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Author Topic: A very tough father situation
entropie
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Hi all, I'm in a rather tough spot..

My father left my mother when I was 4, 14 years ago, and I've seen him off and on over that time. I haven't seen him in almost 2 years.
He was an abusive alcoholic, who beat my mother, as well as me and my older brother. A lot has happened in my life, and I've gone through everything without a father, since the man my mother hooked up with (and has been with since my father left) was also abusive, but only towards me and my brother.. Something to do with us not being his children, and him having no reason to pay for us and support us as a father.

My brother tried to kill himself a few months back, and after I talked to him, he admitted that most of this depression stemmed from being abandoned by our father so young. We both have clinical manic depression, and I've also attempted suicide for similar reasons..

My problem is that my father wants me to contact him. He called my grandmother (mothers mother) last night and asked where I am, and where my brother is. I've been keeping a low profile, not listing my phone number etc because I seriously didn't want to speak to him. And my therapist also realised that seeing him wouldn't be a good idea with the problems I was facing.

He could be wanting to contact me for a number of reasons, he might be terminally ill, or a grandfather, or perhaps my grandfather (his dad) has died and I get an inheritance.. who knows?

Basically, I don't know how to approach this situation, because I've done a lot of healing in the past few months.. and it's going to take a lot more before I can even think of forgiving him for what happened. Also with what happened to my brother, I don't know if he's ready either.

I need ideas and opinions, since right now I'm not too sure at all what I can do.. whether I call him, or go to see him, or just ignore the fact that he tried to contact me..? I'd hate it if he wanted to be forgiven, and he had cancer or something, and then died before we talked.. but I still don't want to destroy all the work I've put into myself to stop the hurting he caused..

HELP ME PLEASE!

Any ideas appreciated!

entropie

[This message has been edited by entropie (edited 09-25-2002).]


Posts: 1030 | From: Aotearoa | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pink
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He didn't tell your grandmother why he wanted to contact you? I think the safest way to find out what he wants is through another person, i.e, he speaks to your mother, grandmother, etc.

------------------
Yeah, well I'VE got blood dripping out of a hole between my legs, do YOU?!?
there is a difference between being stupid and being ditzy. i ought to know


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entropie
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The reason he didn't call my mother directly is because she won't talk to him (especially after what he put her through, and the whole restraining order thing)..

I think it would have been hard talking to my nana, as she hates him So the chances of her contacting him to ask are virtually nil. All my relatives on my mothers side hate him for what he did, and I doubt any of them would talk to him over the phone.

That's what makes it hard.. I have to contact him directly if I choose to.. to find out..

Thanks anyway

entropie

[This message has been edited by entropie (edited 09-25-2002).]


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Heather
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Oh, honey. I had no idea. I am so terribly sorry.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to have him send a letter to your grandmother for you? It would keep you from having to hear his voice, or from him knowing where you are, if that is a concern.

But I do know that your own healing is more important than anything else, it simply is. if you feel any contact from him is going to set you back, let it go, unless you are seriously worried about his being ill, and feel that you cannot heal without having some final words with him.

What do YOU want to do?


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entropie
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Miz S, I don't know what to do, I don't know what I want to do.. it's too confusing.

The problem with a letter is that someone will have to get hold of him to tell him to write to me so as you see, not an easy situation. Either I call him/see him or not, there doesn't seem to be middle ground..

hmm..

It seems impossible

entropie

[This message has been edited by entropie (edited 09-25-2002).]


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Heather
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Perhaps this might be a good situation for your therapist to moderate or intervene?

I say you need to trust your instincts. Having come from a background similar to yours with a whole lot of struggles to get through and deal with, what I can say clearly that I know is that we're usually stronger than we think we are. In addition, what I can also say is that if in your healing you have the opportunity to address the people or person who contributed to your trauma, it's really helpful. I also know you don't need more trauma to deal with right now.

Perhaps your therapist can contact him on your behalf, and see what this is about, or ask him to send a letter. If it feels right to you and it's important, perhaps if you feel you need to see him, she/he can be there and help.


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entropie
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I stopped seeing my therapist a few months back because she made me feel terrible, and I had to discuss things I wanted to put behind me But I'll have a think about it.. maybe someone else would be able to contact him thats not one of my family members..

entropie

[This message has been edited by entropie (edited 09-25-2002).]


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Heather
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My ICQ is on, and I'm around for likely another hour if you need to hash this out, sweets.
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entropie
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Actually just about to head home and sleep on it.. hopefully I'll come up with a solution..

Thanks Miz S

entropie

[This message has been edited by entropie (edited 09-25-2002).]


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Pixie69
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my insight on a middle ground: you must have his number in order to call him. Try searching for him in the internet white pages, or call 411 and usually you can give them a number and they'll give you and adress. Then you could send him a short note asking him what exactly he wants, and have him send it to your grandmother. Or perhaps have a friend call him to see?

I'm so sorry you have to go through this entropie ::huggles:: sleep on your options a night or two, or three, or twenty!

Brittany

------------------
"...a ready supply of playdough that anyone can create the stuff of their dreams from" - Mz S


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Hanne
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I tend to agree with what's been said here already, hon... *your* health and well-being is more important than your father suddenly deciding he wants to make contact. There are a lot of ways that you don't directly have to make direct contact with him: you can have a friend call, or track his address down via his phone number and then write him, as Brittany suggested, or, for another option where you'd definitely have a strength-in-numbers advantage, you can agree to meet him somewhere neutral (like a coffee shop) and have 4 or 5 friends there, hanging out in the coffee shop, ready to keep an eye on things and to be there to help support you when you are done meeting with your father.

Often, I find -- and I have some similar issues in my own family, though not identical -- that after a while, when you are dealing with an absentee family member, they're no longer really a 'father' or 'aunt' or whatever. Simply put, it doesn't sound like your father was much of a father. I think that "father" and "mother" are earned titles as much as they are things that happen by default when you manage to become the biological progenitor of a child. I don't know if it is possible for you to think of him as your "sperm donor," but for at least one of my friends who has a very similar set of issues with her father, thinking of the male parent that way has been really helpful. It's a little more realistic, in terms of what this person has actually been in your life on the whole, than putting the word "father" and all of its baggage into that relationship.

Feeling abandoned or neglected by a parent hurts a lot. Being your own parent -- giving yourself what you need, and taking good care of yourself -- is the best revenge and the best therapy. You're old enough now that you can do that for yourself, and the fact that you're even asking this question shows that you are taking good care of yourself, and thinking ahead to what the best ways are to do that, and that's great.

Keeping in mind that this is not a person who has any power over you at this point in your life is very important, and very hard: when you've been abused by a parent particularly, it's difficult to shed those feelings of being easily overwhelmed by that person. You are on your own two feet. If you choose to meet him, you're doing it as an adult and as an independent entity. You can walk away at any time. You can set the terms for your interaction -- in public, with a mediator, with your friends around for support, with him with a pickle in his nose, whatever you need to make you feel most comfortable. You can't set terms for what he will say, but you can set terms for not seeing him unless you are in an environment you choose and (for the most part) control: your turf. Making those decisions when you have a difficult meeting with someone can make a big difference.

Good luck, chica. I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with all of this, and proud of you that you're dealing with it so well and so thoughtfully.

------------------
Hanne Blank
Co-Editor, Scarleteen

Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!


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entropie
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Thanks guys for your input..
I know his phone number, and where he lives.. and honestly, I knew this day would come (when he wanted to get back in contact with me) but I didn't think it would be now, of all times!

I'm still trying to figure out what to do about this.. it's got to be one of the hardest situations to figure out I've ever had. And I don't think the answer is going to come to me anytime soon.

I'm going to try to get hold of my brother, and see what he thinks, and have a talk to a few more people.. and hopefully come up with a solution..

Thanks guys for your ideas and support

entropie

[This message has been edited by entropie (edited 09-25-2002).]


Posts: 1030 | From: Aotearoa | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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