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Old February 17th, 2015, 12:55 PM
slr0031 slr0031 is offline
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Fairweather Dad

Here I am again. I wrote a thread about my mom. I haven't talked to her since, it has been a couple weeks. Part of me wants to call and say I am sorry and part of me doesn't. I am scared because I don't know if her and I can really get through this and I don't know what is going to happen.

I also wanted to talk about my dad. We have had ongoing turmoil for years and didn't see each other for a couple years even though we infrequently phoned which is a whole other story I don't have the energy to type out. Mainly me calling with him not answering and taking weeks or months to call back. Finally he asked if he could visit with his wife. I had told him I no longer wanted a relationship with her so I said they couldn't visit but he was welcome to. I know this makes me sound really bad but there is a whole history that has led me to making that choice and I believe it is the best one for me. So he visited and we had a decent time, didn't really talk about any issues. It seemed better after that we were calling each other. Then in Nov he stopped calling. Didn't think anything of it. he gets depressed and doesn't want to talk to anybody. By Christmas I still hadn't heard from him. I called and left a message and he never called me back. I didn't understand, there was no argument. My husband thinks it is because I posted Facebook pics of us at my mom's at thanksgiving but I don't know. My grandfather passed away about a month ago. My dad didn't call me, my half sister who I don't talk to called. And before I actually talked to anybody I saw the news on Facebook from my dad. I went to the service even though it was extremely uncomfortable as his family has stopped talking to me for over a year. They were nice. Now I am getting emails and texts from my dad asking when he can call me. I will tell him he can call anytime he wants. I don't want to be awful to him because his father just died but I am not having good feelings toward him anymore. He has a repeat pattern of dropping out of my life as he sees fit. I know his dad was sick but I also know he stopped talking to me before they knew my grandpa was going to pass away and I am sick of my dad being able to do this. I just wondered what you guys think of this.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 05:35 PM
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Re: Fairweather Dad

Are you getting counseling for yourself?


Have you ever heard about Tom Bradshaw? Basically families that are out of wack assign "roles" to each person and when someone tries to break out of their role everyone tries to rope them back in (because that's what they are comfortable/familiar with)

(((hugs)))


I don't see either of my sibs - my DM understands, but on occasions still tries to rope me back in (eyes rolling)
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Old February 17th, 2015, 05:53 PM
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Re: Fairweather Dad

Quote:
Originally Posted by slr0031 View Post
I just wondered what you guys think of this.
I think all of the turmoil in your life must be exhausting.

Maybe I'm misreading what you have written, but you seem so tired, like you are just tired of fighting the battle.

If I were in your shoes, I would be able to tell my dad "Call me whenever" and have no expectations that he actually WILL call. When he *does* call and we have a temporarily good relationship, I'd still have no expectations that it would stay that way. It sounds to me like you were sort of there when he hadn't called in November and you "didn't think anything about it."

If you feel that you can accept "what is" - a sometimes relationship with your dad - then by all means. Talk to him.

If you can't accept that, there's no point in tormenting yourself further.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 07:57 AM
slr0031 slr0031 is offline
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Re: Fairweather Dad

Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu View Post
Are you getting counseling for yourself?


Have you ever heard about Tom Bradshaw? Basically families that are out of wack assign "roles" to each person and when someone tries to break out of their role everyone tries to rope them back in (because that's what they are comfortable/familiar with)

(((hugs)))


I don't see either of my sibs - my DM understands, but on occasions still tries to rope me back in (eyes rolling)

Snafu, I have heard of being in family roles and I hate my role in this family. I try to change it but don't think I can. I was in counseling for over a year with a great supportive therapist and then we moved. I did a little here and stopped because she actually told me she didn't think I needed to come on a regular basis. Then all these things happened the last few months and I am feeling stressed. I may call her again it is just hard to take the time out I guess.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 08:12 AM
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Re: Fairweather Dad

Yes KayKay I am tired. I am exhausted. When I was in counseling we talked a lot about expectations. It took me a year to really change the way I was thinking. I now no longer expect it to be a certain way. And I don't think I really care if I talk to him anymore. I guess now I don't know how to handle it when I do talk to him. I don't know how to talk to him like everything is all right. I don't want be mean or cruel to him, or to my mom. My dad's father just died and I don't want to be mean and hurtful but can't pretend it is all ok ether. I don't know if I should tell my dad how I feel because it will just hurt him. He is clueless and still expects that we will fly down and stay a week with him and his wife. I don;t really know if that can ever happen at this point. And it is just sad because my kids love him and they would love to visit him. I am afraid they will be angry with me someday for not trying harder with him. I also after going to my grandpa's service am afraid of how I will feel if/when something happens to one of my parents with the way things are.

You are correct about having low/no expectations. I don't know how to handle it and not be angry. I guess I don't like my choices. Can I talk to him/them and not be/feel angry and hurt and sad? Can I just forget communicating with them and not feel sad/guilty/unhappy? I truly don't know which is worse and I am trying to figure that out and it is exhausting.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 05:07 PM
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Smile Re: Fairweather Dad

I have read both your threads and I think you have to concentrate on what you want, not how you will affect these people or whether they will talk to you at all.

Something I realized with the difficult parents I had for years was that these people are a certain way, they dont want to change and I cant control that, but I can control who is in my life and I should only have those people there who actually deserve to be.

I made a decision to leave my parents behind over 10 years ago, yes it hurt, and yes I still shed tears when I watch progs about families etc, but I know my decision was right for me to stand my ground, because they were toxic and my life was better without them.

Do whats right for you, but dont be part of their tug of war on your heart, you can choose to keep your distance which is sanity saving.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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Re: Fairweather Dad

Good advice from everybody. Thanks it really helps.
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Old March 20th, 2015, 12:28 PM
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Re: Fairweather Dad

I don't know if anybody will see this but I am feeling very upset about my dad today as he finally answered my email about why he hasn't called me in months. it has been exactly a month since I sent that email and it was not mean. My grandfather passed away end of Jan and my dad wrote a book about how hard it has been for him, which I understand. He told me I was seething in anger at the service and it wasn't fair for him to have to worry about how i felt at that time. He said that when he calls me I don't talk to him, am tense and angry. I am not willing to move forward with his wife and their daughter.

This is how I see it. I showed up to a service with a family that has ostersized me and while ridden with anxiety and I was not forthcoming to his wife and daughter who I have not seen or talked to in years I was respectful. I hugged my dad, told him I loved him and was sorry about my grandfather and held his hand.

My father and I had not seen each other for 2 years because of an argument I had with his daughter, my half-sister. I still called him every so often, including his b-day, father's day, holidays etc. I asked him to visit us finally last summer and told him we want to visit but we are going to stay at a hotel. He said it was ok. We talked on the phone from that visit in June until end of Oct and the conversations were fine. Then I don't hear from him again. I call on Thanksgiving he is weird to me and I don't hear from him again. I call on Christmas and he doesn't answer phone and the next time I see/talk to him it is at my Grandfather's funeral.

I sent him an email a month ago asking him why he has not called and this is how he responds. I am just at a loss of how to deal with him and was hoping somebody could help I guess. I am at the point where I am thinking it is just not healthy for me to talk to him. I am really angry because everything is my fault in his eyes and I don't know how to respond.
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Old March 20th, 2015, 01:31 PM
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Re: Fairweather Dad

I'm so sorry for you regarding your family. From reading all your threads, it seems like you really desperately NEED a warm,close relationship with them.

There's no gentle way to say this, but I'm so sorry hun, they just aren't up to the job. They really just don't seem to have it in them.

For you own health, you need to be able to accept their actual limitations no matter how much you WANT them to be different, better people. - I wonder if this is why your counselor was getting you to try and work on expectations? Grieve for what you don't and won't have, and accept what is and can be. Otherwise, you are just chasing rainbows.
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Old March 20th, 2015, 02:30 PM
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Re: Fairweather Dad

Mrs. X thank you. It is a comfort to hear it because I always think it is me and there is something wrong with me. I am trying to let him/they go and grieve. I just don't want to live a life of pain and regret. I want to know I have done everything I can. And yes we talked a lot when I was in counseling about expectations and what I can expect from my dad, others and myself. It was very eye opening. It made me see the situation differently and it helped me a lot.
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