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FMW546
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Default Apr 05, 2014 at 12:40 PM
  #1
I'm 50 and my dad, 72 died last Sunday. Dad was estranged from the family for 15 years.

He never divorced mom (she still thought he'd come home) but i found out he was terminally ill through his current girlfriend who messaged me on facebook.

I immediately made plans to be with him and sat by his bedside for three days before he passed. I felt it was the right thing to do.

Growing up, Dad was a violent sociopath and alcoholic. Being the oldest, I was the target of his anger and beatings. I moved out at 19, met a great guy when i was in my 20's and was so glad not to be connected with my family name anymore.

Dad was always different to the "outside" and people always found him charming and so much fun.

His recent death still has me "covering" for him as i'm flooded with messages from outsiders on "what a great guy" he was. Everyone remembers him fondly--except my siblings and I.

How do i graciously handle all the kind-but misguided thoughts--when the person i know was so miserable?!
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kaliope
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Default Apr 05, 2014 at 06:39 PM
  #2
just thank them. remember that they are talking of their memories of your father. they don't need to be corrected. I know it hurts when everything inside you must be screaming but this isn't who he was. it must be a great loss that you never got to know that person. I am sorry for your loss. know now that he can never hurt you again. you are free. take care.

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kali's gallery http://forums.psychcentral.com/creat...s-gallery.htmlMy Alcoholic Father Died Sunday--and I'm still covering for him


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Default Apr 05, 2014 at 08:15 PM
  #3
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Originally Posted by kaliope View Post
just thank them. remember that they are talking of their memories of your father. they don't need to be corrected. I know it hurts when everything inside you must be screaming but this isn't who he was. it must be a great loss that you never got to know that person. I am sorry for your loss. know now that he can never hurt you again. you are free. take care.
Thank you
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Default Apr 05, 2014 at 08:20 PM
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I agree, just say thanks. There's no point trying to convince them otherwise, especially now. My dad is still alive (same age as yours) and I had the same issues growing up. Outsiders saw him as a funny, wild and crazy guy. Only my mom and I saw his dark side. My condolences to you. I hope you've been able to find peace and happiness in your life.
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Default Apr 06, 2014 at 06:14 AM
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Thank you, Nature Girl.
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Default Apr 06, 2014 at 09:18 AM
  #6
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Originally Posted by FMW546 View Post
I'm 50 and my dad, 72 died last Sunday. Dad was estranged from the family for 15 years.

He never divorced mom (she still thought he'd come home) but i found out he was terminally ill through his current girlfriend who messaged me on facebook.

I immediately made plans to be with him and sat by his bedside for three days before he passed. I felt it was the right thing to do.

Growing up, Dad was a violent sociopath and alcoholic. Being the oldest, I was the target of his anger and beatings. I moved out at 19, met a great guy when i was in my 20's and was so glad not to be connected with my family name anymore.

Dad was always different to the "outside" and people always found him charming and so much fun.

His recent death still has me "covering" for him as i'm flooded with messages from outsiders on "what a great guy" he was. Everyone remembers him fondly--except my siblings and I.

How do i graciously handle all the kind-but misguided thoughts--when the person i know was so miserable?!
I know how you feel....went through almost the identical situation. I posted recently that as I was going through therapy I was going to try and remember 5 things I admired about my dad. It took a long time but over the years my memories are not tearing me up. There were people that approached me from time to time and told me that they always hated the way my father treated me. They did not stand up to him for me at the time...but it meant a lot they at least reached out to say something. May you come to some resolve sooner rather than later. Take care!

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“A person is also mentally weak by the quantity of time he spends to sneak peek into others lives to devalue and degrade the quality of his own life.” Anuj Somany

“Psychotherapy works by going deep into the brain and its neurons and changing their structure by turning on the right genes. The talking cure works by "talking to neurons," and that an effective psychotherapist or psychoanalyst is a "microsurgeon of the mind" who helps patients make needed alterations in neuronal networks.” Norman Doidge
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Default Apr 07, 2014 at 06:15 PM
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I know how you feel....went through almost the identical situation. I posted recently that as I was going through therapy I was going to try and remember 5 things I admired about my dad. It took a long time but over the years my memories are not tearing me up. There were people that approached me from time to time and told me that they always hated the way my father treated me. They did not stand up to him for me at the time...but it meant a lot they at least reached out to say something. May you come to some resolve sooner rather than later. Take care!
I resolved to do the same-try and come up with 3-5 things that i will be honest about saying were good qualities. I appreciate so much the responses. I am so glad to know I am not alone in this situation.

I sometimes think if i were to tell "normal" people everything--either they wouldn't believe me or they would think i was off-kilter.

I appreciate the kind feedback...i feel better knowing there are others out there.
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