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Support needed. I told my dad he wasn't welcome in my home... - Page 2

post #21 of 66
I have toxic parents that have been completely cut out of our lives for the sake of my child(ren). I think you made the right decision, and I hope your family doesnt try to bully you into going back on the boundaries you have set. Good job!
post #22 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

Good job! I know from personal experience that abusive parents leave you with a sort of Stokholm Syndrome. They almost always did something positive for you at some point, and it's hard to resist clinging to the hope that they can learn to be like that all the time. So I know it must have taken a lot of strength to do this.

 

Yes!  This is so true.  He can be a fabulous guy, but he can be the worst sort of person, too.

 

Again, everyone, you have no idea how much this is helping me.  I come here several times a day and re-read all your wonderful comments and insights.  It makes me wish we were all together so I could hug each and every one.

 

I want to get counseling very badly, but my dad was so anti-therapy it's hard to actually make the phone call.  My Hubby is probably going to have to do it, but he's okay with that.

 

I've called my sisters yesterday, they are the ones that support me.  They are very proud and stand behind me 1000000%.  I haven't talked to my brother or his wife about it because they're the ones that are less-than-supportive.  Their daughter is 7 months younger than BuggaBoo and they live 2 miles away from my parents in our old house, so they're always over at my parents'.  I feel so bad at how my dad treats their daughter.  He's not as gruff with girls as he is with boys, but he can be terrifying.  She loves her grandpa but is still afraid of him, it just breaks my heart. 

 

My brother says that he is waiting for the natural consequence of his daughter not wanting to spend time with my dad to teach Dad the lesson he needs.  I tell my brother that the natural consequence with me is Dad treated me to badly that I'm not going to let him do that to my kids.  When I did this the first time I was having such a hard time with it my SIL told me that she thought that meant I had made the wrong choice.  That if it had been the right choice it would have been easy.

 

Ooops, sorry, slipped into vent mode.  Still, thank you, I'm feeling much better.  I've been treating myself like I'm sick and giving myself a break from a lot of things.  I'm going to try to get out on a date with The Hubby this evening, just the two of us.
 

 

post #23 of 66

You are an incredible Mom!  Keep protecting your children and trusting your instincts.  Try not to second guess yourself.  You are doing the right thing.  As life progresses there will be coaches, teachers, maybe even more family who you may chose to exclude from your lives.  That's okay!  Yes, it can be sad.  And, it can be freeing and healthy. 

 

My children (now almost five years old) have never met my father--and he happens to live ten minutes away.  My father was emotionally absent and emotionally mean to me.  My parents divorced when I was a teen and it took me 15 years to figure out what to do with our relationship.  I finally "divorced" him in my mind and have chosen to surround myself with loving, kind, supportive people.  It took a while to get through the mourning process, but it's worth it to me to be free of the stress he created in my life. 

 

My children have asked who my father is and I have answered matter of factly.  They have asked if they can meet him and I have said, "No.  My job is to protect you from people who would treat you poorly.  I don't spend time with people who are mean."  They seemed satisfied with that answer. 

 

I agree with the poster who said "surround yourself with a family of friends." We call it "chosen family" and it works wonders!

 

Thinking of you!

post #24 of 66

You did the right thing, mama. You really did. Therapy will help in ways you probably can't even imagine right now. And I would strongly urge you to get a copy of this book: Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

 

I cut my parents out of my and my children's lives because they were abusive when I was a child and were unwilling to either take responsibility for their actions or change their behavior when my own little ones were born. They'd rather be "right" than have their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren in their lives. That's their choice and not one I can change. It's very sad, but I realized a long time ago that blood doesn't make a family. Love does. My parents don't love me and most likely never did, and I refuse to play nice and pretend otherwise just to save them the embarrassment of admitting to people that they're not allowed to see their only grandchildren. This has made me plenty of enemies within the extended family, but I'm okay with that. My children's safety comes before my need to fit in with a truly dysfunctional group of toxics.

 

By the way, don't be surprised if your parents still expect access to your children even after you cut them off. My father was shocked and threw a mini tantrum when DH and I refused gifts for our son two years after I'd given him the boot. His sense of entitlement is so huge that he actually thought we would let him see our children even though he couldn't bring himself to apologize for his past behaviors and wrongdoing. Unreal. We are not talking about mentally healthy people here. Healthy, sane people aren't abusers. Again, you're doing the right thing. Your children deserve better than your parents can give them. They deserve better than you got. You deserved better, too, but we can't change the past. All we can do is take steps to change our present circumstances for the better.

 

I'm sorry your parents are the way they are. I know what you did took so much courage and you'll probably second-guess yourself for a long time. That's okay. Stand your ground and keep those boundaries firm. You're doing the best thing you could possibly do for your children and yourself. Say it with me now: You are doing the right thing. hug.gif

post #25 of 66
Thread Starter 

Peainthepod, thank you for the book suggestion.  I requested it from my library.

 

I'm not feeling so anxious anymore.  The first few days I couldn't do anything, we ate out a lot, I had headaches, and was short with the kids (sorry kids!).  Now I'm feeling pretty good, and actually getting excited about being free.  Has anyone else felt this way?  I'm still certainly grieving, but there's more happiness than sadness. 

 

Any everyone I haven't thanked specifically, you've still helped out tremendously.  It was amazing to read so many stories like my own.

 

The thing that gets me is the fact that my dad refuses to change.  I know change is possible, I have changed, so why can't/doesn't he?  Blah.

post #26 of 66

SUPPORT, SUPPORT, SUPPORT!  You have 100% of my support.  It's natural that your family will be upset.  You've moved the "mobile" of the family and it's out of whack, but that does NOT make it wrong.  They have put up with his behavior (don't ask me why) and your putting your foot down will be-- to them-- a reflection (they will take it as criticism) of their choices. 

 

THANK YOU for being brave enough to do this.  I wish more people would.  I have no idea why abuse is tolerated in our society.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post

If you're still with me at this point, bless you.  Please, flood me with support on this,  I am so scared about what my dad is going to do and my family is going to do.  The last time I did this the support from my family was split and it made it so hard.  Obviously, because we let my dad back into our life.  I don't want my son to be bullied like that.  I've been working very hard to not become abusive and I just can't let my dad be that way.  But some of my family tells me I'm blowing it out of proportion and that's just my dad.  So, please, again, support me in this!



 

post #27 of 66

grouphug.gif You've made an incredibly difficult and brave choice. Your dad has repeatedly shown you throughout your life that he can't be trusted to keep children emotionally and physically safe. You have to look out for your health (mental) and your children's mental and physical well-being. You are breaking a cycle that's hard to break. Good for you.

post #28 of 66

All of the above! And, not only are you a great mom, you're also being a great partner to The Hubby. That you have taken it on yourself to set the necessary limits means you are also protecting him and his fatherly relationship with your kids. So just keep on shining your perfect light! 

post #29 of 66

OP - 

 

My mom made the same decision to break the cycle of abuse when my siblings and I were very young children. We did not miss our Grandpa (why would we miss such a cruel man?). I am 22, and my grandmother passed away this year. Losing the one individual who put up with all of his B/S for 60 some years changed my Grandpa in ways that other life circumstances just could not. He's 78... and he just learned how to speak kindly to children. He just became involved in my life for the first time ever. I have let him have some (supervised) time with my kids this summer and he was nothing less than doting with them.

 

You made the right decision. If your dad ever does TRULY change - believe me, you will know it! 

 

 

 

Btw... The family pressure (especially from her siblings, and sometimes her mom) was very hard on my Mom over the years. As if it was somehow HER fault that my Grandpa sexually, physically, and verbally abused her as a child, and verbally abused us every time he saw us? The support she got from my dad and from the abuse survivors group at our church were her go-to's during the hard times. Tell your DH how much you need his support in this area.... !

 

hug2.gif Couldn't be more grateful to my mama for protecting us, and your kids will feel the same way someday.

post #30 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anjsmama View Post

OP - 

 

Btw... The family pressure (especially from her siblings, and sometimes her mom) was very hard on my Mom over the years. As if it was somehow HER fault that my Grandpa sexually, physically, and verbally abused her as a child, and verbally abused us every time he saw us? The support she got from my dad and from the abuse survivors group at our church were her go-to's during the hard times. Tell your DH how much you need his support in this area.... !

 

hug2.gif Couldn't be more grateful to my mama for protecting us, and your kids will feel the same way someday.


Yes!  The Hubby's area of growth is confrontation, so at this time he isn't able to stand up to my dad.  In the past when I wanted him to stand with me on this issue he would rationalize why it was our fault or why it wasn't so bad because he just couldn't do the confrontation.  We talked about this the night I called my dad.  I told The Hubby that I could be the mouthpiece if he was my support.  He agreed wholeheartedly, telling me that he can stand firm in his support if he doesn't need to speak.  And if I have his support I can do anything! 

 

So another way this has blessed my life is my relationship with The Hubby has grown so much deeper.  We have taken his weakness and turned it into strength.

 

post #31 of 66

I am sorry that your father threatened to spank your son.  That is horrible.  I'm so sorry he hurt you when you were a little girl.  Listen: you are really doing the right thing in setting these boundaries.  It's good for your kids and good for you to stand in your courage on this.  I applaud you.  From my farmhouse, under a full or almost full moon, I am sitting just recognizing you and your struggle and sending you good and supportive vibrations, and I am thanking you, too, for keeping your children safe in ways that you weren't able to experience as a child.  Best wishes and kindness to you, mama. 

post #32 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post



 

Yes!  This is so true.  He can be a fabulous guy, but he can be the worst sort of person, too.

 

Again, everyone, you have no idea how much this is helping me.  I come here several times a day and re-read all your wonderful comments and insights.  It makes me wish we were all together so I could hug each and every one.

 

I want to get counseling very badly, but my dad was so anti-therapy it's hard to actually make the phone call.  My Hubby is probably going to have to do it, but he's okay with that.

 

I've called my sisters yesterday, they are the ones that support me.  They are very proud and stand behind me 1000000%.  I haven't talked to my brother or his wife about it because they're the ones that are less-than-supportive.  Their daughter is 7 months younger than BuggaBoo and they live 2 miles away from my parents in our old house, so they're always over at my parents'.  I feel so bad at how my dad treats their daughter.  He's not as gruff with girls as he is with boys, but he can be terrifying.  She loves her grandpa but is still afraid of him, it just breaks my heart. 

 

My brother says that he is waiting for the natural consequence of his daughter not wanting to spend time with my dad to teach Dad the lesson he needs.  I tell my brother that the natural consequence with me is Dad treated me to badly that I'm not going to let him do that to my kids.  When I did this the first time I was having such a hard time with it my SIL told me that she thought that meant I had made the wrong choice.  That if it had been the right choice it would have been easy.

 

Ooops, sorry, slipped into vent mode.  Still, thank you, I'm feeling much better.  I've been treating myself like I'm sick and giving myself a break from a lot of things.  I'm going to try to get out on a date with The Hubby this evening, just the two of us.
 

 


He said that? I think it is okay to allow a child to experience natural consequences to learn life lessons...a grown up shouldn't be learning behavioral boundaries from a child...as like an experiment.  Apart from which, it's sort of like allowing a child to learn the natural consequences of pulling a cat's tail...sure one day the cat might scratch or bite the child or run away and not want to play with them and the child will learn, but in the meantime, what?  that cat gets tortured?  Or more likely the cat having grown as a kitten in that environment becomes innured to a life of abuse and so it never snaps back at all.  Sounds like a dangerous way to try and teach DAD a lesson.

 

That's really awful.  Your brother may need to realize it is his job to protect his daughter not teach his father.

 

You did the right thing, and clearly your SIL hasn't got much experience in abuse.  It's  no wonder this is tough.  He's your dad.  He was supposed to be your superman, your rock.  And I am sure in some ways he was.  But then he'd turn around and wail you for crying or whathaveyou...so...mixed messages lead to mixed emotions.  It's to be expected that you will question this decision plenty...but violence is never okay, not physical or passive violence. 

 

It is unfortunate that he refuses to grow up and be a grandpa.  But that's his choice.  The only thing you can do is protect your family.  You're doing the right thing. 

 

post #33 of 66
Thread Starter 

I thought I would post an update since it's been about a month.  It seems so much longer than that.

 

My dad hasn't contacted me at all.  I expected it, but it still hurts like crazy.  To me it feels like there is a very strong message of, "You didn't do what I wanted, so I don't even want you as a daughter."  You know, 'cause love is conditional and all that.  But I'm also relieved that he hasn't tried to talk to me because I just couldn't handle it right now.  I'm pretty sure I would have another panic attack if he did try calling.

 

I've been depressed since my son's birth but this latest thing with my dad and then my son really threw me into a funk and things have been really bad around here.  I've started seeing a therapist on Wednesday that specializes in women and depression and I think I really like her.  We're starting weekly sessions and I'm excited to start working on things.

 

Thank you for all the support you've shown me.  I'm proud of myself.  Also, the outpouring of love my The Hubby's family has been amazing.  I'm so blessed to have my in-laws, they are the greatest. 

post #34 of 66
Great update smile.gif

Im glad your in laws are being awesome. What about your family?
post #35 of 66

My first thought was that I might convince myself that he is respecting my boundaries thumb.gif

 

This could be filtered through my own experience in which it took a couple of years to convince my parents that I was serious about breaking contact.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post

I thought I would post an update since it's been about a month.  It seems so much longer than that.

 

My dad hasn't contacted me at all.  I expected it, but it still hurts like crazy.  To me it feels like there is a very strong message of, "You didn't do what I wanted, so I don't even want you as a daughter."  You know, 'cause love is conditional and all that.  But I'm also relieved that he hasn't tried to talk to me because I just couldn't handle it right now.  I'm pretty sure I would have another panic attack if he did try calling.

 

I've been depressed since my son's birth but this latest thing with my dad and then my son really threw me into a funk and things have been really bad around here.  I've started seeing a therapist on Wednesday that specializes in women and depression and I think I really like her.  We're starting weekly sessions and I'm excited to start working on things.

 

Thank you for all the support you've shown me.  I'm proud of myself.  Also, the outpouring of love my The Hubby's family has been amazing.  I'm so blessed to have my in-laws, they are the greatest. 



 

post #36 of 66

No child or even ADULT should tolerate that behavior, EVER! Good on you and please please stand your ground. If your family can't be supportive of you and want to be completely blind, that's their loss. hug2.gif

post #37 of 66

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post  I know change is possible, I have changed, so why can't/doesn't he?  Blah.


Because change is hard and quite often painful.  But there is no discomfort for him in his current position.  So why would he go from being comfortable and having the world cater to him and throw that away for hard work and painful looking at himself? 

 

I honestly know how you feel and the above is how my DH explains it to me.  I don't know if it will help you.  Because I get it on an intellectual level, but emotionally it's not always helpful.

 

I'm sorry you're going through this with your Dad and Brother/SIL.  (By the way, her saying because it was hard the first time, you made the wrong choice.  It says something about how she's never had to do something difficult.  It's your Dad/family, of course it's hard!!)

 

post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post

 

The thing that gets me is the fact that my dad refuses to change.  I know change is possible, I have changed, so why can't/doesn't he?  Blah.


Because, in his mind, he's not doing anything wrong.
 

 

post #39 of 66

Huzzah, mama! You are doing the right thing for your kids AND you. I know it is hard. But you have my utmost support and admiration for leaving this toxic situation behind. Good for you!

 

bow2.gif

post #40 of 66

Oh my goodness. This could have been written about my mother. She's mellowed in age though, obviously your dad hasn't.

I have no advice, just a (((hug))) and a vote of confidence that you're doing the right thing. Potentially explosive behaviour is just not something you want around your little guy, especially if he's the kind of kid that sets your dad off

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