Advertisement

loader

Talk

Advanced search

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.

Teasing father, how cruel was it?

(39 Posts)
mynewusername Wed 19-Nov-14 15:35:11

My father died a few weeks back. Like a lot of fathers, he was in some ways great and in some basic ways not-so-great. My sister was asked to write his eulogy, and she asked whether we wanted to mention anything in particular. One of the things I wanted to mention was his skill with words and tunes, evidenced by the songs he made up about us all when we were very little.

This is when my sister got a bit upset and said she'd prefer not to mention that, because she found "her" song particularly hurtful. My song was OK -- it talked about how I had a bit of a lisp because I was wearing braces on my teeth at the time. It was short and sung to a cheerful, upbeat tune. My sister may have a point about her song: it was about how she was slow and lazy and didn't pull her weight around the house. It went on for longer than mine.

In a family of five children, the songs would be sung by everyone during long car trips for light entertainment. Everyone had their song and each song was sung in turn, sometimes lots of times until the subject of the song stopped crying (I think the idea was to toughen us up).

My sister was six at the time and we probably stopped doing the songs when she was about ten. Is she being over-sensitive about this after all these years?

I'm just curious because it caused quite a bit of tension at a very difficult time for us all.

Thanks for your comments, I feel I am probably in too deep to judge this.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 19-Nov-14 15:57:53

each song was sung in turn, sometimes lots of times until the subject of the song stopped crying
Yes it was a cruel.
It hits a raw nerve for your sister so I think you should consider that and not have this mentioned.
You can talk about it at the wake with others if you want to reminisce about it.
Maybe have a chat with your sister about it as and well and support her with anything she's having trouble with right now.

Bearlet Wed 19-Nov-14 16:30:14

There is one aspect of my childhood that I have unresolved feelings about, including a certain amount of anger towards my parents. I had a chat with my brother about it a few years ago, and it turns out he has no negative feelings about it at all, despite having been affected by it as well. In turn, he was bothered by other aspects of our childhood which I had never even thought about.

I guess we all have things we feel sensitive about, and different children take different things to heart. I imagine you would have felt differently about your song if you had been really insecure about your lisp at the time...

Bearlet Wed 19-Nov-14 16:31:02

There is one aspect of my childhood that I have unresolved feelings about, including a certain amount of anger towards my parents. I had a chat with my brother about it a few years ago, and it turns out he has no negative feelings about it at all, despite having been affected by it as well. In turn, he was bothered by other aspects of our childhood which I had never even thought about.

I guess we all have things we feel sensitive about, and different children take different things to heart. I imagine you would have felt differently about your song if you had been really insecure about your lisp at the time...

CleanLinesSharpEdges Wed 19-Nov-14 16:35:29

Each song was sung repeatedly until the subject of that song stopped crying? For real? I'd say that's abusive.

NorwaySpruce Wed 19-Nov-14 16:42:00

So you want to mention your father's 'skill with words and tunes', as evidenced by his ability to repeatedly make his children cry confused

And you think your sister might be being over-sensitive, as opposed to thinking your father was horribly cruel.

Do you think you and your father might have missed the sympathy gene?

And if this is a reverse, I'm going to need a long brsk walk to cool myself down.

GoatsDoRoam Wed 19-Nov-14 16:42:58

Your sister is entitled to feel upset about this aspect of her childhood, and if she's asked that this not be mentioned in the service I think you should respect that.

FWIW it sounds very cruel to me (jibes sung "until the subject of the song stopped crying"? That's doing something knowingly upsetting to another person. Not a very kind or respectful act, is it, if the person is crying and it carries on.)

Meerka Wed 19-Nov-14 16:50:37

Ouch. What a mean thing. I really see where your sister is coming from! That sort of stuff can linger and sting for a loooong time.

So no, don't mention the songs he made up at all. Myabe something like "he was musical" but check with your sister first.

Vitalstatistix Wed 19-Nov-14 16:54:03

I wouldn't.

At what point does 'teasing' become bullying?

I'd say a bit before the person actually bursts into tears, actually!

If it takes a father seeing his child cry for him to stop what he's doing - and he actually does it again and again and again afterwards, knowing that he is upsetting his child, well, he's your dad, you love him and I am sorry for your loss and don't want to upset you so let's just say I am totally with your sister on this.

ravenmum Wed 19-Nov-14 16:54:10

Weird thing to do. Was your father seriously bullied as a child, and (in a misguided way) trying to "vaccinate" you against being hurt by bullies?

mynewusername Wed 19-Nov-14 17:03:12

Yes I think that's what he was trying to do. I suspect there was a lot of banter in his family growing up but I don't really know.

Thanks for your comments everyone

mynewusername Wed 19-Nov-14 17:04:07

What's a "reverse" and why would a reverse be so terrible?

dontgetsickpay Wed 19-Nov-14 17:05:44

That was very mean

NorwaySpruce Wed 19-Nov-14 17:10:08

A reverse would be you revealing that you are actually the other sister.

I just find it utterly unbelievable that you think your sister is over sensitive.

Your father behaved dreadfully - would you behave like that towards your own children? Or allow anyone else to?

Boomtownsurprise Wed 19-Nov-14 17:11:33

I'm unsure why the reverse is mean but the poster wonders if you're the hurt sister not the ok one.

Well had he sung "you're fat and you know you are!" To you every car trip for six years do you wonder if you might be a touch upset?

If he's so great with words why is all you remember nasty jibes? Not a great joke? Thats odd to me.

ShakeYourTailFeathers Wed 19-Nov-14 17:22:29

We had loads of banter in my family - still do.

I don't ever, ever recall my dad making me cry on purpose sad

Listen to your sister's wishes. You've all been upset enough IMO.

DishwasherDogs Wed 19-Nov-14 17:36:40

I know everyone has said it now, but please don't being it up. Your dsis isn't being over sensitive.

The more I think of it, the more I realise that being able to accuse people of being over sensitive when it comes to bullying is just people making excuses for themselves to justify being twats.

mynewusername Wed 19-Nov-14 17:51:17

Thanks again everyone. I have committed the ultimate MN sin maybe, I AM the other sister. But I really REALLY wanted to see if I could get anyone to offer my older sister's point of view and I thought this the best way to do so. And I didn't realise "reverses" were frowned upon.

I really appreciate your words but I don't know if I'll ever feel better about this. What I would really love is for my three sisters and my brother to say, yeah, we all sang your song and yours was very cruel and sorry we kept singing it. What they keep saying instead, if they comment at all, is that the songs were really very funny and clever... and I should get over myself.

Of the other songs: one was about braces, one was about a being treated for a dislocated hip ("we hope she'll get better"), one was about not enjoying country walks, but MINE was about how slow and lazy I supposedly was.

For me there is a huge difference and if my sisters could "take" their songs it was because they were not as cruel.

My brother's song, by the way, was just as cruel in my opinion... it called him a whiner. Harsh for a little boy. But he has never complained about the song (though it did make him cry at the time if I remember correctly).

NorwaySpruce Wed 19-Nov-14 17:57:05

It really doesn't help to try writing as though you were the other person.

You can still only offer your interpretation of how you imagine they see things, not their viewpoint at all.

Your sister's story might be totally different (and probably is).

It doesn't, surely, take a gargantuan intellect to see that, and not insult the intelligence of people taking time to read what is essentially now a work of fiction.

HumblePieMonster Wed 19-Nov-14 18:01:18

I don't like the sound of him at all, sorry.

My own dad was very 'teasing' or mocking when I was a child. Later, I put it down to his being uneducated - he left school at 13. But he's had years to catch up, he's intelligent, and he still tries to undermine me, even when I'm doing him a massive favour with his office work (taking over a month) and thinks that if he gives me some money, that will excuse everything.

fairypond Wed 19-Nov-14 18:01:18

It doesn't really matter which sister you are, he was still a shit dad.

kleinzeit Wed 19-Nov-14 18:01:25

A eulogy should remind everyone about someone’s best side and not their unkindnesses (even accidental ones). Are there any other, happier examples of his talent for songs or music that your sister could mention instead? You really don’t want to upset your sister at the funeral, or cause the rest of the congregation to have a sharp intake of breath.

kleinzeit Wed 19-Nov-14 18:02:40

(Sorry, x-post there - I didn't realise you were the other sister)

DishwasherDogs Wed 19-Nov-14 18:04:30

If your sister doesn't see this as a big deal, chances are anything you say is going to make no difference.

You could simply spell out to her that you would rather that was left out as it brings up bad memories for you, but if she is as sensitive as a brick, she may ignore you.

I do sympathise, I was teased by my father and had issues dealt with in a very humiliating way, most of my siblings felt the only issue was my over sensitivity, which was shit.

mynewusername Wed 19-Nov-14 18:06:42

I'm a Cambridge graduate, speak five languages, run a successful business, am widely read, so I feel my intelligence is OK Norway.

It's not at all a work of fiction, it's completely true and I know my sister's point of view as she has expressed it to me in plain and simple terms several times.

Sorry if I insulted anyone's intelligence! I don't come on here that often so missed the etiquette obviously.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now