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Has anyone truly got over the pain of having an absent or shit parent?

(34 Posts)
U2HasTheEdge Tue 12-Jul-16 16:54:37

If so how the fuck did you get there?

I'm keeping it quite vague because it's just such a long story but suffice to say my dad is crap, doesn't want me, has never loved me and incapable of doing so I believe. I only see him at funerals now a days but every now and then I hear about him.

Most weeks I don't even think about him, he doesn't cross my mind. The other day I saw a photo of him on social media pretty unexpectedly, then heard about him from another relative and it's screwed my head up for some stupid reason. My head is still screwed up and I'm hurting all over again. I just want to get to the stage where I never hurt over him again, is that even possible?

This doesn't happen often, but I hate that he still has any power over me to hurt me and I stupidly kind of miss him after seeing that photo :/

I am about to go to work in an hour so won't be able to reply much if at all until the early hours- I didn't want anyone to think I've started a thread and then just ran off!

educatingarti Tue 12-Jul-16 17:19:37

I've found that ongoing psychotherapy has helped tremendously. Things still hurt, but I have more freedom emotionally than I used to.

DamsonGinIsMyThing Tue 12-Jul-16 17:30:23

To some extent I have done. But only recently. I'm 31 and he left when my mum was pregnant with me. Since birth I've seen him 4 times, one of those times he surprised me with the information that I have an older half brother who he has no contact with. So I can't contact him either. Apparently it's 'complicated' but he refuses to go into it.

He text me out of the blue a month or so ago, asking how I was, how my partner was. I've been separated from my partner for three years.

We had crossed words via text, I basically called him out for being a shit parent, that he chose this and that we are strangers to each other.

He agreed. And then confessed that he's had drug and alcohol problems for the last 30+ years and he didn't want to tell me, to drag me into it, so chose to stay away to protect me. I think he's telling the truth and for my own wellbeing I have to choose to believe him.

I don't know, part of me thinks that if I had known about the drink and drugs I would have understood why he chose the actions he did, or maybe I would have been just as angry that he chose them over me.
But knowing there was something, some tangible reason why he wasn't there, not that he just didn't give a flying fuck about me or was ashamed of me does make me feel somewhat better.

I have complicated emotions about my family, they're very much tied into how I feel about not being able to have children.

But it's understandable you miss him. I miss mine too.

babydances Tue 12-Jul-16 17:36:24

I had hypnotherapy over the weekend and I haven't cried since.
Mines a long story like many others , not seen for 10 years and then two weeks ago he was awful to me on the phone.

Hypnotherapy has helped with a lot of anxiety these last few days and the upset.

I got an appointment through for CBT therapy but unsure whether to rack up after hypnotherepy.

You are not alone flowers

babydances Tue 12-Jul-16 17:37:08


SeasonalVag Tue 12-Jul-16 17:39:08

I was NC for over a decade, but i found that being in touch with my dad again actually helped me work through my feelings...and the acknowledgement that he will never change. hes a disinterested and irritable grandfather and im coming to the terms with the fact that there will be things ill never be able to say, and im forgiving myself in advance for not doing so. I dont like him and I accept why. Hope that makes sense.

painauchoc04 Tue 12-Jul-16 17:40:52

I don't think you can fully get over it maybe just manage it.

My dad left the family when I was 13 and i'm 26 now. I saw him last 4 years ago and we don't speak regularly.

I can go weeks without thinking about him but always feel sad/angry when I see anything related to dads looking after their children or happy families.

I'm happy to live my life separate from him.

HumpMeBogart Tue 12-Jul-16 17:45:34

No. I have an emotionally-abusive mother with narcissistic personality disorder, and have struggled with her / the abuse my whole life. 17 years of therapy has helped but it's still painful and I still cry when I see good mother-daughter relationships and wish I had something like that.

Her model of motherhood is the reason I don't have children, and the effect she's had on my self-esteem is the main reason I can't have relationships.

I can't cut contact for a complicated mesh of reasons and I fully expect that when she dies, that will open a whole new can of worms.

You're not alone, op, and it helps to feel I'm not either flowers

Bloopbleep Tue 12-Jul-16 17:54:41

I have a crap dad. I love him and he loves me but he's never been like a proper dad to me. He just doesn't know how. A lot of that is his guilt at cheating on my mum & how much that changed (destroyed) our lives. I still struggle, especially when I see the privileged lives and opportunities my half siblings have had but I eventually learned to accept he was always going to be shit and that it wasn't my fault. Lowering expectations helped but that was a long slow process. I'm now in my 40s and it's taken a large majority of that to come to terms with .

justyg1970 Tue 12-Jul-16 18:05:09

My dad left when I was a baby, never been there for me and never will, I know he lives somewhere in Spain and has been unfaithful to his second wife, my stepmother who tried really hard to include us,i have just now resigned myself that he a very unpleasant man and try not to think about him, his absolute loss as he has two gorgeous granddaughters he has never seen and absolutely no relationship with .

justyg1970 Tue 12-Jul-16 18:07:41

He is elderly now and I'm pretty sure will die with a lot on his conscious

MiaowJario Tue 12-Jul-16 18:08:07


The emotional pain my father caused me stayed with me for a long, long time.

A combination of a very loving and understanding husband and a lot of personal work got me past it. I went down the route of meditation, self awareness and a lot of reading on psychology. I tried talk therapy and it made a difference at some points, but it was not something I was comfortable with on an ongoing basis.

I would recommend Pete Walker's website a lot. He talks about complex PTSD arising from childhoods filled with neglect and abandonment.

I do think that everyone's road out of that pain is different, as the solution needs to be individual to the person and the circumstances. With a sincere drive to heal though, most if not all people will find the right road for them, even if it is long one.

As with many journeys though, there will be common crossroads and resting places.

What I think though is that there are some lasting consequences born of events and actions from when I was still in pain. Some of those are sad, some of those are extremely happy. I am sure that in many ways I am a different person than I would have been- some of those things are positive, some negative.

I am learning that one thing I need to keep doing consistently is keep reaching for the extraordinary in both myself and the world around me. That is the way in which I can stay assured that my life is better on balance than it would otherwise have been, that is what means I can ensure I will transcend what he did to me. That gives me back the narrative of my own life, being not just the hero but the author of my own story.

TriniRedVelvet Tue 12-Jul-16 18:10:37

I haven't gotten over the dreadful abusive childhood. Don't think I ever truly will.

U2HasTheEdge Tue 12-Jul-16 18:10:50

I am having more CBT.

It was for my health anxiety but she thinks my dad is at the core of all of my problems so she wants to work on a bit of that.

Mostly I really do lead a decent life where I barely think about him then something happens and it all gets dragged up again. Maybe I need to accept it will happen from time and time and just go with it.

Thank you for replying and thanks to you all who have gone through similar.

U2HasTheEdge Tue 12-Jul-16 18:12:52

I am learning that one thing I need to keep doing consistently is keep reaching for the extraordinary in both myself and the world around me. That is the way in which I can stay assured that my life is better on balance than it would otherwise have been, that is what means I can ensure I will transcend what he did to me. That gives me back the narrative of my own life, being not just the hero but the author of my own story.

That is really lovely. Made me cry a bit!

Knittedfrog Tue 12-Jul-16 18:14:14

I haven't seen or heard from my dad for about 35 years. He had a new family who were unaware of my existence for years. I choose to not let his behaviour define me. I rise above it all and not be a victim. It's his loss.

DamsonGinIsMyThing Tue 12-Jul-16 18:14:50

miaow that really hit home for me.

TychosNose Tue 12-Jul-16 18:24:09

CBT really helped me. And also just general talking therapy with someone I clicked with helped a lot too.

One thing that my counsellor said to me that I think of often is that even when you accept your parents faults, and get out of the toxic cycles (which it sounds like you have) what you may also have to accept is that we always morn for the parents we wished we had.

I regularly feel sad and sometimes angry that I got dealt a crappy hand, but it is not the all-consuming overwhelming emotion it once was.


Dutchcourage Tue 12-Jul-16 18:33:39

Two shit parents here!

Dad was weak and pissed off with which ever new family he made. He is now very close to his new wifes daughter and grandchildren who call him grandad - my dd runs and hides from him as she doesn't know who he is.

Mother - mental health issues mixed with personality disorder.

Thankfully my grandparents really took the mantle and raised me.

With my mother I knew she was mentally ill and even though my db and I went NC there is a tiny piece of me that feels a bit sorry for her not that I would admit that to db. He mental health from an early child shaped her to be the woman that she is today. She could be evil at times but I don't 100% fully beileve it's her fault but still choose to go NC. That was actually quiet easy to do. I think me blaming the MH issues helps me.

My father has no reason what so ever to be a weak ass father. He was spoiled of my DGP. Had a great life. But with him it was trulely 'out of sight out of mind' - even when I lived with him he would forget to bring me sweets back from the shops yet remember my brothers. I was invisible to him. I don't think I ever felt a fathers love off him. He was like an uncle I just happened to live with sometimes or see at my DGP.

It caused me to have shit relationships with dick head men. Low self esteem and it took me a long time to get on track.

Councilling opened up way too much feeling that I didn't even know was there and had to leave it.

If I see my father now - which is very rarely all he talks about is my step sister and her husband, how much money they have, how they spend in cars and their new house, to the point his wife (who is lovely) is embarrassed.

My FIL once said to me 'some times people are just not who you want them to be, it doesn't make them a bad person. No bodies perfect' - this actually helps if I think of it this way otherwise I can be reduced to that little eight year old who dad genuinly forget to get her sweets but remembered her two brothers that were stood at the side of her. he fucking gave them to them as well - wanker

LittleCandle Tue 12-Jul-16 18:58:29

Not personally, but XH is a shit father to DD2. He's all over DD1 like a rash, but doesn't give a shit about DD2 or his son from his first marriage. DD2 doesn't understand why he doesn't love her, although I am certain he would deny that to his dying breath. Both DDs recently saw him after a space of 4 years (he lives abroad) and he spent 8 days with DD1 and possibly 8 hours with DD2. I don't know what to say to her, because she is clever and independent and a lovely girl, well liked by everyone. Saying that he is a wanker doesn't help her any, unfortunately.

Crazycatladyloz82 Tue 12-Jul-16 20:03:03

Father left when I was 12. I am 34 now and haven't heard from him in 22 years. I spent years being so hurt and angry. When I started to feel sorry for him and all he missed and will continue to miss I got over it. He doesn't know I am married, have a child or anything about me. His loss, he is a sad man.

Hiddenaspie1973 Tue 12-Jul-16 20:07:19

No. I envy my friends whose dads were there and are their rock, their template for future male relationships.
I long for that secure, solid,safe feeling instead of the gaping void in my soul. I feel broken but I accept this is who I am.

whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 12-Jul-16 20:11:55

yes, almost, but now mid 40's and it took well into my 30's to deal with it. Wierdly after many years (counselling etc) I realised it just didn't bother me anymore. I'd become indifferent to him.Very strange but a good place to be as he just doesn't upset me any more and to be honest I rarely give him much thought now. Sadly, I do think it colours my relationship with my DH.

bumbleclat Tue 12-Jul-16 20:11:55

Weekly psychotherapy is the only thing that helps me which is a small price to pay for my sanity and general functionality as an adult.
I am sorry you had a shit time I must say it affects all of my relationships in some way and I have had to cultivate shed loads of self awareness and self parenting by being resourceful and independent. Something I think a lot of people lack.

whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 12-Jul-16 20:14:50

Its as hiddenaspie says, i'm missing the 'template for male relationships', or I have a dysfunctional template which I am aware I have but find it difficult to deal with.

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