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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default My father is dying, and i don't care

    I guess that makes me a bad person.

    My father may have been a good person at some time. I don't remember that time. Since i have been alive he has drowned himself in alcohol and used it as an excuse for his poor behavior.

    When I was about 7 I remember a fun lady that my father used to take me to visit. After many months of bonding with fun lady she gave me a necklace. On the way home my dad told me I shouldn't lie about where the necklace came from but I shouldn't talk about it either. My mom freaked out and i wasn't sure why. It was only later i realized he was using me as a front for cheating on her.

    My father raised us with a strict sense of morals. We would not lie, cheat or steal or do anything else to offend him.

    This code of conduct was absolute and unwavering. If one of the three of us broke something (or ate something) in the house and nobody would fess up to it, he would line us up and would brutally beat us all with the belt until one of us admitted to it.

    My eldest brother grew strong and one day beat him back pretty badly and he stopped with the indiscriminate beatings. Where was my mother during this? - She was great about protecting herself. She would call the police if he raised a hand to her, but she never protected us. Ever.

    We moved south, my eldest brother (our protector) joined the marines. Because we were in a more civilized area, my father moved on to more subtle torture.

    When i was 13 my father purchased a gigantic state of the art stereo system as a Christmas gift "for the entire family". He played it at ear breaking decibels all night. My mom would smoke weed and put in earplugs and pretend that all was OK. I called the police one day to see if they could pretend a neighbor called to make him stop. They would not.

    My father was the king of unidentifiable and passive aggressive torture. He would pee in a perfect ring around the toilet seat so that i would sit in it. If he broke a glass, he would sweep the broken shards in front of my door so that i would step on it. I babysat from the time i was 12 to buy my own clothes (because they would never) and more than once there was bleach poured in my laundry to ruin all of it. Those are but a few of the 'greatest hits'. Stealing a single shoe (that i had worked for)... tearing pages out of my textbooks. All hilarious fodder for my pop.

    I tried to move out, a friends mother said i could stay there as long as i wanted to. He called the police and made me come back.

    During this time he had held his temper and not raised a hand to me. We had moved to an area where child beating was not just ignored... until the day he didn't. I was 15, a track star and very fit for a young girl. When he swung at me i hit him back. Not just once. I hit him enough for a grown man to be embarrassed by a young girl beating him. I hit him with gusto. With everything he deserved.

    We didn't speak for years. I moved out of the house when i was 15 years old. I dropped out of high school and worked my ass off to make ends meet. I made something of myself despite having no support. I was a good kid. I never got in trouble, at all.

    There have been many more emotional insults since the time i moved out until now.

    I am halfway to 40 now and my dad is finally dying.

    I have moved on from my childhood torture and have been wildly successful in my chosen career.

    My mother and father now want to be "super grandparents" to my niece and nephew. They completely forgot my 30th birthday, i spent it alone with some tears and a bottle of wine and the internet. Then i get a call about "how dare i forget my niece's recital". Neither one of them ever bothered to attend a single one of my recitals.

    Now my dad is getting old to the point of death and wants to reconnect with me. I get a call after every Dr's appointment, as if i should care.

    I just don't feel it. I don't really give a shit if either one of them lives or dies. I guess this makes me a bad person. You should love your parents. I wish I could love my parents. For those of you who have good parents, go hug them.

    It wont be long now for my dad. He has only 1 artery left to his heart.

    I know he thinks he is a good person which is what kills me. And things are not always black and white. Parts of him are the most amazing person. I will miss "my daddy" when he is gone. That special, caring, loving person i caught a glimpse of through the window from time to time.

    He cannot even in his weakened state help himself from turning into the monster that he can be. And i just give up. I don't care.
    Last edited by secrets; Jan. 18, 2014 at 01:36 AM.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Posts
    2,364

    Default

    There comes a point when, after that much abuse, any healthy person would just walk away. As you have done.

    You're not a bad person; you're a healthy person...which is amazing given the history. My parents weren't gems. They were physically, emotionally and verbally abusive. Neither my brother nor I were sorry to see them go.

    My children never knew them because they were too young and because my parents had no interest in them. I'm glad MY children didn't have to grow up wondering why THEY weren't loved.

    So, don't worry about. I sure don't.
    Ride like you mean it.


    28 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    May. 23, 2013
    Posts
    664

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    No, you shouldn't love your parents unless they earned it.

    Earning a child's love means being there for them always, instilling a deep sense of trust and safety, etc. You were treated horribly. I would not waste one second feeling bad about it.

    You deserved better, and I think you know that, but you feel guilty thinking it. I hope you can find a good self-help book, a support group, or a therapist who can help you see that he doesn't deserve your grief. Don't waste another minute worrying about it and you are NOT a bad person.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Aug. 10, 2009
    Posts
    932

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    I don't think you are a bad person for feeling this way. You made a decision about your boundaries and what you were and were not willing to accept. The way your parents treated you is horrible and it's amazing you have come out as a well-adjusted and successful person, it speaks volumes about your resilience and strength.

    I do worry that once your father is gone, there may be regrets about not communicating with him more. Not in an "I love you" kind of way, but an honest talk about all the ways he has hurt and traumatized you. Maybe you have already addressed this with him, in which case, you might have the closure you need to accept his death and move on. Then again, it may not be in your best interest to try to express your feelings to him, since it doesn't sound like he has the insight or willingness to see his failings.

    I would definitely recommend talking to a therapist (if you haven't already) to address his impending death and ensure that YOU are prepared to handle any unexpected emotions in a healthy way. You definitely don't need to feel bad when he passes or make any sort of peace with him. But like it or not, his death WILL affect you in probably some unexpected ways and you need to continue to take care of yourself and since you were not taught those skills or behaviors from your family, you might need some guidance from someone who has the expertise to really help you through it.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Feb. 3, 2012
    Posts
    262

    Default

    *Hugs* So sorry you had to go through all that bullshit growing up OP. I can tell it has made you a strong person inside. You made your own way in the world and are now successful, you should be very proud of yourself. You father will probably never (in the time he has left) apologize to you or admit that he was a real shitty father. That is crappy of him but you know the real truth. Best of luck to you, you sound like a marvelous person. Don't let your feelings toward your father bring you down.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 19, 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,909

    Default

    It's amazing what you have overcome. Good for you. You're not a bad person, you're an amazing person to rise above it all.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2010
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    422

    Default

    **hugs**

    You are not a bad person. At all.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2010
    Posts
    2,996

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    Quote Originally Posted by secrets View Post
    I guess that makes me a bad person.

    My father may have been a good person at some time. I don't remember that time. Since i have been alive he has drowned himself in alcohol and used it as an excuse for his poor behavior.

    When I was about 7 I remember a fun lady that my father used to take me to visit. After many months of bonding with fun lady she gave me a necklace. On the way home my dad told me I shouldn't lie about where the necklace came from but I shouldn't talk about it either. My mom freaked out and i wasn't sure why. It was only later i realized he was using me as a front for cheating on her.

    My father raised us with a strict sense of morals. We would not lie, cheat or steal or do anything else to offend him.

    This code of conduct was absolute and unwavering. If one of the three of us broke something (or ate something) in the house and nobody would fess up to it, he would line us up and would brutally beat us all with the belt until one of us admitted to it.

    My eldest brother grew strong and one day beat him back pretty badly and he stopped with the indiscriminate beatings. Where was my mother during this? - She was great about protecting herself. She would call the police if he raised a hand to her, but she never protected us. Ever.

    We moved south, my eldest brother (our protector) joined the marines. Because we were in a more civilized area, my father moved on to more subtle torture.

    When i was 13 my father purchased a gigantic state of the art stereo system as a Christmas gift "for the entire family". He played it at ear breaking decibels all night. My mom would smoke weed and put in earplugs and pretend that all was OK. I called the police one day to see if they could pretend a neighbor called to make him stop. They would not.

    My father was the king of unidentifiable and passive aggressive torture. He would pee in a perfect ring around the toilet seat so that i would sit in it. If he broke a glass, he would sweep the broken shards in front of my door so that i would step on it. I babysat from the time i was 12 to buy my own clothes (because they would never) and more than once there was bleach poured in my laundry to ruin all of it. Those are but a few of the 'greatest hits'. Stealing a single shoe (that i had worked for)... tearing pages out of my textbooks. All hilarious fodder for my pop.

    I tried to move out, a friends mother said i could stay there as long as i wanted to. He called the police and made me come back.

    During this time he had held his temper and not raised a hand to me. We had moved to an area where child beating was not just ignored... until the day he didn't. I was 15, a track star and very fit for a young girl. When he swung at me i hit him back. Not just once. I hit him enough for a grown man to be embarrassed by a young girl beating him. I hit him with gusto. With everything he deserved.

    We didn't speak for years. I moved out of the house when i was 15 years old. I dropped out of high school and worked my ass off to make ends meet. I made something of myself despite having no support. I was a good kid. I never got in trouble, at all.

    There have been many more emotional insults since the time i moved out until now.

    I am halfway to 40 now and my dad is finally dying.

    I have moved on from my childhood torture and have been wildly successful in my chosen career.

    My mother and father now want to be "super grandparents" to my niece and nephew. They completely forgot my 30th birthday, i spent it alone with some tears and a bottle of wine and the internet. Then i get a call about "how dare i forget my niece's recital". Neither one of them ever bothered to attend a single one of my recitals.

    Now my dad is getting old to the point of death and wants to reconnect with me. I get a call after every Dr's appointment, as if i should care.

    I just don't feel it. I don't really give a shit if either one of them lives or dies. I guess this makes me a bad person. You should love your parents. I wish I could love my parents. For those of you who have good parents, go hug them.

    It wont be long now for my dad. He has only 1 artery left to his heart.

    I know he thinks he is a good person which is what kills me. And things are not always black and white. Parts of him are the most amazing person. I will miss "my daddy" when he is gone. That special, caring, loving person i caught a glimpse of through the window from time to time.

    He cannot even in his weakened state help himself from turning into the monster that he can be. And i just give up. I don't care.
    You're a survivor, not a bad person. Maybe tell him that you miss the good guy, but you don't miss the monster and that is why you are not coming. Hang up on him then, or don't, as suits you. I think you're perfectly entitled to feel the way you feel. His loss.

    ETA: Maybe see a therapist as others have suggested, if you feel you may need to.
    Proud Member of the "I Don't Do Facebook" Clique


    8 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedsAdvil View Post
    I do worry that once your father is gone, there may be regrets about not communicating with him more. Not in an "I love you" kind of way, but an honest talk about all the ways he has hurt and traumatized you. Maybe you have already addressed this with him, in which case, you might have the closure you need to accept his death and move on. Then again, it may not be in your best interest to try to express your feelings to him, since it doesn't sound like he has the insight or willingness to see his failings.

    I know what you are saying, and i know that it would help me, but i am not going to do that.

    I do not hate him and i do not wish to cause him hurt in these last days. It would do nothing to heal me and only cause an everlasting spiteful sort of hurt that i am not willing to endure. He is a broken person. His mind is not right. Even when he does terrible things, he believes he is right.

    It would benefit only me to grief him in his final hours, and i would never, ever forgive myself for it. That would cause me much more pain than to just let him go.

    I'm ready to let go.


    19 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2003
    Location
    Mississippi, U.S.A.
    Posts
    968

    Default

    Dear Secrets,

    Even your handle breaks my heart for you, but you don't need pity. You are not a bad person, you are a heroine! All your struggles have paid off with your success and freedom, but it's still possible for your parents to hurt you and that sucks. There is a way out of this mess. It seems unlikely but you can learn, if you'll practice, to forgive them. Just let. it. go. It's such a huge relief! You'll be free to be happy, which you deserve, and I know this from experience- The best revenge is to forgive them and let yourself be happy. They don't deserve a single thought from you. It eats you up inside and they could care less. It took me a lot of prayer and therapy for this to work for me. Counseling will help you. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you. If you can, seek to know Him. Throw off those rags of terrible memories and pain and rise up wearing a golden gown and dancing so free.

    A zillion (((HUGS)) to you.
    You deserve all the love and joy there is.


    9 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 1999
    Location
    South Coast Plaza
    Posts
    20,488

    Default

    I wish you peace And I hope for you that the rest of your life is filled with joy, and with people who love you.
    EDDIE WOULD GO


    12 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    6,359

    Default

    You are doing the right thing. You are ahead of me. You have more refined self-preservation skills. You have done the RIGHT thing, and you need to continue to do the right thing.

    I wish you could give ME some counseling in dealing with a similar situation. I have cut off from my mom, but am having a really hard time moving on and accepting it. I'm sure you could teach me a lot.

    You sound VERY healthy to me.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Apr. 28, 2013
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    1,004

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    I can't find the words to express all the things I want to say, so I'll just say I'd give my left foot to hug you right now! You are so incredibly strong, and I hope you know that.

    I don't know you, and you don't know me, but I am proud of you for coming out of that horror a better person. I can relate to an extent (though in my case it's extended family, not my parents), so I have an idea of how rough it is. But you are incredible and I'm sending you the biggest, warmest, most jingle-filled bear hug humanly possible!
    Curious about Trans* issues? Feel free to ask!
    Saving Pennies To Get My Own Canoe


    7 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Jan. 17, 2014
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    3

    Default

    Thank you so much everyone.

    I can't tell you how much this means to me. I am not an unfeeling monster.


    As for you.... Been there...


    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    You are doing the right thing. You are ahead of me. You have more refined self-preservation skills. You have done the RIGHT thing, and you need to continue to do the right thing.

    I wish you could give ME some counseling in dealing with a similar situation. I have cut off from my mom, but am having a really hard time moving on and accepting it. I'm sure you could teach me a lot.

    You sound VERY healthy to me.
    There are some interesting studies on a mother's love done by Harry Harlow.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow


    For me it was the same sort of thing that his studies resulted in.

    I kept sticking my hand in a blender and hoping THIS TIME it wouldn't hurt. I would go back for love and acceptance and stick my damn hand right back in the blender and it hurt. You will never be able to stick your hand in that blender. It's a blender. It's too stupid to know those things. It doesn't necessarily know that it hurts you. You can waste your whole life away waiting for the blender to "smarten up" and stop hurting you or you can stop sticking your hand in it.


    28 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Jan. 26, 2010
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    Yeah. It's just SO hard to believe a parent really doesn't, or can't care. Mine is different than yours in that my mom used to be a good person, but 40 years with an abuser and an insane family made her insane. I just couldn't believe she really didn't care because she used to. I spent a lot of time, effort, and angst waiting for her to come out of it. I've just stopped trying. My SOB step-father died a year ago and sounds in some ways like your father. He was never in any way abusive like that, but he created many, many children and treated them like crap and left behind a trail of mentally broken people, yet in his "fun" life where he was doing what he wanted (not family) everyone thought he was this wonderful, great guy. The memorial was horrible because all of these people talked about how great and wonderful he was while the family stared in pain. He died never fixing a damn thing, being a selfish SOB to the end.

    I just am having such a hard time accepting that mom is just not in there and can't care--she is a shell who mimics the step-father and crazy half-siblings. It's almost harder when it's not so obvious and dramatic.

    You know, people have been telling me for a long time to just get away, but I couldn't. It's not that we're unfeeling, but that we feel too much. I just wish I were as far along the road as you are.

    I hope you have really good people in your life. You sound like a good person to know. That's always been one of the hardest things in life--letting go. I just keep on trying, no matter what. That's great in some instances, but really bad in others.

    Hug.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
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    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
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    Secrets: You are not alone. I felt the same way before my mom passed. You have my condolences for not having the relationship everyone deserves, and congratulations for your strength and self preservation.

    FWIW, I would never allow either one of your parents around small children. Especially unattended.

    On another note, would you/ did you invite him to your wedding?
    (sorry... black humor)

    *hug*


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Apr. 18, 2010
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    I think you do care, or you would not have posted your feelings. If you truly did not care, it would not be on your mind at all. There is some caring there, wrapped in anger and fear of not letting him back in, at all.

    I don't think you are a bad person at all. You overcame a very difficult child hood and bad parenting. I can't lecture you about whether you should visit or call him. Imo, I run contrary to most of the posters here, if you could manage it, try to call him or visit. Once he is gone, you will never, ever, have the opportunity to say one single word to him. That might haunt you forever.

    I say that as I also had a difficult childhood and a not great father...not as bad as yours, but very belligerent much of the time, he and my mom fought violently, etc. Both my parents are no longer here...I lived far away from them but did spend time with them and my mom, who had trouble being a mom, was golden with her granddaughter (my sister's girl). My mom also had a hard life. I don't think any of these folks would do it over the same if they could.

    One thing that did give me some perspective was that my father had a horrible childhood. He was, quite literally tortured by his parents. He had no toys growing up. At age ten, his father asked him if he wanted a toy. My dad said yes. His father tied him up in ropes and told him that if he could get out , he could get a toy. That's the parenting he had. I bet if you could ask your dad about his early life, or find out anything about it, it would be pretty bad. There's a reason he turned out like he did.

    I don't think you are a bad person no matter what you decide, but I think it might be good for you if perhaps you could let him in, just a little, before he goes. Jmo, sounds like you have gotten counseling or at least are pretty together, and I admire what you have accomplished.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    43,001

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    Quote Originally Posted by secrets View Post
    I know what you are saying, and i know that it would help me, but i am not going to do that.

    I do not hate him and i do not wish to cause him hurt in these last days. It would do nothing to heal me and only cause an everlasting spiteful sort of hurt that i am not willing to endure. He is a broken person. His mind is not right. Even when he does terrible things, he believes he is right.

    It would benefit only me to grief him in his final hours, and i would never, ever forgive myself for it. That would cause me much more pain than to just let him go.

    I'm ready to let go.
    You are smart to leave well enough alone.
    He is still after making you miserable, now with the guilt trip tripled with him dying.

    I tell you, our mother was such a person, but at least she was an equally mean person to all in our family, it is who she was, just mean.

    When she was dying in the hospital from heart failure, my brother's wife was dying young from cancer at the same time.
    My mother, still perfectly fine mentally, other than being so mean, kept telling my brother his wife was not sick, she was just faking it to keep him away from her in her death bed.
    Even the nurses told him to leave my mother alone and go stay with his wife, they were horrified at the way she treated him, while being oh so sweet to them.

    Our father had died long ago and the rest of us were living in different continents, partly because of her, so my poor brother was alone with her.

    You know your father is going to be the same he has always been.
    He is going to try to make you miserable, is the way such people are.
    Only in fiction such people change now to sweet because they are dying.
    Why put yourself in that place again, where he can abuse you?

    I understand you, once you get past that one person is just mean, there is no hate, but understanding.
    Some people are mean and that is just the way they are, just like some are wonderful humans.
    Better say away from the mean ones.
    If they are your parents is doubly sad, but still nothing you can do about it and glad you were able to overcome such raising.

    Of course, you can always change your mind if something else comes up.
    With what you have posted, it seems that definitively it doesn't make any sense to try to go put yourself again in the line of fire.
    Life is indeed too short for that.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    Nov. 28, 2000
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedsAdvil View Post
    I don't think you are a bad person for feeling this way. You made a decision about your boundaries and what you were and were not willing to accept. The way your parents treated you is horrible and it's amazing you have come out as a well-adjusted and successful person, it speaks volumes about your resilience and strength.

    I do worry that once your father is gone, there may be regrets about not communicating with him more. Not in an "I love you" kind of way, but an honest talk about all the ways he has hurt and traumatized you. Maybe you have already addressed this with him, in which case, you might have the closure you need to accept his death and move on. Then again, it may not be in your best interest to try to express your feelings to him, since it doesn't sound like he has the insight or willingness to see his failings.

    I would definitely recommend talking to a therapist (if you haven't already) to address his impending death and ensure that YOU are prepared to handle any unexpected emotions in a healthy way. You definitely don't need to feel bad when he passes or make any sort of peace with him. But like it or not, his death WILL affect you in probably some unexpected ways and you need to continue to take care of yourself and since you were not taught those skills or behaviors from your family, you might need some guidance from someone who has the expertise to really help you through it.
    Good post NeedsAdvil.
    I see that Secrets has already addressed the subject of speaking to her father. Sometimes it just won't help, for whatever reason(s).
    I agree with your last paragraph as well. The loss of a parent, even someone as abusive as this one is still a major life change, and a loss.
    This is something we are going through with my husband right now.

    OP you are not a bad person, as others have said, you are a survivor.
    Your parents were poisonous and toxic, and you have survived.
    Your blender analogy was a good one. As a child, you keep going back, hoping for a different response - but at some point - you/we learn that what we hope to get is not what we do get.

    Good luck to you, take care of yourself, protect yourself.
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    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    Apr. 21, 2010
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    I'm so disgusted hearing these "parents" treatment of their flesh and blood. My daughter is my joy. The life of me. I just cannot even wrap my head around this.

    Secrets, you have nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about. You were treated absolutely horribly. No one who does that deserves to be a part of your life.

    I think you need to sever ties completely. Otherwise this will constantly pull you back in.

    It just sounds like there needs to be closure. And whether it's speaking to your father, or writing a letter, maybe that's what you need. Yes, it would be for you, and not for him, but this person really does not deserve to be spared of at least hearing the emotional torture he put you through. Why should he get a pass after doing all of those horrible things? I know if this was me, I'd need to at least get it off my chest before it's too late.

    You are in my thoughts. I just want to hug you and make it go away.



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