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My self esteem is taking a beating and I'm spiraling down....
February 22, 2001
12:03 am
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yosh
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I had an argument with my father three days ago that has left me feeling completely horrible. We were fixing some things in my new condo, and he was sloppily spreading caulk not only in the grooves where he intended to put it, but also on the floor and surrounding areas. I was really exasperated at this sloppiness and asked him why he couldn't slow down and not make such a mess. Of course, my commented ignited such anger. He dropped what he was doing and said, "Ehhhhh, FORGET IT! I'm not going to help you anymore. You are too much of a perfectionist. That's why no one is interested in you. You're all fake. You act nicely to others, but it's all a front--you're not really nice at all."

Well, that was about a one minute verbal attack......and it has stayed with me the last three days. I'm a professional musician and had a performance tonight. Do you know that I doubted myself in the performance and didn't play well? The thoughts have infiltrated everything I'm currently doing.

Now, I have to say that this verbal abuse was a pattern in my family, especially between my father and mother. When my mother was alive, she was the one who got the brunt of my father's anger (arising in the same manner.) Now, every once in a while, he lashes out at me when I infer anything that he might take as a criticism

I am usually extremely tolerant of the things my father does, mainly because I do not want to have arguments like this. I am 41 years old and he will be 70 this year.

I just don't know how to erradicate these thoughts from my mind. If anything, my mind is perpetuating my father's words into more negative thoughts......I am bad, aren't I a good person....maybe it IS why I never am able to have a successful relationship....

What can I do to detox from this?

February 22, 2001
7:35 am
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janes
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There's a neat book called Change your Brain, Change your life that has methods for erasing negetive thought patterns and other good info too.

Each time a negetive thought enters your head erase it and replace it with a positive.

Take Dad's criticism for what it is...--part of him you saw with your mom. He hasn't changed so now you get the verbal abuse. It doesn't mean you have to accept it.

Maybe he's right///maybe you are to much of a perfectionist...so what.

And I'd suggest that if you need work done around home...you hire it done...that way if you don't like the work...you dont pay til it's right.

Just have Dad over for dinner and as a guest...maintain the relationship...but leave the expectations behind.

good luck

February 22, 2001
12:02 pm
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Molly
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Its a tough one, but one of the things I learned was that we own the power to empower, or disempower what we hear. True, it hurt, maybe what he said, I am sure his feelings were hurt too, and this a normal reaction from him. Maybe he really wanted to help, and your critisism, was what he has ratteling in his head, as you now have something he said ratteling in your head. Obviously he loves you, despite the way he does, or does not show it. Keep your head straight for the music, try to love him but not empower any negativity. Be confident, and hell be perfect, its not so bad, just treat the old fart in as good as way as you can tolorate.

February 22, 2001
11:40 pm
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yosh
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Dear Janes and Molly,

If you look back on this thread, you will know that I have read your suggestions and appreciate the time you took to respond. I bought the book you suggested this afternoon Janes, and Molly, I totally agree with you. Both your opinions were important for me to hear.

Thank you very much.....I'm already on the mend, and I have also been able to stand back and look at Dad's comments to me more constructively and not take it so hard.. It was important to remember that I hurt his feelings too.

February 23, 2001
4:59 am
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i'm so sorry yosh.
in my opinion, ur father is at fault.
just like u said, the verbal abuse.
maybe he was dropping the glue on the floor cause he has lesser control on his actions? like weak muscles? i dont know.
but lets suppose even if he didnt have any such weakness, even then it will help if you can adopt an indifferent attitude towards whatever he does.
but thats difficult i know.
so one option, in my opinion is, that if ir father doesnt have any mental ailment like what... alzhimer's disease or disillusions, which can happen to elderly ppl, then you can adopt the aggressive posture. but only when ure sure u did the right thing.
like he says in this sentence "You are too much of a perfectionist. That's why no one is interested in you. You're all fake. You act nicely to others, but it's all a front--you're not really nice at all."

well, u can reply to him, that its because of HIM that you are like that. u can say "you are my father and you taught me what to be. so its not my fault! you should have been more careful when brining me up!"

i know its very aggressive behavior, and probably u cant even think of saying this to him ...

but i'm vyer very sure thats its not ur fault. plzzzz.
ur father did verbal abuse on you and ur mother too.

i think its time for him to face these facts! tell him that he has always been negative to you and mother! and that you didnt deserve all this negative crap he gave you and now you as a son, will not see any of it from now on!

u have to be strong! im telling, its not ur fault ...

the changes u have to bring in urself ? just recognize first that it was not ur fault!
time to bring down the first at the table and let your father know "im not going to take any of ur negative criticism again from now on!"

u can talk to ur mother and discuss whether she too has been effected by this negative crap. if yes you both can talk to him and tell him that it has effected it.
i know... maybe u cant think of doing this right now.
but u have to realize its not ur fault. just be strong. never give up.

b/w i'd like to know how u treat ur own children? cause in most cases ppl just treat their children the way they were treated. its interesting how the same pattern can continue.
but i dont know... maybe u dont give ur children -ve crap, which is good.

all i want to tell you that plz dont beat urself down, its not ur fault. good luck.

February 23, 2001
9:15 am
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yosh
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To Guest_Guest,

I will have to think about your thoughts to me. Thank you for writing.

No, my father is in complete control of his mental and physical capacities. He has always done what he wanted, been too quick to act on anything, and you just can't slow him down (he's the youngest in a family of 8 children--kind of wild, if you know what I mean.)

My mother suffered from his verbal abuse for many years and passed away 6 years ago at the age of 68 to cancer. She was, to a certain extent, mentally ill because of the abuse......and had no one but me to voice her feelings and her frustrations. It was very difficult, but she would never agree to leaving.

I have had a few discussions with my father regarding this and he realizes he flies off the handle and says things he doesn't mean to say. "He just can't control himself" he says. But, like many men of that generation, he's not willing to look beyond that.

If I were not the child in that family, I probably would have taken some sort of action 20-25 years ago. At the time, I was too young to know how to handle it all. And, I recognize that I can harbor that degree of anger within myself when I feel "trapped." I have spent many years in therapy erradicating those intense feelings to lash out. I think when I am not so tolerant with my Dad, I probably still show hints of that anger. For the people who know me (and I'm very much a people person,) they would be very surprised to hear me say this (I rarely get angry in any situation.)

As for children, I am divorced and I have no children. I would hope that if I had children, I would NEVER inflict them with verbal abuse. I am hoping that being so aware of the issue would keep me from ever doing that.

February 25, 2001
9:08 pm
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ahh.. im so moody. i dont feel to write anything else.
but mr yosh, good luck. i hope u can be strong in urself and solve the depression. you seem a nice person so i hope u can get rid of those guilt pangs brought to u by ur father.
i think its time to show ur father, little by little, that its time for him to respect you now. u can do this by little gestures, being happy in urself, showing ur indiividuality and having confidence in ur correct decisions. etc.etc. i guess u would know better.
good luck!

February 26, 2001
5:55 pm
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yosh
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Dear Guest_guest,

I'm ok now.....thanks to you and other caring people who've I've vented to. My father knows when he's said things that are hurtful. He never expresses his apology verbally, which is unfortunate (but maybe that's more typically as most Asian men are), but he made me a wonderful dinner over the weekend and kept flitting around me asking me if I wanted this or that. And so, I have to accept that as his apology.

Your words are important to me though Guest_guest. It's important for me not to allow my father to do this to me again. I will not let the next incident (of course, I always hope there won't be a next time) happen without recourse.

Thanks again for your kindness. And I am "Ms." Yosh.

February 26, 2001
10:24 pm
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hehe i thought u were male. sorry. now thats funny. hmmmm. maybe cause i seem to think that boys are abused more than girls cause they have to perform better in studies (supporting a family) etc. thats true atleast in the eastern countries.
so i thought ure male.
hmmm so thats nice, he made u dinner.
dont expect too much from urself next time. i mean dont expect a 100% recovery. things need time to turn around, so be prepared that things might not go as u wanted(with ur dad). still, dont give up, have confidence in ur correct decisions. things could be fine.

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