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Thread: Level of abusiveness?

  1. #1
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    Level of abusiveness?

    Many of you know the story of my life. I canít seem to place my dad on a level of abuse scale. He did deny us necessities of life like food and clothing . He heaped mental and emotional abuse on us but 99% of the physical abuse was saved for our mom. He did try to sexually fondle me once but saw the look of horror on my face immediately stopped and never did it again. ( non of my family knows that detail) He committed parental kidnapping.

    I have no emotional feeling about any of it most of the time due to treatment, occasionally I get angry when he adds strife to my life.

    I feel though due to my life I am not a good judge of his level of abusive treatment as some of it may have been normalized in my mind over time.

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    I am not sure it matters, to be honest, because clearly his behavior was so abhorrent that you are under no obligation to have anything to do with him and those that tell you different are simply wrong. What matters is that you have overcome your upbringing to have a long, healthy marriage with someone you love and a good relationship with your son. What matters is that you are entitled to live a good, happy life in a way that you choose with the people you choose and that he is not allowed to be a part of that, no matter what. His awfulness is so large that it no longer needs to be measured, it needs to be recognized as completely unacceptable, as is he, and you don't ever have to have anything to do with that. This is your life, you need to spend your time making it as good as possible and making yourself happy because you are a person of value who contributes positive things the world.

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    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    I chose to cut my father out of my life when I turned 18. He did not abuse us but rather neglected us. I figured if he didn't care if we had food or adequate clothing I didn't have to care about him. I don't have hate for him but rather indifference.

    I understand you still have a relationship with your father and that is fine. No one can decide for you what is right or wrong. Only you, and whatever decision you made is right for you.

    That being said, I agree you have built a nice life and family. That's really a great accomplishment.

  4. #4
    I agree with previous posters. Your own personal health and wellbeing are what's important here. The focus needs to shift from him to you.
    That being said, I can understand if you have confused thoughts and feelings about it. He was your dad and that would confuse anyone that they would behave that way, clearly he had or has his own issues that need sorting out and that is nothing to do with you and neither your fault nor your problem. But in my eyes there are no 'levels' of abuse and no excuses, there's either abusive behaviour or there isn't and clearly he was abusive. It doesn't matter what category it falls under, it was wrong. You may not have suffered as much violence as your mum but you witnessed it and lived with it.
    Also, everyone experiences different things in their lives and handles them differently. That doesn't make their experiences any more or less valid. It's just their experience. So try not to think about whether you are a good judge of this experience but rather what can you take from it, what can you learn and what can you help yourself with going forward.
    I'm sorry this happened to you.

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    Originally Posted by arjumand
    I am not sure it matters, to be honest, because clearly his behavior was so abhorrent that you are under no obligation to have anything to do with him and those that tell you different are simply wrong. What matters is that you have overcome your upbringing to have a long, healthy marriage with someone you love and a good relationship with your son. What matters is that you are entitled to live a good, happy life in a way that you choose with the people you choose and that he is not allowed to be a part of that, no matter what. His awfulness is so large that it no longer needs to be measured, it needs to be recognized as completely unacceptable, as is he, and you don't ever have to have anything to do with that. This is your life, you need to spend your time making it as good as possible and making yourself happy because you are a person of value who contributes positive things the world.
    I guess it doesnít matter as I have built my own life and am happy with it for the most part. I am mostly estranged from my dad except a phone call a few times a year and one visit a year at Christmas.

    Thank you .

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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    I chose to cut my father out of my life when I turned 18. He did not abuse us but rather neglected us. I figured if he didn't care if we had food or adequate clothing I didn't have to care about him. I don't have hate for him but rather indifference.

    I understand you still have a relationship with your father and that is fine. No one can decide for you what is right or wrong. Only you, and whatever decision you made is right for you.

    That being said, I agree you have built a nice life and family. That's really a great accomplishment.
    True , I have a very limited relationship with him as much his idea as mine as he hates people. I think the only reason I do is out of guilt.

    Thank you .

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    Originally Posted by DreamofCalif
    I agree with previous posters. Your own personal health and wellbeing are what's important here. The focus needs to shift from him to you.
    That being said, I can understand if you have confused thoughts and feelings about it. He was your dad and that would confuse anyone that they would behave that way, clearly he had or has his own issues that need sorting out and that is nothing to do with you and neither your fault nor your problem. But in my eyes there are no 'levels' of abuse and no excuses, there's either abusive behaviour or there isn't and clearly he was abusive. It doesn't matter what category it falls under, it was wrong. You may not have suffered as much violence as your mum but you witnessed it and lived with it.
    Also, everyone experiences different things in their lives and handles them differently. That doesn't make their experiences any more or less valid. It's just their experience. So try not to think about whether you are a good judge of this experience but rather what can you take from it, what can you learn and what can you help yourself with going forward.
    I'm sorry this happened to you.
    He is no longer a focus thank goodness. I have had a mostly estranged relationship with him for 3 decades and have had tons of therapy for the damage he and his family left in their wake.

    I built my own life for which I am so grateful.

    Thank you .

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    Do you think that the guilt is a result of your relatives?

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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    Do you think that the guilt is a result of your relatives?
    I think the guilt is we are supposed to love and respect our parents and I was taught loyalty is a quality that is supreme.

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    Does he bring anything positive to your life?

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