blueberries

Unsure how to handle family situation

5 posts in this topic

Me and my father have always had a strained relationship and it’s getting worse over time. I'll try and avoid a rant, so in a nutshell:

  • His behavior is in line with narcissism – desire for control/dominance, limited empathy, charm, prioritization of his feelings
  • He also has mild alcoholism and ties that in with narcissistic behavior (making people feel bad for not drinking with him etc.)
  • Although he's generally quite disinterested in other people, this is particularly marked for me (my partner has noticed he'll ask my brother about his work or interests sometimes but never me, I'm not sure he really knows anything much about me as a person at all)
  • I don’t have any hope of tackling the root cause of our issues through communication since he’s not really capable of self-reflection or logical reasoning
  • He has a long-term girlfriend who is better on these fronts but I'm not sure I can trust her
  • I have a younger brother I’m close to who is very much under his spell and always defends my father over me and my mother
  • My mother is great and has been alone since they separated 7 years ago, she feels bitter/upset that my father now gets to reap the benefits of her hard work and sacrifices in raising us and fears she will lose my brother to my father

I'm not hoping for him to magically become a great father, I just want to minimize drama and stress. But it seems the only way to achieve that is to do everything his way - shrug it off whenever he does/says something hurtful, make sure I never do/say anything hurtful to him, and put up a false front. I’ve tried to stop having any expectations and to limit our relationship to simply keeping up with formalities (we often go 1-2 months without even texting), but I guess I haven't actually been able to get rid of my expectations because I often end up upset or angry.

Although the idea of cutting him off sounds liberating, I don't have it in me since I'm not a vengeful person, and it could make the situation with my mother and brother a lot worse. But then again, pandering to my father could make this situation worse. They are a big part of the equation, so this is about more than just me and my feelings - sometimes it feels like a chess game and I'm just not sure what to do anymore.








 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's best to take the focus off of your dad's dysfunction, and back to the emotions  that are being triggered in you.

You'll need to provide yourself as much compassion and emotional support that you can.

I recommend therapy, counseling or support groups that can provide an outlet for dealing with negative emotions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Terell Kirby said:

It's best to take the focus off of your dad's dysfunction, and back to the emotions  that are being triggered in you.

You'll need to provide yourself as much compassion and emotional support that you can.

I recommend therapy, counseling or support groups that can provide an outlet for dealing with negative emotions.

Thank you, this is good advice. I definitely need to address this as my relationship with my father is one of the only things that provokes such strong negative emotions.

So do you think I should just leave my brother and mother to sort themselves out? I know the usual line is that they need to make their own choices, but I feel like whatever I do will have some level of influence on them so I'd rather it be more positive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, blueberries said:

So do you think I should just leave my brother and mother to sort themselves out?

Most people are not going to listen to suggestions about healing or improving.

It's unfortunate, but most people are not going to really change at all. It sucks too because it would be so nice for these people to apologize, or try to see what they did wrong, but they won't. I personally will not tolerate abuse. However, from the notes you have here it seems fairly mild. It hurts a lot, when your parent doesn't seem to care for you or love you. I would recommend trying some of the satisfaction meditation Leo suggested. That and working on issues relating to that lack of love you have received. 

Focus on forgiving him and healing yourself. This doesn't mean you have to have a relationship. You can also work on having one if you want. You will have to ultimately decide what you want in your life. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience as a daughter of a father who did everything, for years, in order to put me down, including attempts to incite my family against me and always making me look bad in front of everyone he knows, I 100% understand what you are going through.

I'm not an expert but I find that the best way to cope with toxic family members is to ignore them and avoid them as much as you can, talk only, when necessary, while at the same time, you're focusing on healing yourself and living the happiest life you can live.

My father is probably the main reason for my self-esteem, self-image issues and trauma issues. Growing up with father figure who instead of loving you, accepting you and protecting you, is behaving like your biggest enemy all time is so fucking exhausting.  

 

 

Edited by Random witch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now