To not want to visit my father?(15 Posts)
I do visit my father, but I feel like I don't want to. I feel incredibly guilty about this as he says he misses me and my siblings, but there are a lot of things that happened in my childhood which I now understand which make me feel this way.
When I was younger I was a daddy's girl, no matter what he did wrong or how much he failed at being a father I still idolised him and would defend him whenever my mother's side of the family or teachers at school tried to fault him. When I was 7 years old he had an affair with a 17 year old, leaving home and his four children. The youngest was just a baby, and from then on he refused to acknowledge my little brother as being his child despite the fact that he was the spitting image (and still is) of his first child. My brother has never seen him.
My other two brothers and I would visit him every weekend. Now that I am older, I am not sure why this was the case as he would go out drinking every night we were there and spend the next day in bed. My stepmother (the young girl that he had an affair with) was responsible for looking after us during this time, so we barely saw our father. When we did see him he had no idea how to look after us and would give us alcohol as a treat. I was drinking in his home from as young as 8; wine, vodka, whiskey, sambuka, beer etc. He didn't see a problem with this.
As I am older now my mother talks to me about some things that happened back then. My father paid no maintenance and one week my mother was struggling to buy our school uniforms and we had no trainers. She wrote a letter for my father asking if he could get us some shoes and when I gave this to him he ripped it up and laughed. He never gave my mother any money as he saw it as him giving her money, rather than his children. He used to threaten to report her whenever I went around and told me he would get my mother fined/sent to prison. He didn't seem to care about the position this would put us in, just his own pettiness. He was physically and mentally abusive to her in their relationship and I have vivid memories of calling the police on him when I saw him strangling her.
He would make me and my siblings fight each other and then join in when one of us hurt the other as "punishment". He'd force us to play games with him and then get angry when he lost and send us to bed. He'd wake me and my older brother up at 4am and take us outside when he was drunk and falling over, leaving us to try and drag him home. When I got older and decided I didn't want to drink he would take it as a personal affront and get angry at me. He would get me to say outloud that I'd shoot my own mother for his own personal satisfaction.
Despite all this and the fact he rarely spent time with me I still liked him as a child. I'm 24 now, and I can see clearly how absolutely insane most of this is and how I wouldn't dream of doing any of it with DSD. Yet I still feel guilty for not wanting to see him. He doesn't seem to realise how bad he has been, or the impact it has had on me. I don't know how to talk about it, but I find it hard to respect and want to spend time with a man that abused my mother and is an alcoholic digging himself an early grave. His mother died of diabetes and his father or liver disease (alcohol induced). His lifestyle has given him diabetes and he is an alcoholic, so I fear he will go the same way and for years now I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for that.
AIBU for not wanting to spend a lot of time with him?
You would not be unreasonable to never see him again. He sounds absolutely vile and what you describe is clearly abuse.
You don't owe him anything because he happened to father you. your poor mother having to cope with all that. It must have hurt her so much.
I am sure that you didn't enjoy his treatment of you, you didn't love his abuse of you and of your mother. I suspect that what you loved, or wanted, or was desperately trying to find/pretend, was an actual father. Not this man and how he treated you, but the loving decent father every child wants and needs.
I think that you need to get whatever help or support you need in order to come to terms with who he is and the fact that he is not and never was a father to you and that he simply doesn't deserve you.
You do not have to have him in your life. Please believe this. You can choose to or you can choose not to. you don't HAVE to.
my dad was much better than this, i am not talking to him.
to a lesser extend you are describing my father, who I haven't seen for 35 years or more. No do not keep putting your self out for this man, if you want to visit fine, if not then leave it. You are an adult and visits should be on your terms. Would you let your future children have a relationship with him?
If you told him this now, what would he say? Is he able to talk about it with you so you can get some answers?
You don't have to visit him, if you need advice on how to go no contact then post on the Relationships board, also try the Stately Homes thread on the same board. People go no contact all the time for far less things & you have to do what's right for you now. If you just want to pull back a little & have contact by phone or text, then that's also OK.
You do what you want to do, you don't have to consider his feelings on this, you don't owe him anything.
I think I would like my future children to have a relationship with him, but it would always be with me present. Mainly because he is not "as bad" as he used to be. That is where part of the conflict comes from as I feel I am blaming him for things he did/didn't do 15 years ago. What baffles me is that he acts clueless about any of this and I know if I wrote down all of this and showed it to him, it would destroy him.
It was his birthday a few weeks ago and I had his friends messaging me on Facebook saying that my dad was upset (aka midnight, drunk) and feels like no one cares and as his daughter I should make more of an effort. This man knows nothing about my upbringing and is judging me, it makes me so angry.
What does 'not as bad' mean?
What does he still do?
this man is too toxic for you and therefore way to toxic for any children you may have
People in your father's position can be very good at rewriting history & presenting it as fact, he may remember what he did or he may believe his own version, but the fact remains that they did or did not happen. Just because it was 15 years ago doesn't mean that he has zero responsibility now. You still have a very real & valid reason to be upset with him, time doesn't wipe away the impact he had upon your childhood. How you deal with that can change though, & that's probably what you need to focus on.
OP I need to run to school, have a think about reporting this thread & getting it moved to the Relationships board, lots of posters on there with a similar experience as yourself (no offence to anyone on aibu, but its more of a measured environment)).
FenellaFellorick - he is an alcoholic, is in the pub most of the time and that is the only place he will see me. He cheats on his wife (not my business), but still. He is destroying himself, his liver is already damaged and he is only 44. By not as bad I mean he is no longer physically abusive. He is far too immature to sit down and talk to me about this stuff though, he cannot handle adult conversations like that and takes everything too personally.
Yanbu, don't see him if you don't want to, you owe him nothing. He takes things personally? He bloody well should!
What a horrible time you've had, OP.
I would suggest that you go to Al Anon - that's the organisation for family members of alcoholics. There you will meet other people who have had their lives badly damaged by alcoholic family members. They can help you learn how to detach from your father's alcoholic behaviour and neediness. Your first priority needs to be keeping yourself safe and sane.
You've done an amazing thing coming out of this and having so much perspective at age 24!
He insists on you visiting him, but he will only see you in the pub - that says everything about where his priorities lie. If you do decide you want to stay in contact with him (and you don't have to), it needs to be on your terms, not his. Otherwise you're just enabling his toxic and destructive behaviour.
Why on EARTH would you want your children to have a relationship with him? What kind of role model would an alcoholic, abusive, cheating grandather be? Keep your future children well away from him.
15 years ago isn't that long a time. And so what if you are "blaming" him for those events - he was to blame. End of. Has he taken any ownership? Expressed any contrition? What does he actually do for you - what has he ever actually done for you - as a father?
You owe him nothing.
He has never apologised, never expressed any regret. When he talks on that level with me it's always selfishness and about him. My partner's father was the same and passed away from drinking last year, so seeing what he went through is like looking at my own future.
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