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please help. i feel so foolish.


rchubn
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My dad (who I havent spoken to in years because he left us) someone attempted to kill my father (gun violence) and I tried to call him at the hospital and his ex step daughter picked up. He was always in her life but never in mine. She informed me he was sleeping but now I feel triggered because it reminds me of him choosing her over me as a child. 

I feel foolish for calling and now I'm triggered. My older brother has been there at the hospital with him and has been begging me to call my father in the hospital because he got devastating news and I did, she picked up, now I'm in this emotional spiral and I feel like an outsider. 

I'm sure she'll tell him I called but I don't know how to muster up enough courage to call again, especially being triggered like this. I dont even know if he wants to talk to me. 

What do I do? 

 

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That sucks. Both the fact that your father was shot and the fact that you are spiraling due to past pain at the same time. I think the important thing here is to reach your father. Is the hospital close enough that you can go visit? Have you spoken to your brother since you tried to call?

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You recognize that you're triggered, so that's a good thing. It means that just as you can talk yourself into over-personalizing the interaction, you can also talk yourself into de-personalizing it by making whoever-she-was irrelevant.

For instance, what if it was a nurse or dietary aid who had answered and reported that your father had finally reached a state of comfortable sleep, which they did not want to disturb. Would you be okay about ringing back later?

Remember the purpose of your call--to comfort HIM with the fact that you are thinking of him and wishing him well. The rest is noise and can be dealt with later.

Accomplish your main goal first. You'll have plenty of time to deal with the emotional stuff later.

Write more if it helps, and head high. You can do this!

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8 hours ago, rchubn said:

 My older brother has been there at the hospital with him and has been begging me to call my father in the hospital 

Was your father the victim of a crime? What condition is he in?

Speak to your own family,not the stepsister.

Stop being "triggered". The term is overused. Not every unpleasant encounter has to result in that.

Focus on yourself and whatever family members you talk to and get along with.

Edited by Wiseman2
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4 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Was your father the victim of a crime? What condition is he in?

Speak to your own family,not the stepsister.

Stop being "triggered". The term is overused. Not every unpleasant encounter has to result in that.

Focus on yourself and whatever family members you talk to and get along with.

My father was a victim of attempted homicide. He is potentially paralyzed or will be because they cannot remove one of the bullets from spinal cord without doing more damage 

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I understand how you feel , my bio father was an abusive parent and he raised my MATERNAL cousins because he had an affair and got together with my mom’s brother’s wife. He pitted my cousins and my brother and I against each other. He would say you’re not my children anymore I have “other children”. No I can’t give you anything for your wedding because I paid 3000 towards your cousin’s wedding so too bad for you. Things like that. He never paid a cent for her wedding by the way it was a lie to make me mad. He was as evil as they come. 
 

I still felt it necessary for my own peace of mind to go and talk to him in the hospital before he died sit with him after he died to pray for him and do his eulogy at his funeral. Where were these supposed other children ? Nowhere. My brother and I who he had abandoned more than 30 years before were the ones there for him. 

Edited by Seraphim
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Here is a wound you still have and it’s been bumped and that hurts. And it’s ok, I think (I mean pretty normal). What can you do for the rest of today that is being kind to yourself? Tomorrow you can think about how to help that wound heal perhaps, maybe look into what catfeeder is trying to teach you (me too on a different thread) but today just be gentle with yourself I think. 

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I echo Seraphim's advice.  I was not close with my father in part due to his mental illness and how he treated me as a result.  When he was dying I contributed by helping with the financial and legal resources that were needed at that time.  I lived a plane ride away.  My mother did not want me to visit him not because we weren't close but because he was in such a bad way -severe alzheimers -and she wanted us to remember him not like that. I did make peace with him years before he died so there was that.  But we weren't close. 

My sister helped my mom more emotionally as she still lived close enough by.  I also supported my mother that way.  So - can you support someone who is supporting your father so you are contributing but not being as triggered? 

I also wanted to add -everyone is different but in the 5 years since he died I find myself thinking, randomly of memories where he contributed to my values, my successes, my personhood.  It's weird to have these memories but I am glad I have really no guilt and little regret given that I made peace and tried to help my family as best I could when he was dying for those months. 

I wish you all the very best.  I am so very sorry he is a crime victim and so very sorry he didn't treat you properly.  It's so hard.  I support you.

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I am glad I have really no guilt and little regret given that I made peace and tried to help my family as best I could when he was dying for those months.

3 hours ago, Seraphim said:

I still felt it necessary for my own peace of mind to go and talk to him in the hospital before he died sit with him after he died to pray for him and do his eulogy at his funeral.

Yes, that's what it's all about--peace of mind. This is for you. Do whatever you can to move past the anger and resentment or you're going to re-live them over and over again. And, if you don't move past them, that anger and resentment will eventually turn into guilt and regret, which will gnaw at you. So, do it for yourself (unless discomfort is your comfort level, which is totally possible).

Edited by Jibralta
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17 hours ago, rchubn said:

What do I do? 

Take a deep breath, step way back and ask yourself what is the purpose for you personally to call or talk to him now? Forget what your older brother is demanding or the stepsister issues and focus on just you.

What feels right for you? Do you really want to talk to him after all these years? Would you rather stay away? There is no right or wrong, only what is right for you personally and your peace of mind.

He left you and you haven't talked in years, so you have no obligation to provide succor to him now. Again, what you want to do or not do is entirely up to you. If you think stepping back into a toxic dynamic will not be good for you, then stay away. If you think you'll regret not talking to him, then pick up the phone and give him a call.

If your brother is pushing you into doing something that feels wrong to you and brings up past trauma, let him know that you need him to back off and stop forcing his views or feelings on you. If you want to avoid the stepsister, maybe talk to your brother and see when he is there, so he can let you know when your father is actually awake so you can call then.

Tune out the noise from others, sit with yourself and figure out what is right for you personally and go with that.

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4 hours ago, rchubn said:

My father was a victim of attempted homicide. He is potentially paralyzed or will be because they cannot remove one of the bullets from spinal cord without doing more damage 

Sorry to hear that. They simply needed to inform you because you are his biological daughter. However stand back, there's a lot of recovery and communicate with your brother about things.

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