Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Advice on abusive father.(17 Posts)
Hi, I wonder if any of you can help me work out what to do about a situation I'm not happy with?
My father has called me names and put me down for the last 20 years. Examples:
Doesn't take much to get you down.
If I pull him up on this he says "can't you take a joke?" and belittles me further.
Recently, he's taken to changing my plans without telling me and this has become the last straw for me. I feel controlled and cut out. I'm at the point I'd go no contact but I am avoiding that because my kids like being with him.
The incidents that have got me to the end of my tether are:
1 - My sister and I had planned a visit. I hadn't seen her in a long while due to her shift work. The day before this was supposed to happen, my father called me and said he'd bought theatre tickets for the kids and my sister was going to go with him and my kids instead of seeing me. I felt cut out.
2 - He has recently had a mini stroke. I was unwell myself but he arranged with me that I would drive the 20 miles to his and do his shopping with him. I got there, he had already done the shopping. Most of which consisted of ingredients for an elaborate meal that I then had to cook for my kids. He wouldn't eat any of it because he wanted to get drunk when we had gone.
3 - He called me and said he was making a hotpot for me. He sounded quite drunk. I have no idea why he did this, he does not like cooking and I do all my own cooking. My meals are planned a week in advance to save money. He wanted to bring it to my house, I said it wasn't convenient as I had clinic appointments and guests later. I arranged with him to come the next day and thanked him.
A couple of hours later I got up from a little nap to find him outside my house at the same time as the taxi I'd booked to take me to hospital. He started yelling at me "Why don't you answer your fucking phone?" "I was asleep" "I'm going to take you to the hospital and pick the kids up" "no you're not, youve been drinking" "You're a fucking arsehole, I've only had half a can". I left him in my house and got on with my appointments. I was dreading coming back, but he had gone by the time I got home.
I'm thinking I'm going to write him a letter saying I don't want this stuff in my life anymore and if he doesn't change it, I want no further contact. Is that ok? Am I being a nasty cow?
Don't write a letter; that could well be used by him against you if it was sent. He could all too easy twist your own words to make all his problems out to be of your making and or fault. Its not worth it. Dysfunctional people like your dad always but always want the last word and are spoiling for a fight constantly.
You could write down exactly what you think of him however, and shred the paper afterwards. That may be cathartic to do.
I would not have anything more to do with your father as of now and just ignore and disengage from him altogether. You have been more than reasonable here throughout (perhaps because you were hoping that he would somehow change) and he has chosen to behave awfully towards you. It is not your fault he is like this, you did not make him this way.
You would not tolerate any of this from a friend, your Dad is no different here. You are going to have to grieve for the sort of relationship you will not have with him.
Posting on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages may help you as well as would reading "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward.
he wasn't all bad, he was very helpful with practical stuff when I had a long illness. I feel like I owe him an explanation and a chance to stop doing this stuff.
No, he deserves no explanation.
Does he also have a drink problem?.
Abusers can behave nicely sometimes but the nice/nasty is a continuous cycle of power and control. You need to disengage for your own sake.
Attila, that sounds like I'm minimising it, trying to make it all ok.
Thanks for your reply, a lot of me thinks you're right.
Yes he has been alcohol dependant for years and it has ramped up a bit lately.
I agree with Attila. It is time to think about yourself and go no contact with him. Where is the joy in this relationship? Saying those things to you is so far from how a normal father would behave. He says those things to you and you ask if YOU are being a nasty cow! Bless you! At least his nasty genes have not been passed to you OP! Disengage, don't write the letter for the reasons Attila has said but also why waste paper and have you seen the cost of stamps? No he is reaping what he has sown. No man can sow chaff and reap Conservation Grade oats with a pre-signed contract with Jordans! He may have had a stroke but you did not give him it. Get him out of your life and all will seem sunnier and rosier without. If not for you, do it for the DCs. Grandads are nice people that do woodwork and gardening and sneak Werthers Originals to them, not half cut tossers that start effin' and jeffin' in the street when they don't get their own way! Go with your gut feeling on this Hamwidge.
I've emailed my sister a shorter version of the above huge moan just to let her know what's going on. I think I'm going to try avoiding him. Thanks.
Thought he was alcoholic, I saw several references to drink and him getting drunk in your initial post. Your children as well really do not need or warrant such a poor role model for a granddad in their lives particularly as he disrespects his mother on an almost continuous basis.
You really do need to disengage from your drunkard dad; it is not your fault he is this way. He needs cutting out of your life because all he will do otherwise is drag you down with him.
The 3cs re alcoholism are ones you would do well to remember:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
I would also read Codependent No More written by Melodie Beattie as co-dependency behaviours often feature in such dysfunctional relationships.
Also Al-anon would be worth talking to as well as they are helpful to family members of problem drinkers.
I keep waiting for the shit to hit the fan. Dreading the phone ringing
great, not only has my father not bothered to apologise for his latest thing, I've now git my sister trying to guilt me into letting it go.
I'm really fuming.
Such disordered people like your dad never apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions.
Ignore sister as well as she is enabling.
Talk to Al-anon; they could be very helpful to you.
I really feel for you, OP
Going through similar myself: constantly afraid/on edge as I know (from past experience) that my father won't accept not being able to contact me and will just turn up/stalk me to try and get a reaction/some drama
I too had the letter-dilemma (have posted earlier today) and I agree with you - I feel I need to explain why I am cutting contact. But that's because that would be a normal human being to do - if he's going to ignore what you say and try and contact you anyway, what's the point in writing it?
yeah, I see a letter would be pointless. What I've done is told my sister I'm waiting for an apology, till then I'm staying out if it. I really hope he comes to his senses and apologises. The idea of going no contact doesn't sit well with me even though brain says it's probably for the best.
Attila, thanks, I had a look at all anon. There are no meetings in my area so I'm plucking up the courage to call. The idea of repeating it all seems so draining. I just cried all yesterday.
Hi op, my step father was the same, but there was never any alcohol consumption to explain horrid behaviour. He would say "greetings, Cunt", instead of "hello, Shelves", and it wasn't until my late 20's that I realised how NOT NORMAL this was. I finally went NC when he called my toddler ds a maggot.
Life is so much better. Dm has stopped trying to manipulate contact, so your dsis will eventually lift the pressure on you to cave in to him, but it will take a lot of repeating yourself before it sinks in.
You owe him nothing, and if you do manage to sustain NC the guilt will eventually fade.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.