26th May 2016 at 11:06 pm #18058
My dad has taken everything from me.
He took my safety and my innocence.
He took my ability to trust anyone, especially myself.
He prevented me from ever knowing a mum’s love or protection.
He divided me from my sister and isolated me from friends.
He humiliated me. Criticised me. Degraded me.
He made me and everyone else believe I was a bad, violent person.
He made me take responsibility for his abuse.
He told me I was mad and had a personality disorder.
He treated me like a girlfriend, he was jealous and angry of any boys I was friends with and yet he would show me off to other men pretending we were together. He would encourage me to be sexual.
He told me how I should look and would be cross if I didn’t look good enough, cut my hair too short or put on weight.
He would regularly get into unpredictable angry rages, smash and break things, drag me around, slap me and throw me through the front door slamming it behind me.
Or he’d push me to the ground and climb on top of me.
If he stormed out the house in anger, my mum would assault me for upsetting him because she was so scared he had gone. She would bang my head against the wall and scream at me.
Often he would give me strong alcohol in the evenings from around the age of 6.
He made me loathe and harm myself.
He destroyed my self esteem.
He made me vulnerable to rape and abuse from others, including over two decades with my husband.
These are just some of the things I can remember properly, the things I know happened and have always known.
The worse things are in fragments, in flashbacks and nightmares.
I don’t see him at the moment but I struggle to think of never seeing him again. Recently I heard he is becoming infirm and is in a lot of pain and I cried with pure compassion. I really love him.
This is crazy. Does anyone have any thoughts on how to let him go? I know it’s what I have to do but I’m scared its going to hurt too much. I can’t feel any anger for him. The more I try to understand how abusive he was, the stronger my mind wants to love and protect him.
26th May 2016 at 11:22 pm #18063AnonymousInactive
Hi peaceful pig, your situation must be really difficult. I am not sure I am equipped to advise on such a complex and sensitive situation. I just wanted to send you supporting hugs and tell you that I hope whatever decision you come to or however you resolve it that it is quick and not as painful as you think. Thinking of you x
26th May 2016 at 11:39 pm #18064
Thank you a little lost. I think I’m hoping that writing it all down will convince me that the things I miss and can’t let go of were never real. His ‘love and affection’ were more like grooming. I’m trying to remember how small and vulnerable I was compared to him. I struggle to remember that I was a child, I didn’t feel like one xx
27th May 2016 at 4:12 am #18066HealthyarchiveBlocked
Dear peaceful pig, I am sorry that you have had such an awful time, I too have been suffering from Stockholm syndrome for about 3 months. At the moment I am studying The Power of Now which focuses on the present moment, eliminating intrusive thoughts & increasing your personal power, it is not easy as my mind is constantly busy with thoughts & scenarios that I don’t want to be there,(him)but I can see with hard work & commitment the mind can be altered so that it helps rather than hinders you. Good luck x*x❤
27th May 2016 at 9:16 pm #18120
Hi HA, thank you for your kind response. I have read Eckhart Tolle’s books and I like them. It was them that led me to meditation and Buddhist philosophy. I could congratulate myself for feeling compassion after all he has done but I know that’s not the truth. The truth is I’m scared to let go.
My sister said something that made me feel angry but actually helped me realise how the family all still cling to ideas about me that are very unfair and untrue. I took the brunt of my dad’s abuse which protected them from a lot but I don’t think they can face feeling the guilt of knowing they abetted it and abused me too. I feel a huge weight of responsibility for them. Thank you for listening/reading. It’s such a help to be able to think this all through ‘out as it were, were with those who understand x*x
28th May 2016 at 4:20 pm #18174SerenityParticipant
You are very brave for sharing all these things.
I was one of three children. I was the only one that my dad hit. I remember being pulled down the stairs by my hair and having my head banged on the kitchen floor so that I felt concussed.
In between these incidents, he chose me to go out with him, on walks, to choose a new car, etc. It was confusing.
I think he was scared of confronting my elder sister as she was very forthright and assertive. My younger sister was treated like a baby doll.
So, I was told by my mother that she thought I was my father’s favourite. Yet he injured me like that.
He left when I was a teenager. For many years, I barely had a relationship with him. Now, he appears to have mellowed, and weirdly he has been supportive to me this year. This confuses me. I don’t want to not be in contact, and he is appearing to be nice now.
He didn’t do the sexual things that you have listed, and he was not so controlling about boys or my appearance, but he made us feel we had to be straight A students to be good enough for him.
I choose to see him once in a while. I keep my distance a bit.
In your case, your father was worse, and the harm he has done you is more severe. I am glad you are receiving counselling.
I think we need to look at our fathers squarely. They aren’t heroes, they aren’t I reachable and mystical beings whose approval and love we need. They are weak and fallible men and, in your case, your father was highly abusive in many ways. He got your mother to collude in his crimes. Abuse by osmosis.she was too weak to stand up to him. Abusers need a scapegoat, someone to blame. Your mother owes you a huge apology, as does your father, but I doubt they will ever possess the self- reflection and integrity to offer you this.
Unfortunately, you were born to weak parents. Your father a used you in many ways. He was a power figure in your life, and now he is infirm, you are feeling what comes naturally to a daughter, concern for an ailing parent. But you need to be careful that you don’t do all the giving and forgiving and feel guilt that isn’t yours to feel. He let you down. He caused you no end of pain and damage. He has never accepted his wrongdoing. He doesn’t deserve for you to make any moves that threaten to set you back or destroy your peace or health- however ill he is.
We won’t get proper love and validation from those Ho are either too twisted or bankrupt to give love in a pure form to others in the first place. They are too messed up. I hope that your counsellor can find ways to help you see that you don’t need your family’s validation, and you don’t need to feel any quilt. It is they who owe you so much. X
28th May 2016 at 10:11 pm #18197
Thank you so much Serenity. It has helped to see some of the abuse in black and white and to have it heard. I still minimise a lot. It seems there were very similar dynamics within your family too. My mum was also very jealous of my relationship with my dad and it scared her when I stood up to him. I’m sorry you were also made the scapegoat and experienced violence from your father. Mine was also being much nicer to me the last few times I saw them, saying to people how proud he is of me etc. He doesn’t really have any right to be, anything I have achieved I have done so despite him. Yet I still lapped it up if I’m honest. When I started to remember the sexual stuff more I couldn’t face seeing them anymore. Weirdly though, the longer I go without seeing them, the easier it is to feel care for them. I know if I saw them I’d soon know precisely how bad I feel around them. I’m not looking for validation as such, though a bit more certainty around my recovered memories would be helpful as although my body tells me clearly, I still have denial. I just want a coherent story I can learn to accept and move forward with. Realising that my dad was very likely the instigator, at the very least, behind any sexual abuse is an important step. In some ways I can now feel stronger knowing I tried to stand up to him and protect everyone. I’m stronger than the three of them together. They are the ones suffering with their health from refusing acknowledge the past whereas I am taking this opportunity to heal x*x
29th May 2016 at 10:27 am #18222SerenityParticipant
All of us ladies here are taking the brave route, I think, of facing our pain and working through our demons (with help). Abusers who project and are in denial are constantly having to suppress and ignore the truth. It must ruin them in the end. When these abusers grow old, and lose some of their strlength, it must loom larger, all they have done. They can’t escape it forever. They won’t ever have that peace in old age that comes from a life well lived and from goodness done unto others. You, however, have the chance to find peace and have nothing to berate yourself for.
5th June 2016 at 5:04 pm #18632AyannaParticipant
Hi PP, I have a similar problem. There was no alcohol and no sexual abuse, but incredible violence and emotional abuse. My mother colluded too. She never defended me. She even called me ‘b***h’ and beat me. I think Stockholm Syndrome is too weak a syndrome for this, because it happened from early childhood on for many years. We became adults like this.
I did not know who I was as a young adult. My parents had estranged me from our roots on top of everything. For this reason I do not know any of my relatives, especially none of those who live in the concentration camps far away.
I was aimless, rootless and confused for most time of my life.
My parents are old now and they need help. I am the first to come to their aid and to help them.
I feel guilt, that I left and moved to another country. They do not recognize my achievements, that I am the only person in my family with an academic education, for instance. They all treat me as if I am an imbecile. And yet I am always the first to come to their aide, to call them every week and to visit them often.
I caught myself thinking of giving in to my father’s demand of coming back and living in their house. They need someone to care for them and they have chosen me a long time ago. They are outraged that I left to another country and lived a life they never approved of.
I do not know what to do, because I feel guilty.
I know that I should not feel guilty. I should actually tell them to f… off, but I cannot.
I know that especially my father is the root cause for all the wrong choices of men I made in my life.
5th June 2016 at 10:15 pm #18654
Hi Ayanna, I’m sorry to hear of your violent childhood. You are right, we had to become adults at a very young age, that is where the sense of responsibility comes from. It is so ingrained and deep rooted and affects our attachment style with everyone until we heal it. That’s why I’m putting myself through this painful process. I’ve had a tough week emotionally but feel I’m making progress on a deep level. I have also felt very adrift and confused much of my life, not because of moving but due to feeling so isolated. My parents need to be honest enough for a rational conversation about what happened before I could tolerate contact and I know they don’t have the strength or integrity to do that. They will have to face the consequences of their actions and that means no contact until I am in a much more stable condition, if at all, and takes as long as it takes. They could have suffered much worse had anybody known what was happening. I hope you’re able to stay strong and safe from your parents while you heal. You really owe them nothing and have suffered enough x*x
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.