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Old 04-14-2021, 12:46 PM   #1
RoxanneToto
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Default The parent who mattered more than the child?

This is kind of the feeling Iíve had for a few years, that my concerns/feeling of safety etc didnít matter, and I got told I should just accept or learn to ignore things my (adoptive) dad did that made me uncomfortable.
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Iíve told mum a lot of this stuff and just got a ďmehĒ response, which Iím not sure what to do with. On the one hand I wonder how much stuff like this sheís experienced/endured; on the other, I feel resentful that my feelings/fears over my general sense of safety at home have been dismissed. I even feel guilty at times for not having much of a relationship with dad (which I find weird, but since I was a preteen I distanced myself from him as much as I could).
Hopefully this is the right forum for this, I guess, release of some thoughts/feelings I donít think Iíve managed to process properly yet. Letís call it a brain dump
He is an alcoholic, and Iíve blamed the alcohol for most of his actions over the years (maybe wrongly, but who knows?) and Iíve realised my mum is an enabler, to an extent. Iím having some trouble handling the feelings that have arisen from realising some of my best interests in childhood were basically ignored, for whatever reason. Iím angry and upset, and feel a bit betrayed. But still feel guilt for feeling like that! Argh!
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:19 PM   #2
Yaowen
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Default Re: The parent who mattered more than the child?

Dear RoxanneToto,

I think your thoughts and feelings about what you endured are completely understandable. If I was in your place I think I would feel exactly the same way. Wish I knew what to say that would be helpful.

Sincerely yours, Yao Wen
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:34 PM   #3
unaluna
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Default Re: The parent who mattered more than the child?

What resonates with me about what you said:
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:55 PM   #4
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Thanks, both of you. And I agree with what you said, unaluna (until I had certain conversations with my T, I also had that feeling of ďlimboĒ about some things dad had done. Having it clarified was good, it meant I wasnít imagining things) - it felt wrong to me then, but mum sort of jumped in and tried to convince me to take it as a compliment. I didnít, but I stopped trying to correct him too because I could see I wasnít getting anywhere. Iím not sure she understands the true nature of the stuff my dad has said to me that Iíve passed on, or whether sheís resigned herself to being helpless because she couldnít change him (sheís talked about leaving and threatened divorce several times, over his addiction, but never took any meaningful action. I know itís not easy for her either, so Iím not blaming her for whatís happened, I just hated the attitude that I was wrong for speaking up for myself. I was a child, not much more emotionally mature when I was in college - and ultimately, shouldnít have needed to defend myself from a parent).
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:41 AM   #5
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Conflicted. I ended up sending a long email to T (some condensed gripes about childhood, including things I wrote further up. No lies or exaggerations and I did leave some stuff out, but made no attempt to balance it out with good stuff either! Of course itís never been 100% awful at home, and some things I probably could have taken more responsibility for when I was older, but for whatever reason, didnít). She said from what Iíd written, I was entitled to feel really angry and no wonder I was having the problems I am.
I donít want to see my mum as a bad person; I know sheís not, and that I was slipping into all or nothing type thinking while writing the email (I did let it sit several hours before sending, felt better later, but T emailed me about rearranging my appointment due to something more urgent that was coming up for her - she could only fit me in for 45 minutes or I could go the week after instead. I said it was fine, and mentioned the email Iíd been debating sending. I sent it anyway, because I thought it warranted further discussion, which we will next session. It is stuff Iíve carried around for a long time that hasnít been addressed properly).
Part of me just feels like Iím being ungrateful and like Iím focusing too much on myself/my own feelings. Iím finding it hard to ďgiveĒ true love to my mum, even right now while my dadís in hospital after another fall. Thereís talk of him potentially going into a home (it was a bad fall, but weíve felt for years that something like this would happen eventually). It would be a relief for all of us, I know mum would feel torn though. Is it bad that I donít feel much for dad? Mum wrote a get well soon card yesterday for brother to take and got me to sign it, too. She thought I was going to write ďlove from RTĒ, but I just squeezed my name in between hers and the dogís!
How to refill my empathy meter?

Last edited by RoxanneToto; 04-18-2021 at 03:27 AM..
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:46 AM   #6
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Funny you should say that, about your empathy meter. I call it my love bucket. You can only take out of it what was put into it, hopefully with interest, but whatever. Only weird stuff was put in mine, leaving me feeling very fake in these situations. Fake and alone.
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:23 AM   #7
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Iím sorry to read that, unaluna, it really does make things harder than they should be.
I think Iím just really burned out with family stuff right now, at the same time that a lot of my repressed anger is coming to the surface. It helps to write it out, and I donít really have many other outlets.
Iíll be relieved if my dad does go into a home of some kind, but at the same time, the worst damage is already done. It would mean less drama for us all, at least. Even with him being in hospital, I feel more relaxed.
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