Posted by: Blue | 2004/09/22

The man I called father

I wrote here about my father couple of weeks ago. I talked about how terrible he was and ho he seemed to have forgotten all the bad things. When I wrote he was sick and he was complaining why we hadn't come to see him - even though he had never visited any of us when we were sick. I wrote about how disappointed and hurt I was that he had never acknowledged m child. Enough background.

We decided to go see him and the joy in his face when he saw us touched my heart. We spent the whole day at home. At some point he was sitting alone and a thought of going to talk to him 'to clear things' crossed my mind. I didn't go because the illness he had made him loose his mind saw I thought he wouldn't follow everything. I was also scared of him.

He passed away a couple of weeks ago. I was very sad for him. All the time he was sick I wished he would recover so we can talk about things and hopefully reconcile. As a teenager I forgave him a lot of time (on my own) but it didn't work because he just did something else. I must admit that months before his death I was very angry and hurt because he didn't acknowledge my child and he said something to somebody else that made me realise he really does not love me. A month or so before his death I decided to let go of all the anger and move on with my life.

Now that he gone I have a lot of emotions. Sometimes I think maybe w should have loved him despite his ways. When people spoke about him it seemed to me they were talking about a different person. Apparently he was very decent to his collegues and was a father figure to younger ones. When some of his collegues (around my age) described their relationship with him I was almost jealous because I would have loved to have that relationship with him.

I guesse he were to wake up today I would ask him why he never loved me. I know he was disappointed by the fact that I was a girl when he so much wanted a son. I am not convinced this is the only reason though. Surely people get over this. I guesse I'll never know now.

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Our expert says:
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Blue, don't blame yourself for your normal and natural feelings. He gave you many reasons not to love him. Some men are excellent at work, and lousy in their family relationships. Your feelings, though, are based on the relationship he had with you, not the others, and the ways in which he hurt you. You were kind to him towards the end, and that was a very loving thing you did, and you can feel proud of yourself and content that you were gracious towards him, even if he didn't truly deserve it.
And now you can certainly continue and get over it, as you don't need him or anything he could do or say, in order to get over the problems he caused --- in counselling, you can still set yourself free. And that is something you need to do, and which he couldn't do.

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.

Our users say:
Posted by: Enigma | 2004/09/23

-In the living years-
Mike and the Mechanics.

Reply to Enigma
Posted by: Tina | 2004/09/22

I cannot tell you how much your father reminds me of my own father (who is still alive, and living in another province). He, too, seems to live a double life, because his colleagues worship him and think he is "such a wonderful man".

I cannot tell you how much pain and mental anguish he caused me (and my late mother) through the years. I am nearly 40 years old and, in many ways, a severely damaged woman, who has never had an intimate relationship with another human being.

I know that there is nothing more destructive than a love-hate relationship with one's father (or mother). I have been hurt and betrayed by the man who ought to have loved me more than any other man, and I really wish I had never known his love in the first place, because the pain I am suffering has paralyzed me to the extent that I will never be able to get married and have the children I so desperately wanted (now it is too late).

I have been on chronic medication for a severe anxiety disorder for 20 years already, and I feel like an absolute freak. This is despite the fact that I am physically an attractive woman. My father's constant belittling of me through the years has left me with a severe "social phobia". Emotionally I am very dead inside, and I really have no empathy for anyone. That, in itself, makes me feel like even more of a freak. Moreover, it makes me feel extremely guilty, and terrified that people will get to know the real me. It also makes me feel unwomanly, because women are supposed to be emotional and tender-hearted. But I have become very hardened inside and have lost all spirituality. I no longer believe in God.

I doubt strongly whether your father's feelings towards you are the result of your having been born a girl. Most parents who belittle their children and break their spirits are, themselves, very broken people. And they do not have a good self-image.

One of the many psychologists who tried to help me through the years, told me that my father probably couldn't handle my growing up when I was a teenager because I was too attractive. He possibly felt threatended by this. Maybe he felt he would lose his little girl to another man. As a jealous man, he felt he would not be able to handle this, so he had to ensure that he belittled me to the extent where I would never be able to respond to another man's love.

However, this is only an assumption. The true reason why my father treated me the way he did when I was a teenager (and caused me to have a nervous breakdown in my late teens), I will never know. I am far too terrified to ask him.

What I realy wanted to say is : you are not alone. There are other fathers like yours out there, and there are people who understand what it is like to be the daughter of such a man. I believe, however, that everything balances out in the end and that, by the time we die, we have all known equal joy and equal pain. So the sun will still shine for you (and me). There is no such thing as eternal darkness. I am always full of hope and optimism.

Reply to Tina

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