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Old 03-16-2016, 01:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
Thank you for your response. That is how I feel also - my father hurt a lot of innocent people around him, including children, and the only way I could possibly interact with him and protect myself/others, was to accept it was a mental illness, the alternative was just too horrific.
After entering my response, I talked to my sister about how my mom hurt her. She is really very forgiving about it and understands how it came about, how my mom came to have those attitudes. She has put the whole thing into perspective, and is moving on. Talking to her really helped me to move in the same direction. Perhaps talking to someone whom you father hurt but is doing fine might help you to get some perspective as well.
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Old 03-17-2016, 04:15 AM
 
Location: Rutherfordton,NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post



But I keep thinking of what could have been - what he could have been. I think I'm still angry at him. How do I let that go? I'm not sure if this is a normal progression of the grieving process or something I need to address further. He passed away 18 months ago at 65 y.o. I feel like I have no one to talk to about him. People don't understand how I could love him and hate him at the same time, and that is hard to reconcile with his death.

Just wondering if anyone has similar experiences..


I loved my mom but I didn't like her as a person she was a terrible mom. It was much the same with my dad he was on a whole different level when it comes to human beings. He was a waste of a human life. He died back in 2000, I stopped talking to him back in the 90's after her got out of prison. I tried talking to my mom about things that tore us apart before she died. I even told her I was sorry for my part in what tore us apart.
My mom would never admit her part in it. It was always my fault about a month before she passed she said " whatever I did or you DEEMED I did you I'm sorry." That was as close as I'll ever get to her saying that she was sorry.


I think it's normal to have these types of feelings. Those who didn't know my parents can't or will never understand how I can feel that way. I think for those people they had really good parents & in the end they can never relate.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,412 posts, read 8,277,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
Perhaps talking to someone whom you father hurt but is doing fine might help you to get some perspective as well.
I think a lot about that. I found out about his victims many years later - don't know their names or where they are living now. My siblings and I were able to piece together things (when we were adults) and my mother (the stick-head-in-the-sand enabler) finally admitted what she covered up.

There was one court case when I was an adult living in another country. I called the lead prosecutor and talked to him about the details. I had no evidence but I just KNEW my father was guilty. Well, my father got an excellent attorney, and he was a very respected community figure, and masterful verbal manipulator (and his victim was poor, weak) so he was found Not Guilty. Then, he made this media statement about how justice was finally served, and about the ineptitude of the govt. in framing him, and how they had put him through so much pain... Examples of why I can hate him.

I feel anger, but also guilt that I was associated with such a person, and that justice was not served. After that case, I kept very close tabs on him to make sure he was not near any one who could become a potential victim, but he got sick soon afterwards. I do not know the name of the victim in his case, but I have such a strong desire to travel to their town to try to find them and apologize for what he did, maybe putting my safety at risk.

And this is the same man who I had such a deep intellectual connection with. He was there for me to show me the beauty in the world - reading poetry to me as a child, writing me beautiful letters of how special I was, taking me on trips to rain forests and mountains, consoling me during teenage breakups, patiently helping me with my homework and editing my papers, traveling hours to visit me when I was mildly ill... Examples of why I can love him.

Thank you posters for your stories, which have helped me feel I'm not alone in this. I hope you all can find peace.

Last edited by GoCUBS1; 03-17-2016 at 08:34 AM..
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by reed067 View Post
My mom would never admit her part in it. It was always my fault about a month before she passed she said " whatever I did or you DEEMED I did you I'm sorry." That was as close as I'll ever get to her saying that she was sorry.
.
This is the kind of stuff my mom says. When I try to address the past, she'll say things like " According to YOU, everything is my fault." She will never admit her part in it either. Her coping response is to act completely ignorant (even though she's highly educated and knew what was going on) or victimized by me. I think I finally got to a place with her where I can be pleasant (superficial) and caring, but I'm afraid we will never have a deeper connection.

Last edited by GoCUBS1; 03-17-2016 at 08:37 AM..
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Rutherfordton,NC
12,116 posts, read 8,098,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
This is the kind of stuff my mom says. When I try to address the past, she'll say things like " According to YOU, everything is my fault." She will never admit her part in it either. Her coping response is to act completely ignorant (even though she's highly educated and knew what was going on) or victimized by me. I think I finally got to a place with her where I can be pleasant (superficial) and caring, but I'm afraid we will never have a deeper connection.


It's something I knew I was going to have to accept & while I have to some extent there will never be full closure. What she said to me before she passed was it. I've made peace with that I refuse to let it ruin or control my life. No one should.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:06 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
I'm having a hard time resolving my feelings over my father's death. He was minimally in my life (cards, awkward visits a few times a year), but I intentionally kept him at a distance from me and my family (particularly my children, and also my husband who disliked him). I think if you knew his history, you would understand why I did that.

But after his death, I think of the good things he did for me, but he was a human with a lot of demons. I do believe I was there for him in his final days, and we were both at peace with that. I made him his last meal and told him I loved him. We had long conversations. I planted his garden for him. I think there was an unspoken forgiveness.

But I keep thinking of what could have been - what he could have been. I think I'm still angry at him. How do I let that go? I'm not sure if this is a normal progression of the grieving process or something I need to address further. He passed away 18 months ago at 65 y.o. I feel like I have no one to talk to about him. People don't understand how I could love him and hate him at the same time, and that is hard to reconcile with his death.

Just wondering if anyone has similar experiences..
I understand totally, I had a similar relationship with my father over the years. He was an alcoholic, physically and emotionally abusive father, and I was determined that he would not make my adult life as miserable as he had my childhood., He didn't improve with our sporadic contact when I became an adult, and I too did not want my own husband and children to have to live with this either, so I cut off all contact with him, until about 1.5 yrs before his death from emphysema, when I realized he couldn't hurt me anymore.

What was so sad about my dad is that underneath that abusive alcoholic personality was a warm, funny, absolutely charming individual, who could be caring and loving, an brilliant man ( he was a graduate engineer) who could have been anything he wanted. We saw glimpses of this personality, but unfortunately not very often as the years went by. I can't say I ever hated him, it was more like I feared him, at the same time I loved him, and when he died, my grief was for the person he was underneath all that pathology, and like you, I wondered if there was any way it could have been different, perhaps if I had found some way to maintain a relationship with him, or even contact over the years. I know he was intensely lonely even though his actions had driven most of his family away from him, and I grieved for that as well.

I've thought about this a lot over the years ( my dad died in 1993), and came to the realization that feeling guilty, or sad over what has passed and can't be changed doesn't get you anywhere, and the only thing, IMO, to do is to realize that you did the best you knew how at the time to protect yourself and your family. Would things have been better between you and your dad had you tried to maintain contact? Perhaps, or perhaps not, but there is no way to know and we can't go back. I like to think that in the great scheme of things, it's important to come to terms with yourself and the decisions you have made, and to forgive yourself if it seems to you maybe those decisions were not the best ones. No one knows if they were or were not.

What helped me immensely about my grief over my dad was a dream I had maybe 2 yrs after he had died. In the dream I was on a commuter train, standing and hanging onto one of the poles in the middle. The train stopped at a station, and my dad got on, greeted me with the most loving look and smile, and came over to me. He looked as I remember him at about age 45 or so, handsome, rested and healthy. I knew in the dream he was dead, and asked him if he was doing ok, and he said he was. I asked him if he understood everything, meaning everything that had occurred in our lives, and he said yes, he did. At that point I asked him to hold me, and he gave me the most loving hug. We continued the embrace for a minute or two, and I can't tell you how comforted I felt. When the train stopped again, my dad said he had to leave, and told me he loved me, and then he was gone.

This was a dream, but it felt so very real, and the comfort I felt from it has lasted to this day. The effect it had on me is such that it could have been a real visit from my dad. I consider that dream a real gift.

In any case, my condolences to you for the loss of your father, for whatever that loss represents to you. And my hopes amd prayers that you will be able to come to terms with that loss, and find comfort in knowing that he knew you were there with him before he died, and he knew you cared about him. Best wishes to you and yours.
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:00 PM
 
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The father love/hate....I never hated or loved my dad. Guess felt more sorrow than anything for him and for us all...mom and siblings. His love was alcohol. I talk about him a lot and he passed at almost 96 back in 2005....so he lived a long life in spite of the abusive way he treated his body.

I spent his last 3 months with him and he was so ready to go...didn't want to go thru the days anymore. He did open up to me close to his death, that he never believed....now he tells me!!! Guess he had nothing to lose. But at his "confession", I was on my path to non belief. ummm
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:11 PM
 
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I'll say! My father was a major figure in my life, and we were very close ... until the last decade or so when the equivalent of all hell broke lose. Huge stores of unresolved resentment, even after several years.
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