View Full Version : Not sure whether to let him back into my life or not


midnightstar
11-27-16, 03:30 PM
I've been thinking about this, considering my dad was not around during my chidhood (empty promises about seeing me and my older brother then rarely turning up when he said he would and other times turing up unannounced and if we were out leaving nasty notes making it clear we had to be in all the time just in case he felt like coming to see us)

Should I let him back into my life after cutting all contact with him (he's toxic) just so when he's no longer around I'm not feeling guilty for not having had a dad and remembering that the last communication was a "I don't want any contact with you" thing or whether it's better to keep him out of my life permanently - no appeal.

I remember one time he did turn up he brought his new baby with him to see us and showed off his new kid, once the kid was born he would never come alone (he always brought the kid with him when he did show up)

Thoughts from everyone welcome ...........:thankyou::grouphug:

Little Missy
11-27-16, 03:51 PM
Of course!

And scoop up that baby, probably a toddler now, and shower that child, your step or whatever sibling, with all the love you can show and shower your dad with it too. And his new wife.

Spread it on!

Goodness, I believe in happy endings. Life is after all, what ever we make out of it.

midnightstar
11-27-16, 04:03 PM
The baby will be nearly a teenager now, I'm not the only one in the family who cut all ties with my biological father (he started being malicious towards my mum and stepdad and became pretty nasty because he thinks he is the most important person in the world and everyone has to do exactly as he wants, he truly does not believe for one second that everyone has choices and he twists everything from being a positive into a negative)

Both me and my older brother did give him a long chance previously but as I said he's toxic and nothing we can do is ever right, literally for example I went to college to try to get a job in the industry I wanted to work in, he twisted that round into a "you'll never work in that industry you are too stupid" type of thing, I tried to learn to drive, he came out with "you're a dangerous driver who should never be allowed behind the wheel of a car and females cannot drive anyways", one time I had to move house to help my mum look after my younger brother and he said malicious stuff about that as well (like "you should stay where you currently live because your grandma needs you" (despite the fact I was moving with my grandma's blessing because she knew Mum was not coping and my older brother was available to help my grandma out whenever she needed anything)

Basically literally everything we do, he says we should have done the opposite, he is never positive about anything and tbh I know with hindsite having contact with him was making my mental health worse but idk if when he's no longer around if I'll end up guilt tripping myself for not putting up with his crap.

Little Missy
11-27-16, 05:17 PM
The baby will be nearly a teenager now, I'm not the only one in the family who cut all ties with my biological father (he started being malicious towards my mum and stepdad and became pretty nasty because he thinks he is the most important person in the world and everyone has to do exactly as he wants, he truly does not believe for one second that everyone has choices and he twists everything from being a positive into a negative)

Both me and my older brother did give him a long chance previously but as I said he's toxic and nothing we can do is ever right, literally for example I went to college to try to get a job in the industry I wanted to work in, he twisted that round into a "you'll never work in that industry you are too stupid" type of thing, I tried to learn to drive, he came out with "you're a dangerous driver who should never be allowed behind the wheel of a car and females cannot drive anyways", one time I had to move house to help my mum look after my younger brother and he said malicious stuff about that as well (like "you should stay where you currently live because your grandma needs you" (despite the fact I was moving with my grandma's blessing because she knew Mum was not coping and my older brother was available to help my grandma out whenever she needed anything)

Basically literally everything we do, he says we should have done the opposite, he is never positive about anything and tbh I know with hindsite having contact with him was making my mental health worse but idk if when he's no longer around if I'll end up guilt tripping myself for not putting up with his crap.

I truly hoped that it would not be a hollow victory, be that as it may.

Greyhound1
11-27-16, 05:42 PM
I think you owe it to yourself to consider letting him back into your life if ever so slightly and under your terms and conditions. I would go in with extreme caution and a least test the water. If he feels toxic than I would run.

Maybe he has changed and maybe not. The not knowing part may eat you up in the future if you don't find out. Only do what feels good for you. He needs to prove himself worthy and he will never be able to without a chance.:grouphug:

ToneTone
11-28-16, 12:30 AM
So I assume he's asking to be part of your life?

I would say the answer is as people have said: yes, go for it ... but I would add go ONE STEP at a time.

In other words, don't fantasize about sharing everything and magically healing the rift in one or two visits. Instead, just take a step to talk to him ... go out to some neutral place ... maybe a coffee shop ... keep the first meeting short ... see how that conversation/meeting goes and go from there.

You have to go into this as an adult ... which is easier said than done when it comes to confronting our parents. What I mean is YOU need to monitor how you're feeling and you need to assert yourself with your father ... and take a few risks ... But draw some lines when you feel unsafe. And beware that when it comes to parents ... often a tie to a flawed, flawed person beats no ties whatsoever ... as long as you don't "normalize" crazy and abusive behavior.

It's true: if he were to die before you gave him "another chance" you would always wonder if you could have met with him ... So give it a chance ... either way, you'll feel clearer than you do now. If he's an impossible jerk, then you know you tried.

I had a rift with a big brother ... in this case this big brother was like a parent to me. It's like my parents turned parenting duties, including discipline, over to him. Well we fell out and grew cold ... and about ten years ago, I worked really hard to heal our rift ... and suggested he and I go to counseling together at a neutral place ... Anyway, he never really responded. Well he died a year ago this month, and I have guilt whatsoever .... because I know I tried to connect with him. And there's a huge difference between loss vs. loss and regret and guit.

With eyes wide open, go for it. With an understanding you may get something out of a connection even if he is highly flawed, go for it! And I would say find a good friend to talk to afterwards to help process things.

Good luck!

Tone

midnightstar
11-28-16, 01:57 AM
He's not been in touch with me at all, it's just stuff that's happened that's making me wonder if I should try to give him one last chance because if I don't and when he dies I don't want to be feeling guilty and thinking I should have tried again.

If he does show the same behaviour that he showed before, would that be my fault?

20thcenturyfox
11-28-16, 02:07 AM
It's possible your father has changed, maybe for the better, maybe for the worse. But it's very unlikely he has completely changed into an angel! Still I lean to the view that you can probably afford to be cautiously curious now as an adult without much risk of suffering any new damage. It goes without saying you won't have any expectations of apologies or approval. Why would you want the approval of someone who behaved as he did?

I may be biased, but I think curiosity and empathy are good ways to approach someone who has been hostile in the past, because you don't have to expose more of yourself than you want to, and generally speaking you can be successful in maintaining these attitudes no matter how miserable the other person is.

Your own personal journey probably offers many opportunities to wonder what struggles (inner or outer) your father has had, and what he considers has been most challenging in his life. Think about what you know of his childhood and young adulthood, and see what questions come to mind. Is there anything you can readily sympathize with? Did some of your own bad experiences with him happen to coincide with events in his life that put him under great pressure?

I've had a strained relationship with my 90-year-old father (completely different situation), but I accept he's a hardass who would rather die than talk about feelings. Surprisingly, though, a couple of unexpected neutral channels have opened up for us.

One came from my interest, research, and correspondence with other distant family about our genealogy. I've sent anecdotes and photos about people and places he would know, or know of. Not long ago I happened to be telling him that his grandfather (who he knew became a doctor during the Civil War), between age 3 and 18, had lost both parents and all but 2 of his 7 siblings to disease, I realized I had his complete and thoughtful attention. It may well be as close I ever get, but it was nice.

Another came from the recent de-classification of materials related to the early aerial photography and space satellite programs in the US. His work had been mostly secret when I was growing up, so it was never discussed. I read some of the declassified materials but my eyes glazed over. Then a chance conversation with a childhood classmate whose father had also been involved in cold war intelligence led me to a book by someone we guessed my father had probably worked with. I bought and gave the book to my father... and Bingo! The floodgates opened! It wasn't a heart-to heart, but it was still fun to see the old curmudgeon let down his hair a little.

So think of the interests you have developed as an adult, and be curious about the interests he may have pursued. You might be surprised to discover how they might intersect. Or not...maybe all you'll discover is what a long way you have come to rise above your inauspicious beginnings! That's worth celebrating, too.

Fuzzy12
11-28-16, 05:50 AM
He's not been in touch with me at all, it's just stuff that's happened that's making me wonder if I should try to give him one last chance because if I don't and when he dies I don't want to be feeling guilty and thinking I should have tried again.

If he does show the same behaviour that he showed before, would that be my fault?

No it wouldn't be your fault. Like the others have said though It might be worth giving it a shot but onky if you can allow yourself to withdraw without guilt if things don't work out or you think there's a risk you might get hurt again.

sarahsweets
11-28-16, 05:53 AM
My dad and I had a similar relationship-in fact I ended up not inviting him to my wedding but got back in touch with him after my son was born. I wrote him a letter for his Birthday, March 9 and mailed it. The letter basically forgave him for all the wrongs- acknowledged all the rights and I made it clear that I was willing to have things move forward and I acknowledged that I understood he was only capable of so much. I made it known that everything was going to be on my terms. It was very freeing. He apparently got the mail at his office and opened it in the wee morning hours of March 9, 2000 because he had called his gf to tell him how beautiful the letter was and how it touched him.
He died that same morning, March 9, 2000 at 725 am at age 47. So, he receive and read the letter on March 9, his birthday- and died the same morning, March 9 of a heart attack in the driveway.

I was so relieved that he read the letter. I was so relieved that I had my chance to say what I said and make an effort to rekindle things on my terms.
I say, if you want to have something with your dad because you worry about the bad- write him a letter, say everything you need to say and use it as your way to make peace with the situation.

stef
11-28-16, 07:14 AM
yes that's a good solution!

I'm very happy to have seen him the summer before he passed, suddenly and unexpectedly, that fall. we began to discuss something a bit difficult (that i had never met my grandfather). and we just had a pleasant time together. Our relationship was always a bit strained as we were SO MUCH alike.

If that hadnt happened i would have truly regretted not having spent time with him.

ToneTone
11-28-16, 09:41 AM
A parent's crazy or abusive behavior is a parent's fault, not yours.

You're doing the kid thing a bit here ... kids have parents divorce and they think, "If I behave better or get better grades, maybe they'll reunite."

No. How can his bad behavior be your fault? He's an adult.

Note: lots of folks have parents with prejudices of various sorts and people work around what they don't like in their parents. The parents' prejudices are not the kids' fault in any way.

Go for it ... definitely talk to someone afterwards or come here even ... so we can make sure you aren't blaming yourself if he doesn't act as you hope he does.

Tone

midnightstar
11-28-16, 02:43 PM
So I just had a snoop on facebook and it looks like he's still a self centered how can I put this without swearing .......

Basically at the moment he's whining because his wife's gone out and he's got to do some housework. Haven't scrolled down too far but what I'm going to do is check in with his wife, see how she is and see what comes of contacting his wife.

If he's still as negative about everything everyone does I feel it would be a bad idea for me to get too involved with him again.

And now I'm overthinking so I'll shut up.

coolbanana
05-02-17, 04:34 PM
I have no contact with my father. And minimum contact with my mother. I always missed having that sort of family. However I made the decision to avoid them. Both of them betrayed me when I was very young and continued to be extremely toxic through my adult life. Its a long story I probably wont share here. I wouldnt' waste my scarce and valuable mental on disloyal people who dont think about you unless they want something you can serve up to them and their needs. Maybe he fits that profile . Maybe he doesnt. Its your call.

snjyds
05-03-17, 04:28 PM
A sibling being obnoxious is different from a parent being so. In the first case, it is sibling-rivalry gone awry, in the latter, it is simply bad parenting. While I am not you, I would worry less about feeling guilty when it comes to a parent.

Ergo, I would rather go on a temporary guilt-trip (that'll go away with the passage of time), than have to suffer. If I were you, I would have no ties with him indefinitely. Only after a long time, if he wishes to re-enter your life, allow him to cautiously. Don't be the first to re-establish ties with him.