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Thread: Dad (65M) was very abusive before extensive brain damage. Should I forgive?

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    Dad (65M) was very abusive before extensive brain damage. Should I forgive?

    My dad was very abusive when growing up. He was physically abusive to my sisters/mother and emotionally abusive frequently. He was very mentally ill often so my mothers/sisters saw this as part of his symptoms and moved past it.

    I couldn't, and when I left for university, began cutting down contact. However, he then got very ill and suffered a lot of brain damage. He is still smart, but his abusiveness has gone - he's much more open and says he loves us more.

    I am conflicted on trying to get to know him again. I am very sensitive generally and as a result of the environment I grew up in so I am unsure. There are also some part of the abuse that I don't think I can forgive and I am still very conflicted about.

    The complication is that I am in an abusive relationship at the moment. I need a safe place to go - I am currently living on my own but my job isn't very stable in the coronavirus times. I want to go back to university to get a masters to fare better in my sector, and these are things my family can help me with, should I move in with them which they are happy for me to do.

    What do you think? Should I try stick it out or try heal it?

  2. #2
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Forgiving doesn’t mean what he did was ok. It also doesn’t mean you need to have a relationship. Forgiveness is for yourself
    to heal. Sounds like we had the same kind of dad. I am sorry .

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Try to get to a safe place reflect if going from the frying pan to the fire is a good idea. Do you have trusted friends or other trusted family you could talk to/ stay with?

    Do not believe that you can reenter and all of a sudden it will be a hallmark family. It could dredge up a lot of bad feelings for you. it may be best to start looking for other jobs where you maintain your independence.
    Originally Posted by EggThrow
    The complication is that I am in an abusive relationship at the moment. I need a safe place to go - I am currently living on my own but my job isn't very stable in the coronavirus times.

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    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Forgive doesn't mean condone nor forget. Forgive means not to hold ill will nor grudges. Forgive means to move on and forge ahead without or without the perpetrator in your life. Forgive doesn't mean you give free passes to those who've wronged you sorely. Forgive means to stop living in the past and live in the present only even if it means to to start anew and heal broken relationships. Forgive means you can still have a relationship if there are a new set of enforced boundaries put into place by your decision and how you choose to navigate the relationship more cautiously.

    If I were you and currently in an abusive relationship and if my family could now provide a safe haven for me especially if employment is unstable during this pandemic, I would take advantage of the opportunity to move back home and enroll at the university for a secured future. Absolutely!

    As for your father, be kind, civil, polite, well-mannered, gracious and respectful. This new attitude and behavior doesn't mean you have to feel close to him. When you live together, you have to get along and since you're moving back home in his house, you have to keep the peace by being a peaceful person. Don't argue, don't fight. Also, contribute in your own way such as chores and errands for the household.

    There is a way to have a relationship with people whom you don't like nor admire. I've since learned that there are a lot of people whom I don't like. However, since my paths cross with them, I handle myself with class while maintaining a frosty distance toward them and none is the wiser. Become shrewd and astute. If I can do it, so can you.

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    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    If you're living by yourself, why do you need to get away from an 'abusive' situation?

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    Originally Posted by SarahLancaster
    If you're living by yourself, why do you need to get away from an 'abusive' situation?
    I was wondering the same.

  8. #7
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    Originally Posted by EggThrow
    My dad was very abusive when growing up. He was physically abusive to my sisters/mother and emotionally abusive frequently. He was very mentally ill often so my mothers/sisters saw this as part of his symptoms and moved past it.

    I couldn't, and when I left for university, began cutting down contact. However, he then got very ill and suffered a lot of brain damage. He is still smart, but his abusiveness has gone - he's much more open and says he loves us more.

    I am conflicted on trying to get to know him again. I am very sensitive generally and as a result of the environment I grew up in so I am unsure. There are also some part of the abuse that I don't think I can forgive and I am still very conflicted about.

    The complication is that I am in an abusive relationship at the moment. I need a safe place to go - I am currently living on my own but my job isn't very stable in the coronavirus times. I want to go back to university to get a masters to fare better in my sector, and these are things my family can help me with, should I move in with them which they are happy for me to do.

    What do you think? Should I try stick it out or try heal it?
    My uncle was short tempered and very strict - and as he got older he really, really changed. I don't think I ever had a conversation with him during my childhood or teenage years. I would even go up to talk to him and he would blank me. Well, he changed dramatically after he retired (it was a job you retire from earlier), and over the years, he has become chatty, the conversations go two ways, he has told stories about the past (stuff before I was born about family members who are not around - stories of value), etc, and is a very mellow grandpa - not how my cousins grew up. My cousin won't give him a chance. He says on Social Media how terrible he is which is unfair. His sister on the other hand, has more of a relationship with her dad. He is terminally ill now and he still won't give his dad a chance.

    I think there is a possibly the troubles with his brain changed him also.

    I would get to know him with boundaries. Meet him for coffee or lunch if he's able --- or have a set period of time to see him - have another appointment so you can only stop by for an hour and see how it goes.

    I do think Counseling is in order if you have not sought it


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