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To find this comment deeply upsetting and not send a card

(42 Posts)
Fernier Sat 18-Jun-11 22:58:12

i have a turbulent relationship with my dad we have never outright argued but he has been quite cruel at times (moving my bed into the attic after my mum died so his girlfriend could move in with her daughter for example). Anyway we have moved past that and speak on the phone and are civil. He has helped us in a a couple of ways in the past 10 years - helping us move for example but I woukdnt say we are close (he forgot my daughters birthday and doesnt know her middle name for example)

Normally I send a card for fathers day because he WAS an excellent father until I was 17 and my mum died and we WERE very close before that and I feel I owe it to him sort of. A few days ago however we were speaking on the phone and I told him that I was coming off some tablets I had been onn that were causing side effects and that I was feeling much better and so he said "so not a fat slob anymore then" I think he realised he had gone too far and tried to say it was a joke but I know him well enough to know that his jokes are often based on what he actually thinks

I have been deeply upset by it and I haven't sent a card I know that my sister and my gran (neither of whom he has ever treated badly he paid for my sisters university for example but left me homeless and in a bed and breakfast) will have a go at me and this will cause a rift between all of us.

Am I being oversensitive if he claims it was a joke - ignoring everything else because if I am honest the only thing currently upsetting me I think is the comment if it wasn't for that I would have sent a card and called etc. I just gave the other details for background .

BurningBridges Sat 18-Jun-11 23:05:51

How awful you've been treated like this, families can be toxic. Re the comment - doesn't sound like much of a joke. But if you don't send a card you'll get more family grief. Rock and hard place. I'm tempted to say don't bother sending one. Interesting to see what everyone else thinks.

AuraofDora Sat 18-Jun-11 23:11:39

what about a joke card right back at him?
Oh you are a big arse Dad..Happy Father's Day

His behaviour sounds unfair to say the least, but if you dont want to rock the boat now at this stage and be blamed for causing problems, send a card but a cheeky rude one, kinda, feck you lite

ConnorTraceptive Sat 18-Jun-11 23:11:55

If you are worried that it will affect your relationship with other family members then maybe still send him a card (perhaps a plain greetings card rather than a specific father's day card).

I would then perhaps put some distance between the two of you for a while. I know how your feel though I would dearly like to make a stand against a family member but the wider fall out makes it not worth the hassle so I'm going for a civil but very much detatched relationship these days

LittleMissFlustered Sat 18-Jun-11 23:15:56

I have often thought about I submitting the following idea to card companies:

Picture of a sperm with the legend "thanks for giving me your best".

Luckily my dad is lovely, but yours sounds unpleasant.

No.

Don't send him a bloody card.

If you do it will give him the green light to treat you whatever way he feels like & you will always allow him.

Stand up to him now.

The prick sad Imagine moving your bed into the attic <sob>

ShellyBoobs Sat 18-Jun-11 23:25:29

YANBU.

There's more going on here than the hurtful comment. I'd hazard a guess that it's more the fact it's brought back some bad memories than the comment itself, although I know you say not.

It sounds like your dad has treated you pretty shabbily, really. I don't think you owe him a card and other family members should be understanding with you - pressumably they know you were forced into a B&B?

I think not sending a card might make you feel a bit better; it doesn't hurt to take a little control of a situation that's hurt you, IME. If you feel that sending a card to celebrate your dad's contribution to your life would be betraying your true feelings, then don't.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-Jun-11 23:36:56

Like other posters have said, I would probably send him a very plain small card with just your name signed on it and nothing else.

Then nobody can say you're being unreasonable, but it'll get across the coldness you want him to feel for treating you so badly.

That was a horrible comment and in no way funny or jokey.

Have you ever come to a conclusion when you've thought why there's a difference in the way he treats you and your sister?

It's understandable if he struggled and perhaps behaved bizarrely after your mum died, but it's not when it's coloured your relationship with him ever since.

I'm only guessing at a reason, but could you have reminded him of your mum and he found it difficult?

FabbyChic Sat 18-Jun-11 23:37:31

Are you a fat slob? Was he telling the truth? Is that what hurt, cos it may well have been a jokey comment you have taken too seriously.

Life is too short for fallouts. Sort it out.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-Jun-11 23:43:41

Even if someone was very overweight Fabby, even if you hated that person and they'd hurt you in some way and you wanted them to feel the same pain, there's no way it's acceptable to call anyone a fat slob, under any circumstances.

It's a degrading and spiteful thing to say.

Life is never too short to pick people up on being shitty to you.

It's called self respect.

ShellyBoobs Sat 18-Jun-11 23:47:19

I don't agree, Fabby.

I think it's damaging to enable someone else's poor behaviour.

If you don't take some control over a situation like this, it's almost like Fernier saying to herself that what her dad did was ok and that the hurt should just be 'sucked up', rather than letting him know the hurt he's caused.

Fernier Sat 18-Jun-11 23:48:30

Everybody did know where I was living but at the time my gran was terrified of upsetting my dad and my sister was only 14.
Agent zigzag I think the reason he treats me differently is simply the fact I was older and a bit more boring! ( I never went out, preferred staying in a reading, dint drink etc I then married young and had children) so the opposite to what he wanted I think smile.

Fabbychic I am not a fat slob, even if I was the tone of it wasn't a joke.it was only when he realised how upset I was that he went back on it.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-Jun-11 23:52:55

That's really sad for you fernier, especially if you had a good relationship with him before your mum died, you must have felt very isolated.

I suppose it's a small good thing that he backed down when he realised he'd stepped over a boundary, that means he does care about how you feel, he just needs to engage his brain before the words get to his mouth.

frazzled74 Sat 18-Jun-11 23:53:38

it does sound awful and my first thought would be he doesnt deserve a card, but i think that there may be many other issues going on? the atic ! was it an attic complete with cobwebs and spiders or was it an attic bedroom? I s he a plain speaker and you are sensitive ?(tricky combination), Im not condoning his behaviour ,but i wouldnt cut him out of your life yet,

ConnorTraceptive Sat 18-Jun-11 23:59:10

I'm glad he realised atleast that he had over stepped the mark I think it is definately worth being a little frosty with him for a while so he can't just brush it off

HellAtWork Sun 19-Jun-11 00:30:20

Fernier If anyone mentions it, blame Royal Mail "oh that's a shame, never mind, waste of a stamp wasn't it?" and I would just withdraw for a bit and see how you feel. No need to make it into a big thing, you're just busy. Focus on yourself and your family. FWIW there is a good ongoing thread in Relationships called Stately Homes where people post about their parents' behaviour during childhood. It might help to have a read/post there? From what you've said, at the very least your dad was very unfeeling when you would have been grieving the loss of your mum and it sounds like there are other things too, so maybe vent a bit on here so you can process some of those feelings yourself. Relationships is probably better for that than AIBU.

LittleMissFlustered Get yourself along to Hallmark tout suite. There must be a market for this. Alternatively, can you handmake your card and give it to Fernier to send?

FabbyChic Is your default post on every thread always 'Blame the OP'?

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sun 19-Jun-11 00:51:09

Your pa sounds a worthy recipient of a feck you lite card as suggested by AuoraoanfDora.

If you're not planning to see him later today, you could look out for FDay's card reductions early next week, buy him a cheapy, and send it with the message 'sorry it's late' followed by just your name and possibly one x.

However, Hell's blame it on Royal Mail would be my choice should anyone remark on the fact that your pa didn't get a card from you.

LolaRennt Sun 19-Jun-11 01:34:57

How rude fabby.

Op your dad sounds like an ass hole. Dont send a card, do you really need him in your likfe?

harrietlichman Sun 19-Jun-11 08:28:55

I would send a card, just to keep from making things worse. I would just sign my name at the bottom and hope that he got that I was doing it for conventions sake. Then, put some distance between you, you don't need this kind of crap in your life, neither do you need ridiculous comments like that made by fabbychic.

allhailtheaubergine Sun 19-Jun-11 08:36:23

I don't think you need to send him a card. If my dad called me a fat slob I would be furious for months, and require a heartfelt apology and a genuine change in attitude to ever forgive him.

My dad called me fat once. It was rude of him. He thought he could say it because I'm his daughter. I called him on it, told him exactly how I felt, pointed out there is no one else in the world that he would think he could say that to, and that he would be mortified if someone said it to him. Yes, it caused a rift for a time, but he was never so mean again and our relationship is healthier because I demonstrated that I will not tolerate rudeness any more than the next person.

diddl Sun 19-Jun-11 08:37:55

I wouldn´t send a card & would probably say that I had & it must have got lost in the post.

It sounds as if he only "tolerated" you for your mum´s sake.

I can´t believe you had to move out of your room-juat after losing your mum-for his girlfriend´s daughter.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 19-Jun-11 08:38:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

oxcat1 Sun 19-Jun-11 08:41:35

My situation is not dissimilar: mum died when I was 16 and dad instantly got together with very much younger, very dominating and often-insensitive new woman.

Over time our relationship has got easier - no big bust ups, just snide comments rather like yours, but almost exclusively from my stepmum.

My great realisation has been that what matters ultimately is how you feel about the relationship. I can't actually change my dad now, so we have to work with what we've got. It sounds morbid, but I often try to imagine how I'd feel if I got a sudden phone call to say he was really sick or had died. I need to know that I would feel ok about our relationship as it was, and for that reason I do a lot of 'sucking it up' and getting on with it. Even when I think he/they have been unreasonable, unkind or whatever, if I know that I've done what I see to ve the better thing, then I hope I'll have less to chastise myself when the inevitable happens.

For that reason I would (and have!) sent a card!

thumbwitch Sun 19-Jun-11 08:46:38

HellAtWork - I think you're last comment is about right. FC has a habit of picking on OPs.

I think probably since it was so close to Father's Day this time, it makes sense to not send him one because he shouldn't have said what he did. But - he's still your Dad. In the end, who is going to feel worse if you don't send it - you or him? If it's you, then drop a card into him, even if it's a tiny plain one and you only sign it with your name. If it's NOT you, then don't bother.

He needs to realise that "jokes" like that are not funny and very bloody hurtful and that there will be consequences if he carries on with that attitude.

BluddyMoFo Sun 19-Jun-11 08:50:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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