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Author Topic: My Father
Beckylein
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Ahh, I don't even know where to start with this, it's so convoluted. It will be long, so please bear with me.

My dad was extremely abusive growing up. While he never hit any of us, he left mental and emotional scars that will never go away. I always used to wish he WOULD hit us because then there would at least be something visible to other people. Something that my peers could understand. Something that even adults could understand.

Examples of things that he would do include coming home when I was 9 and telling my mom in front of us that he had HIV (essentially telling her that he had been screwing around on her). It wasn't true, he just said it to play with her head. When I was 6, my younger brother and I were molested by the next-door neighbor kid. My dad bore witness to it and refused to take the kid to court when my mom found out. His first set of kids (my half-siblings) were sexually abused by his police partner at the time (my dad is a retired police officer), and he knew that was going on, too. I have never thought it was coincidental.

He would storm into my room at night and yell at my mom for hours about the stupidest things. 5 of us were living in a 900 sqft space, so my mom and I shared a bedroom.

When I was 13, I found emails with very explicit content between he and another woman on our family email. An email that he knew both my brother and I used. My parents got divorced that year and it took 3 YEARS to finalize because my dad was such a jerk about it.

Anyways, long story short, he kicked me out of his house after I called 911 on a cell that DSHS Washington had given me when he was screaming and raised his fist to me. The police got there, said because he hadn't actually hit me, there was nothing they could do (and he pulled the "I'm a retired police officer" card - boy, do they look out for their own...). After that, he kicked me out and called me an "incorrigible b*tch". Apparently I am just like my mother in that regard. The argument started because he accused me of wanting to have sex with my brothers because I wanted to sleep on the floor in his bedroom because I was scared of my dad. The dude is really sick. Really, really sick. Thinking of that night still makes me cry.

The next week we had our regularly scheduled counselling appointments, where my dad told me that if I could behave, he would allow me to come back. I haven't spoken to him since. It's been 7 years and I don't regret a single year of that silence. My life has been a lot more peaceful and relaxed without him around, but his abuses still haunt me.

My godmother, his sister and my aunt, keeps trying to convince me to talk to him. My grandmother (my mother's mother, for pete's sake!) is convinced he should be invited to my wedding to walk me down the aisle. From the sounds of it, my father and my mother have been on speaking terms recently. I'm glad for my brothers because he's being nicer to both of them, and it makes for a more harmonious court-ordered stay all the way around, really. Peace is good, right?

But ultimately, and here is what all of this is leading up to, it is easier emotionally for me to NOT have them be talking. My mom saw my dad last weekend, and he said to her (and I quote), "I wish Becky would talk to me again some day."

LIKE ALL OF THIS IS MY FAULT?!?! Like I just decided to stop talking to him one day for no reason?? He has never and likely will never acknowledge anything he's done wrong. I'm pissed off that my mom would even tell me he said that. Her tone of voice to my response indicated to me that she thinks I should make peace with him.

I've made peace with myself that what happened to me when I was younger wasn't my fault, no matter how many times I'd been told otherwise. I don't keep abusive people around me anymore. In my adult life, I have cut people off who couldn't change their behaviour towards me. I give them fair warning to treat me differently, and if they don't, then I don't stay friends with those people.

I respect myself and others, but I also know that I deserve respect from others in return. I'm tired of being hurt by people, mostly. Ultimately, I know I need to see someone about all of this, and I'm planning on making an appointment with a counsellor at the uni (we can see them for free through the psych department).

I don't even know what I'm looking for here, though. Maybe help unpacking all of this? I think what unnerves me the most about my conversation with my mom is that it makes me doubt my choice to ever speak with him again or see him again. It is so much easier for me not to do either of those things, and I think that's why I prefer not to. I know that the easy thing to do is rarely the right thing to do, though. Maybe I'm looking for advice/opinions about whether or not I should try to make contact with this man. I don't think he deserves the time of day, but maybe I'm wrong.

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"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt; sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." ~Mark Twain

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atm1
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Hi Beckylein,

I'm really sorry that other family members aren't respecting your choice not to interact with your father. I think that there's absolutely nothing wrong with you not wanting contact with a man who has been so abusive during your life, and it sounds like you've come a really long way in your own healing process.

Do you feel like you can simply tell your family members that you don't want to hear anything about him? If so, I'd try to be assertive about that. Have you flat out told them that you "don't keep abusive people around" you?

I feel like this sentence "My life has been a lot more peaceful and relaxed without him around, but his abuses still haunt me." is really powerful. Is it something that you can say to your family members?

Your family members should respect the fact that you don't want contact with someone who abused you, and potentially allowed other abuse to happen (maybe he just viewed sexual abuse as something that happens to children? I don't know). You absolutely don't have to talk to him if you don't want to, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. What is wrong is your family pressuring you to talk to him.

I'm glad you can get a counseling appointment soon, and I hope that that helps.

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NonStraightAnswers
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Do your family members acknowledge that there was emotional/mental abuse? If so, can you explicitly tell the family members who are pressuring you that you consider it his responsibility, as the person who hurt others, to make peace? If he doesn't acknowledge the harm that was done and make at least some attempt to try to rectify it, then all you would be doing by "making peace" is giving the message to him and yourself that you don't consider yourself someone who's worth being treated with respect.
(Please take this with a grain of salt since I tend to be very judgmental when parents seem to be making no effort to act responsibly towards their children.)

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Beckylein
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Thank you atm1 and NonStraightAnswers for your replies!

I feel like I have made myself clear on numerous occasions with my family members. Part of me thinks that they either just don't get it, or they see me as needing to be the bigger person in this because my dad is incapable of doing it himself.

The last time my aunt said I should speak with him again ("life is so short!" blahblahblah), I said that any time he is willing to apologize and reflect on the pain he caused my family, I will be willing to hear it. I think I would be. I also told her that I do not keep contact with abusive people, blood-related or not.

I think that many people don't view emotional and mental abuse as abuse. They can't see it and therefore don't understand it, which is why I think the aunt doesn't get it. She also didn't live close by growing up (we were in WA and she's in MN), and so she never saw any of the stuff my dad did to us. She's the type that likes to fix everybody's problems for them, but she doesn't understand that she can't do that.

My mom...I think she just wants to pretend those 18 years never happened. Life is easier for her when he's not sending court document after court document. In all honesty, I don't know if she's ever dealt with the abuse. She works full-time and has three school-aged kids, so she probably just had to keep on going and had no time to think. Now that she does have some downtime, I think she prefers to not think about it or dwell on it. She, like most people, prefers peace to war, and I think that's the angle she takes on my not talking to him.

Even thinking about talking to him, or even seeing him churns my stomach. I get so physically ill even thinking about it.

NSA: I am 100% with you on this:

quote:
If so, can you explicitly tell the family members who are pressuring you that you consider it his responsibility, as the person who hurt others, to make peace? If he doesn't acknowledge the harm that was done and make at least some attempt to try to rectify it, then all you would be doing by "making peace" is giving the message to him and yourself that you don't consider yourself someone who's worth being treated with respect.
I think talking to him would give him the idea that what he did was okay, that it didn't have long-term consequences and that I am okay with being treated the way he has treated me in the past. And that is totally not okay with me.

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"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt; sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." ~Mark Twain

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-Lauren-
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Becky, I don't know how helpful I can be, but I just want to tell you I really feel you here, and so much of this could have been written by me! My.. sire.. got physical too, did all the emotional/psychological crap, didn't report my sexual abuse (even encouraged the goings-on, it was a creepy friend of his), nearly all of it except occupation. I always wished he'd hit me point blank too and even tried to provoke it, just so I'd have someone believe me when they saw it on my face.

I don't mean to make this about me, promise! I just want you to know that I think I understand, and the advice I might dish out should be taken with a grain of salt since I'm pretty newly processing a similar situation.

"My godmother, his sister and my aunt, keeps trying to convince me to talk to him. My grandmother (my mother's mother, for pete's sake!) is convinced he should be invited to my wedding to walk me down the aisle."

Umm.. lemme give this a resounding HELL NO, IMO. Him walking you down the aisle implies not only ownership, but nowadays that he's a sweet, loving daddy who "loved you first" and it will break his dear heart to "give you" to another man. He deserves no place of honor or praise in an important celebration, especially one as "big" as marriage is. What a facade that would be! It was hard enough being at my sister's wedding when she was forced to do the aisle, the father-daughter dance... ugh, I tried so hard not to just scream "Lie, lie, it's all a lie!!".

I know how you feel per being pressured to talk to him, and I agree that it sucks to have your loved ones be the middlemen and lay on the pressure/guilt. I've been getting a lovely story about how my sire's quit drinking, got on heart medication, and is working out because he "hopes to live to see me again". Because his health took a sudden, dramatic nosedive when I left. Ugh. But, I also need to keep in mind that they sort of need to tell me to catch a break themselves.. he's working his manipulation on them, so they're hoping if there's a breakthrough and I talk to him, he'll leave them alone. Maybe it's the same
with your other relatives, esp. your mom?

"I've made peace with myself that what happened to me when I was younger wasn't my fault, no matter how many times I'd been told otherwise. I don't keep abusive people around me anymore. In my adult life, I have cut people off who couldn't change their behaviour towards me. I give them fair warning to treat me differently, and if they don't, then I don't stay friends with those people."

I think you've got it figured out, my dear. There's a lot of pressure in society to stick with "blood" no matter what, to honor one's parents, take care of them in old age, etc. But this should never trump your personal values and beliefs, not to mention your feelings of happiness and safety.

From me, I think a parent deserves the "rewards" (keeping in touch, mom/dad stuff, caring for when old) when they've actually done their job as well as they could. Your father entered into parenthood knowing full-well he'd be responsible for your care up until you were grown. He was supposed to be your teacher, nurturer, protector. Instead he became one of your biggest fears. He failed at the job miserably, didn't even bother to go above-and-beyond, so why do you owe him anything when he didn't even fulfill his basic obligations to YOU?

The decision of whether or not to talk to him is up to you, and I think seeing a counselor would be a really good idea to get to the root of how you feel about it. Above all, you need to make sure that the decision to talk (let alone reconcile) is yours, and not something you're pressured to do by family or society. They're not the ones who stand to open old wounds or compromise the happiness and safety they've worked over many years to gain back.

I'll be thinking of you. *hug*

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orca
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About counselors, I will say to "shop around" a bit and have some opening questions to get a feel for them, especially in this instance. I also have a lot of anger against my father (he was physically violent growing up, and still always has to have things his way, and forever puts his job ahead of his family). With my last counselor, I told her all that and that I have some repressed memories and weird nightmares and am unsure of some things from childhood, but because of my father's advanced age, she thought I should try to put all that aside and spend time with him. Not helpful. You just can't put that kind of stuff aside and pretend everything's cool because, like you said, they'll just think what they did was okay. And it's not okay. So, just a warning that some counselors can be really biased and think that blood family is more important than physical and emotional well-being.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Stephanie_1
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Beckylein: Iím really sorry that your family doesnít seem to be understanding or respecting your decision here. In cases like this though, whether they want to believe it or are able to understand it Ė there really is no ďbigger person.Ē Itís about you being able to do what you need to for your own mental and emotional safety. And too, if she sees your dad as incapable of acting in a way that he should, what makes her think that you reaching out to him would make a difference in his actions? He is responsible for his own actions Ė and itís completely your decision what your relationship is with him if one at all.

Youíre right that a lot of people donít understand the effects of mental and emotional abuse Ė but that certainly doesnít make it any less real for the person/people that are working through it. I think though that itís a good point to try making to her, that now youíre taking care of yourself (and that itís really important that you take the time to do so). And you can mention to her that you hope she understands your need to find that care, and if she doesnít understand that hopefully she can come to at least respect that you need this right now. (And for that matter, life is short. But that also means that itís short in the sense of you making things right for you Ė so worth spending time in that care for yourself).

I hope that you have a good experience with counseling, and itís something that I really think can be very beneficial to you. And know, whatever you decide to do about whether or not you talk to him again, it should be your decision and on your terms. Never because someone else thinks that it should be that way. And right now it sounds like youíre leaning towards not having a relationship with him at all, and you should realize that thatís totally okay. Itís about you and your needs now.

[ 07-19-2009, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: Stephanie_1 ]

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Beckylein
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Stephanie, thank you. I appreciate your reply, and I agree that, especially because life is short, that I need to take care of me and focus on my needs rather than what my family thinks it needs from me. I don't think my aunt cares about my dad's actions. She just wants the "we're a big happy family!" picture. She'd rather everyone pretend that everything is okay in order to be a family (she's also one of those types that thinks blood comes first).

orca, thanks, I will definitely keep that in mind. What sorts of questions do you suggest asking in order to make sure that this person is on the same page as me? I'm pretty upfront most of the time about what I need, so I think that I would feel comfortable just flat-out saying, these are my circumstances, if you feel this way about blood-related family, I have no hard feelings, but I need to request a different counsellor. Do you think something like that would work, or is it too forward?

Oh, Lauren. Don't worry about making it about you! Although I wish that nobody could empathize, I can't thank you enough for sharing your story with me. I would also provoke situations in hopes that he would finally just hit me. It had to feel better than the daggers that were words, right? (and here, I have to clarify that I am not saying that physical abuse is "better" or in any way "less" than mental/emotional abuse - it's just how I felt at the time about mental/emotional abuse)

quote:
Umm.. lemme give this a resounding HELL NO, IMO. Him walking you down the aisle implies not only ownership, but nowadays that he's a sweet, loving daddy who "loved you first" and it will break his dear heart to "give you" to another man. He deserves no place of honor or praise in an important celebration, especially one as "big" as marriage is. What a facade that would be! It was hard enough being at my sister's wedding when she was forced to do the aisle, the father-daughter dance... ugh, I tried so hard not to just scream "Lie, lie, it's all a lie!!".
This, this, this! That is always how I have felt at family gatherings. Also, as a side note, I hate that song (the "loved you first" song, that is). I have always said that he will not come to my wedding, and everyone has been fine with that. Now that it's 5 weeks away, people seem to be freaking out. Weddings bring out terrible things in people, I have found (and funerals...).

quote:
But, I also need to keep in mind that they sort of need to tell me to catch a break themselves.. he's working his manipulation on them, so they're hoping if there's a breakthrough and I talk to him, he'll leave them alone. Maybe it's the same with your other relatives, esp. your mom?
I think this is exactly what has happened. He is extremely manipulative and abusers are always so convincing when they need to be.

I also completely agree with you about this:

quote:
From me, I think a parent deserves the "rewards" (keeping in touch, mom/dad stuff, caring for when old) when they've actually done their job as well as they could. Your father entered into parenthood knowing full-well he'd be responsible for your care up until you were grown. He was supposed to be your teacher, nurturer, protector. Instead he became one of your biggest fears. He failed at the job miserably, didn't even bother to go above-and-beyond, so why do you owe him anything when he didn't even fulfill his basic obligations to YOU?
I feel exactly the same way. He didn't do his job for me, and I in no way feel obligated to take care of him or fill his emotional "needs" now. I don't feel like I owe him anything, and I don't expect anything from him. Again, I can't thank you enough for sharing with me. I hope you can find peace in your situation, too. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this, too. Huge *hugs* [Smile]

All the familial pressure gets to me and makes me feel crazy for ever separating myself from him, you know? I really needed this feedback to not feel crazy or cruel for cutting him off. It's ridiculous.

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"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt; sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." ~Mark Twain

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orca
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quote:
What sorts of questions do you suggest asking in order to make sure that this person is on the same page as me? I'm pretty upfront most of the time about what I need, so I think that I would feel comfortable just flat-out saying, these are my circumstances, if you feel this way about blood-related family, I have no hard feelings, but I need to request a different counsellor. Do you think something like that would work, or is it too forward?
I don't think that's too forward. This is about what you need, you know? As for some additional questions, you could ask them what is their concept of a family and see how it matches up to your own ideas. (If you want my own opinion on that, family isn't about blood or genes or whatever, but about who loves you, cares for you, and looks after you without expecting anything in return or keeping tabs on what things they do for you or give you. There's an equal and fair give-and-take, and each person feels safe and respected in discussions and important decisions.) You might also ask how they prioritize needs, like whether family must always come first or if personal safety and well-being should come first, that sort of thing. Making a list of what you are looking for in a counselor and looking to gain from therapy can also be helpful (including things you do want to discuss and things you don't or are not yet ready to discuss) and you can bring that to your first session.

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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-Lauren-
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"It had to feel better than the daggers that were words, right? (and here, I have to clarify that I am not saying that physical abuse is "better" or in any way "less" than mental/emotional abuse - it's just how I felt at the time about mental/emotional abuse)"

This isn't at all an uncommon way to feel, and I don't think anyone would construe that any type of abuse is better or worse.. it's all situational. It's just the really crappy truth that people treat what they can see as the most believable, and tend to shrug anything else aside, or assume it's somehow not as bad. An example is that lots of people with mental disabilities find themselves wishing that they had "visible" disabilities, so they didn't get as many "Well, you look fine to me"'s. One isn't necessarily better or worse than the other, it's just that one can seem more validating to the sufferer, which is a very potent need.

"Also, as a side note, I hate that song (the "loved you first" song, that is)."

Haha, since you mentioned it by name, that was the freaking song! So gross, mushy, and over-the-top even for a "good" dad, IMO. The only way I was able to stay sane was recede to a corner, close my eyes, and imagine a ballpark vendor going through the place bellowing "BARFBAGS! Git yer BARFBAGS here!"

I'm sorry that everyone's freaking out about the upcoming wedding. It's very true that those sorts of events bring out horrible things in people for some reason.. it's supposed to be a happy day, but people stress like it's the end of the world! I think it's really important that you stand your ground and just try to change the subject when it comes up. If they were fine with it then, they can be fine with it now and on the date. I guess since it's coming up, it's more tangible for your folks, so they're more worried about tradition/appearances?

It's tough when you've cut off contact with someone yet keep close to someone who hasn't. It always seems to erupt to some form of telephone! It's hard for me when dealing with my sister, even though she tries to keep it to a minimum. I'm working on telling her that it's burdensome for her to tell me things he says/does about me, I'm happy to support her in anything else she needs to talk about, but that it simply guilts me too much. I'm trying to tell myself that it's her responsibility to draw the line with him when it comes to him guilting her into telling me this or that. But it's hard, especially since she's next to the only family I have that's passed the whole "treats me like a person" criteria. I'm thinking maybe it might be time to work on something similar regarding your relatives? Counselling has helped a little with this for me.

"I feel exactly the same way. He didn't do his job for me, and I in no way feel obligated to take care of him or fill his emotional "needs" now. I don't feel like I owe him anything, and I don't expect anything from him."

I'm super happy that you're at that point, because that pretty much makes you bulletproof! I struggled for so long with feelings of being horrible for doing this to my parent(s), even months before I left! It took awhile for me to realize that the guilt was "programmed".. to keep me in the cycle of abuse by feeling like an abandoner.

"All the familial pressure gets to me and makes me feel crazy for ever separating myself from him, you know? I really needed this feedback to not feel crazy or cruel for cutting him off. It's ridiculous."

Dear freaking lord, tell me about it. I've searched the internet a million times over for advice, and there's little there, and mostly boils down to either "It's your choice" or "you're burning in Hell for being so inconsiderate". Only by finding and networking with other women abused by their fathers online have I come to the revelation that it can be not only okay, but the very best way to move forward. (I coined the term "sire" from one such woman.. I found that stopping referring to him as dad or father was really empowering! He simply did not fit my definition.)

But you know, I'm around, and would be glad to give you as much input and bouncing-off as you want. I can't tell you what's right for you, but at least we can keep those outside pressures in check, eh? [Smile]

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Beckylein
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Orca, thank you kindly for the suggestions. I will definitely make a list and bring it with me to my first appointment. Scheduling one is top priority on my list of things to do tomorrow!


Lauren:
quote:
Haha, since you mentioned it by name, that was the freaking song! So gross, mushy, and over-the-top even for a "good" dad, IMO. The only way I was able to stay sane was recede to a corner, close my eyes, and imagine a ballpark vendor going through the place bellowing "BARFBAGS! Git yer BARFBAGS here!"
NO. WAY. Oh man, I just can't stand that song. It is so gross and bordering on creepy, even for the best dad. I am laughing so hard at your method of coping, though. That sounds exactly like something I would do. Laugh so I don't fall apart crying.

quote:
I'm sorry that everyone's freaking out about the upcoming wedding. It's very true that those sorts of events bring out horrible things in people for some reason.. it's supposed to be a happy day, but people stress like it's the end of the world! I think it's really important that you stand your ground and just try to change the subject when it comes up. If they were fine with it then, they can be fine with it now and on the date. I guess since it's coming up, it's more tangible for your folks, so they're more worried about tradition/appearances?
I honestly do not understand why it is that these life events bring out the worst in people, but Partner's parents have gone bizerk, my mom has done the same, and our extended families, although already pretty well mad, have gone nuts, too. I don't get it. Partner and I are two of the most relaxed people about the whole thing. We don't care. We just want to get married and have a fun day (and neither of us believes in the institute of marriage anyways, but the paperwork is necessary for us - we just intend to continue on as we are now). It's just so silly to get so worked up over something like this.

I think they are worried about appearances. Not my mom so much, but my grandma likes to appear put together in front of other people. I think it's generational because Partner's grandma is the same exact way.

I would swear we are the same person in separate bodies. My brother still has contact with my sire (LOVE that term...I have always looked for a different one, but have never come across one that I've been happy with). Well, both of my brothers do, actually. It's difficult to find a happy-medium with him in discussing our sire. Brother sees the things that our sire does and is disgusted by them, but he is less willing to burn bridges than I am, so Brother hasn't completely cut him out.

quote:
Dear freaking lord, tell me about it. I've searched the internet a million times over for advice, and there's little there, and mostly boils down to either "It's your choice" or "you're burning in Hell for being so inconsiderate". Only by finding and networking with other women abused by their fathers online have I come to the revelation that it can be not only okay, but the very best way to move forward. (I coined the term "sire" from one such woman.. I found that stopping referring to him as dad or father was really empowering! He simply did not fit my definition.)
I find that the people who suggest that we're going to burn in Hell for being so inconsiderate are the ones who have stellar relationships with their fathers. They simply cannot understand or comprehend what it is like to live with and be related to an abuser. I remember a boy once telling me that it was not possible to hate your biological father. I literally laughed in his face.

It's almost as hard to hear "it's your choice," though, just because it would be so relieving to find a cookie-cutter answer. Logically, of course, I know that a cookie-cutter answer isn't possible. Wouldn't it be nice if there were one, though?

I so appreciate the sounding board, Lauren, and if I can ever be one for you, please let me know. Our situations are frighteningly similar, and to find someone who understands so well is just remarkable to me. Can I ask if there is a specific place that you have been able to network with other women whose fathers have been abusive? I am going to do a bit of searching before bed tonight to check things out. Surely there's a forum for this kind of stuff.

(Also, I am completely jealous that you are in Finland! It's on the top of the places-I-want-to-visit/live-someday list.)

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"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt; sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." ~Mark Twain

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-Lauren-
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Hey Becky, sorry it took me so long to reply!

"Well, both of my brothers do, actually. It's difficult to find a happy-medium with him in discussing our sire. Brother sees the things that our sire does and is disgusted by them, but he is less willing to burn bridges than I am, so Brother hasn't completely cut him out."

I bolded the "does" because I think that's really important, and something to look at. Your sire isn't reformed, changed, or maybe even truly sorry. He's continuing the same behavior, as confirmed by others close to you. This looks to me like you have nothing to gain by extending the olive branch except more of the same, and it likely will be that way indefinitely. It's hard enough to forgive/tolerate an abuser when they've supposedly seen the light and are oh-so-sorry, but what about when they don't even try, you know?

"I find that the people who suggest that we're going to burn in Hell for being so inconsiderate are the ones who have stellar relationships with their fathers. They simply cannot understand or comprehend what it is like to live with and be related to an abuser."

Yeah, pretty much. Or, also likely, that subscribe to the belief that one can always have a tolerable, if not pleasant, relationship with a family member. I've found it amazing how many people are shocked at the concept that an immediate blood-relative can just be flat-out someone you Do. Not. Like. You wouldn't be friends with them, you wouldn't run errands or favors for them if it weren't "required", etc. No one tells you to work on the relationship with a person whose personality you can't stand and can't imagine as a friend, but if you're related, you've got to bite the bullet and try to get along. It's tough.

It would totally be awesome if there were a cookie-cutter answer, but there isn't for damn near every problem in life! That's why it's so important to get these things out and find your own best answer (note the "best" instead of "right"). :)

And no problem, this is therapeutic for me, too! I found other women, actually, by responding to a similar post to yours in a women's health community on Livejournal. I just got a ton of "me too!" replies, and we all got talking, sharing ways to cope, philosophies, etc. I don't want to link because I want my journal to remain SOMEWHAT private. :P

(And no way! Finns are always mystified by why anyone in North America would come here.. unless you're a metalhead. There's lots of Canadians, though! If you ever come by the beautiful city of Tampere, I owe ya a tour. :))

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Beckylein
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That's okay! lol, I completely understand having a life outside of the internet [Wink]

My mom brought it up again, and I was really frank with her about the whole thing. I told her much of what I've said here, and, strangely, she agreed that it was 100% his responsibility to be the one to contact me. If she thinks that, then why on earth is she saying this stuff to me? Weird. I asked her, but she didn't really have an answer.

Then, she proceeded to tell me that he has my baby picture hanging above his computer (which, frankly? just weirds me right the heck out). Totally random. That's about as far as I got with her, other than saying she needs to make sure that she does everything in her power to make sure my grandma recognizes that it's none of her business, and that if she feels like it is, she can call and talk to me (since my mother is clearly not up for defending my choices to her).

quote:
No one tells you to work on the relationship with a person whose personality you can't stand and can't imagine as a friend, but if you're related, you've got to bite the bullet and try to get along. It's tough.
This really hit me and has stuck with me. It's just so true. Frustrating, but true.

I totally get not wanting to link your LJ, lol.

(And yes way! I really want to move to Northern Europe someday (FI does, too, thankfully). Not a metalhead, just interested in the culture, politics, and so on. I'm Danish/Norwegian heritage-wise, and have always been drawn to that part of the world. Ended up in Central Europe for a year-long HS exchange program and loved it there, and I've spent time in Eastern Europe, but I've never been north. One of these days! And if I'm ever in Tampere, I will certainly take you up on your offer!)

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"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt; sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." ~Mark Twain

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