it' - and I look at her now and think she is lost, simply lost.

iPost Sun 07-Feb-16 15:48:05

Liney

<big fat hug> for you and your sister.

Same for anybody else who on their skin "gets it" cos they've been there, done that, know that specific type of "this sucks".

I am older than he was when he left us. My child is almost the same age as I was when he left. He told me when I was grown up and had children of my own I'd understand.

Well I am and I have one and I don't.

LineyReborn Mon 08-Feb-16 00:44:41

Hi again, OP.

It's hard to grieve. It's almost like there's no grief left. People think I'm aloof and detached but I'm not. I've probably been through all the stages of grief more times than they'll ever know. Ah well.

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