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How to have a relationship with my mentally abusive father?


Jad619
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This is probably really long but I would greatly appreciate it if you read it because I really need some advice. My dad has been mentally abusive since I was a small child. Probably 4. Not just to me, my whole family but I was targeted most. Growing up was hard around him. He would take his anger out on me a lot. Blame things on me that I didn’t do. And call me names. I was called fat, ugly, worthless and many more terrible names growing up. He would trash my room, yell in my face, and punish me all the time. I am 21 now and it has damaged me so much.

 

There’s so many more horrible stories, but it’s too much to write. My parents would fight and my dad got even more abusive to my mom. Pushing her down the stairs, throwing things around the house, punching holes in the wall and he even kicked her out once. All of these memories will forever stick in my memory because I was young, (12) but old enough at that point to realize this shouldn’t be happening in front of me and my siblings. My parents didn’t get along finally and my mom divorces him. It has been 7 years of him harassing my mom through texts, calling her the most horrible names imaginable, him calling CPS on her, picking fights with her new husband, and putting us kids in the middle of it. If we say anything nice about her, he will get mad and yell at us, saying we are on his side. He will complain to us about her, just completely trash talking her and it isn’t right.

 

My brothers feel the same way as me, even though they weren’t targeted as much they have seen the abuse and grew up with is as well. They are also scared of him. Lie to him to make him happy.

 

A few days ago my dad calls me and says that he is scared he is going to be alone forever, he misses coming home to his kids and wife, and that he’s depressed. He says he wants to talk to my mother to “be on good terms”. He says the relationship wasn’t to the point of divorce! He kept repeating that. I usually go along with anything he says to avoid conflict. It’s like walking on eggshells, you have to be very careful with how you talk to him or he will explode. He calls her and it goes ok, then calls her again a couple days later and he picks a fight with her threatening to take her to court. Then gets mad at me saying that I am “on her side”.

 

At this point I don’t know what to do. He says he wants to have a relationship with me but if I am being honest, I am not comfortable with that at all. He obviously isn’t changing into a better person. At the same time he is my father and I feel like I should. It would be impossible to tell him this. How should I go about this? What do I even say to him?

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Im sorry you have experienced this.

 

Maybe you can write him a letter, explaining how he has affected you and how you feel about this. State you really want a relationship but he has to seek help and go to therapy before you will consider this.

 

You have to put yourself first in this, be brave and write out in a letter. Then he can reflect, read it many times and you do not have to be there if he gets angry. Then, he can hopefully calm down and reflect after the 'trigger' passes.

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Put down the hallmark cards, turn off Dr phil and realize evil can run in your own family and the only recourse is to sever yourself completely from that.

A few days ago my dad calls me and says that he is scared he is going to be alone forever, he misses coming home to his kids and wife, and that he’s depressed.
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Have a little bit of a peruse around the captainawkward archives and the chump lady archives, there’s a lot of posts relating to maintaining or ending relationships with parents who suck.

 

You absolutely have permission to go no contact with this man, he would more than deserve it. Actions have consequences! I really like the suggestion of sending the letter and requesting he get therapy before you reengage. He probably won’t (which will be valuable information) but if he does then maybe there’s hope for a relationship going forward If you do attempt to stay in touch, become god tier at setting and no maintaining boundaries and when he behaves in a way you find unpleasant, end the interaction. Try again another day

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Be honest with dad. Even write a letter and say the reason he is alone is because he physically abused your mother and verbally abused you and your siblings. To please leave mom alone. If he cares about his kids, he will realize this and get help. I understand your dad is your dad and if you choose to see him, you should do so in a public setting where there is a start and end to the visit (ie, at a restaurant, an event with a set start and end time).

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There is no law or rule in this universe that says that you must continue to maintain contact with a person who has harmed you in the past and will continue to use, manipulate, and harm you going forward, even if you are related to them.

 

What he just did is tell you some emotional bs about being alone and you got sucked right into his abusive vortex. If you aren't ready to cut him off completely, then you must learn how to have and enforce strong strict boundaries with him and not get so easily emotionally manipulated. I hope that you are working with a good therapist on how to. Seems like you and your mother have lots of empathy, but not much in the way of sensible boundaries, which attracts abusers precisely because you don't know how to walk away. If you are all grown up, then your mother has no reason to ever have contact with her abusive ex, let alone pick up the phone any time he calls and keep taking abuse from him. Your mother is also demonstrating unhealthy behavior. If something has to be discussed, she can keep him to e-mails only. Don't get between your parents' toxic behaviors and ongoing drama that's sadly being sustained by both of them. Step far away, be sure to heal yourself and insert some sanity into your life. Most importantly, learn how to have and enforce boundaries with people.

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I am pretty estranged from my dad. My dad was abusive in almost every way. Unless you have a real thick skin I don’t recommend staying in contact. That is just abusing yourself, though not purposely. In my very late 40’s I learned that thick skin. When my dad starts acting like an ass in a phone call I will hang up and call 6 months later. He now knows there is no working me over . I am done setting myself in his way.

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A few days ago my dad calls me and says that he is scared he is going to be alone forever, he misses coming home to his kids and wife, and that he’s depressed. He says the relationship wasn’t to the point of divorce! He kept repeating that. I usually go along with anything he says to avoid conflict. It’s like walking on eggshells, you have to be very careful with how you talk to him or he will explode. He calls her and it goes ok, then calls her again a couple days later and he picks a fight with her threatening to take her to court. Then gets mad at me saying that I am “on her side”.

 

At this point I don’t know what to do. He says he wants to have a relationship with me but if I am being honest, I am not comfortable with that at all. He obviously isn’t changing into a better person. At the same time he is my father and I feel like I should. It would be impossible to tell him this. How should I go about this? What do I even say to him?

 

For him to deny anyone else's experience and insist that it wasn't worth ending it over, is a text book abuser move. He's still trying to control the outcome and he isn't taking responsibility for how he got here.

 

Him growing old and alone are the consequences of his behavior and as hard as it may be he has to live with it.

 

Just because you have similar DNA, you didn't choose your father and now especially as an adult you get the right to choose whether or not you want a relationship with him.

 

You owe him nothing at this point.

Having said that, I realize it's not easy.

I agree. Put it in letter. By the sounds of it he's done enough damage.

You don't need or deserve to be subjected by anymore.

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Sorry this is happening, he sounds like a maudlin, self-pitying, manipulative drunk. Advise your mother to delete and block him and get a restraining order. Your only duty is to warn your mother about his sick idea to 'reconnect' (perpetuate the abuse). Do not communicate with him. Communicate with a very good qualified therapist so you do not continue to get manipulated.

 

Do not take the bait and continue any type of conversation, communication, etc. If you were to do that, he knows he has gotten to you and regained power. Do not call write, text, email. If he cared about your thoughts or feeling he would not have beaten your mother to a pulp repeatedly in front of you. Do not assist in any of his abuse by proxy. Do not write him anything. Stand by your mother, not him.

A few days ago my dad calls me and says that he is scared he is going to be alone forever, he misses coming home to his kids and wife, and that he’s depressed. He says he wants to talk to my mother to “be on good terms”.

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"you can't force a square peg in a round hole" - that's how you deal with this.

I have a mentally abusive father - it made me very insecure and unsure of myself for a long long time as a young adult and especially as a teenager.

I even forbid him to have contact with me in any form for almost 5-6 yrs due to his conduct. (and now all i have to do is if he ever starts acting pu again, i just put the wall up and stop engaging with him and he shuts it off).

 

Pavlov. It's all pavlov folks. Reward desired behavior. Un-reward un-desired behavior. I engage and get into my relationship with my father when he behaves in a desired manner (not mentally abusing, not meddling, etc.) When he does, he loses his son. His choice. I've laid out the rules and groundwork and told him what they are - now the rest is up to him. it's not my responsibility or obligation to "fix" him or our relationship anymore.

 

As it is YOUR life, YOU have a right to live it any way you want and that includes who you let into your life and who yo don't. Just because they're your parents doesn't mean you have to accept and involve them in your life. Yes you respect that their your parents - but other than that you don't owe them anything. its YOUR life.

 

Good luck.

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