SRS Father figure issue

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Intro, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Intro

    Intro New Member

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    Im 21 I live at home and go to college. Just recently i have come to the realization (at least in my opinion) that i was not raised well.
    The title of this thread should give you an idea of where im going.
    The reason i say father figure issue(dont know the correct terminology), i dont believe i had one, though lived with both my parent's all my life. He is in simple words an asshole. His answer to everything is short sentences which are very inconclusive, he looks at things and picks them apart, he never communicates with any of the family members, my mother wanted to leave him ( he wouldn't attend marriage counseling) but she is just to scared to (my opinion), he's never physically abused us though(to my knowledge), to get us to do something he doesnt ask he yells and he expects it to get done immediately (recently ive been getting peeved at that and told him i had things to do and will get to it later, wich i do), he's hard to talk to because all his words are sarcastic (o boys, oks, etc.), i have a hard time looking at his eyes because they just look so full of hate at the world and at us, in general he makes me feel like shit. I feel i have missed out on a big part of my development, i have a problem talking to people, i cant maintain eye contact, i always think everything that happens is my fault, sorry for the poor English but it is hard to write about. To anyone who cares enough to answer this, what should i do, is there any way to make up lost ground? am i just trying to throw the blame on him? what should i do, make it work? move out? :sadwavey:
     
  2. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    well you are only in control of yourself and not him. you may just be too immature to understand what hes done positive for you in your life. but at the same time maybe you should just move out and take responsibility for yourself. if he sees you do this he will likely respect you more.
     
  3. Victoriono

    Victoriono New Member

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    Sounds abit wierd to me that you just came to the realization that you're not well raised. If it hasn't struck you until now it sounds to me like you have had a quite good upbringing, atleast not a bad one. Sure you're just not looking for some sympathy?

    If he makes you feel like shit then don't stay in contact with him. Take baby steps, start by saying just hi to people, maintain eye-contact with your dog or whatever. No reason to dwell on how you were raised, you are the only one who are held responsible for how your life is.

    Move out and start acting more like an adult.
     
  4. Intro

    Intro New Member

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    i was just looking for others opinion since right now mine is biased,
    I've been coming to this realazation for about 6 months.
     
  5. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    Stop looking for something that isn't there, your dad is just a stranger who happens to be related by blood to you. You are always searching for that spark of love to no avail, its not there its not waiting there for you, he's never going to make you happy in this life. He is a worthless father. Stop this search at once.

    My advice is no longer to waste any time on him, he had his chance to be a father and he blew it completely. You are better off by starting off from scratch, and you will be a better man then he ever was by being exactly not what he is.
     
  6. iwishyouwerebeer

    iwishyouwerebeer you shut your cunt Moderator

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    This is something I actually learned about years ago. My father is a horrible father. Those who know my family have told me that they feel bad for me because my father might as well not be around with the level of attention he gives me. Anywho, this is not about me, I came here to write that realizing he isn't a good father is no reason to freak out and convince yourself that the reason for you social ineptitude is because of him. Sure, that could have a big part of it but it doesn't mean you'll never be able to change.

    My whole life I was nagged at for never making eye contact with anyone. How did I change that? By making a conscious effort to make eye contact with everyone. It's been about 3 years since I really started trying and I now make great eye contact with people and haven't been told by anyone since! Same goes for feeling guilt when something goes wrong; it's just one of those things you have to remind yourself is not your fault.

    The thing I've learned is that my father, while a total asshole, has single handedly ruined my sister's emotional side. I refuse to let him get to me in that way because she's been a mess for so long, blaming him for everything that goes on in her life. Only you can fix your problems. You need to get out and move on with your own life. You are young and hopefully in years time will be able to have a healthy relationship with him once you've learned to put yourself first and not so much stake in what he says/does.

    Most importantly...you need to move out. Not because you are 21, but because you are old enough to move out and do what you want to do. Plus, your homelife is obviously not a stable and/or healthy place to be. You need to get out on your own in any way you can.
     
  7. Intro

    Intro New Member

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    I dont think im looking to blame him, for all of this, but it just sucks because i have no one to talk to who can give me "life advice", i had no one to teach me about respect, and no one to push me to achieve, i know everyone says that these are things that come from inside but it would be so much easier to do all these with someone there to show you. I have been improving myself for the past year and i have made alot of progress since ive started. But i've come to the point where i feel if i want to go any farther i need to get out on my own. I have been going to counseling but for whatever reason i can't open up to my counselor about this situation.
     
  8. iwishyouwerebeer

    iwishyouwerebeer you shut your cunt Moderator

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    That's what I'm saying though, teach yourself. I never had any of that either and most people would say I'm extremely rational and intelligent. I got myself through college without him, moved out, and now see him a few times a month and am much better off that way I think. I don't need his encouragement (mostly because I won't get it :mamoru:) to succeed in life. We all hope sometimes that my mom will just leave him but she's just too set in their routine of life, she'd actually be more depressed alone than with him so we gave up on her.

    Also, I went to counseling or a while and it really helped me. This is a very important issue that you have to open up about man. Your therapist is not going to judge you, this is the kind of stuff they absolutely need to hear.
     
  9. Redbeard

    Redbeard OT Supporter

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    1st step is admitting there is a problem. Read some books, see a therapist. Ball is in your court.
     
  10. Socrates

    Socrates New Member

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    To share a similar experience with iwishyouwerebeer, I went through counseling also and it changed my life in the best way.

    My mother was bipolar, thus creating very similar social anxieties that you have. I grew up avoiding doing anything that would make my mom angry. Resulting from that was my tendency to avoid doing anything to make anyone angry. Approval seeking is a horrible way to live your life.

    I still can't stand to be around my mom. Every time she tells me a story of how she told someone off, she'll re-enact the situation exactly with her scornful face and tone, reminding me of the first 18 years of my life. It sparks horrible feelings inside of me and I just have to smile and nod, but look away.

    Take comfort in knowing that all of your problems can be fixed and you can get better. Take the initiative and call a Depression/Anxiety therapist. Books are great, but you need someone there to make sure you are doing your part. It's very easy to get complacent.
     
  11. Mogul

    Mogul New Member

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    There is a chance he was a bad father, if so just acknowledge that was the case. Don't spend too much time judging him, and find something else to focus on. Maybe voulenteer at an orphanage or something to help others who might not have a father figure.
     
  12. Yuppy

    Yuppy Have a seat right there....

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    if you truly want to get on with your life i believe you have to seize responsibility for the one thing you own. the one thing no one can take away from you. That is your life. You own it.
     
  13. Asherman

    Asherman New Member

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    1. Children, even in the most abusive situations, seldom realize that their circumstances are not "normal". They generally adapt themselves, and accept their own suffering as "just the way things are". Children realize how vulnerable and dependent they are, and form strong attachments to whoever provides for them. At an early age those attachments get termed "love", and normal families love one another. Hence, children come to believe and feel that they have a strong love bond with their parents.

    Outsiders (police, medical people, social workers, etc.) see these relationships far more often that most, and sometimes those experiences become real nightmares. Often the children can not, will not provide testimony that would get them removed to a safer environment. If the physical evidence is inconclusive, sometimes you just have to walk away leaving a child behind in spite of strong gut feelings about what is likely to happen. If it is sometimes difficult to intervene in cases of physical/sexual/deprivation cases, you can imagine the difficulties if the abuse is psychological. Not all abusive parents are intentional monsters. Some are so psychologically screwed up its a wonder they can get through the day. Some are substance addicts, and other's just haven't much control over their emotions. Many of the abusive parents "love" their children... sometimes excessively.

    At 21, you are beginning to acquire the broad experience needed to compare your own situation with that of many others. Some of those you meet will seem to have had "better" childhoods, and others "worse". It is easy to remember and focus on the events of your childhood that were disappointing. And, you will make a value judgment about your own past. I want you to note the importance of the word "past".

    Your childhood is forever receding into your past, and it can never be changed. Whatever it was, helped make you what you are. It may have made you stronger, or more timid; independent, or dependent. Whatever you are, it isn't necessarily who you can be. Maturity is a new phase you are now entering, but it won't be the last. You are changing, and who you are today will be replaced by the "you" tomorrow, or twenty years hence. Accept who you are, and if that isn't the "you" that you want to be, then consciously make the changes necessary to realize your ideal.

    2. At the moment you are making some pretty strong judgments of your father. They may be justified, or not. Outsiders, strangers can't really tell in the absence of physical/sexual/deprivation evidence, because everything else is open to interpretation. Even you are making value judgments without knowing all the facts. All of our parents are to some extent strangers to us. They had lives before we were born. They struggled with coming to grips with their own parents and childhood. The had aspirations and ambitions that were never fulfilled, and experienced things that they can never talk about comfortably. Just like you. To a child the whole world is within their reach, their limited field of vision, and their immediate comfort. Parents during those years are struggling to make a place in a world that will have vanished by the time their children leave home.

    Try to look at your father through his eyes, and his experiences. What was it that made him the way he is? Give him some credit to. He could have abandoned the family to pursue his personal desires. He might have taken out his frustrations on you and your Mother with a thick leather belt. He apparently didn't drown his sorrows in drink, but brought home his pay to feed, cloth and provide for his family. For him, talking about his feelings, troubles and disappointments, may not fit his understanding of what a father and man should do. How much does your father really know of his own faults? Perhaps, he's more aware of them than you think and that can drive him further into demanding behavior.

    Have the "good times" of your childhood been totally forgotten? Even the children who have been starved, beaten and cast aside have what they describe as occasional "good times". Perhaps you went on family vacations, or spent a Sunday lying in the sun together. Didn't your father's eyes ever light up with pride when you did something exceptional? Did he ever make a sacrifice to benefit you or the family? Certainly, we all want those "good times" to make up the bulk of our childhood memories, but they seldom do. Reality has a way of cracking the ideal.

    Another thing to keep in mind, is how your children will someday judge you. You will love them, sacrifice for them, and fear every moment for their safety and well-being. You will feel the heavy mantle of responsiblity for helping them to grow into responsible adults. You will spank their behinds, or yell at them to teach respect for your judgment about how they behave. You will conceal from them your doubts, your disappointments and things that you fear would give the children nightmares. The stresses of your marriage will be concealed behind a newspaper, an endless television program, or at the bottom of a glass. Will you share your childhood with your children? Will you load them up with your own ambitions and disappointments? You will not be your parents, but will try to raise your own children "better". The result may not be what you think it should be.

    I came out of a very abusive childhood where beatings seemed almost random, and I became a bit of a perfectionist probably hoping not to give any excuse for being hit. My stepfather was a mean drunk who physically abused my Mother and myself, and raped my sister as a teenager. Momma "tried" to leave him hundreds of times, but she always went back. Why? To provide for us children? I'll never know, not eve. I thought of killing him, but ran away to the military instead. That engenders feelings of guilt.
    **
    How did I raise my children? I don't think I ever physically punished them, but I demanded exceptionally high standards. I yelled a lot. I was gone a lot too. I worked full time and went to school full time to get the degrees that would help provide the material things a family "needs". My wife and I fought a lot too. I tend to be highly structured, and my wife even after 40 years of marriage can't seem to get organized. I save, she spends. I don't think either of us could get along without the other, but we certainly weren't the Cleavers. As a youth, I wanted to paint but that went onto the back-burner until the children were grown and on their own. What ever did the children think of me and their childhood?

    The youngest has a degree and a successful career. He and his wife are politically extreme liberals, against my conservativeness. Our views about the world are generally 180 degrees apart. He flew from San Francisco to Albuquerque with his two-year old son, just so we could spend time with the lad. As long as we stay on neutral subjects, we can get along. If we had any emergency, his absolute support can be counted on. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for him, and wish I could do more.

    The oldest boy will soon be returning from overseas with his family. He has had a long military career that is now drawing to a close. He is, if anything, more conservative than I am. His two children are both sheltered and intellectually brilliant. Those two gifted grandchildren are pushed academically far more than I ever pushed my boys, but both seem to be prospering. My grand daughter will probably go to an Ivy League school, though I might prefer Stanford. Oh well. The oldest son and his family spend about half their leaves with us, and the other half with my daughter-in-law's Korean parents. The Kim's think the world of their son-in-law whose cultural sensitivity and knowledge "hit the spot".
     

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