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like i was slapped in the face
March 6, 2007
1:15 am
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cpt1212
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BACKGROUND growing up my father was as an untreated bi-polar who had an extremely violent childhood and became a father very young. my mother was loving to us but very insecure and often depressed and very much in love with my father . . . (sounds like the beginning of a Lifetime movie! ha). needless to say, that although there were good times in my family there were some pretty terrible times. i am almost thirty, in therapy and live half a country away from family. I speak to my dad on the phone 1 or 2 times a year if he picks up my mom's phone when i call, but i talk to my mom several times a week. they are still together.

so the other day i was on the phone with my mom and i was talking about a close friend who was having a hard time in her marriage and my started huffing and puffing about woman who put up with being disrespected and they need to do this and they need to that and she always felt cherished by her husband. i let it slide. it bothered me when i got off the phone, i laughed about with my sister. today i was talking to my mom and she said that she had some advice for my friend and that it was really making her mad and how she needed to stop crying and do this and that and stand up for herself and she had real anger in her voice talking about my friend's husband. then she said how my dad had called her a b***h one time in 31 yrs of marriage and he apologized for years afterward---i called her on it and said that i am sure that there are things i don't know about their relationship and yes, he can be very sweet to her, but that is not always the case---i brought up a couple of examples and also asked her sarcastically if she felt so cherished all the time why did she look outside the marriage for fulfillment? she just said that she was not going to talk about this with me (which is pretty convenient b/c since i was a child she has confided in me as her friend inappropriate things about their relationship and has on too many times to count called to tell me what an ass my dad is and if she leaves him can she stay with me).

so i say all of that to say that if she wants to believe in a fairy tale that is her business, but my dad was abusive to me, he took the brunt of his anger out on me and targeted me when he was having his bi-polar swings. having my mom whitewash everything feels so invalidating. i think this is especially true because growing up and even now sometimes when i visit if my dad is on the downswing he would ignore me for weeks, as if i didn't exist, but he would be particularly nice to my mom and my little brother in front of me and she would go along.

i called my older sister (8 yrs older) to ask her is she felt the same way i did about the conversation and she said that she left all that behind when she left when she was 16, and that i needed to get over it too.

i guess i just want someone elses opinion---am i being melodramatic? is what i am feeling inappropriate?

March 6, 2007
1:31 am
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cpt,

What you are feeling is what you are feeling. Your feelings are yours, whether anyone else thinks they are appropriate or not. It's tricky trying to get validation from siblings... sounds like your older sister is very strongly defended against exploring *why* she left at 16.

Her refusal to discuss it with you and slamming the door shut saying she "put it all behind" her, suggests to me that she actually swept it all under the carpet. But be that as it may, it doesn't sound like she is going to be a source of validation or support for you around what happened in your family. I'm sorry, (((cpt))).

Posting here is a good alternative. Keep on taking care of you, it's the best thing you can do.

March 6, 2007
1:36 am
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cpt1212
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thanks kroika,

no i know my sister hasn't dealt with it, my dad kicked her out at 16 and now she is 38 and still acts like a teenager. when she drinks too much she cries about what happened when we were younger, but other than she stonewalls. i guess that part doesn't really upset me as much as my mom and her delusions of the "happy family"---like i imagined the abuse.

I just ask about the appropriateness of the feelings b/c i don't trust my feelings yet, and i don't have a good compass for these things.

March 6, 2007
2:56 am
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Hi cpt,

Sorry that your family are so caught up in denial. I hear you about not having a "good compass" for assessing whether your feelings are 'appropriate'. As you heal and grow and work through your stuff, probably your feelings *will* change. However, as writers on the topic of recovery are so wont to point out, "the only way out is through".

Reminds me of another piece of wisdom that is presented like a joke:
Q: How do you make good decisions?
A: From experience.
Q: How do you get experience?
A: By making bad decisions!

Er, well, it seemed connected to me when I thought of it. I guess the idea being that our feelings become more "appropriate" as we work through the "inappropriate", extreme, melodramatic ones.

OK, going to bed now! Hope that was at least somewhat useful.....

March 6, 2007
9:17 am
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ggfred4
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cpt, okay, thanks for asking me to read your thread. Your thread really is touching my heart because it deals with your father and I have father issues too. Like kroika, I believe you are feeling and that is a good thing. I probably was more like your sister and hid everything, but I promise, it will come out for her one day on her time. One thing I have learned on the aac is that it is okay to feel and to hurt and that is part of the healing process. It is very hard and during this you do need support. Writing your feelings here will help you and any feedback you get will be helpful. I have also learned so much from other people's threads too.

My mom has always seem to back my dad; yet I do not know her true feelings. Your mom is in a tough situation if she loves your father. She may be embarrassed, etc. I am just throwing out stuff here that may not be true. I understand what you meant by the whitewashing statement. I remember seeing my mom watch in a corner while my dad beat us with a belt with nothing on the waist down. I wanted to be rescued by her, but she didn't. She always seem to believe in him. I still don't understand it.

You are NOT being melodramatic; you are the one in your family that is feeling the pain and the sorrow and wanting to heal...good for you!!! I wish you the best...keep in touch...

gg

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