Childhood stories revisited - I am confused

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DontPanic

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Childhood stories revisited - I am confused
« on: December 30, 2018, 11:10:11 PM »
I'm sorry if this post is longish and a bit unsorted, I am still trying to sort it out and hope telling you will help me doing this.

When I was a child, my father used to rant a lot about his younger and only brother: telling stories how his brother was taking advantage of him, how he was using clever tactics to get more than his fair share from their parents, how he tricked him into having to work much more than his fair share for their parents. I've heard the topic endless times. And because my uncle was painted so ill willed and almost evil and because i believed the stories to be true, I avoided him and never really got to know him. And my father has stopped inviting his brother long ago, so we never met. And I always assumed they both were angry at each other and disliked each other.
And finally my father cared for my grandmother when she was very old, and while she lived under his roof and care, she changed her testament and disinherited my uncle and gave everything to my father. He had urged her to do so, and she had done so. So, after her death, my uncle was shocked and disappointed and my father found it served him right.

Now I am almost 50 and found the courage to call him. He was surprised, of course, but friendly and open and encouraged me to ask questions. I told him that it had been a neverending issue through my whole childhood: my father being mad at him, and I asked him: what happened between both of you that your relationship was so bad? When did it start to deteriorate? What has caused such hostility? What series of events led to this harsh testament?

I was very surprised that my uncle said: he did not hold a grudge against my father until he started urging his mother to chage her will. from his Point of view, he and his brother lived rather separate lives but their relationship was just distant, not bad or filled with grudge.
I inquired futher, citing examples of stories told to me, how he had allegedly cheated and tricked my father. He told me completely different versions of these stories and added that my father had never talked to him about all the accusations. He sounded surprised while telling me this, and a bit hurt, but very matter-of-fact and not agitated at all.

When our talk was over, my head was spinning for an hour. I am completely baffled. For the first time in my life i consider it really possible that my father has some personality disorder, that he made these stories up. That he told the stories in a way that allowed him to vilify his brother, even though I really don't understand what good it did to him. Like paranoia, or like a compulsion to anger and self-righteousness. I know that this is a very harsh verdict, and that i cannot prove anything. But it felt very, very convincing: these stories I was told were... lies. Lies that served as a justification to punish someone. Lies that served as reasons to be angry and righteous. Lies that poisoned relationships. Lies that robbed my of having an uncle. Lies that had some strange influence on me that I still have to find out and understand. Lies that made me lose trust in my father, in my family, in those I would have needed to heal from living in a marinade of lies. Whew!

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LilyITV

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Re: Childhood stories revisited - I am confused
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2018, 05:25:44 PM »
Wow that is definitely a lot to take in after all these years.  I'm so glad you had the courage to call your uncle.  I am so intrigued by your account.    Are you going to try to build a relationship with your uncle going forward?   What is your relationship with your father like now?

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DontPanic

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Re: Childhood stories revisited - I am confused
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 10:29:28 AM »
Thank you for your compassion, that feels good...

With my uncle, I'll meet him in a few weeks - he said he was busy with visitors for the next two weeks and we'll schedule a meeting when the holiday season is over. He lives only 30 minutes away, so it does not require that much planning, and I'm glad for that. Yes, I will try to get to know him and see if it becomes more personal. It is strange, because we are close relatives and we are talking about private subjects and difficukt emotions. Yet we are not acquainted, we never really talked. I feel I would be glad to have an uncle who is open, and real, and where talking does not feel distorted.
He has a daughter, my cousin, and I am also trying to get acquainted with her. Of course it is difficult for her, because she feels my father is responsible for her father (and thus also her) being disinherited, and i have to admit there is truth to it.

My relationship with my father is low contact - we almost never meet in person, we have a brief phone call for birthdays, christmas and other major holidays. In the past I often felt our interactions hateful or revengeful, so i retracted myself.
What I am thinking about now: if it is possible that he twisted stories that justified him hating my uncle and getting "even" by revenge, it would also be possible that he twisted stories that justified hate or revenge towards me. This is a new idea for me. I have been wondering for a long time why i was/am the target of strange accusations, why it so often feels as if he hated me passionately. Well, just a possibility. What a sad thing this would be! What a twisted psyche! All the sad consequences! I'm crying inwardly.

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Blueberry

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Re: Childhood stories revisited - I am confused
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 01:33:50 PM »
 :hug: :hug:

I agree with Lily, it's an awful lot to take in all at once.

There's some of that type of dysfunctional relationships in my FOO too. Too hard for me to even think about atm but I feel for you.

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DontPanic

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Re: Childhood stories revisited - I am confused
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 02:39:16 PM »
Thank you so much for replying! I feel being  heard, I feel understood and that makes such a difference. I don't feel bad, just sad and like crying. Feeling understood is.... healing.