My father and I never had an amazingly close relationship, or at least I never felt this way. My parents never got along and from an early childhood I understood that relationships are all about money, it was never love. Naturally, my parents divorced. We moved to another country. Years prior to our move, my dad got into a lot of money problems (we were really really really rich before), he went bankrupt and his firm had to close, leaving him with a huge debt to several banks (when I say huge, I mean unimaginably huge, probably only Jess Besos could pay it off).
Our relationship deteriorated even more. Before we moved, he would take me to the park and would go to competitions with me, other than that, we never talked. After we moved, he would call me on skype. I never truly wanted to respond and I would ignore him for weeks on end. Until my mom would tell me that I should answer. Fast forward 8 years, Im 17. He never paid a penny for my education, clothing, food or anything. He never supported me, when I was going through a difficult mental health time. He was never truly there. But suddenly he wants to have this super close daughter-father relationship out of nowhere.
He messaged me 2 days ago, telling me that he would go sending money to my credit card in order for me to accumulate enough money for a new phone (mine was robbed because of him, when he came to visit). He also mentioned that he was sorry that he didnt buy me birthday gifts these past 2 years. He is also being evicted, because they’re going to sell the place he’s renting. He has no friends, no close family and barely any contact with reality.
What the heck do I respond to this? I don’t want to talk to him. Im so irritated at the fact that he thinks that it is the birthday gifts that made me upset with him!!! Mind you, i’m not materialistic at all. I really dont care whether someone buys me a gift or not. I’m mad that he just abandoned us, left us with no money. And now he suddenly wants our attention. I know I should open up about this, but I’m scared he will either kill himself or idk. I haven’t seen him for over a year.
From your post it seems you don’t have a clear understanding of the issues surrounding your family. I mean from an adult perspective. I would say, don’t wait for the day when you realize it, and pretend for some time that you can give your dad the benefit of the doubt. The fact that he came back to communicate with you says that you are indeed in his mind.
Yeah, I understand that he is trying to get back with me. I fully get that. But I never really uncovered my childish emotions of betrayal from his abandonment. I get that he is trying the best he can, although we live far far away from each other. He doesn’t know the more “mature and grown up” version of me. All he knows is a little girl that was once his daughter. But I guess this is something that I need to talk with him about and not ignore, since the hurt and unheard child that is inside of me doesn’t seem to want to let go of the past.
“childish emotions” is not what I meant. Emotions are good, whether positive or negative. They are what they are! I don’t meant to berate your emotions or experiences - you know about them the best
I simply meant the nature of your parent’s struggles, that’s all.
Nono, I wan’t saying that you were implying that my emotions were childish. I myself categorize them as that. I should consider letting go of these emotions that I felt as an impressionable child without knowing what my parents were going through. (My mother open up about the struggles and the way my dad was treating her during the divorce and before that when I was still a lil kid, so that left a great impression on me. I felt like my dad was the bad guy, without really understanding his situation)
I am gathering the courage to call him right now to let him know about my feelings and hopefully hear what he thinks about everything.
I think you are on the correct track then! Divorce is divorce for a reason - when two people can’t stand each other and have negative feelings about one another. It is to be expected, that people will not treat each other in the kindest way.
Wish you good luck for the future, because that is the one thing you can still look forward to!
From a practical standpoint, to hold on to the hurt is to carry it with you. It’s like carrying around a burning stick for the chance to maybe hit him with it someday. You may burn him a few times, but even when you hit him with it, you never stop holding the stick.
To forgive is to drop the burning stick. It’s to say that even though he hurt you in specific ways (not being there etc), you don’t want to hate or resent him anymore, you don’t want to hurt him back or punish him or get revenge. It’s letting go of that pain with the knowledge that God or Karma or the universe will take care of his atonement. It sounds like you just did the first part, acknowledging the hurt. Good job!
Forgiveness does not mean you owe it to him to have a relationship with him if it would toxic. That’s reconciliation. That’s based on trust that needs to be established first, and it’s an entirely separate journey that you two need to go through together if you’re both willing. Forgiveness is also not a willful act of forgetting what happened. You can’t forgive him for something you’ve totally forgotten about. Don’t hold it against him, but remember where you came from so you can see how much happier you are. Finally, forgiveness is not the same thing as saying “it’s okay.” Him hurting you wasn’t okay, and you need to acknowledge that. Otherwise, what are you really forgiving him for?
Right now I’m trying to figure out how to let go of the pain. I think I’ve forgiven my ex–I just don’t have it in me to hate her or wish her ill anymore, I don’t feel the need for retribution or vindication, and at this point I don’t even need her apology. She owes me nothing, and I don’t want anything from her. What she put me through still hurts though, and I’m trying to figure out how to let go of the pain. What I’m finding is I haven’t even acknowledged my forgiveness yet, but the longer I don’t feel resentful or vindictive, the less actual pain is there. I think I’m getting to the point where it would be more honest to say the pain was there.
This hit me hard. I had this mentality until you commented on this post. I thought that given that time has passed and I grew up, it should be okey. I told him that I didn’t want him to feel guilty for hurting me, that it was in my head mostly and that I was just an angry pre-teen and teenager. Now that I see this, I was wrong to say that it is my fault. There is still a long road of self discovery and development in my life. Thank you for opening my eyes!
That really sucks to hear. I’m glad to hear that you are trying your best to recover from that though.
It is great to be honest with yourself. At least, that’s what I learned from my time in the self-actualization world and just relationships in general. I really appreciate your time, thought and story!
I dont know whether somebody will care, but Im going to share this anyway. Today I talked with my dad for the first time on the phone after some months. We were on a video call. We started talking about some mild topics and then slowly went into what we really wanted to talk about in the first place. I cried my ass off and unexpectedly he did as well. I’ve always seen him as a tough guy with a soft spot, but never truly saw that vulnerable and soft spot of his. He told me that I was the person that he has loved the most in his life and that he is sorry that he made me go through all of these issues. I broke down crying after those words. I forgave him. I feel at peace now. The past haunts me still, but I’m gonna get better soon. Thank you, everyone that dedicated time for my story