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September 12, 2006
3:36 pm
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ocean lover
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Hi. I just found this sight today and read several posts. I have been trying to find answers to some problems that I am having in my life. My story is a little long, but I need to explain so that someone will hopefully understand my issue and maybe be able to offer some advice.

I grew up in a very unstable home. My mother was 18 and my father was 21 when I was born. They divorced when I was 6. My mother remarried and I saw my father very rarely after that. For as long as I can remember, my mother drank very heavily. She was an alcoholic. She was very distant towards my sister and I throughout our childhood. Her life seemed to revolve around her next drink. She was very quiet and very distant. My life was so unstable and sad. I was very insecure and shy. I always felt that everyone had a better life than me and that I was very different. My grandmother and grandfather tried to help as much as they could. They were both a very positive influence in my life. My only memories of good times were with them.

My sister and I lived with our father for about a year during all this time (I was around 15 and my sister was 13). It was not a pleasant experience. We were sent to our fathers by local authorities because a neighbor reported that we had been left alone by our mother for a week at home. My fathers attitude about this was that we were spoiled children and not to expect a party at his house. I think that he was very bothered by the fact that someone actually asked him to take part in helping us out. He had never paid child support and had only seen us a couple of times after the divorce. He was married to a woman that was very jealous and extremely manipulating of my father. Anyway, she did not care for us at all and did everything in her power to keep my sister and I from building some sort of relationship with our father. Of course, he didn't do to much to make it any better. Anyway, after about a year we went back to live with our mother and lived much the same way that we did before we lived with our father.

I am in my late 30's now. I will say that my life has changed quite a bit. I have two children. One is in high school and my other child just graduated from high school and is working full-time now and getting ready to attend college part-time. I know that I have issues with the past, but for the most part, I feel like my life has turned out ok. I have a good job and a nice home and family. I am married for the second time to a great guy. My first husband (the father of my children) is involved with our 2 children. My second husband and I have no children together. For the most part, we live a good life.

My problem is dealing with my mother and father.
My mother lives at home with her third husband. She no longer drinks and has not drank in about 15 years, but she takes so many different medications (nerve pills, anti-depressants, etc.) that she basically just exists. She is severely depressed. She is on disability due to mental illness. Her day consists of sitting in a recliner, smoking cigarettes all day long and going to bed around 6pm. She wants to have a relationship with me over the phone, but other than that she is pretty much set on not living any sort of life whatsoever. She has recently been discharged from the hospital after a 2 week stay for severe depression and now she is back on the phone wanting to talk to me again. I guess I just wish I had a normal mother. I just feel that she has never tried to be a mother to me and has always just tried to deal with her own problems. She always talks about her problems, but has never helped me in any sort of way whatsoever. I have argued with her and asked her if she realizes how much pain she has caused me and why can't she solve her problems and then try to be a normal mother and grandmother to my children. Why should I listen to her complaints and just chit chat about this and that on the phone with her when she has never made any sort of effort to make things up to me or to even become a good mother. I hope this makes sense to someone. I just feel like my sister and I spent our entire lives trying to survive and now I feel like it's my mothers place to try to make things up to us. She did not come to my sons high school graduation. She was not there when neither of my children were born. I just feel like she has always worried about herself and forgotten that she had children.

My other problem:
I recently searched online for my father since I have not talked with him in 18 years. I found him and called him on the phone. His wife (the same woman he was married to when we lived with him that year) answered the phone. She was very ugly to me and asked me how could I live with myself for 18 years and never talk to my father. I told her that we were young children at that time and I felt like it was my father's responsiblity to try to have a relationship with his children. Anyway, I told her that I was calling now and that I just wanted to talk with my dad. We talked briefly and he said he had to go. I thought that was the end of that. (my husband has always encouraged me to get in contact with my father again). Anyway during our brief conversation on the phone that one time, he had asked me where I was working and I told him. So about a week later I got a call at work and it was him. He wanted to know if I wanted to eat lunch with him. I agreed and my husband and I both ate lunch with him. During lunch I discovered that my father currently lived about 30 minutes away from us. He also told me that his wife is bi-polar and that was why she was so hard to live with when we came to live with him when we were younger. He was also apologetic about the fact that he had not been a great father, but said that he would never leave me again and to give his wife some time to come around and hopefully we could all have a relationship. We ate lunch together on 2 other occassions and called each other from time to time during the course of about 5 months. Every time I talked with him or ate lunch with him, he told me he loved me. He asked me to keep our meetings and phone conversations a secret from his wife since her bipolar illness would cause her to go into a rage if she found out about all of our meetings. My husband and I did go to their house and we did have dinner with them, but that was only after we were invited by his wife. I tried to be very nice to her so that I could have a relationship with my father. I felt very uncomfortable with having to go through her to talk with daddy at home and also felt very uncomfortable with keeping our lunches together a secret. I was also asled to keep any phone conversations that we had a secret, unless I called their home, spoke to her first and then asked to speak to daddy, which was ok with her. My husband felt very funny about this arrangement too, but his advice was to go along with it for awhile as long as it opened the door to a relationship with my father.
Anyway, one day I called their house and his wife answered. She was nice to me as she had always been since we all reunited. Somehow, I slipped up and mentioned that daddy had told me something on the phone. She wanted to know if I had talked to daddy on the phone and without knowing what else to say I told her I had talked with him. She immediately hung up and daddy called me back and asked me why I had slipped like that. I told him that it was an accident and had slipped and he told me he had to go. I was so upset. He called me the next day at work and told me he loved me but he wished that I had not slipped and mentioned our phone conversation to her. Soon after that he sent me an email and said that he would need to break our relationship off and he hoped I had a good life and that I was married to a wonderful man and he hoped the best for me. I cried for an entire day. My husband was extremely upset. I called that night and his wife answered. I told her that I needed to talk with my daddy and she said that he didnt want to talk with me. I begged her to let me talk with him and he wouldnt talk to me. My husband called him back and his wife answered. He argued with her for quite some time and he told her that he couldn't believe what kind of person she was. She told him that my sister and I were spoiled brats when we lived with them. My husband gave her an ear ful. He then called my dad's cell phone and left him a long message. He told him that he could not believe what he had done to me again, and that he really thought he was a man but he was wrong. I also called him and left a long message and just vented everything I felt about him and how he had treated me all my life. This all happened about 2 months ago. He has not called me and I have not called him.

So, why am I having such a hard time forgetting about him. I find myself constantly thinking about everything that happened. I am so angry with him, but yet I find myself hopeing that he will call me at work and apologize, then ask me if I want to go to lunch with him.

What should I do about my mother? I get so angry with her every time she calles me.

I know this is long and drawn out, but I don't know what to do. Can anyone offer any advice?

September 12, 2006
4:02 pm
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southgoingzax
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hi ocean,

I'm super busy today, so I can't write now - hang tight, I'm sure someone will have some advice, and I'll try to post later,

zax

September 12, 2006
4:37 pm
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StronginHim77
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ocean -

I have read your entire posting. It touched my heart deeply. First of all, I would encourage you to look for an "ACOA" meeting (Adult Children of Alcoholics) in your vicinity. The bottom line for those who survive being raised by an alcoholic mother is emotional starvation. Alcoholics are unable to meet the emotional needs of those close to them (spouse, children, sibilings, etc.). This is not something we can take personally. It has nothing to do with you. This is simply something that addicts CANNOT DO.

Unfortunately, your father is also emotionally unavailable to you.

Now, let's look at the Truth, the best we can:

* You expressed alot of anger and disappointment that your mother (1) failed to show up for the births of either of her grandchildren; and (2) has made no effort to establish a relationship with them (i.e., be a "grandma"). How can you expect your mother to function in the grandmother role, when she was already incapable of fulfilling the MOTHER role? That's like hoping a reptile will develop an emotional bond with its keeper. AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN.

* You are also angry with the way your father has conceded to the "wicked stepmother's" bipolar moods and resentment of your presence in his life. First, let me share with you that I, also, had an absolutely EVIL stepmother who spent her entire life, undermining and opposing any contact between my father and myself. (She wouldn't even let me into the nursing home where he lay dying, despite his asking for me.) So, I understand how much harm she appears to have done you.

However, the fault does not lie with the wicked stepmother. The fault lies with the wicked FATHER. He is the one who shortchanged you. He is the one who chose to elevate HER over YOU. He has the problem. Face it: he is a despicable father. I can only assure you that the day will come when he will deeply regret his rejection of you. And that is what it is: parental rejection. Because he did not raise you, he never formed a bond with you. From the way you describe him, it sounds like he isn't CAPABLE of that normal, parental bond. Alot of people aren't. Not a nice reality to deal with, but there it is. You are going to have to accept it.

Here is an old woman's best advice to you: stop trying to berate, cajole, wheedle, whine, beg, rebuke or demand caring and deccent behavior from your mother. She is a very damaged soul who is incapable of GIVING LOVE. End of story. There is nothing to be gained by hating her, resenting her, pleading with her, reasoning with her or raging at her. She is what she is. Let go of it. Same thing with your father. He provided the sperm that put you on this planet. That doesn't make him a father. Let him go. HIS loss. Trust me on this. HUGE loss for him which he will probably realize someday.

Be grateful that you have such a wonderful and loyal husband. Be grateful that you have two wonderful children. And I commend you for being a caring, compassionate wife and mother, qualities neither one of your parents ever possessed.

God bless you. Be at peace. Move on with your life. Leave them behind where they belong.

- Strong

September 12, 2006
5:10 pm
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ocean lover
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Strong,

Thank you so much. I felt as though a weight was lifted from my shoulders as I read your comment. I was hoping that someone out there would understand my problems and be able to offer advice. What you said makes so much sense to me. I almost now feel more sympathy towards my mother than anger and I'm still not sure how I feel about my dad. I think because his wife is also involved in the situation, it's almost as though I am angry at both of them. As far as my mom calling all the time asking me...." Do you have time to talk to your mom?" What should I do? I know I'm the one who needs to answer that question, but I feel like when I just say, "ok mom, I will talk to you, what do you want to talk about?" I really feel like I need to say, "Wake up mom! Make all the wrongs you did to me right! You don't deserve get any conversation from me. Then I guess my heart kicks in and I feel sympathy for her. It is so hard sometimes. I just cant for the life of me understand how parents can do so much harm and then sleep at night???

September 12, 2006
7:17 pm
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chelonia mydas
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Ocean lover,

Welcome to the site 🙂
I have a similar relationship with my mother. She put me in very bad situations when I was a kid. And now that she is getting old she wants me to be in her life at her convience and act like she was the best mom ever. While my head and all my friends tell me that I don't owe her anything and to keep her out of my life completely- when I do this I feel guilty. If a friend were in this situation- I would tell them to not have anything to do with her- but when it comes down to doing it- I haven't been able to. At first I was very upset with myself over the whole situation but at this point I have worked it out so I'm OK with continuing contact with my mom by limiting the topics we talk about and the length of the phone call. For example when she calls I tell her that I only have X minutes to talk and I follow it usually with in about 5 minutes. If she starts to talk about things that upset me, I tell her to change the subject. If she chooses to stay on that topic, I hang up. It was hard at first, but now she is trained and our conversations are acceptable. I talk to her 4-5 times a year- she lives over a thousand miles away so I rarely see her. I am usually able to accept that she will never see the hurt she caused me, she chooses not to change who she is- and she is living her life- I am living mine. I choose not to live the way she does- period. She is incapable of consideration for anyone except herself- and even then she treats herself poorly too. I say usually able- because there are many times that I forget those things- especially when I am talking to her. My mom usually only wants to talk to me during times when all of her friends are talking about their kids- ie holidays, back to school, graduation etc. So I am not faced with frequent calls- which is nice.

If your mom is a persistant caller- I would suggest getting caller ID and screening your calls.

Its OK to not have contact with your parents- sometimes its the sanest and best choice.

hugs,
Chelonia

September 12, 2006
7:30 pm
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taj64
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Wow what a powerful story. I understand your feelings. You wanted so much to have your daddy in your life and it felt great and all in short time, it was taken away not by him but by the controlling wife who is not your mother. It hurts so terribly. You wish he would stand up for you, knowing that you are right, knowing that you are his flesh and blood and your his little girl and he disappointed you not just long time ago but again. It is like being set up all over again. I think he is just trying to preserve what he has only known for his life right now. Sometimes even though this happened you should realize that underneath it all they still love you though they cannot really show it. Im sure underneath they too have something happened to them that causes them to be this way. All you can do is forgive though hard, work through the anger and never blame yourself. You're lucky to have such a wonderful husband, one that stands by you this way.

January 18, 2007
1:22 pm
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ocean lover
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January 18, 2007
1:24 pm
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revelation
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The answer is probably right in front of you...whats the question? Maybe someone here can lead you in the direction of the answer?

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