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#1 of 8 Old 09-05-2011, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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x posted in personal growth

 

 

 

 

My father and i have always had issues, first stemming from the fact that i have cerebral palsy and was not able to meet his expectations as a daughter. and then my brother died of cancer when i was 10- and since then it seems like practically everything i do or don't to is either wrong or disappointing. I moved away for college, I lived with my boyfriend, I married that boyfriend (he doesn't like my husband much), I voted for Obama... 

 

Now we have a son, he is three. he is highly spirited and very sensitive. the last visit my dad and his wife had here did not go too well. DS was very overwhelmed by my dad and  behaved in a way that my dad didn't like or understand. so much so that they excluded us from one of the days of their 2 day trip. It seemed like they just couldn't be bothered. they were sour and short tempered the entire time. to be honest, this behavior hurt my feelings! they didn't have one kind thing to say about ds! shortly after they returned home, my dad was telling me about his friends little boy and how amazing and special this little boy was and how the two of them were such good friends etc  I just couldn't take it. i was so hurt by these comments!  It was the last straw! I decided not to call my dad for a while because i was just too upset and hurt and he never understands things like this, he would just ell me i am silly and to brush it off. but, it has been a lifetime of not measuring up in one way or another and i am very tired of it. I am an adult now and my priority is my own family. I hate the idea of my dad making ds feel how he makes me feel!!

 

but, I miss my dad too, I got an email from his wife today asking what they had done, why i don't like them and don't want them etc. it irked me, but i called her- she is going to call me back in a while. these rifts have happened many times before and i am always the one to mend them. they never seem to learn anything. I want it to be different this time. I am aching for them to understand me and my family and for them to spare me at least some of their judgement. I have never been able to accomplish anything like this, try as i might. i guess i am wondering how to approach this differently this time so they they are able to be more understanding. 

 

any help?

 

thanks


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#2 of 8 Old 09-05-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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No help but hugs.  If someone makes me feel bad over and over and over I have no issue cutting them out of my life.  I will be damned if I will ever let ANYONE make my kids feel that way.  That said, I have never had these kinds of issues with a parent. 


Good luck :(

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#3 of 8 Old 09-06-2011, 05:02 AM
 
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YUCK!  I'm dealing with this with my father.  We've been doing good for a few years and apparently after his last trip he went home and told the whole family we were terrible parents, our kids were not cared for properly, they were rude and he no longer likes DH.  He specifically stated that he found my kids annoying and couldn't stand being around them.  What he should have also shared is that the one day I was gone til two in the afternoon and he forced food on them they didn't like and belittled them when they wouldn't eat it.  He didn't appreciate when they ran to me to tell on Grandpa when I got home.  He called them bratty and spoiled.  What kid eats plain oatmeal... as in water only?

 

He kept this to himself for months.  Then one day, two months ago he went off on me over the phone about all this.  WTH?  I called during a time I knew he wouldn't be there and left the ball in his court.  It's been a week and no call back.  That is fine.  I love him, but I'm tired of dealing with his moodiness and talking behind our backs is simply immature.  Because he's not positive for my kids right now I'm okay with this rift and I know like all others it will mend.  There will be no mean words from me if he calls back.  I will however let him know that I'm still not okay with how he acted.  If he wants to appologize that is fine.  If not that is ok as well.  But I will remind him the girls have other grandparents and though it will be sad if he doesn't want to be kind, they won't be missing much.  Hmmm, that's actually kind of mean?

 

Well, don't let your need for approval from him, cloud your judgement on what is right for your kids.  I've done that enough already. 

 

Good luck mama

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#4 of 8 Old 09-06-2011, 07:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natty529 View Post

but, I miss my dad too, I got an email from his wife today asking what they had done, why i don't like them and don't want them etc. it irked me, but i called her- she is going to call me back in a while. these rifts have happened many times before and i am always the one to mend them. they never seem to learn anything. I want it to be different this time. I am aching for them to understand me and my family and for them to spare me at least some of their judgement. I have never been able to accomplish anything like this, try as i might. i guess i am wondering how to approach this differently this time so they they are able to be more understanding.

 

They might never "get it" but maybe you can get them to behave as if they do. Perhaps your SM may be the one to approach since she is the one who actually e-mailed you and women tend to be the family negotiators/diplomats--do you think she is genuinely confused or that it is more of a sarcastic "what has hurt your delicate feelings?"

 

It's usually best to not put these types of things in writing, but maybe it would help to really spell it out? Your expectations and what actually happened? Like "this is who ds is and I want you to learn how amazing and special ds is. I do not want to hear about your friends' son and what a great relationship you have with someone else's child." And "you came for a two day visit but only saw us one day and seemed unhappy and short tempered while you were here. I would like you to act as if you enjoy our company and want to be here."


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#5 of 8 Old 09-06-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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I would draw a line in the sand, and spell out the boundaries that you'll enforce for your DS, that no one enforced for you as a child. You may not be able to change their behavior, but you can change what you'll tolerate. If they visit again and act that way, say, "I'm sorry, we're going to have to cut this visit short. I love you and want DS to know and love you, but we can't be around you right now if you're unable to act pleasantly toward us. I hope we can try again soon." 

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#6 of 8 Old 09-07-2011, 12:19 AM
 
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When it comes to my dad, I try to keep this in mind: being in MY life is a privilege, not a right.

I have far too many people and things vying for my time and love. I cannot give myself to anyone who chronically belittles me or those I love. Thus I occasionally answer my father's calls and see him every few months but beyond that, nope. And my life is calmer and happier for that!

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#7 of 8 Old 09-07-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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I too have a strained relationship with my father. He has a way of saying things that cut like a knife.

I generally have just took it and not said anything. Until his last visit and I just threw it back at him. Nicely.

I stood up for myself and did not internalize his rude comments and let him know that they were not true nor appreciated.

My dad thinks he is trying to help by criticizing every move i make. not working dad.

Our relationship has improved since I drew boundaries with him.


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#8 of 8 Old 09-07-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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I can relate. My parents are as much of a disappointment to me as I am to them. Sure, I would love to have a quality relationship with my parents (who are divorced are re married) and yes, it would be nice if my dc had a quality relationship with grandparents. I think the whole idea of "grandparents" can be romanticized. Grandma baking cookies the the grand kids, grandpa helping jr fix his bike etc. But in MANY realities, especially this generation of gp, it doesn't work out that way. And it is SOOOOO true that we can't change people. Especially people who have been set in their ways for 50 plus years. Best you can do it tell them how you feel, tell them how you would LIKE them to act when visiting/talking with you and your family. If they can't meet your minimum expectations, then don't have anything more than a superficial relationship with them. 

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