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Support needed. I told my dad he wasn't welcome in my home... - Page 3

post #41 of 66

Good for you! 

 

I read every word.  I, too, was abused.  Physically and emotionally.    A year ago, I finally cut my abusive mother out of my life, and it was the best thing I've ever done. 

 

I know that it doesn't feel like it right now, but in the not-too-distant future, you will look back and feel relieved, and empowered.  You did the right thing for yourself and for your children.  Seeing them is a privilege and a blessing, not a right or a duty. 

 

One thing that strikes me, is that you may be feeling guilty right now.  I'm not sure if any of things apply to you but they may be a start to help you on the road to healing:

 

Boundaries; When to say YES, When to say NO

Codependency No More

 

Only you know the severity of what you experienced, but this may be something to check out - it's a resource center and support group for those that have an individual with borderline personality disorder in their life (it's rarely ever diagnosed, so don't think it doesn't apply just because he doesn't have a diagnosis) or individuals that display similar traits.  - http://www.bpdfamily.com/

post #42 of 66
Thread Starter 

IzzyTheTerrible, you've been great!  Sorry, couldn't resist the pun.  I'll check out those resources, I've already read Codependency No More and it's VERY applicable to my life.  I must read it again.

 

I do feel guilty, but intellectually I know I did the right thing.  In my therapy right now we're working on changing my feelings through thought.  I hope it works because, dangit, it just feels like I'm telling myself lies to make me feel better.  But I'm sure I need a bit of time, I've only had three sessions so far.

 

Speaking of severity of what I've lived through, I often downplay my abuse because, well, he didn't burn me or cut me or rape me so it must have not been THAT bad.  Is that normal to feel like your abuse wasn't bad enough?

post #43 of 66

Yeah, that's actually the typical reaction for people that were physically or even just emotionally abused. 

 

The way that my therapist explained it to me is that children cannot fathom the world being a dangerous or chaotic place.  So if mommy or daddy hurts them - in any way - physically, emotionally, mentally or sexually - the only thing that makes sense is that we must have done something wrong to deserve it.  We are being punished.   Therefore what he was doing wasn't that bad, because we deserved it.

 

So we grow up feeling like everything is normal, and that we're just bad kids or else daddy wouldn't call me stupid, or hit me then tell me to stop crying like a baby... but then we grow into adulthood and of course we know that certain behaviors are NOT acceptable, and we start piecing things together... but as children it seemed normal, so it's very difficult to differenciate between what felt like a normal (albeit painful) childhood and this new information we have but those early feelings still trickle over into adulthood.

 

Plus we have so many good memories, coupled with the bad ones, that its very difficult to fathom such horrors when there were times when they were fantastic.

 

If you have any religious background, Boundaries: When to say yes, and when to say no will help you with the guilt aspect and was beyond monumental in accepting that I did have the right to say no if it made me feel uncomfortable.

 

But two things that helped me was to remember that

 

1. Even monsters have some good in them, just like good people have a little monster in them too.  So I didn't have to think of my mom as a monster to recognize the monstrous things she did, (Although I do now call her momster) and, like I said, it helps to remember that even monsters can do good things.

 

2.  It doesn't matter if what they did was wrong, or if they're bad, or good, or whatever the case may be... if you feel uncomfortable (like you mentioned, your panic attack is a PTSD symptom), then YOU have the right to say no.  Regardless of what anyone says, it made/makes YOU feel uncomfortable and you are an adult that is empowered to accept into her life what SHE wants, not what other people say you should have.  Your father has NO right, NONE to spank or threaten your children, and he doesn't have a right to do it to you either, and I'm sure he still does in subtle ways.

 

Imagine a young girl that you care about (around the age that your inner child feels) is telling you about the horrible things her father said, and did and they were what your father said/did... would you downplay it then?  Or would you have compassion for her hurt? 

 

You deserve that same compassion and tenderness.

post #44 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post

Speaking of severity of what I've lived through, I often downplay my abuse because, well, he didn't burn me or cut me or rape me so it must have not been THAT bad.  Is that normal to feel like your abuse wasn't bad enough?


yes -- that's totally normal. I spent time in group therapy and shared the exact same thought, and woman whose father did such horrific things to her that I won't post them because they could be triggers, looked me in the eye and said:

 

"If you are dead, it doesn't really matter if you got hit by a truck or a motorcycle"

 

You got hit by a motorcycle, yes, some people do get hit by trucks. But you still deserve to heal and feel good. What he did was wrong, and you did the right thing by standing up for your child and stopping the cycle. You did the right thing *for yourself* by not leaving yourself in a position to hear his crap over and over. He's needed to be told that he's out of line for decades, and you did it.

 

post #45 of 66

"that's just dad" -- yeah, it is "just him," but that doesn't mean his behavior is harmless or acceptable. You're doing the right thing, and you are SO brave to be doing it. DH's family is similiarly codependent, and the only reason I'm not here posting about how to cut my in-laws out of our lives is b/c we live more than 4 hours from them. They ignore me, I ignore them and DH can deal with their abuse if he so chooses. But I refuse to be involved with them, and will never allow them to treat my son the way they treat theirs.

post #46 of 66
This might be an unpopular view, but in my opinion, just because you're related to someone doesn't mean you have to let them be a part of your life, especially if they make you miserable. Good for you for standing up for your values and protecting your children!
post #47 of 66

My dad used to be pretty similar to yours, OP--very nasty and cruel (verbally) to my firstborn.  I don't want to bog you down with the details, but fast-forward twelve years--two of which we didn't speak, and during the last of which my mother passed away--and things are sooo much different.  My dad's 73, and while he's still not perfect, he's also not toxic to my children anymore.  Losing my mom made him really think about things deeply--and us not speaking for two years made him a good bit more cautious around my family once we "came back".

 

It's really painful and sometimes complicated to have to put your foot down, but that doesn't mean it's the wrong choice--not by a long shot!  You've gotten some really good advice in this thread already.  SO glad to hear of others breaking the cycle of abuse hug2.gif

post #48 of 66

This baby's dad was emotionally abusive, and I often feel like(and he also put this in my head) since I never got hit or beaten that it "wasn't that bad" or "it could be fixed". He wasn't a bad guy, it was just HOW he was wired. Well, the way he was wired wasn't good. I'm glad you're sticking to your guns on this, Lazurii. If any relationship you're in serves to be draining or belittling to you or those you love, you need to cut them off. I just recently cut off my dad and his side of the family. They are all high-and-mighty, judgmental, emotionally abusive people, and I want nothing to do with it. My dad isn't so bad anymore, but the damage really has already been done and he's got 2 stepkids he adopted years ago that he can look after. I needed a dad when I was a kid and when I walked down the isle, so I knew what healthy parenting was and I never got that. Your kids don't need to see your dad's version of "good parenting". Because it's NOT. His parenting skills would leave most sane mothers' jaws on the floor with how horrible you describe him to be.

post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post
Speaking of severity of what I've lived through, I often downplay my abuse because, well, he didn't burn me or cut me or rape me so it must have not been THAT bad.  Is that normal to feel like your abuse wasn't bad enough?


I think it's very normal.  For me, I felt like other people had it so much worse than I did, I didn't have a right to complain or feel sorry for myself. 

 

It's amazing what the human mind will come up with, when it's trying to make the world not as bad as it is.

 

 

post #50 of 66

hug2.gifgrouphug.gifhug2.gif

 

-nak

post #51 of 66

My mother brutally abused me for fifteen years. (I won't go into detail, don't want to trigger any bad memories for anyone.) I haven't spoken to her in seven years and I am so much better for it. I cannot possibly make amends with her after what she put me through. Family IS family, but sometimes even they don't belong in your life. It is sad, but it is the truth. Hugs for you! Your son sounds like an absolute JOY by the way, and you are doing a GREAT job raising him, IMO!

post #52 of 66

You are an absolute warrior!  Kudos for you for protecting yourself and your family.  

 

Every family has legacies.  From silly holiday customs, to work ethic, to love of family, to religion.  Other legacies can and do include physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual abuse.  As parents, we all have an opportunity to choose what legacies we want to share with our children.  Not everyone has the ability to see the big picture and make a conscious choice.  Unfortunately, all too often, parents just do things because "that's how they grew up and they're just fine".  IMHO, it takes an intelligent and caring parent to make a conscious decision to end a legacy.  You have making a choice to end the cycle of abuse.  You deserve hugs and pats on the back.  Your children's future friends, lovers and spouses will thank you for it.  Heck, the world is a better place now because of your decision.

post #53 of 66

You are breaking the cycle, two generations deep. Good for you.

post #54 of 66

You did the right thing! Keeping your child safe is the only way to go. And by setting a boundary to keep a toxic dad OUT, you are modeling boundary-setting for your son. You sound like you are in a similar situation to me.....trying to STOP a family "tradition" of violence and finding another way. It is HARD.

 

Sounds like you already know what NOT to do, but it's hard to start when you don't know what TO do. If you are interested in any recommendations to leave behind parenting from anger & fear and switch to parenting from connection and love, send me a private message and I can refer you to some resources that helped me.

post #55 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrugalGranolaMom View Post

You are absolutely in the right with your decision. The welfare of your children is what's important and you are doing what is right for them. hug2.gif



yeahthat.gif

post #56 of 66

You did the right thing.  (((hugs)))

post #57 of 66
Thread Starter 

Everyone, thank you for resurrecting this thread at this time, I really needed it.  My mom is starting into pressuring me again to come back to the family because I'm sure she's getting pressure from my dad.  Oh well.

 

Sorry, not much to add but my thanks.  And I am very grateful for all the love you guys have shown me.

post #58 of 66

Yeah, the holidays bring that out in people, and we're all especially susceptible to guilt this time of year. Stay strong for yourself and your family. You ARE doing the right thing.

post #59 of 66

You've received much advice on this thread but I would like to send you a hug of support.  I've had stuggles with family members also and it is so confusing and hurtful.

post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post

Everyone, thank you for resurrecting this thread at this time, I really needed it.  My mom is starting into pressuring me again to come back to the family because I'm sure she's getting pressure from my dad.  Oh well.

 

Sorry, not much to add but my thanks.  And I am very grateful for all the love you guys have shown me.


 

Gotta love that wording ... as if YOU were OUT of the family. Ridiculous.

 

hug.gif

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