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Please help me deal with my Dad(14 Posts)
I've name changed, I'm not sure why.
Please can someone help me with what I need to say to him!
background My Dad and I have always had a strange relationship. Ever since I was a teenager he has felt comfortable confiding in me and only me. Sometimes this has been completely inappropriate, and I've had to remind him that I am his daughter, not his mate. He has always said I'm 'on his wave length' and no-one else understands him. This has always put a lot of pressure on me, but because he has depression and I'm a kind person, I've just gone along with it.
Recently I've had a lot of job troubles and am currently in a job that is destroying my mental health. I was bullied by my manager in my last job, and so left and went to this even worse job, where I've had a nervous breakdown, been off sick and then went back. Now, I'm applying for jobs, being interviewed and conditionally offered jobs, then having this offer withdrawn when they see all of this in my references. This obviously is hurting my self esteem and making me cry a lot, but I know I need to carry on and continue to be honest about my past jobs.
Sorry, I'm trying to get to the point! My Dad has a history of getting drunk in the evening and e-mailing people. Last night he sent me a draft letter he has composed to the head of the HR dept where he thinks I've been rejected for a job. In the letter he has told the HR guy that 'you have destroyed my daughters life', 'Your company has caused her extreeme mental illness' (depression), and he has signed it as RegularCorn's Dad Attorney (he is NOT an attorney!)
I'm absolutely livid with him. i know he was trying to help, but this is a major company he is writing to, and Im likely to want a job there in the future as I've got many years left in my career and they are a major employer round these parts. Apart from the fact that it wasn't even their company that rejected me!! It was a much smaller one.
I'm also pissed off because once again I'm going to have the boundry issues talk with him. I'm in my late twenties, I have a (wonderful) Husband, a Child, and a mortgage, I'm able to fight my own battles and don't need my dad wadeing in and fighting my battles for me! I daren't tell my husband, he hates my Dad (although is civil to him for my benefit), as he feels my Dad is selfish and asks too much of me emotionally.
I don't know how to address this with my Dad, I know he was trying to help, and he is under a lot of stress himself at the moment, so I dont want to be a bitch, but this is completely unacceptable. He has raised my stress levels so much higher than they need to be, and I'm terrified he's going to get drunk again and actually send this. It wouldn't be the first time he's done it, he once sent an estate agent we were dealing with a nasty email, even though he only knew half the story, and it was mortifying!
I cant ask for support from my Mum as they are divorced (and she is on a well earned holiday at the moment) And I know I can't ring him as he sleeps til mid afternoon (he is a nocturnal alcoholic)
Thank you if you've reached this far. I feel so alone, it's just me and very young DD in the house all day, DH is away until tonight with work, and I can't ring him.
P.S. I'm so sorry about the spelling and grammar, I'm a bit of a mess at the moment.
Oh my. Well,I'm hoping he just sent you a draft & didn't actually send it. You need to explain very calmly & dispassionately that if he has sent it,he will have screwed your ever finding a job or being taken seriously as a professional. He has also made himself look ridiculous,he is also throwing around some very stupid claims (true or not).
Tell him you have explained boundaries before but this is too far. Tell your dh also.
It sounds like you need to detach and not share as much information with him. How did he know exactly which company you had applied for in order to write the email?
Have a conversation with him about it, but the only way you are actually going to have boundaries with him is by restricting number of calls and keeping conversation to a much more superficial level. It might be healthier for you as well as you do realise there is no such thing as a nocturnal alcoholic, just an ordinary one and it doesn't sound like your Dad is capable of offering you genuinely constructive support.
good luck on the job hunting.
My feeling is not to hide this from dh, It nees to be in open. I'd also contact company if he sent it aand explain he's not well and they are not you feelings. I think you shouldn't share about your life with him and then he won't be able to do this in future.
Don't worry about being a bitch. He is wrong and needs to be told, If he creates because of it that is his problem and not yours. He has expected to much from you anf makes you feel guilty for not liking it. Be firm.xxx
I have been in a very similar situation with my mother.
She once sent a letter to my neighbou who I was having troubles with. It was harmful and mortifying and extremely unhelpful. She has sent numerous damaging letters to family members.
I have distanced myself and learned how to manage her.
I haven't got a lot of time now as I am going out but:
You HAVE to distance yourself from him. You must not confide in him anymore.
If you have a supportive OH, tell him. My dh has been so incredibly supportive, strong and helpful - he has kept me strong. Told me not to rise/respond. To ignore all the emails and letters. He was so, so right. Keep her at arm's length, don't bow to guilt trips.
I also made it clear to her that I had boundaries (again aided by my dh, I was very scared to confront and extremely and emotional at the time), that I wouldn't accept/respond to xy and z.
Now, believe or not, we have an okay relationship and she 'behaves' for the most part. It was only because she had nowhere to go when I refused to engage or react.
I really feel for you
Don't be alone - call your husband. This is what marriage is about. You really need him right now. My dh managed to pull me back into reality many times and help me get perspective.
Hi, thanks for all the responses. I don't think he has actualy sent it because the attachment was marked Draft. What I'm worried about is that he'll get drunk and just do it anyway. I feel like going over there and watching him delete it from his computer.
Rookiemater He knew because I told him Although to be fair in my particular job (fairly specialised) theirs a limited number of places I can work in my area, so if he had to guess theirs only a few places in my local area I would be applying to. As it turns out he has addressed the snooty letter to the wrong company anyway... Although this has taught me not to tell him where I'm applying to in the future!
I wish I could call my Husband, but it's very much frowned upon by his boss to take personal calls at work (unless an emergency obviously!) I've texted him and asked him to ring me when he gets a break.
I know I need to distance myself, and have been trying to for a while. The problem is I'm weak, and I know my dad is experiencing major personal problems of his own. I do have a brother who has manged to successfully do this, but he was never as close to dad as I am, as it was apparent to him he wasn't the favoured child.
Sorry, when I said nocturnal alcoholic I just said that to explain why I couldn't ring him this morning because he would be sleeping off the excesses. I know he is a bog standard alcoholic. The whole family has tried to help him with this, and he says all the right things at the time about stopping etc, but then never does. I've offered to go to AA with him but he obviously isn't ready yet.
You're not weak. You are frozen by a million different emotions and anxieties. It's very tough.
Don't call your dad.
Fuck not phoning dh at work for once - like I said this is what marriages are all about. You need him now.
If you feel anything like I did 10 years ago (brink of a breakdown really I now think) then this is an emergency.
You are very strong and very loyal, thats why your dad has been able to get away with his behaviour for so long. I wouldn't phone your husband you know what trouble that would cause for him and he will get in touch as soon as is good. hang in therexxx
Well, DH sounded really stressed and busy when he rang so I didn't tell him, I didn't want to add to his workload, will tell him tonight when he gets in. Luckily my brother rang, and I sounded off to him. He was really supportive and sensible so that made me feel better. Then my Dad tried to ring but I ignored it (didn't want to deal with him) so he texted me saying he was sorry about the eamil and that he knew I could fight my own battles. He then put 'just your silly Dad trying to do the right thing because he loves you so much' on the end. I'm still pretty mad to be honest. I'm sick of forgiving him and excusing his behaviour. I'm at a time of extreme stress and I could do without his input. Last Sunday I let it slide that he rang me twice, even though I had seen him for over two hours that morning, and told him I was taking DH and DD out for a meal at lunchtime, he still called my mobile when he knew we would be out. I didnt answer but his message was to ask a question that really, could have waited until the next day. But I just let it slide. Am I supposed to do it this time? I so sick.
I'm sorry, ranting again.
RC if you don't want to have a discussion about this with your father, then don't. To be honest as he is an alcoholic there is no point anyway as he will be fully contrite until the next time he is drunk and a random idea pops into his head. You need to modify your actions, so not answering the phone when he rings if its not convenient for you is good as is not supplying quite so much information about what you are up to at any point in time.
You cannot change his behaviour but you can change your reaction to it.
You are stronger than you think, you didn't burden your DH because you knew he was busy, you can figure out a way to be with your father that doesn't make you angry, but it does involve detaching from him.
Dont tell him anything!
The only way he will stay out of your affairs is if he knows nothing about them.
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