PDA

View Full Version : I haven't talked to my father in a year



IamSam
05-09-2009, 03:46 AM
I have several more hours to go at work and this has been weighing on my mind here recently. As of last month I have not spoken to my father in a year. Some back story: My father was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive to my mother and myself. He is also bipolar and spends vast amounts of money on lofty ideas and then never follows through. She divorced him when I was a sophomore in high school (6 years ago already?) due to the fact that I confided in her that I was so scared of him I had been keeping my rifle loaded under my bed. He has continued on a downward spiral, becoming an alcoholic, draining his parents bank accounts, and dragging his younger brother down the same path he has fallen. I cut ties with him a year ago, writing him (and the rest of his family) a letter that detailed what he has done wrong and why he needs to find help. The last news that I heard was that the younger brother intercepted my letter so my father wouldn't do something drastic after reading it, although other members of the family were trying to organize an intervention.

Every time someone hears my story they always act like it's a miracle that I'm the way I am: A decent enough human being with a lot going for him. But why shouldn't it be that way? My personality is such that yes, I should be the way I am. Why is it that it seems to be stereotypical that child victims of abuse should be messed up individuals? True, my sister had a huge rebellious stage, but she has recovered from that and is more or less following along my footsteps in being a responsible person.

Also, I feel no regret for what I did by cutting off communication. But the question still remains: What would have happened if I had confronted him in person? What if I stood up to him and called him out whenever he made an ass of himself and embarrassed me?

Another haunting feeling that I have pushed back into the recesses of my mind is that of duplicity, or what if I become him? I know I would never be able to live with myself and the jealousy I saw from him aimed towards my mother is something I don't want to see repeated, so much so it has hindered me in pursuing relationships. Why am I so worried about that when I know I'm a completely different person?

Anyway, sorry for this and completely understandable if I get a bunch of 'tl;dr' but I just have been throwing all of this around my mind and decided to throw it around here and see what discussion might get stirred up. Seeing there really isn't any discussing going on.

JoY
05-09-2009, 03:51 AM
by "messed up individuals" people usually mean "traumatised" in this context. the thought is not that unlogical. think about it.

ad8
05-09-2009, 04:26 AM
Every time someone hears my story they always act like it's a miracle that I'm the way I am: A decent enough human being with a lot going for him. But why shouldn't it be that way? My personality is such that yes, I should be the way I am. Why is it that it seems to be stereotypical that child victims of abuse should be messed up individuals?
Well, this is a hard point to discuss, but basically JoY is right. When I read the first paragraph, I thought something like: Wow, IamSam always appeared to be intelligent and upright. If you have a post traumatic stress disorder due to the way how your father treated you in your early childhood, then it would be no surprise if you had a messed up life now. Things that happen during your childhood can affect you way more than things that happen later because your brain is still developing and could take long-lasting damage from situations of abuse.


Another haunting feeling that I have pushed back into the recesses of my mind is that of duplicity, or what if I become him? I know I would never be able to live with myself and the jealousy I saw from him aimed towards my mother is something I don't want to see repeated, so much so it has hindered me in pursuing relationships. Why am I so worried about that when I know I'm a completely different person?
I know that feeling. My father never treated me bad, but somehow I don't want to become as "embarassing" as him and so on. I think this way of thinking is kind of natural and I think it's good if you want to improve.
In your case it's just a little extreme since you know you won't be like your father but still there is this train of thought that makes you afraid of failure in life and stuff. But you should be on a good way, so don't worry.

Alison
05-09-2009, 06:05 AM
I also understand the 'duplicity' idea. I'm scared of becoming my mother, and sometimes hold back things I want to say because I feel like it's what my mother would think.
Last year I read a book, 'Winterwood' by Patrick McCabe, which is about a man who tries so hard not to turn into the person his father was, that in doing so, turns into the same type of person.
It was pretty complex, but it made me think, if you concentrate too much on not becoming someone, and make sure that you don't do the same things, that may lead you to becoming them. I can't completely remember it, but it was really interesting, and really made sense.

findout5
05-09-2009, 06:43 AM
Instead of this board, you should try going to Dr. Phil.

Superdope
05-09-2009, 07:20 AM
Instead of this board, you should try going to Dr. Phil.

Instead of being a dick, you could come with something constructive, or nothing at all.

And I agree with Alison, you shouldn't spend all of your time worrying if you eventually turn into your father. I can't see how that should happen, because you seem to have two very different views on life.

RonWelty
05-09-2009, 07:31 AM
Instead of this board, you should try going to Dr. Phil.

Well, in the end you're right. A music band forum isn't the best place to express this or to get help.

Talk to someone with the right skills to help you.

Rooster
05-09-2009, 07:45 AM
Well, that's just sad. I wish i could help you with an advice, but i'm not sure, because my situation is different than yours.

I don't know my father, and i don't want to know him, because if i knew who he is, i seriously don't know what i'd do. He left my mother before i was born, and she dropped out of the university (probably because of me, although i still wasn't born at the time - i didn't ask her about it, i think it would just bring back the unneccessary, bad memories; this is just my theory) and got a job.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, as i realised that basically the only thing that's been going as i planned or better is my band. There was more than enough bad times for my family and me. But i realised that all the bad things that happened made me not a messed up individual, instead i became stronger, more loyal and reliable to the people i care about. Because of what my father did and the fact how much pain it caused, i could never do that to anyone. I could never stab somebody in the back.

Many people become "messed up" because of such things, but those who don't become stronger, tougher. If you remember the fact how much pain your father's actions caused i'm sure you won't become a clone of him.

If i think again, i might have been even lucky - if my father wouldn't leave my mum, if he stayed with her, maybe he would also become abusive towards her and me. Maybe it's better this way...

JoY
05-09-2009, 11:04 AM
I deeply sympathise with the situation, but need to get one thing off my chest: my first post aimed at the fact I think it's rather fucking rude to act like it's simple & easy to get through this in a normal fashion, in a way you can still function perfectly well & don't suffer from any trauma. in a way I feel people who get through such a situation without further consequences for their every day life should be proud & grateful for their strength & mental flexibility. if you're not & you consider it normal, then it becomes rather insulting to the ones who are struggling every day, because they suffered similar problems in their childhood.

so if you're doing well, be proud &/or grateful. it gives others, who experienced a similar thing, a lot more room for grief &... generally not being okay.

ps. I don't know if I made total sense, but you'll figure it out.

Llamas
05-09-2009, 11:47 AM
Iamsam, I truly relate to this and I am so sorry you struggle with it.

This isn't about me, but basically my real father left when I was born and my mom married a dude who took legal adoption of me when I was 8. He frequently did drugs, was violent, angry, and verbally abusive. My sister and I were terrified of him. My mom finally divorced him after he beat my sister up - even though she did nothing when he choked my brother, or all the other scary shit he did, including threatening to kill each my brother and sister. I have avoided talking to him in a very long time, and last year had repressed my anger toward him (I also have repressed anger toward my mom, but that's a completely separate story)... it resurfaced a few months ago and I blew up. I frequently now think about how it would be if just let him have it. Told him exactly what I think of him, call him out on the bullshit he's said to me over the years ("You're gonna be asking people if they want fries with that for the rest of your life", I was out to lunch with him and my sis and bro and he said over the phone to his parents "I'm having lunch with my two kids and my adopted daughter", I was moving back to Minnesota and he wanted me to come move my stored belongings out of the basement because he "wanted nothing in the house that was of no relation to him"...)

Basically what I think, Sam (is that your real name?), is that it's a very good first step to talk about it to people. Even if nobody here at the bbs can give you good advice, it's so important to talk about it. And do it as much as possible without hitting a breaking point where it's obnoxious. Get it out. I found that keeping it in was very unhealthy for me (in fact, it just felt really good to have ranted there a bit about my step dad).

On top of that, if you have the guts, tell him how it is. It's been a year, and that's crappy (I haven't talked to him in almost a year, and it wasn't voluntary last time), but you shouldn't talk to him unless it feels right. If it does, though, I think it would help you a lot to just tell him what you think. Tell him what he did to you, what he put you through. Tell him how people think it's a miracle you turned out okay. Just my personal opinion, but I think that it would make you feel better. Otherwise, therapy might be good. It's funny because I was just told for the first time in my life yesterday (regarding my sleep disorder), "Have you considered therapy?" and I took offense to it... now here I am saying it to you. But who knows, maybe you'd get something out of it.

Now I feel like I really should email my step dad and tell him what I think and just lay it out there. I might do that sometime soon...

Oh and best of luck. Keep us updated.

ninthz
05-09-2009, 12:04 PM
Wait, aren't we all supposed to have fucked up relationships with our parents?

IamSam
05-09-2009, 12:38 PM
I deeply sympathise with the situation, but need to get one thing off my chest: my first post aimed at the fact I think it's rather fucking rude to act like it's simple & easy to get through this in a normal fashion, in a way you can still function perfectly well & don't suffer from any trauma. in a way I feel people who get through such a situation without further consequences for their every day life should be proud & grateful for their strength & mental flexibility. if you're not & you consider it normal, then it becomes rather insulting to the ones who are struggling every day, because they suffered similar problems in their childhood.

so if you're doing well, be proud &/or grateful. it gives others, who experienced a similar thing, a lot more room for grief &... generally not being okay.

ps. I don't know if I made total sense, but you'll figure it out.

For your information, my post had nothing to do with acting like it is simple and easy to get through this. Quite the obvious actually. Reread this sentence:


Why is it that it seems to be stereotypical that child victims of abuse should be messed up individuals?
As it stands, this sentence didn't quite get my point across. Essentially what I meant in my sleep deprived state is this: Why does society act shocked when some people pull through these situations alright?

Also, Joy, I am rather proud and grateful for my life and how I have lived. I haven't been "fucking rude" and I know what other people go through with this as my sister dealt with the situation horribly.

ad8 & Alison & Superdope: I know I shouldn't worry so much, especially seeing that I'm not bipolar. I'm also thinking that since I don't treat people how he has that I'll be fine. The situation is more or less in my mind like a WWJD bracelet...but in this case a WWDD?

llamas: Firstly, no, my name is Birch.
The situation does suck, but at the same time I don't care that I haven't talked to him in a year. As of right now, if he were to die tomorrow I wouldn't shed a tear. Sometime in the future, maybe I will find him and confront him in person. Anger is there, and maybe I'm even bitter about what he did. But I don't let it consume me. I'm thinking that's for the best.


Wait, aren't we all supposed to have fucked up relationships with our parents?
Only the best of us. And you paid for sex?

Lastly, Dr. Phil would not be able to help me because I would kick him in the taint before he could speak. He annoys me.

JoY
05-09-2009, 12:45 PM
I can be blunt every once in a while, but mostly what I meant to say, is that you're lucky & should be proud. you're lucky for being so strong & for maintaining that strength during rough situations, you're allowed to be proud of yourself. it's pretty amazing, if you can get through a situation like you just described & are able to look back the way you do; rationally, open minded & curious for answers.

basically, I just wanted to hear you say you're proud & grateful. instead of wondering why others think it'd make sense if a childhood like that would totally fuck up a person. it's not a stereotype for nothing. if you think about it, it wouldn't be that strange, if something like that would cause attachment/affection problems & symptoms of post traumatic stress. so yes, I can imagine that society's surprised at anyone who can deal with such hard times alright. because yes, the way you seem to deal with it is pretty exceptional.

Bipolar Bear
05-09-2009, 01:40 PM
what about the opposite situation? having a great father and being in his shadow, knowing you can never be as great as him

JoY
05-09-2009, 01:56 PM
what about the opposite situation? having a great father and being in his shadow, knowing you can never be as great as him

oh noes, I hate having an awesome dad, getting support & all that shit...

wtf?

Offspring-Junkie
05-09-2009, 02:13 PM
oh noes, I hate having an awesome dad, getting support & all that shit...

wtf?

You seriously don't understand what he's talking about? It's in no comparison as bad as having a piece of shit as father (or no father at all), but having a successful and honorable person with almost no flaws as dad can be very depressing. Especially if he's putting you under pressure with his achievements.

Llamas
05-09-2009, 02:17 PM
I actually understood where he was coming from. One of my best friends' parents are amazing... they've been together for like 20 years and are still crazy about each other. They're wonderful people and an amazing couple. My friend has this jaded view of marriage because she doesn't believe she could ever have the relationship her parents have, so she never wants to get married because she feels she'd be setting herself up for failure. It's not really comparable at all to this topic, but it makes sense.

ninthz
05-09-2009, 02:20 PM
Only the best of us. And you paid for sex?
BBS History. No, I haven't paid for sex. I mean, have you seen me? I don't even buy girls drinks.

I was actually taken off-guard by a guy I work with a few weeks ago. He took issue with my usage of "Aight" because he thought it didn't fit me, socially. He went on to say he assumed I came from an upper class background, maybe upper-middle class. Whereas, in real life, my mother worked on an assembly line for Rockwell-Collins and my stepfather worked for his parents' auto shop as a mechanic. Perception and whatnot: I don't carry myself as someone with a rough upbringing, which apparently works.

I joke about how much my childhood sucked because it really isn't anything but content at this point. I was at a bar Thursday and High Enough by the Damn Yankees came on, so I talked about knowing the song because my stepfather used to beat me to it. It was funny. But yeah, no reason to get all butthurt just because your childhood blew dickhole. Happens, blood in the doorway and whatnot. lololololo

ad8
05-09-2009, 02:24 PM
Maybe that's also the reason why ninthz never paid for sex. (there, I said it lololol)

JoY
05-09-2009, 02:32 PM
You seriously don't understand what he's talking about? It's in no comparison as bad as having a piece of shit as father (or no father at all), but having a successful and honorable person with almost no flaws as dad can be very depressing. Especially if he's putting you under pressure with his achievements.

I totally get where he's coming from, but that has no business at all in this topic in my opinion. I could share some personal stories at this point, but that would only drive us further off topic.

IamSam
05-09-2009, 02:58 PM
BBS History. No, I haven't paid for sex. I mean, have you seen me? I don't even buy girls drinks.



That's what I thought. Well...that and combined with the fact that you were quoting yourself in you sig made it somewhat odd.

Bipolar Bear
05-09-2009, 04:24 PM
oh noes, I hate having an awesome dad, getting support & all that shit...

wtf?

...


You seriously don't understand what he's talking about? It's in no comparison as bad as having a piece of shit as father (or no father at all), but having a successful and honorable person with almost no flaws as dad can be very depressing. Especially if he's putting you under pressure with his achievements.

Yeah, exactly.


I totally get where he's coming from, but that has no business at all in this topic in my opinion. I could share some personal stories at this point, but that would only drive us further off topic.

Am I supposed to apologize or something?
by the way, it pretty much IS on topic.
even if it wasn't your response was completely inappropriate

IamSam
05-09-2009, 04:32 PM
Am I supposed to apologize or something?
by the way, it pretty much IS on topic.
even if it wasn't your response was completely inappropriate

I don't think you should apologize. I was scoopin' what you were poopin.

Bipolar Bear
05-09-2009, 05:10 PM
I don't think you should apologize. I was scoopin' what you were poopin.

Lol, alright. :rolleyes:

ninthz
05-09-2009, 05:31 PM
That's what I thought. Well...that and combined with the fact that you were quoting yourself in you sig made it somewhat odd.
I find myself quite impressive.

Bipolar Bear
05-09-2009, 05:36 PM
http://www.gifbin.com/bin/1231949554_i_am_your_father.gif

SweetTatyana
05-09-2009, 06:26 PM
I have to say, good for you for standing up for yourself and cutting off ties. I had father problems too as he was very neglectful for 8 years of my life and I had to do the same thing in order prevent any further pain. I actually did have to confront him in the end and tell him everything I felt and now, a few years later, we are better than we have ever been. I think that your separation from your father this shows that you are very different from your father as you seemed to realize from a young age how hurtful and wrong his actions towards yourself and your mother were. So I dont think you have anything to worry about in terms of turning into him.
The sad thing about the help aspect is most people wont go for help until they hit rock bottom, I know it is a saying by my psychologist swears by it. Hopefully with you unable to talk to him anymore he will realize the life he is missing out on.
Anyway, it sounds like mentally your father is a very sick man (not blaming him either) but although it is hard not to take his past words literal or personal, I hope you understand that the painful words are not a reflection of you but a product of his disease. My best friend/roomate has a mother with very severe bipolar who also has an abusive streak and calls her fat and tells her to lose weight when shes 108 pounds at 5,7".
But yeah, you dealt with some tough stuff and I must commend you for being able to deal with it in such a mature, strong way.


I have several more hours to go at work and this has been weighing on my mind here recently. As of last month I have not spoken to my father in a year. Some back story: My father was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive to my mother and myself. He is also bipolar and spends vast amounts of money on lofty ideas and then never follows through. She divorced him when I was a sophomore in high school (6 years ago already?) due to the fact that I confided in her that I was so scared of him I had been keeping my rifle loaded under my bed. He has continued on a downward spiral, becoming an alcoholic, draining his parents bank accounts, and dragging his younger brother down the same path he has fallen. I cut ties with him a year ago, writing him (and the rest of his family) a letter that detailed what he has done wrong and why he needs to find help. The last news that I heard was that the younger brother intercepted my letter so my father wouldn't do something drastic after reading it, although other members of the family were trying to organize an intervention.

Every time someone hears my story they always act like it's a miracle that I'm the way I am: A decent enough human being with a lot going for him. But why shouldn't it be that way? My personality is such that yes, I should be the way I am. Why is it that it seems to be stereotypical that child victims of abuse should be messed up individuals? True, my sister had a huge rebellious stage, but she has recovered from that and is more or less following along my footsteps in being a responsible person.

Also, I feel no regret for what I did by cutting off communication. But the question still remains: What would have happened if I had confronted him in person? What if I stood up to him and called him out whenever he made an ass of himself and embarrassed me?

Another haunting feeling that I have pushed back into the recesses of my mind is that of duplicity, or what if I become him? I know I would never be able to live with myself and the jealousy I saw from him aimed towards my mother is something I don't want to see repeated, so much so it has hindered me in pursuing relationships. Why am I so worried about that when I know I'm a completely different person?

Anyway, sorry for this and completely understandable if I get a bunch of 'tl;dr' but I just have been throwing all of this around my mind and decided to throw it around here and see what discussion might get stirred up. Seeing there really isn't any discussing going on.

SweetTatyana
05-09-2009, 06:48 PM
Yeah, I see a psychologist. It really clears your mind and even just talking out issues you are having is a nice experience. I really dont see why thats weird, lots of people I know do.

ninthz
05-09-2009, 07:05 PM
Yeah, I see a psychologist. It really clears your mind and even just talking out issues you are having is a nice experience. I really dont see why thats weird, lots of people I know do.
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b46/penguinfites/lifeispainlawl.jpg

Llamas
05-09-2009, 11:20 PM
But the question still remains: What would have happened if I had confronted him in person? What if I stood up to him and called him out whenever he made an ass of himself and embarrassed me?


llamas: Firstly, no, my name is Birch.
The situation does suck, but at the same time I don't care that I haven't talked to him in a year. As of right now, if he were to die tomorrow I wouldn't shed a tear. Sometime in the future, maybe I will find him and confront him in person. Anger is there, and maybe I'm even bitter about what he did. But I don't let it consume me. I'm thinking that's for the best.

Honestly, it sounds like you do care a little bit... you may say you don't, but you made a thread about this and talked about wondering what would've happened had you acted differently.

Anyway, of course it's not good to let anger to consume you... about anything in life. So yeah.


The sad thing about the help aspect is most people wont go for help until they hit rock bottom, I know it is a saying by my psychologist swears by it. Hopefully with you unable to talk to him anymore he will realize the life he is missing out on.
Just curious, do you have issues you can't talk to friends about? That's what I tend to do about my problems.

RickyCrack
05-10-2009, 12:33 AM
my dad is polish, how you think i feel?




























it's obvious, I LOVE KIELBASA.

JoY
05-10-2009, 04:50 AM
Am I supposed to apologize or something?
by the way, it pretty much IS on topic.
even if it wasn't your response was completely inappropriate

ah sorry, I'll make myself more clear.

my dad is one of those dads everyone admires. when I grew up, I admired him so much. I even considered him my favorite parent, because my mother set & maintained all the rules & he was the fun parent. in his professional life, as a doc, the way he was with his patients.. I wanted to be that way, that caring & sweet & lovable & smart & great.

his patients are crazy about him, the community loves him, his collegues love him... when he throws a party, we host the entire town in our house, because EVERYBODY loves him. his patients are his life, are like his family. meaning his family mostly came in second. which is very frustrating for my mom, because all she ever gets is how she has such a great husband & she's basically living in his shadow, while he's just human & far from the perfect husband. for the outside world he's perfect, but at home he's a tired, emotionally drained, shut off, grumpy man, because his undevided attention is all put in his work & social life.

there's no such thing as the perfect parent. at some point, you look at your parents from a bit of distance, with a bit of objectivity, & you realise what's so great about them & what makes them human, what their flaws are. & for me, I realised that the upbringing I had from my two very human parents combined, made me my own person. I recognise flaws I have in my parents, but also a lot of the good stuff.

I was spoiled with an awesome mom & dad & I consider myself very lucky. but I won't be in their shadow & I can't be in their shadow, because the person they created isn't a copy of them. I'm not my parents. I set the bar with standards & expectancies at an adjusted level that suits me & in some cases, that'll mean that in some aspects I'm definitely better than my parents. in some aspects it'll mean I won't achieve the same thing, but that's okay. I'm different, I'm me & I do my own thing. I'll be good at my own things & whether that's what my parents are good at, I don't really care.

SweetTatyana
05-10-2009, 08:38 AM
my dad is polish, how you think i feel? it's obvious, I LOVE KIELBASA.


Dont forget pierogies!

Bipolar Bear
05-10-2009, 12:18 PM
ah sorry, I'll make myself more clear.

my dad is one of those dads everyone admires. when I grew up, I admired him so much. I even considered him my favorite parent, because my mother set & maintained all the rules & he was the fun parent. in his professional life, as a doc, the way he was with his patients.. I wanted to be that way, that caring & sweet & lovable & smart & great.

his patients are crazy about him, the community loves him, his collegues love him... when he throws a party, we host the entire town in our house, because EVERYBODY loves him. his patients are his life, are like his family. meaning his family mostly came in second. which is very frustrating for my mom, because all she ever gets is how she has such a great husband & she's basically living in his shadow, while he's just human & far from the perfect husband. for the outside world he's perfect, but at home he's a tired, emotionally drained, shut off, grumpy man, because his undevided attention is all put in his work & social life.

there's no such thing as the perfect parent. at some point, you look at your parents from a bit of distance, with a bit of objectivity, & you realise what's so great about them & what makes them human, what their flaws are. & for me, I realised that the upbringing I had from my two very human parents combined, made me my own person. I recognise flaws I have in my parents, but also a lot of the good stuff.

I was spoiled with an awesome mom & dad & I consider myself very lucky. but I won't be in their shadow & I can't be in their shadow, because the person they created isn't a copy of them. I'm not my parents. I set the bar with standards & expectancies at an adjusted level that suits me & in some cases, that'll mean that in some aspects I'm definitely better than my parents. in some aspects it'll mean I won't achieve the same thing, but that's okay. I'm different, I'm me & I do my own thing. I'll be good at my own things & whether that's what my parents are good at, I don't really care.

mhmm
i think it's especially hard when your parents themselves pressure you, apparently they let you be yourself which is great

ninthz
05-10-2009, 03:11 PM
I called my grandmother today. No one answered the phone and I guess I never saved her cell number. I thought this was funny.

Al Coholic
05-11-2009, 05:19 PM
Wait, you're in your 20's Sam? I thought you had mentioned being all 17 and shit.