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Issues with dysfunctional parents


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#1 china cat

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:14 PM

Thinking of Wit, Sums, Thug... those who have publicly posted about struggles with a parent:

I haven't talked to my dad in about 2 years (his personality is a lot for me to handle). He lies about stupid things, blame shifts, cuts me off in the middle of sentences/no listening skills, complains about money/"woe is me" complex. Overall pretty miserable guy and I don't really like him as a person. at all.

My mom just told me he and his wife split up. Dad's about 68 yrs old. Now, I guess he's down in Va. alone.

I just can't help but feel sorry for him. I don't know how to reach out. It's so awkward and fake at this point.

But I know if he dies and I haven't made an attempt, I will be the one to carry it.

Where do you start

#2 china cat

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:51 PM

"The truth about our childhood is stored up in our body, and although we can repress it, we can never alter it. Our intellect can be deceived, our feelings manipulated, our conceptions confused, and our body tricked with medication. But someday, our body will present its bill, for it is as incorruptible as a child who, still whole in spirit, will accept no compromise or excuse, and it will not stop tormenting us until we stop evading the truth." ~Alice Miller

#3 sarah b.

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:55 PM

Sorry to hear re: your recent break-up, if you are. Best wishes for a healthy future and continued minimal contact between us. :cheesy:

#4 sarah b.

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:56 PM

And hugs to you. :)

#5 Karen

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:03 AM

You mentioned it would be awkward and fake, yet you feel sorry for him. That said, perhaps it's not fake at all and will just feel initially awkward. The best intentions are always good and I think yours come from a good place :heart:

Reaching out via a letter maybe? Or a card saying 'thinking of you' or something?

#6 Raynequeen

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:42 PM

id say send a card. "thinking of you" which isn't fake. "if you ever want to talk, i'll listen" ... easy and.. .a start

#7 Jersey Thug

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:45 AM

yeah, i don't think it could be fake, coming from you. and awkward is only awkward until you act on it, generally. so if you're thinking of reaching out, do it. no regrets. just don't OVERdo it. baby steps you know?

a card is a good place to start :)

#8 Bear1107

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:11 PM

Its definatly not fake! ..it just prob feels unatural. Im 23 and up to about a year ago i hadent seen my mother for 10 years. i lived with my brothers and my dad all my life... not hearing much from her at all. when i did see her it was probably the most awkward thing ever!(she definetly shares the "woe is me complex")..im still currently having hte battle of weather to reach out or not. i have alot of resentment but is it worth the regret...she didnt do the right thing so shouldnt I?

i honestly just have to look at it this way i wouldnt be the person i am today otherwise, i was lucky enough to have a supportive father that didnt drop me. Do right by yourself and for the people who lift you up!
i understand it make you crazy cause you want something that your father prob just cant give you...no one can answer this but you!

thank you for sharing your story! i send nothing but positive vibes your way!

#9 sums

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:23 AM

i'm just seeing this :heart:

i didn't talk to my mom for about 8 years. after my dad died last year, i wrote her a letter. i started out just really simple, how dad felt about her, what my kids were doing, etc.

after a couple of letters i told her we needed to talk about the past, about what she did that made me stop talking to her. she said it was in the past and "let's keep it there" :rolleyes:

so we just write back and forth. it's ok. it's better than nothing, i guess.

it's a totally different kind of dysfunction than you and your dad, kris. my dad was actually more like your dad and he hurt me a lot with a lot of the things he said but we also had an unconditional love thing going so we could hang. i couldn't hang with him more than a couple of days though... as much as i loved him.

i really enjoyed when my dad and i got e-mail because he had to listen, couldn't cut me off, etc. and writing is "safe". no one right there to hurt you.

:heart:

#10 TEO

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 07:23 AM

:heart:

Who gets burned by holding onto hot coals?

:heart:

#11 Chellasaurus

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:03 PM

The last time I saw my dad was 6 years ago, a year before my parents split. We still lived in the same house, but I became VERY good at avoiding him.

But I called him last week. Hardest thing I've ever done. I swallowed the horrible abusive memories of my childhood, and for the first time, called him out on it.

What I thought would be a screaming match, actually turned out to be quite cathartic. He didn't yell. For the first time he listened, and he actually heard what I had to say.

We, as children, remember more than our parents do, and rarely do the ever realize the impact of their actions.

And while it will still take me a loooooong time to
Not resent my father for the hell he put me through, and the animosity will take years to fade, picking up that phone and telling him exactly how his actions turned me into the person I am today, it was worth it.

Baby steps, love. <3

#12 sarah b.

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 04:08 AM

Welcome. Thanks for sharing. :)

#13 china cat

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:03 AM

Thank you for your sharing your thoughts everyone

I did reach out to my dad. I sent him a card about two weeks ago. I gave him my e-mail addy in case he wanted to stay in touch. He did e-mail me with some life updates and said he was happy that I reached out. I followed up with an e-mail including some pictures of things happening in my life.

While I can't really handle him face to face, I think e-mail exchanges are a way to stay in touch. Don't think it will ever be an authentic relationship, but I'm guessing my dad doesn't even know what that looks like, so I'll embrace what he has to offer all the while guarding my own well-being.

#14 TEO

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:24 AM

Healthy boundaries :heart:

#15 sums

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:46 AM

i like the healthy boundary of over 700 miles between me and my mother :)