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Considering going NC with my dad. Handholding/ advice needed.(12 Posts)
I posted about this once before but things have moved on a bit and I need some advice.
Brief history- my dad wasnt around when I was a kid. He split from my mum when she was pregnant and made no effort to be involved. My mum got together with a total shitbag when I was 8, an abusive, violent tosser who ruined my life. My dad wrote when I was 16 and I was over the moon, I felt like he was going to save me. We wrote back and forth and we finally met when I was 20. We started meeting up and I was at his house a fair bit. And then he dropped the bomb that he was moving hundreds of miles away to further involve himself in the cult he is in ( they believe in aliens and wear robes etc. more on that in a min). I was really hurt and things went downhill from there. He said insensitive things sometimes, such as when he showed me a 'writing' the cult had done about depressives (Ive struggled with it since my teens) which was upsetting, saying that depressed peopl often dont wash proprly etc, i have no idea why he gave it to me to read. He and his wife left me in tears at the dinner table once by getting so heated talking to me about not taking sick leave at work, it was clearly their major cult beliefs coming through, they wre completely oblivious to how they were talking. They have a whole bookcase of folders in their house devoted to it all. It was all very hard to adjust to and get my head around, as well as the fact that he has been so absent from my life. He started to feel v distant from me and occupied with other stuff, and not so interested in me.
Things went downhill from there, I felt wary and sometimes uncomfortable around him, and I cut contact as we had a big row. And then a few years later I had ds and thought maybe we should talk. I made contact and things were going v well, until earlier this year. He came to visit in March and was slagging off my step brother, calling him a 'nob', saying that my step brother said he didnt want to talk about their cult stuff anymore with them and has distanced himself. He also described how he kicked my step brother out at age 20 because 'there was too much testosterone in the house' and even though SB wasnt ready to go he kicked him out anyway. Listening to all this made me even more wary of him.
Anyway. In the spring I wrote him a long email chatting about ds starting nursery and stuff. No reply. A month went by and I got increasingly upset and wrote to him saying I cant have things being up and down, its too upsetting, and why had he not replied? He just said he had been busy with an extension on his house. Then I got an email months later asking what I wanted for my birthday. I felt uncomfortablr with recieving anything and didnt know what to do. He suggested visiting for ds birthday a month later but I felt so mixed up and upset over eveything, I made an excuse.
I have been churning this all over in my head for months and months. I dont know if I am coming or going in this relationship, he blows hot and cold and I feel unsettled by the cult side of things.
I dont know what I get out of this any more, I am considering cutting contact to stop my turmoil.
Having my own dc has made me even sadder for my own childhood and parents. I remember how I felt as a child, so alone and just wanting to be loved, and that feeling of being a pathetic unwanted loser has never left me, and I feel such immense pressure to be thr best mum to my ds, it eats me alive.
he sounds very self-interested and selfish. Which doesn't make someone a good father. Or grandfather.
It seems as though your thinking about your father, and relationship with him, is distracting you from being the 'best mum to your ds'; he isn't helping you in that role, but taking away from it.
I cut all contact with my dad when I was around 25 - and didn't speak to him until my early 40s by which time my DC were 8 (twins). Frankly, I didn't miss him!
What changed for me was I went on something called The Hoffman Process which really let me take charge of my own 'shit'. I was able to forgive my dad for being so useless (!); and now I see him about twice a year, and we email about once a month; he sees my now teenage kids, and its all fine - i would not want more contact with him than we have.
But the main thing is I don't have him on my mind like I used to, i know that 'churning' you talk about very well! I'm 'clear' of all that resentment, sadness, anger, frustration, self pity...
but i had a good relationship with my DM and still do - which made a big difference perhaps (he left her when I was 13).
So i guess what I'm saying is, it may be easier to be a good mother by going NC with him - at least for a few years. If you can afford it, Hoffman is brilliant for things like this. Do PM me if you'd like and I can tell you more about Hoffman
I did it and don't regret it at all. I didn't go and visit him in hospital when he was dying and didn't go to the funeral.
Was certainly the right decision for me.
I missed him at first bit realised I missed having the Dad I wished I could have had rather than the narc I got. My life was better without him and I'm glad he didn't get to meet my children.
There was/is no hatred there I just didn't want him in my life anymore.
Oh namaste Im so sorry. So much hurt.
Do what's right for you. He doesn't sound very nice at all, you know. The way he slags off your step brother and the lack of any real contact.
It's hard, but it sounds like you are not important to him in any real way. This contact with him is coming from you, not him. The chatty email he ignored for ages and said he was building an extension? it's just an excuse for not really being bothered. If he cared, he'd have said something.
Do what's right for you and for your children.
Keep in mind that no one is a perfect parent and the sheer love you have for them will help you avoid the worst traps. YOu'll fall into other traps (as I have!) but you are doing the best you can.
Love, go NC. I have. They never change. Anyone that can justify abandoning their own child (except for exceptional reasons) for that long is not worth it.
He will never, ever give you what you need. Any contact will be to fuel stuff about him.
Lose him, be the best thing you ever did.
It doesn't look like you will need to do much to go NC as it has been you doing the instigating to get back in contact each time (except for the first) You just need to understand he isn't ever going to be what you want.
Do you think that your dc's will ultimately benefit from having a relationship with him?
have you ever had any counselling to try to come to terms with the way your Dad is?
No I haven't had counselling for this. I will though, I asked the Dr yesterday.
No I don't honestly think Ds will benefit at all. My dad lives hundreds of miles away and we never see him. He is v close to his other grandad- my stepdad.
You feel uncomfortable around him for bloody good reason.
I would cut all forms of contact as of now and grieve for the relationship you should have had but did not through no fault of your own. This man will never give you what you still want from him; he was not a good father to you but selfish and self absorbed. Fundamentally he has not altered a jot. Such people do not change.
NHS counselling sessions often have a massive waiting list and offer too few sessions; I would contact BACP because they may be able to help re counselling.
Blood matters. It does.
But the person who's there as your father-figure, who's been there when you fell down and skinned your knee or who told you you can't stay out til 2am or who asked how your homework was going - that's what really matters. That's when someone is a father rather than just a sire.
Im glad you and your son have your step-father
I never had a father who was a father at all really. My mum got together with my stepdad ten years ago and I'm now in my mid thirties, so the boat has sailed in terms of being a father figure, but he is v lovely and supportive.
I keep thinking re my real dad, am I overreacting? AIBU? But then I think what am I getting out of this? And I can't honestly say anything.
I am sorry you have have a toxic Dad who continues to let you down.
But you are in control here. Trust your gut - he is a wrong 'un.
Keep away, focus your emotions on positive people and positive things - do not be distracted for one more minute from your aim of being a good and loving Mum by being pre-occupied with negative feelings and hurt by this man.
Dont let him take anymore away from you than he already has. He has not changed all his life - except it sounds becoming more cruel and deluded.
You would have been better off spending the 10 mins you wasted writing him an email playing lego on the floor with your ds.
Detach from the toxic parent and embrace the other lovely people you have in your life. I respect that you (as the lovely person you are) wanted it to work - but it is not to be - take care.
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