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Question
Posted by: Cat | 2010/06/23

Just can''t let go

I''m 31, happily married for 9 years, we have a beautiful son &  all should be fine, but I just can''t let go of my miserable childhood.

My parents seperated when I was just 8. My mother left in the middle of the night with me &  my younger brother &  sister - my dad was not at home. She told me years later that she was terrified of my father. He was a manipulative, strict, jealous &  unpredictable man with violent outbursts. I saw him being violent towards my mother many times (I''m the oldest child) &  he even threatened to kill us &  her. They never knew that I witnessed any of this &  my mother was very shocked when I told her about it years later. I suppose she tried her best to protect us from it.

My father in turn blamed his flaws on his childhood. In a nutshell, his father was a cop who commited suicide when he was just a toddler. His mother couldn''t cope with 2 small children alone &  my father was " adopted"  by a family member - the adoption was never legalized, though, but he stayed with the relatives for most of his childhood where he was an only child. (Please keep in mind that this is what was told over by family members who have all passed away, including my father, so this might have been biased comment).

When my mom left he followed us &  took my brother &  me home with him  my sister was only 4 at the time &  remained with my mother. The ensuing divorce dragged on for 5 years because of the custody of us children. During this time my father repeatedly told us that my mother left us for another man &  ofcourse we believed him as kids believe whatever adults say.

Long story short, I was not allowed to see my mother for almost 8 years. My father manipulated the situation by unplugging the telephone on our birthdays &  destroying mail she send us. He also continued telling us that he was the one that was fighting for custody thus he''s the only one that really loves us. This was all lies as my mother exausted all her financial resources to try &  get us back. Whenever we did something wrong he would say that the court would give us to our mother because of what we did. He made is believe that she didn''t want us anymore &  that she was a monster.

Eventually I got to know her during my teen years when I rebelled against my dad''s ridicilously strict rules. My father had one relationship after the other with women that was less than kind towards us kids. He finally married a women with the same temperament as himself &  it was hard growing up in a house where you were told you weren''t wanted, except for mowing the lawn, washing dishes, etc. She finally kicked me out of the house when I was 16.

My relationship with my mother is still strained today, but at least we''re not strangers anymore.

This is bad enough, but my problem is actaully with my father. I have managed to suppress many of the bad memories, but they always seem to surface in my sleep when I can''t control it. The problem is that I assosiate my husband with my father in my dreams &  when I wake up I feel resentment &  fear towards him which is not fair towards him. He''s a wonderful man that has very little in common with my father, except appearance wise. My mother actually pointed to the fact when we started dating that he has a striking resemblance to my father.

I love my husband &  the last thing I want to do is harm my marraige by confusing him with my abusive father subconsiously. He feel extreme resentment &  even hate towards my father. I don''t want to feel that way about my father. He treats me with respect &  as an equal, nothing like the way my father was towards my mother or his children. I never told him about the dreams, probably because I feel ashamed of what I feel is a type if incess.

Why can''t I just move on, why do I see my father in my husband if they are so different? I really want to get passed the ill feelings I have for my father.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Guys, please do try to edit down these exceedingly long and packed postings, as its really hard to read and make sense of them. Editing is a really valuable skill to learn.
A miserable childhood is indeed a sad thing to experience - but whereas most of us leave our childhood behind us, and move on to other things, it sounds as though you pull it around behind you all through life, like a gloomy caravan.
It is really important for you to work with a good psychologist / therapist to work through all these nasty experiences so as to be able to move on with a happier part of your life, laving those burdens behind you. How sad that you had such a monstrous father. But he is not here now, and should not be invited to share any of your day with you. YOu raise very important and complx questions, but these really HAVE to be dealt with in proper psychotherapy with a skilled therapist / psychologist, who can help you work through all the issues and to set yourself fre. It is possible, and important, and well worth doing

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/06/23

Guys, please do try to edit down these exceedingly long and packed postings, as its really hard to read and make sense of them. Editing is a really valuable skill to learn.
A miserable childhood is indeed a sad thing to experience - but whereas most of us leave our childhood behind us, and move on to other things, it sounds as though you pull it around behind you all through life, like a gloomy caravan.
It is really important for you to work with a good psychologist / therapist to work through all these nasty experiences so as to be able to move on with a happier part of your life, laving those burdens behind you. How sad that you had such a monstrous father. But he is not here now, and should not be invited to share any of your day with you. YOu raise very important and complx questions, but these really HAVE to be dealt with in proper psychotherapy with a skilled therapist / psychologist, who can help you work through all the issues and to set yourself fre. It is possible, and important, and well worth doing

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