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To think my father is just an arsehole and to give up on him entirely.

(22 Posts)
Mousefinkle Sun 13-Mar-16 13:11:39

Sigh. I'll try and be as brief as possible.

Father lives in London, I live in Yorkshire. I don't drive, he doesn't own a car. I have three young DC, he lives in a tiny flat so me visiting him is a literal impossibility. Well, I could but I'd have to fork out for a hotel. When he comes to visit here he stays and eats for free at my nan's house plus travelling here he only has to think of himself so all round it's just simpler for him to come here.

However he hasn't visited for four years. My youngest DC has never met him, the other two have no idea who he is. His excuses at first for not visiting were various illnesses. He's just turned 48 (so was 44 then) and has been as fit as a fiddle so to speak until the past few years when the illnesses cropped up and varied from a chest infection that lasted for four months hmm to some problem with his liver despite being teetotal for twenty years.

A handful of times he arranged to come visit and then would cancel at the last minute when I was quite looking forward to seeing him. Got my hopes up iykwim and dashed them including when DC3 was born he'd promised to come visit and stay for a couple of weeks which I was pretty excited for, cancelled because of the chest infection. Of course the illnesses could have been real but it all seemed like convenient excuses to me. Quite why he doesn't want to see us, I don't know... It's hurtful anyway.

I gave up hope and pretty much haven't spoken to him for the past two years. However since just before Christmas I decided to extend an olive branch, drop the grudge and let bygones be bygones. Have text a few times and he said he'd be visiting mid March for my nan's birthday. Roll on mid March, visiting us tomorrow, have explained to DC that he's coming and they've been looking forward to meeting him (which I now know I really shouldn't have but seriously didn't think he'd cancel AGAIN after everything), he's just cancelled hmm. Apparently my Nan has flu and has asked him to rearrange for a few weeks time. It's possible that's true but to me, there's some game he's playing that I'm missing out on. It's almost as if he gets a kick out of arranging to see me and then cancelling at the last minute. I'm convinced the man has some sort of personality disorder... There's definitely something amiss, right? Or am I being terribly paranoid?

P.s in case anyone recognises the details, I did have a thread about it the first time around and most people advised I go NC which I did but before Christmas my eldest DC was doing a project on grandparents and he asked about his grandad, he actually thought he was dead TBH and had told his teachers he only had a grandma on my side. It made me sad and I thought I should attempt to forge a relationship with him for their sake.

GruntledOne Sun 13-Mar-16 13:15:47

Have you talked to him about this calmly? It sounds as if he might have some sort of problem with travelling, or travelling that distance, possibly a MH problem. I wouldn't jump to conclusions without at least trying to find out more.

saltlakecity Sun 13-Mar-16 13:17:42

It takes two to tango. It's not impossible for you to visit him. The kids would probably love London and there's loads of free things to do there.
Perhaps he has anxiety about travelling that has developed over the last few years. Medical anxiety too maybe?

By the way liver issues can and do occur in teetotal people.

Bellini239 Sun 13-Mar-16 13:20:02

Do you have contact with him maybe on Skype?

Mousefinkle Sun 13-Mar-16 13:20:33

I know they'd love London and I am hoping to take them soon but as a single parent with three young DC it's not an easy journey plus the hotel would be quite an expense especially when you consider aside from the travel, it's free for my dad to come here.

I have considered MH problems. I did ask him when he cancelled for maybe the third or fourth time and I went NC if there's some other problem he's not telling me about but he insisted it was just these physical illnesses. I've never heard of a chest infection that lasts four months, though.

Mousefinkle Sun 13-Mar-16 13:21:37

No I didn't even have his new mobile phone number until just before Christmas so have just been texting up until now.

MatildaTheCat Sun 13-Mar-16 13:28:22

So has he not seen his own mother in four years either? What does she say about it all? Does he have a mental health problem? Resumed drinking? Simply not a functioning person?

It's sad. My friend has a brother who has no contact at all with her brother. He doesn't even know if their mother is alive or dead. What makes anyone like that is anyone's guess but sadly he is not going to change and become a super grampa. Unless you can cope with the way he is it may be easier to let things go. Not NC exactly more of a let him make contact if he wants to but I can't keep trying iyswim?

Mousefinkle Sun 13-Mar-16 13:31:11

She's quite a strange woman. She's super secretive so you'll be hard pushed to get anything out of her about it. She seldom mentions him TBH. Speaks to him on the phone pretty much every day but never passes on how he's doing or anything about him to me. I've asked a few times if she knows when he'll next be visiting or what's up with him and she either makes an excuse for him or shrugs it off and changes the subject.

Mousefinkle Sun 13-Mar-16 13:36:34

And yeah it's made stranger by the fact until four years ago he visited a few times a year and was in fairly regular contact. It is as if something drastic has changed within him but I don't know what. I spoke to him on the phone a couple of times before Christmas and he didn't sound different, as if that's any way of gauging...

TheBouquets Sun 13-Mar-16 13:37:03

If your Nan has the flu should you go over to her house and see if she needs shopping or housework done seeing that her son lives so far away. That way you would know for sure if she really has the flu

SeamstressfromTreacleMineRoad Sun 13-Mar-16 13:47:34

And just to let you know, I'm now into my fifth month of a chest infection. Four different antibiotics, three courses of steroids - and still I feel shit... sad So it is possible, if not usual...

ElementaryMyDear Sun 13-Mar-16 13:48:22

I did ask him when he cancelled for maybe the third or fourth time and I went NC if there's some other problem he's not telling me about but he insisted it was just these physical illnesses.

But if it is an MH issue it would be entirely characteristic for him to deny it.

I've never heard of a chest infection that lasts four months, though.

Maybe not an infection, but you must have heard of chest problems that go on for months or years?

Mousefinkle Sun 13-Mar-16 13:53:52

That's a good idea thebouquets, I think I'll do that. Or at least call her up perhaps making my number private so she doesn't know it's me and see if she sounds sick when she answers. As I said, she's a strange woman. She definitely wouldn't appreciate a spontaneous visit. The last time I did that was December and she was flapping and freaking out. She likes things to be planned and organised iykwim. But I think that's a good idea and then confront my dad if she isn't really ill.

If he does have MH problems (which I'm familiar with having had anxiety and depression myself a few years ago...) why even bother making the plans to then just cancel? Do you think he possibly thinks he could do it this time then realises last minute he isn't up to it? Either way, I'd prefer he was just honest about it.

Hope you're feeling better soon seamstress flowers

SeamstressfromTreacleMineRoad Sun 13-Mar-16 13:57:45

Thanks - I just wanted to let you know that your DF wasn't necessarily making things up. Hope that all goes well for you.

Chocolatteaddict1 Sun 13-Mar-16 14:15:15

I have a dad like this.

He has been like it his whole life. The last few year he got worse and my dd2 (3) is scared to death if him as she has no idea who he is sad

Even when he or I did call each other we had nothing in common and he would just talk about his dsd kids. Just before Xmas I told him (by text) that he was crap. That he had always been crap. He sent a message back saying that he had just been diagnosed with depression that he had been suffering with for six years and that he agreed he was crap.

Whilst I can see depression can make you very self centred he was always like this anyway.

Anyway - I read a good book about relationships and although it's very hurtful that my dad doesn't want to see me or my kids regulary, you can't force someone to be something they are not. I wanted my dad to be the doting grandfather but I don't think he had it in him with out the push of my DSM . It doesn't make him a bad person, just not the person I wanted him to be. Looking at it like that helped me get a massive chip of my shoulder.

Sorry that was rambling hope it made sense.

wheresthel1ght Sun 13-Mar-16 14:25:24

Considering the fact you have made zero effort to see him I think yabu. As some one above says, it takes 2 to tango.

I live in Yorkshire, my family all love be on London. I have dogs that I cannot take with me. If I can't find a sitter then I have to do the trip in a day. It's not ideal but it is possible.

Depending where in Yorkshire you are there are very cheap options for travel to London. Megabus does coaches to London for £1.50 each way, they also have tickets on some trains. Family railcards make trains a lot cheaper as do family coach cards for national express. Travel lodges are everywhere and dirt cheap. We book one on the outskirts of London for £29 for a wedding last year.

You both seem to be making excuses

Mousefinkle Sun 13-Mar-16 14:34:15

chocolate
I'm sorry you have experienced similar. The book sounds helpful, what was it called?
I might find it easier to accept if he had always been like this... But he was pretty good until four years ago and he's never told me anything is wrong with regards to MH but then, he never has been very open with feelings and such forth so wouldn't surprise me whatsoever if he were hiding something.

I've just text him anyhow to basically ask if there is anything else going on and that I'd prefer he were honest about it, I definitely wouldn't ever judge, I just want to know what's wrong and why he keeps dropping plans.

There is more to it wheresthelight. I had bad anxiety and depression myself which was so bad I didn't really leave the house so a trip to London would've been out of the question. I have improved drastically the past couple or years but with DC being at school, it just being me with the three of them... The idea of a 2.5 hour train journey there and then back sounds hideous. I guess (as selfish as it may be), it's just so much more convenient and cheap for him to come here. He has a free place to stay and only has to pay for his travel and worry about himself so makes more sense. But I have been thinking about saving up for a trip down there in the summer holidays.

wheresthel1ght Sun 13-Mar-16 14:54:52

Sorry mouse I don't mean to come across as rude, but you are upset with your dad for making excuses and yet you are doing exactly the same.

I suffer with a severe anxiety disorder and depression so I do understand how debilitating it can be. However it is entirely possible that your father suffers a similar illness (it can have hereditary traits) and yet seemingly it is ok for you to make excuses but not him. Strikes me as double standards

Mousefinkle Sun 13-Mar-16 15:05:37

If that is the reason then I've just made it clear in my text message to him that he can be honest about that and there'd be absolutely no judgement from me, I would appreciate the honesty rather than excuses. I understand it can be difficult to admit you're suffering from mental illness but if faced with the prospect of losing your only child and grandchildren or just admitting you're ill, I know which the majority of people would choose... What does he think I'd do if he told me? The worst I could do is cut him off (which I obviously wouldn't) but that already happened for the past couple of years anyway. I'm just thinking he doesn't want to see me or my children TBH. I'm struggling not to take it personally. It's made me very sad. Doesn't matter that I'm almost thirty, it's still making me feel unwanted.

I think I'll make the visit in the summer holidays happen and if he doesn't want to see us while we're there then that's his choice.

theycallmemellojello Sun 13-Mar-16 15:09:48

He might be a bit upset you dismiss his health problems as nonsense?

wheresthel1ght Sun 13-Mar-16 16:27:54

As you should well know, admitting it and talking about it especially to loved ones can be the most impossible task.

I am afraid I still think yabvu, it is ok for you to have reasons/excuses why you haven't made any effort whatsoever to see him but because he has acted in exactly the same manner you have gone NC with him.

Has it at any point occurred to you that he might feel exactly the same way about your lack of effort?

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 13-Mar-16 16:55:05

He has the right to keep any health problems to himself.

The road goes both ways

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