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My father

(29 Posts)
superbaghag Sun 09-Nov-14 08:18:52

I'm trying to make sense of why my father behaved the way he did. How he treated me and I'm wondering if there was a psychological/ mental health issue that wasn't diagnosed.

As a child he beat my mother, swore at us constantly, threatened me with a belt but never used it (there wasn't any need I was an extremely well behaved, yet terrified child). My mother left him and we went back so many times.

He was angry all the time. Short tempered and snappy. Never told me he loved me. He was aggressive in private but jovial with friends and family.

I'm sat here wondering was their an undiagnosed issue or was he just an abusive man.

AnotherFurry Sun 09-Nov-14 08:34:51

Sounds like an abusive man to me OP.

I wouldn't spend any time trying to 'understand' him but am questioning why you are doing so now. Is something bothering you to start thinking of this now?

AnotherFurry Sun 09-Nov-14 08:39:03

I probably didn't phrase that quite right. What I meant was is there something going on in your life that is making you question your relationship with your dad? Is your childhood impacting you and if so then I would concentrate on that, not actually trying to find a reason for his disgusting behaviour.

superbaghag Sun 09-Nov-14 08:48:25

I have been NC for 9 years. He is now suffering with a life limiting condition. I'm being pressured by wider family members to play a more active role and I suppose if I felt it wasn't his fault if be able to forgive him and help care for him.

My son has asd and ADHD and I'm already stretched thinly.

Joysmum Sun 09-Nov-14 09:00:18

Whatever you do, you do because it is best for you, not for him.

AnotherFurry Sun 09-Nov-14 09:00:26

I think you need to do what is right for you in terms of breaking the NC or not. Ignore the wider family as it sounds like they just want you to take some of the pressure of them.

I am NC with my father and he did do the 'I'm dying' guilt trip a few years ago which I knew was bullshit but even if it was true I could never forgive him on how he treated my mother and I have no intention of forgiving him even if he was on his death bed.

The question is do you want to forgive him and care for him knowing how he treated you during your childhood? Will it benefit you? If it is going to make you feel worse or have a negative affect on your life then politely tell the family you cannot help and then ignore. thanks

Anniegetyourgun Sun 09-Nov-14 09:03:56

They've got a bit of a cheek pressuring you angry It's none of their damn' business.

Personally I believe "being the bigger person" is an over-rated concept. Yes, I probably would throw a bucket of water over my worst enemy if they were on fire, because that is simply basic humanity, but beyond that - stuff 'em. Your father is not going to die alone in a ditch if you don't step in. So what it boils down to is what you feel is the right thing for you to do. Does he need your help (more than your child needs your full attention right now) or will the point of joining in be merely to reduce the burden on these other family members? How much consideration do you owe them?

Anniegetyourgun Sun 09-Nov-14 09:04:50

Great minds thinking alike there!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 09-Nov-14 09:08:50

I would not spend time trying to work out the reasons why he acted as he did, just that he chose to do those things and be abusive to both his wife (BTW are they still together?) and by turn you.

My FIL now has a life limiting condition and whilst I feel very sorry that he is now in this state I cannot readily forgive him for all the misery he has caused others.

I would ignore the bleatings of your wider family i.e. the winged monkeys to make contact with your Dad now. They've done that for their own reasons and they have not considered you at all. Being NC with such family members for 9 years was never a decision that was made at all lightly; you did that for very good reason. You have to do what is best for you, not for him.

Back2Two Sun 09-Nov-14 09:20:14

I don't think there is any psychological or mental health issue of even psychiatric disorder that makes someone behave in the way your describe your father behaving. Certainly, nothing that excuses that behaviour in any way.

And, very telling is the fact that you say his behaviour changed according to the people he was with or the circumstance. This tells you that he was in control of his own actions and able to modify them to his own wishes.

He sounds unpleasant, bullying and abusive.

You say you are stretched thinly already.

superbaghag Sun 09-Nov-14 09:22:35

This is where it's going to get weird and potential out me if anyone happened to be here that knows me.

My mother is no longer with him and remarried. Her and my sister are doing the majority of the caring. My mother (I have no contact with her either anymore because of her pressuring me to leave my family here to care for my father who is 5 hours away by car) is paid by my father disability benefits and she sees it as my duty to give her time off. My sister has no job or children and goes to stay for a week every month to help.

My father phoned here about a month ago and shouted at me for keeping his grandchildren from him before putting the phone down.

Bit of a mess really and I'm not sure why I'm having an attack of the guilts but I am. One day he will be gone forever and I don't want to have regrets.

superbaghag Sun 09-Nov-14 09:25:34

You are right back2two about him being in control in some situations and I realised that when I saw myself typing it.

Hard coming to terms with the feeling he just didn't like me or love me.

AnotherFurry Sun 09-Nov-14 09:40:06

Your mother and sister are caring for him for their own reasons, probably a mixture of duty, misplaced guilt or even perhaps because he still has a hold on them emotionally and they have gone back into being his victim.

It is not your duty to give them time off. It is their choice to care for him and if they don't want or feel they can then they can ask adult social services to help out.

Do not be pressured by them. It sounds like you have made some conscious and good choices to remove yourself from a toxic and abusive person. If you feel yourself wavering get some stock answers such as 'I am needed at home, 'it is your choice to leave your family and provide full on care', 'adult social services can help sort out temporary care to give you a break'.

However, it might be the case that helping or seeing him helps you in the long term but only you know if that is the case. Is their any way you can access some counselling to explore your feelings on this in a place that isn't fraught with people trying to make you feel guilty e.g. family.

Whatever you do make sure it is in your best interests and not for anyone else.

superbaghag Sun 09-Nov-14 09:43:24

Thank you to all of you. I don't want to see him. I don't want to help take care of him and I don't want my children exposed to him. I just needed someone other then my husband (who is contractually obliged to agree with me) to say it's ok.

Hoppinggreen Sun 09-Nov-14 09:45:51

My father was very EA, with hindsight he was a classic Narc.
I went nc when I was pg as I wasn't going to let hm near any children I had.
When he was dying in hospital I didn't go and see him, despit.e pressure from my brother, partly because he used to pretend to be dying regularly to get his own way.
I didn't go to his funeral either and have no regrets at all.
He was an arsehole, just because he was dying or dead it didn't make him any less of an arsehole.
If you feel you want to see him then do but don't bow to pressure from others if you don't want to

GoodtoBetter Sun 09-Nov-14 09:48:33

It's OK not to do those things or want to do them. Stand firm.


AnotherFurry Sun 09-Nov-14 09:59:22

OP it is OK to not see him or care for him.

It sounds like your DH is supporting you so maybe you can both come up with a plan to avoid the phone calls. As goodtoBetter said stand firm thanks

Back2Two Sun 09-Nov-14 10:01:09

Yes, it's definitely ok.
The only person's feelings that matter in this (from your position) should be yours.

Why should it be that you are expected to forgive and forget and rush to his side now that he is dying? It is not your job to fix this. He didn't ask for forgiveness, apologise or make any effort to make amends for his terrible behaviour when he was fit and able.

The issue is the one about regrets as you say. So, try to make the decision yourself about what YOU want and need from this situation in order to be at peace when he dies. You don't owe anything from the sounds of it. If you want and need nothing then be strong and take some of the advice on this thread. You're probably feeling torn by what you feel you "should" do and how you "should" feel. Just allow yourself to feel and do what is right for you.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 09-Nov-14 10:14:28

So your mother, despite having remarried, has effectively gone back to him again. And wants you to do the same - only you aren't paid to do it. If she were employed by anyone else would she expect you to take over her job to give her a break? How weird would that be?

Meerka Sun 09-Nov-14 10:26:08

Thank you to all of you. I don't want to see him. I don't want to help take care of him and I don't want my children exposed to him. I just needed someone other then my husband (who is contractually obliged to agree with me) to say it's ok.

You don't have to see him. You don't want to, you have very good reasons for not wanting to and that would be enough on its own.

But in addition your children's needs come far above your father's.

Your mother and your sister are choosing to help him for whatever reasons of their own. They certainly owe him nothing. They can ask you to help, but they also have to respect a no. "You've asked, I've told you that I can't and don't wish to, please respect that".

I think we feel guilt about our parents becuase at some deep level we still love them, no matter how awful they have been. I sort of wonder if it's inborn in us. But in the end, if they behave so badly that the natural cord of love is broken - that's a consequence of their behaviour and you are not obligated.

One thing. I guess you were joking about your husband being contractually obligated to agree with you smile Just to say, no, he's not. Listen to him! smile

Charley50 Sun 09-Nov-14 10:37:47

Your dad sounds like my dad. There was no love and he saw us all as things for him to control. I remember as a small child my heart regularly breaking when he was abusive and angry, but by the time I was 16/17 there was nothing there. I felt nothing for him because he hadn't cared enough to know me iyswim.
Went semi- NC (saw him once a year on his birthday) as there just was no relationship there. When he died I felt nothing, cuz there was nothing, which to me is sadder than people with loving parents who grieve deeply.
Don't feel guilty about being NC. He created your non-relationship when you were child. Sorry if I went off topic, can't remember question..!

superbaghag Sun 09-Nov-14 10:40:46

I just want to thank you all for taking time out of your own lives to be so kind and supportive.

The contractual obligation stuff is just my odd sense of humour.

I'm about to roast lunch and do my usual Sunday thing and the sun is shining. Life is good.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 09-Nov-14 10:41:23

I think you answered it, Charley smile

Meerka Sun 09-Nov-14 10:42:43

Yeah thought it might humour smile sorry if I got too seerrrrioussss smile

good luck. Hold strong smile

AllThatGlistens Sun 09-Nov-14 10:44:38

I think you've answered your own question smile

It's really, truly ok - look after yourself flowers

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