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How do I stop this unhealthy relationship with helpful but 'out of touch' dad.

(236 Posts)
malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 11:57:01

Put this in relationships but reposted here for traffic.

I do love my dad and I don't want to go nc but the dynamics between us just isn't healthy and hasn't been for a long time.
My dad has always been super careful with money to the point of being tight. I remember he had a lot of rows with my mum about cash as I was growing up as she was bipolar and this meant she went on the occasional binge. I felt she was controlled a bit.
When my mum was bullied out of her job my dad gave her a really hard time as he was loosing a wage. She later found out that he had a lot of savings squirreled away.
I'm a bit like my mum in that I am not great with money. I do try and be careful but I think all of the penny pinching/financial times obsessing/ obsession with me getting a job as a doctor or lawyer/ lack of awareness of what made a young girl happy eg;nice clothes etc made me rebel.

So now I am a single mum with a low paid job. I trained as a teacher but the stress made me mentally ill and I was bullied out of a good role in a private school. I have settled for being a Teaching Assistant.

It has been so hard to secure a permanent contract as I have been on supply. This has made it very hard to budget. I have also been hammered for child care. Dad kept making digs that I didn't have a permanent job. Finally I have got a fixed term contract that will probably lead onto a permanent role. Dad is finally happy-ish.

Over Christmas my freezer broke and dad kindly offered to buy me a new one despite me telling him I would buy on credit. I am very grateful.
However, I have also been hammered for an unexpected council tax bill. I asked if I could borrow £20 for petrol and he went off in a tantrum saying that he has already lent me £400 (for the fridge/freezer.)

I have now told him I will pay him back for the freezer as I don't want the emotional blackmail. The thing is , he is absolutely loaded. He did work and save hard but he had a very well paid job as a teacher in the private sector. He loved teaching and he just does not get why I can't hack it.

I just think he is disappointed. My sister is a successful psychiatrist and has married a rich man so he doesn't get why I am so skint. He thinks that benefits are a huge amount. I had to overcome significant mental health issues (eating disorder/ domestic violent issues) to get this far. It is a miracle that I am even employed.

He tells me I should always have a pot of £300 in case of emergencies like the freezer and does not get it at all that I just cannot save.

On the plus side of all this, I have no credit cards or loans so no debts but I am never going to be good enough am I as I'm not rich.

Apparently I am putting him under a lot of pressure. How do I stop relying on my dad.?.he is the only family I have really. it just feels like a shame but I don't want to rely on him any more.

The thing is he is great with dd and she loves him. He normally takes us to Cornwall every year for a break which dd loves and looks forward to. However, as we have not been getting on great and snipe at each other, I am reluctant to keep going on this holiday. I feel trapped in this dynamic.

malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 11:58:22

The fridge freezer wasn't £400 btw. It was half that so I'm not sure where the figure came from.

malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:00:39

And I think we are this involved as dds dad has never been on the scene and when I was pregnant I moved in with my parents and dd spent a year with them. We have moved out but in the same town. Mum has since died. I feel like I have a sort of learned helplessness and rely on my dad too much. He still talks to me like I'm a naughty child.

mydogmymate Wed 04-Jan-17 12:11:23

Just wanted to acknowledge your post and say I know how you feel.
My dad was exactly the same, had a good job and a good pension ( he's dead) and just couldn't understand why I didn't have a posh job when I'd been to university ( I've had mental health problems like you & you have my sympathy). He was a "baby boomer" who had the cheap mortgage, final salary pension, able to save etc. I started to back off from him financially & told him nothing about my situation and struggled along.
Maybe it's time that you told him that this is your life and things are different now. Plus, he can't pad his coffin in money can he?

PeachBellini123 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:16:08

I think you need to put a budget in order. You say you aren't great with money. Have you tried getting help for this? I wrote a statement of affairs and it shocked me in to changing my ways. Also look at easy ways to save money: bulk buying, batch cooking.

Regarding the job I think you should be proud on what you have overcome but it saddens me whe you say 'it's a miracle' that you are employed. Have you got a good support network (personally and medically)? TAs are notourisly badly paid so I wonder if with help you could get to the point of widening your career prospects.

Also credit cards aren't a bad thing if managed properly.

You'll can't really complain that your dad feels he can have a say in your finances when you're borrowing money from him..

PhilODox Wed 04-Jan-17 12:21:28

I think it's hard for him to appreciate how much schools, teaching, and educational expectations have changed!
I would ask him whether the F/F was a gift or a loan? Sounds like he thinks the latter. Why would anyone let their hard-working, employed children struggle when they are they're in the position to help?

malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:24:03

Hi there. Thanks for the replies. I do need to stop borrowing from him. I also want to get out education and find a different career. This will mean retraining. Id love to be a radiographer or radiotherapist...I have a few ideas.
The trouble is, being a TA fits in so well with having hours and school holidays off. Low stress but low pay.

malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:28:51

It was a gift apparently...but clearly with emotional strings attached. There are ALWAYS emotional strings attached.
I do think it's a typical baby boomer attitude. Also, apparently he NEVER went out like I do. I go out once or twice a month, I often take dd out on day trips (paid for by vouchers) He may not have gone out but he did take us abroad regularly and paid school fees.
Also him and my mum knew what it is like nowadays as they have 2 kids and I only have 1. If I want to know REAL hardship then I should have 2 kids.

But then he cheerfully tells me that no one can afford a house nowadays.
He berates me for my spending habits but then sneers at Lidls and Aldi where I shop. They are 'naff' apparently.

Otherpeoplesteens Wed 04-Jan-17 12:40:25

I feel your pain. My dad is a bit like this - baby boomer, rode all the luck with career/pension etc and now sits on more wealth than he knows what to do with. What's so infuriating is that he has read all the evidence. He knows full well that things are different now, but somehow cannot reconcile it with our personal situations and experiences.

I've found the only way is to draw his attention to particular events or circumstances and make them teachable moments. Sometimes he gets it, sometimes he doesn't.

Otherpeoplesteens Wed 04-Jan-17 12:43:10

Also, you could tell him that he'll be very grateful you have no career when he needs spoon-feeding and his nappy changing five times a day.

malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:52:07

I kuat find it galling when he has a hissy fit when i ask to borrow 20 quid when its pocket money to him... hes trying to train me to be better with cash.
He also had a hissy fit when he heard my contract was fixed term rolling on rather than totally permanent!

Softkitty2 Wed 04-Jan-17 12:55:41

I think other peoples money and how they choose to spend it is no ones business but their own. Even if you think he is loaded and could spare you the £££ it is really up to him.

I do however think if he gives or lend you money it shouldn't be with strings attached or emotional blackmail but if that's the condition then you have to decide if you can put up with it.

Blueskyrain Wed 04-Jan-17 13:10:12

Ah, you're the lady aren't you that a little while ago inherited over £16k and then blew the lot? And was grumpy that your father didn't pay for you to have a deposit on a house, even though you can't get a mortgage anyway?

I have a lot of sympathy for those that genuinely struggle, but with your attitude towards money, no wonder he gets frustrated at having to bail you out.

malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:12:45

I didn't blow the lot actually... I spent it on rent, a cheap car and living expenses as benefits stopped. I have some saved for dd for university which I am never going to touch.

Blueskyrain Wed 04-Jan-17 13:16:07

and holidays and jewellery and nice clothes, by going on shopping sprees 'when high'.

malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:18:38

I do agree that I have money management issues and I want to stop him helping me. It's this learned helplessness thing I was talking about.

He took control of the cash when my mum was alive so she doidn't have a clue to manage it and I feel he did the same with me when I got my inheritance. He took it for me and put it into accounts of his choosing and dished it out like pocket money. He became far too involved in my money. I was desperate to get a mortgage but I couldn't duw to job situation.

The point is I DON'T want to have this shit, unhealthy attitude to money. Nor I want to borrow any more from him . I do want to take control and separate my financial issues from him completely. My mum and I were always the ' incompetent' ones! (In his eyes)

The issue is ...HOW?! It is an ingrained pattern!

malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:21:04

Blueskyrain.. Have you ever been 'high'? No..not your thing? Far too sensible are we? . Before you judge bipolar disorder perhaps you should read up about it.

I bought one valuable piece of jewellery which will gain in value and I will keep for dd and no designer clothes...just replaced my old rags.

malificent7 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:22:16

And there is always a lurker waiting to pounce after collecting evidence from other threads.

Blueskyrain Wed 04-Jan-17 13:27:02

YOU need to start making responsible decisions for yourself. To stop blaming other people for the decisions you have made.

You hold it against your dad that he held the purse strings in your family when you were a child, but don't seem to appreciate that if your mum was going off on spending sprees whilst ill, it could be disastrous for your family. You parents had their children to think about.

You've said that you go on spending sprees whilst high yourself. This isn't your dads fault. Its not your dads fault that you don't have any contingency money - its your fault, for prioritizing shopping and frittering the money away, rather than putting a little bit of it aside for a rainy day.

I'm not saying we should never rely on our parents to help us - many of us have been there, and may be in the future, but you have to learn to stand more on your own two feet. Asking for help occasionally is one thing, but you seem to be constantly relying on your dad, for a very prolonged period of time, and worse still, are upset at him when he doesn't want to help.

Blueskyrain Wed 04-Jan-17 13:30:07

You come across as very entitled.
Yes I did look at your other threads, I had remembered you, and I went to check. And yes, I think it is relevant because it shows a lot of the background to you and your father over money.

itsmine Wed 04-Jan-17 13:32:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Aki23 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:35:17

So what do you want? Your inheritance now? If you feel he controls you via money, step away and become independent. Don't let him take you on holiday. You cant have it both ways

DownWithThatSort0fThing Wed 04-Jan-17 13:36:59

Hmmm I don't know OP I don't want to sound hard hearted but you do seem like you need a kick up the arse to make you 'woman up'

you seem to want to play the victim to a large extent. Both you and your mum have apparently been 'bullied out of jobs' and you paint your Dad to be an ogre

Your dad talks to you like a child, because you seem to act like one and you cannot cope without handouts on the regular. You are forcing him to live in a way he doesn't seem to want to. It aint his job to support you and your kid, it is yours!

You do not know the huge stress it puts on the parent of an adult, when they are still expected to repeatedly year after year, pay your basic bills because you wont budget and constantly make excuses to not grow up. It causes resentment . He should be building up a retirement fund, not making your life easier

Council tax is NOT an unexpected bill. You didn't NEED a brand new £200 fridge freezer - what would have been wrong with buying a second hand one for £50?

You want a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget! At other peoples expense.

I think you need to sort this, and now. Your kid needs to see their parent stand on their own two feet and not bouncing all over your Dad every time the shit hits the fan. This is the lesson you are teaching your kid, always run to your parents when you are an adult - you are right, it IS unhealthy but the problem is you - not your dad

Megatherium Wed 04-Jan-17 13:41:14

I kuat find it galling when he has a hissy fit when i ask to borrow 20 quid when its pocket money to him... hes trying to train me to be better with cash.

I agree that you've done very well to get a long term job given your illness. However, the fact that it's pocket money to him is irrelevant, and by saying this you do reveal that you think that he should just hand over the cash whenever you ask for it. If the Bank of Dad wasn't around, you would just have had to go without.

Softkitty2 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:46:23

Also look at it from your dads point of view maybe he is the way he is with money because of his experience with your dm.

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