My father

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My father
« on: November 18, 2017, 09:40:49 PM »
Trigger warning.
It is hard for me to speak about this, mostly because I don't remember most of my childhood, but what I do remember... I wish I didn't remember it.
My father is the main reason I have C-PTSD, along with my mother, the rest pf my family (except for my brothers) and the bullying.
I knew from the beggining there was something wrong with my father. I didn't know what "normal" was, but I knew that my father wasn't. He would get angry at anything, literally, and it was so scary... he would have all his face red, and would start yelling, threatening (especially threatening)...
One day (I was, I don't know, maybe 5) I said my first bad word. I didn't even know its meaning, I said heard it from my older brother and repeated it. My father get so angry at me that he grabbed me by my arm and started yelling at me with his face full red. I told him he was hurting me but he continued grabbing me by my arm. He threatened me that he would tell my mother what I had said if I ever said it again. Later I would tell my mother what I said and she would laugh and tell me it was nothing. That made me feel so confused.
Another time, we were (my parents, my brother and I) having dinner in a restaurant (we were on vacation), I choked with a peace of meat (I don't know if I said it right), and oh my god, I couldn't breathe... and everyone was so concerned about me. I eventually, split it out and everything went back to normal, except for the fact that I had a terrible throat pain... so I tell my parents that I had throat pain and I didn't want to eat anymore. So my father got super angry at me, with his face full red, and told me not to humiliate him more (like, what? I almost died and for him it was humiliating? It wasn't humiliating at all. Even the waiter was more concerned about me that him). I don't even remember if I ended up having to finish my dinner or I let it...
He has made my mother cry so many times... for no reason... Even in her birthday. I remember we were on vacation and we were using a GPS to get us to the hotel, but we were driving in circles... so my mother asked gently to my father to stop the car and ask someone for directions... he get so angry he started yelling at her and he would cry. We eventually stopped for directions. I saw my father so calm asking for directions to a complete stranger... acting so nie, like he wanted to make a good impression, like my mother wasn't crying 2 meters behind him (she was, and my brother and I were with her).
I also remember that I was very scared evrytime he drived... he would go so fast... passing cars in curves without visibility while trucks were going in both directions... we (my mother, brother and I) would try to ask him gently to go slower and he would get angry for no reason! He would even go faster and yell at us or say nothing while his face would get redder.
And one time when my parents where having an argument, he took a chair and throw it with all his force to the ground in front of my mother while she was crying and protecting herself with her arms just because she didn't agree with him... it was a work issue. I stepped between them and stopped the fight...
He would never apologise.
He would only get mad at you if there weren't guests or people whou could witness him...
He would act friendly until we where alone in the house...
I'm still afraid of him sometimes...
I know he had a hard childhood, but it's not my fault! Should I be concerned about him after everything he had done to my and my brothers and mother? Sorry but I don't feel sorry for him.
What do you think? Can you relate in some way?



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Re: My father
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 08:29:51 PM »
Oh, your father sounds a lot like mine. I can relate very much... so sorry you had to grow up with all that surrounding you, I'm sure it was harsh.

For me, the worst part was and still is the two faces that my father wears, the normal public face (his gaslighting face) vs. the frightening private persona that I would see when he took off his public mask. Not only is it crazy making, it also meant he knew what he was doing.

Behind closed doors he completely took off his mask and let himself go... and like you, I always knew he wasn't normal. I remember looking up at him as a 2 yr. old and thinking "this is an extremely dangerous man". Now I know he was far more dangerous than I knew then. He kept getting better and better at abuse, he got a lot of practice throughout the years  :thumbdown:

But it was his duplicity that helped me start to break free from him, because it showed me he knows what he's doing, he controls his outbursts, sometimes he tunes his behavior up and sometimes down depending on who he's with.

My father may be in pain, sure. Maybe. I don't think so, I think he just enjoys torturing people for fun, though he may be in pain. I knew his parents after all, they were no fun. But... the way I see it, it changes nothing.
As we both know, people in pain who are motivated to grow can self educate, look for a good therapist, take care of themselves, try to develop new coping skills to manage their pain. But my father never had the slightest motivation to change.

I have a lot of contradictory feelings for my "father". Feeling sorry for him isn't one of them. You're absolutely not alone there.
I feel disgust, sadness, shame, pity... but no, I feel no need to accept his behavior anymore, or to take part in it and dance alongside him. This is his dance, his alone. And no, I don't have any sympathy for him. Compassion, sure. But sympathy - no. I can feel sorry for him if he's in pain, and if he ever needed my help I'd give it just as I'd probably give it to any other living thing, but pain doesn't excuse violence. Pain doesn't make abuse acceptable.

I think it was incredibly brave of you to step in and stop your parents' fight, I know what that's like. I've done that , I always paid for it but I kept feeling I just had to. I think your kind courage says volumes about you, totally unrelated to your father.

I also think your feelings are the deepest part of your self, they're yours alone. Something precious you share on special occasions. There are no feelings you "should" or "shouldn't" have. Feel the things that help you heal, right here, right now.




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Re: My father
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 08:51:40 PM »
That's exactly what I think, that there shouldn't be any: "you should feel..." "you shouldn't feel...", that you feel what you feel, and sorry, but I don't feel love for my father.
And the mask thing, gosh that's so true. He will only act violently if there is no one from the outside that can see what's going on.
The sad thing is that I still live with him, and that makes me so afraid. But I still need the money...
I hope you don't live with your father.
Sending you a big hug!