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How did you come to terms with a parent hating you?(35 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
Just that really.
I don't ever remember not feeling scared of my father. Yes, he beat me but by far the biggest damage has been caused by the things he said to me - that he hated me, that everyone hated me and that anyone who liked me just didn't know me well enough to hate me yet. That I was worthless.
My Mum knew what he was doing but never felt strong enough to do anything about it. It's not that she was mean to me herself but the lack of protection I think compounded what he did as he seemed more 'in the right' for not being challenged. I have 3 younger siblings who he seemed to adore too, it was just me that was 'wrong'.
I haven't spoken to him since I was 14 (he set me up with a separate flat in the house so I didn't have to mix with the family so that was easy. I was even sent on separate holidays) and haven't seen him since the first nightmare of a term break from university when he made it clear that I wasn't welcome back - 19 years ago now. I didn't go back to my home town until he and my mum divorced when I was 21 and would never live there again, I have a new family and friends where I now live (although I struggle to make and maintain relationships still) and have two children who I adore.
DH is away tonight and we were all sat in a little pile, DS (8) cuddled up to my side and DD(6) laid out along my legs as we watched a movie and I was thinking "this is lovely, this is where I'm supposed to be" and it occurred to me how good it felt to be at the centre of the pile instead of pushed to the outer edge.
And yet earlier today I've been back to the doctors for more antidepressants. I'm up to the maximum dose of 60mg of Prozac a day. I'm still borderline suicidal a lot of the time and I still feel lost and unsteady. I start CBT on Thursday but I don't know how it's going to help. I've been being treated for depression for 18 years now (although I did have a good 9 year stretch up until about 18 months ago) and I just don't see how I'm ever going to be 'better'. The thought of living like this with the endless, nagging doubts over my worth for potentially the next 40 years seems impossible.
Will it ever go away?
I know some of your pain. My dad has always dismissed and belittled everything I have ever done. It went away for me after about ten years following a massive row. I began to realise that my dad wasn't a demigod and the sun definatelly did not shine out his arse. I have gotten used to the fact that he is a deeply flawed and in fact a very inedequate person. To this day he dismisses most of everything I say...
It is sad to understand your own father is someone you would avoid in social circles. But the world is full of sad and inadequate people. tqke care of yourself. You are not your dad. The very fact you are sat cuddling with your children proves you have left him behind.
10 years seems like a reasonable amount of time. I'm worried that it's been 19 and this is still affecting me.
I know my father is a very damaged person who passed his damage onto me with interest and I am determined that I am the end of the chain and that my children will never go through that but I just can't seem to get that voice he gave me out of my head.
OP I would encourage you to join the Stately Homes thread in Relationships, it is for adults who grew up in dysfunctional families. You will get a lot of support and understanding. You were severely abused and scapegoated by your father and that will understandably have along time effect especially as your mum enabled him and didn't protect you. Please come over to Stately Homes for care and validation.
I don't have anywhere near the same experiences as you, but I realised a little while ago that my mum has never liked me. I grew up very anxious and for a long time (into my thirties) struggled to believe that anyone really liked me, they were merely tolerating me and would actually much rather I wasn't around.
My solution, following my realisation, is to not like her right back. Allowing myself to know that she is not a nice person, and our poor relationship is not something I can fix, no matter how hard I try and how understanding I am, and how much I try to bend myself to what she wants, I will never make her happy. And that is her fault. That is a choice she has made somewhere along the line.
So, while I wouldn't normally feel like hate is a good thing, I suggest you allow yourself to hate him right back. And once you hate him, you can give up caring about whether he hates you, because why would you care what someone you hate feels about you? His feelings become meaningless, and his voice in your head becomes something you can ignore, and eventually your hatred for him dissolves into indifference, and you just don't care anymore - about what he said or why he said it.
These are easy words though. I'm sorry you are struggling
Hi all - we're moving this thread to Relationships at the OPs request.
I can see what you're saying 5by5 but I do hate him. I spent a long time being told that I had to love him and I had to forgive him by my mum because he was my father and that apparently gave him some get out clause for being a twat to me but then at around 20-ish, I had a counsellor who finally told me that he was poisonous, would never change and that my best bet was to cut him out completely. I was so relieved. I finally had a back-up and could stand up to my Mum and say "no, enough is enough, I'm done" and walk away.
I didn't go home for years after that and threatened to boycott my own graduation if he turned up so I haven't seen him since. I've often said that the next time I'm within 6 feet of him will be at his funeral so that I can make sure the bastard is dead and dance on his grave. I think my brother getting married last year and me having the threat of having to see him is what has set this latest wobble off. He didn't turn up in the end but that didn't stop months of worrying before we knew for sure.
I don't miss him. I don't care about him. I could get in touch if I wanted but I don't. My siblings and I don't talk about him at all if we can help it. I still can't get the voice he gave me out of my head. Especially when things conspire to make it seem true. I had a big fall out with a friend almost a year ago now. She was nasty and hurtful but she was the person who knew me best so it's really fed into my "everyone hates me when they know me well enough" mindset that he gave me.
I think this will always be with you, like scar tissue, and is part of who you are. It would be very strange if that wasn't so.
Do you still see your mum? Your siblings?
That sounds tough, the fall out with your friend. I can see how that would knock you back, along with the threat of seeing him at your brother's wedding.
I still have wobbles. When family stress comes up I find myself second guessing myself a lot, when it comes to the other relationships in my life. Running over conversations to see if I've offended people, worrying excessively if I've misread them and in fact they're all talking behind my back about how awful I am. I can sort of see it in a detached way - oh that's why I'm feeling like that. It doesn't make it go away, but it gives me faith that it's something I can ride out and it will fade eventually.
I have similarities in my childhood. I NC ed but still wanted approval...
My abusive ex helped in some ways because I did believe he loved me..I thought I was unloveable up till that point.
Then I had my DS...Now he does truly love me... I stopped needing a parent as I was one myself.
The greatest thing was when I knew my Dad had died ( a couple of years after the event) That closed a chapter for me, then I spoke to my mum about 6 months after I found out..She hung up when she knew who I was... So I now know she was as bad as him and again closed the book for me..
I do carry scars for my treatment though and probably always will.
I see them occasionally. We don't live close but do make the effort. I wouldn't say we're especially close.
I just feel like I'm wobbling all the time at the moment. It's a run of things that I would have probably coped with if they came separately but all at once they've just floored me.
What a weird nasty screwed up man. What came to mind when I was reading your post was that he didn't think you were his biologically. That's why he was happy to exclude you but not your siblings. Thinking about it, that is from a fictional book I read.
It weird how you (people with abusive parents) want to so desperately understand them. You can't and you go mad trying.
One day hopefully, you understand it isn't you. There is a script (stately homes thread taught me that) and if there is a script it can't be you.
Good luck op. You are doing amazingly well.
You suffered appalling abuse in your childhood. I can't comprehend how a father could do that and a mother enable it.
In spite of your horrific upbringing and your depression, you still have the strength and love inside you to know that your children will never ever suffer like you did, and that's a testament to you.
Maybe it will help if you won't see your father for the meantime. Just be strong for your children. Just think of them always.
Thank you Aussiebean, I often used to dream that my 'real' dad would find me and take me away when I was a child. There's no real reason for him to think I'm not biologically related to him though. My hunch is that he was jealous of the relationship between me and my mother as I was their first born but her second child after she had a baby as a teenager which was given up for adoption. I have a feeling that I may have been a bit of an obsession and emotional roller coaster after that and he felt like I took her away from him. I guess it was never as bad with my subsequent siblings. He asked after they got divorced if they could get back together once we'd all left home. It was never his fault, always mine. He only really moved on to mistreating my siblings once I left home.
Thank you too StickyToffee. I had hoped that having my own children would help me understand at least what Mum went through but if anything, it's made it harder as I would never, ever let that happen to my babies. So far, they seem to be happy, content and confident little people and I'm very proud of them.
Bree, I haven't seen him for about 19 years and now that my brother's wedding is over, there should be no reason that I would be forced to see him ever again. My brother was the only one of my siblings to still have a relationship with him so he wouldn't be invited to any other family events that I am at.
It's hard to accept and move on from knowing that your parent/s really aren't on your side. It might not help to know it wasn't your fault, but it wasn't. It was theirs. Whether or not you were a child born of an affair, well, that may be their skeleton to bury and you've paid the price for it.
Try to stop paying the price because it isn't yours. Easier said than done but I've walked this path. I disowned every single one of my blood-family. After that I got control of my life. You might not choose to do the same but I promise you, this is YOUR life and YOUR choice whatever path you choose to make your happiness increase and depression back off.
Sorry you're feeling so low Blathers, and struggling at the moment.
The therapy that you've had in the past, what kind of therapy has it been? Have you ever done any inner child work, to re-parent yourself?
I've had mainly counselling. One to one with either someone from the university medical centre or a doctor at the hospital. I remember being asked at one point to bring a photo of me as a child in and try to learn to love her. I don't remember working on it very much though.
It feels impossible right now tipsytrifle. I've felt nothing but relief since I cut out my father but I can't seem to learn to like myself.
My mother has always hated me, when I was little she would change version of events to blame me for things I had nothing to do with, e.g. they bought an old Victorian house which was in need of a lot of repairs, it was so bad they were given a government grant to repair it. When we were all very little the ceiling fell in one of the rooms, we were all sat in the room at the time, my mother insisted it was my fault for stomping around upstairs when it happened, she was so convincing my other siblings would parrot her, it was only very very recently that she admitted it had nothing to do with me, my sister was going on about me making the ceiling fall in and she suddenly piped up with the truth.
I've cut off all contact with them all, I was always hated and I have no idea why, my siblings were treated very nicely and even now the treatment is very stark between us. My siblings treat my mother like dirt tho (can't say I lose sleep over it).
I went no contact when they en masse turned on my eldest DD, she was only 12 years old at the time and they said some really unforgiveable things to her and were very abusive.
My mothers favourite line is to tell me I am very stupid. Because I have never been mean to her nor have I been disrespectful to her. I once told her not to mistake my silence for stupidity. I hope my siblings step up to care for her when she is old/dead. As I won't be around.
I don't think about her unless at times like now, I have no wish to waste any further emotion on her than I have already.
She has taught me one excellent lesson, how not to parent.
I'd say counselling isn't therapy and it sounds as though you need therapy. Could you afford it?
Skilled therapy might help.
From what you say, it may never stop entirely hurting but, but, you can get stronger and live around the hurt so that it no longer becomes the core of you and becomes only a part.
You had someone actively and consistently trying to damage you, Blatherskite. It wasn't even that he was an absence, a neutral missing part. He was trying to damage you. He did succeed, but you have survived and that shows you have both strength and resilience in the face of a lot of enemy action.
Hate is a normal response to his actions!
In the -long- run, hate isn't good for you but there's a long time ahead of you to come to terms with hating him and perhaps concentrate more on yourself ... it does take up a lot of energy. But that doesn't need to be now, it can wait a long time and when you are ready to stop hating him, do it for your own sake.
Really do think that skilled therapy is a good idea though. He's done a number on you and it will take the support and maybe gentle pushing of skilled people to help heal.
Yes I think you need proper psychotherapeutic input. A very different proposition to counselling or cbt.
You say you have suicidal thoughts. You have young dc. You should make undoing the damage this awful person did to a vulnerable child your priority.
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