9th May 2021 at 9:50 am #125725
So many realisations in recent events.
Why do I feel so stupid for not seeing what’s in front of me?
We fall for people like our fathers/mothers this I no.
Similar personality or traits, and have the same struggle with our partners as with our parents.
But the cold reality is my father is abusive not just unable to show emotions.
Iv been trying to get his approval or attention my whole life and feel nothing I do is good enough.
Now as an adult I’m starting to distance myself, less contact less time spent as I dont need him.
Do I confront him with this, try and talk to him?
How do I help my child who is going through the same struggle with their dad?
9th May 2021 at 10:11 am #125728DarcyParticipant
Hi beautiful Angel,
I am sorry to hear you are struggling, having these realisations though is all part of the journey to healing, so just be gentle with yourself.
Since becoming an adult I have always had a ‘awkward’ relationship with my Dad.
I never thought I was good enough or doing what he wanted me to do.
We had nothing in common… I mean when you think about it why would we, he is a man 30 years older than me!!
Anyway since I left my ex and had to show my vulnerable side to him I have just been myself around him and wow does this make a difference to our relationship. Sometimes I think he must think I’m a little ‘off key’ compared to how he is but I don’t care, I’m just me and I stand my ground and am true to myself and he accepts this.
During lockdown I have spent a lot of time with him, getting him shopping etc and that has been great, I’ve actually taken the time to get to know him… adult to adult, I realise now that he has so much knowledge to offer me, I just didn’t want to listen or be told before, I thought I knew best!!
I understand about going for similar boyfriend types to your Dad as I have always done this, they have all been emotionally stunted apart from my ex who was abusive and I think I went for him as a reverse that I knew exactly where I stood with him.
Families are always complex and I don’t know if any of my post can help you.
I think what I am fundamentally trying to say is just be yourself, be true to yourself and whatever happens you cannot go wrong… will everyone like it … NO … but its about you and giving yourself what you need
Sending you continued love and support
9th May 2021 at 2:37 pm #125739
Sleepypigeon, I’m not an expert in any way, so I might be missing some subtleties but from what I’ve read about abuse this is my take on what you’ve said. You are right that it’s said that we gravitate to what is familiar, which may have something to do with the father of your children being like your dad. But with abuse things are complex. Did you know that all types of abusers groom and manipulate their victims so that they are able to get away with it. Your father did it to you and so did the father of your children. That is why we don’t see what is in front of us.
I think you feel stupid because i) society, which doesn’t understand abuse, seems to think we should have seen what was happening (I personally think that’s because individuals want to believe that it couldn’t happen to them, because they would recognise it. Whereas the reality is that abusers are highly skilled at manipulation) and ii) the grooming/manipulation of the abuser involves making you think you’re at fault, you’re stupid, you deserve it etc. That keeps you trapped and feeling powerless, which is exactly what abusers want. You’re not stupid, you’ve been brainwashed by abusers.
My experience is with partner abuse, so I don’t have direct experience of the type of situation you’re in. But everything I’ve read about abuse says that all types of abuser are very similar. To that end, I would be very cautious about confronting him. It could end up in a very triggering situation for you. Abusers almost always respond to confrontation with more abuse e.g. making it out to be because of you (so not their fault), fake apologies to suck you into thinking they’ve changed, intimidating you into dropping it, accusing you of being the abuser. It is very rare for abusers to truly accept that they have been abusive and they usually continue to believe that their behaviour is justified. I think it’s unlikely that confronting him would lead to any kind of reconciliation.
I’m not sure what to say about how to help your children. I guess it partly depends on how old they are. I’m currently struggling with how to explain things to my children as I recently left their dad, who was abusive. How do you explain it honestly without confusing the hell out of them by saying that a person they love is actually really nasty? I’ll check in on this post to see what others say. Sending lots of love xxxx
9th May 2021 at 2:42 pm #125740
I’ve just reread the title of your post. I think they best way to break the pattern is to focus on your own healing so you can role model healthy behaviours for your children. Abusers want it to be all about them. Show your children that it’s possible to leave abusive situations and heal. They then won’t see abuse as inevitable and impossible to escape. xxxx
9th May 2021 at 10:26 pm #125757
I’m working on me, trying to heal, working through stuff that’s why I think all this other stuff is coming up.
Also trying to help my young teen deal with issues with their dad. Hard age and also rollercoaster of emotions.
We have talked a lot this weekend, it breaks My heart they are dealing with this to.
It’s difficult as I can’t or won’t tell my child what to think about their dad I just talk from my point of view and why I have walked away, from their dad and recent ex, talked about boundaries, hoping that they can make up their own mind. They do know what their dad’s like, and struggles with the way he can be.
Wish I had a magic wand 🪄🙄
12th May 2021 at 6:45 pm #125845
There was a post on here recently with a link to support for children/young people. If I can find it I’ll post a link. Maybe your local women’s aid can refer you to some help locally. It must be so hard for you both. I’m so glad your child has a loving and supportive mum. You might not have a magic wand, but your child knowing you’re there for her is the best thing you can do and is probably helping them more than you know. xxxx
9th May 2021 at 8:52 pm #125754
Thanks for your responses ladies, I was letting out what was in my head this morning after little sleep. Iv been having nightmares recently about the ex.
Unsure how I got to thinking about my father.
My dad lacks emotion, empathy, he’s selfish, doesn’t understand me, never listens, it’s all about him. Everyone thinks he’s wonderful, he’s always helping people, yet he’s needy with me and I do lots for him but it’s not enough. I need him to be there for me but I feel like the parent.
i remember a different man when I was young. An angry person, who shouted a lot, and who we were afraid to upset.
Maybe I was just trying to make a connection to make sense.
Think I just feel alone in that he is the only family so there’s no one there for me.
Maybe he’s just like darcy said, 30 yrs older and a man. Why would he understand me.
12th May 2021 at 6:53 pm #125847
I found reading up on abuse really helped me understand why my ex behaved as he did. He sounds like a very typical abuser (maybe n********t? I don’t know enough to comment): lacking empathy, only interested in himself, makes a big show of being wonderful to the outside world, feels entitled to control those close to him, which to him justifies the abuse.
I think it’s normal for a (detail removed by moderator) age gap to be a factor in somebody not understanding another. But I think his lack of empathy and his self interest are bigger factors. I don’t want to make you feel more alone, but it may be that he is unable to be there for you and learning to accept that will save you more pain. xxxx
13th May 2021 at 8:10 am #125864
I just feel so alone in this
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