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Digit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:37 AM
Original message
A word to the fathers on DU
My father is now 80 years old and has given up. He lies in his bed and refuses to get up. He is a stubborn soul, never yielding, preferring to be waited upon. With cracks in his hip, he refuses to get up and walk and do his exercises so he may walk again.
Now comes his time, and he has been hospitalized two times this past week. His lungs had collapsed previously and almost died. Now this pneumonia thing he is trying to get over.
I, being his only daughter, am agnonizing over this.
Let me tell you what has been going though my mind....

He has only but belittled me my entire life. He said I was too stupid to go to college. He said I would probably get pregnant and have to quit high school. All these things are running through my head. I am 53 now, but still remember all too well.

My daughter is now almost 21 and a junior in college. He has NEVER acknowleged her. They met finally when she was 17. That is it.
I was married to her father, so that is not it. He would send me a card for my birthday, but never one for my daughter. Never acted as her grandfather. His father, on the other hand, was the light of my life. I loved that man so much. He died when I was only 6 and came to visit me when he died. He touched my foot and I can recall I went out to tell him Opa (german for grandfather) had died, and he got mad. It was indeed the time he died as we found out later. He came to say goodbye to me.

I am finding a resentment that he never acknowledged my daughter and also a resentment that he never wanted me as a child.
Now, he is dying and I am conflicted. I am sad, but I want to smack the shit out of him.

As I think back to my childhood, I was a total latchkey child. It is a wonder I survived, actually. He had taken out a life insurance policy on me which he turned over to me when I was over 30. Maybe he was banking on me not surviving so long.

I envy children who have adoring parents, but I must say that my daughter has turned out pretty damn well. I sacrificed alot to give her total motherhood until she was in kindergarden.
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Daydream_Believer Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. I hear you.
I feel your pain. I share it. :hug:
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Digit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. That was very kind of you. Thank you.
That meant more than you can ever know.
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Daydream_Believer Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. You are welcome.
Rejection from a father is a uniquely horrible kind of wound...only someone who is been there comprehends how deeply it hurts.

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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. Seconded. I'm so sorry and I do feel and know the pain well.
Good for you for having the courage to post. Many women do not.
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:45 AM
Response to Original message
4. I had a wonderful mother and an on-again, off-again father....After he
deserted my mom for the second time (she was nearly 60 and terminally ill) I wrote him off for good. When he dies, I'll likely go to his funeral, if its convenient, because he did provide the salary that kept me fed but not much else.

The sad thing is that I worshipped him as a child. Seeing him through adult eyes is a totally different experience.

Good luck. You'll need luck and strength to get through this. You have my sympathy and understanding, for what its worth.
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:45 AM
Response to Original message
5. I am thinking of you and praying for you now.
You are so lucky to have your father with you now, Mine died when I was 17,

Please try to come to peace and understanding with your family.

Love,

CottonBear
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
6. I can only speak for me on this
Hopefully it will help you. I learned through my own experience with my father's absense through most of my life is that to look for acknowledgement for what I had accomplished in my life wouldn't happen. It's painful.

So many of us yearn for that with our fathers and we're left with a horrible role model and a hole in our lives as a result.

I learned to be happy with what I've done and whether he was proud or not, that wasn't going to change how I lived my life now.

I understand how you feel because you want your father to acknowledge what you've done and your daughter. You want his love and approval, but the problem is his and not yours. He has to want to and if he doesn't, it will be a hard fact you have to accept.

If he does, and I hope he does, it will give you both peace. But be prepared to not get what you hope from him.

My thoughts are with you.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:56 AM
Response to Original message
7. I am not so kind as you are attempting to be.
What are his reasons for not acknowledging your daughter?

He must have some.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. I won't go into details because they are way too personal
You really need to read "The Wounded Woman--Healing the Father/Daughter Relationship".
It is an excellent read and you will be very glad you did.
Realize the most important thing for your psyche at this point in time is to zero out the debits and credits in this relationship. Don't let your feelings for his actions turn to guilt in woulda's, coulda's and shoulda's after he is gone.
People are the way they are and there is nothing you could ever do to change this. The only one that missed anything was him.
Good luck.
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Digit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. I believe this might be an excellent suggestion.
I will seek out this book and read it.
DU'ers are the best!
I would bet there are others noting this post and jotting down the message contained in your post.
I would bet you are helping many people besides myself.
Thank you!
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #8
20. Good recommendation.
My wife was raised in an upper middle class family that did not value females. She was a top student and athlete. Her parents never attended school functions/sporting events involving her; they rarely missed any involving their sons. The parents paid for the sons' college; my wife, who is the only one with an advanced degree, paid her own way.

Her father is a sick individual who should never be around young teen-aged girls. Her mother could not be trusted to protect any young teen aged girls.

Her parents and brothers have not spoken to my wife in about 5 years, even though we live less than 20 miles away. They do not know our daughters.

It is occassionally difficult for my wife. And our daughters are left without grandparents. But my aunt and uncle have filled in as grandparents. We adjust and move on with our lives. We can not let other people's ignorance, illnesses, or hatred become our own. It isn't always easy, but it can - and must - be done.
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
9. Good for you--you broke the cycle of abuse and your daughter is very lucky
to have you for her mother. You could very easily have treated her the way you were treated, but you didn't.

Your father may not have abused you physically, but the neglect and belittling leaves emotional scars. No wonder you feel conflicted. I hope you can find some peace; it's an incredibly difficult situation.

:hug:
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
11. People , like your father, get injured and crippled in many ways.
Sometimes merely physically, more often emotionally. Maybe he was just a nasty person by nature, but more likely he lived with an anger and rejection of his (and your) humanity as a result of some trauma. You will never know the answer, but his determination to die sounds like it might be self-destructive, self-punitive, and an unverbalizable recognition of his failings. Children have a right to expect more of their parents, but life doesn't always give kids what they deserve. If you see him as a broken man, rather than a inherently vicious man, it might help you feel less conflicted.

I'm not suggesting forgiveness or suggesting there can be any reconciliation (he's probably too hardened in his ways to get it), but if you see him as victim of his own history as well as a victimizer, it might help you.
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:54 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. What you say has so much truth.
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 04:55 AM by anarchy1999
"I'm not suggesting forgiveness or suggesting there can be any reconciliation (he's probably too hardened in his ways to get it), but if you see him as victim of his own history as well as a victimizer, it might help you."

It is the only way I find forgiveness for my own Dad.

He was a victim himself and the history of abuse goes back a couple of generations. Sad but true.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:27 AM
Response to Original message
12. Aren't there any good times at all
that you can remember?

Weird that he wouldn't see his grandchild. No reason for it? Very weird.
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Digit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:51 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. He does not acknowledge his son's grandchildren, either.
My brother is 4 yrs older than I am.

Then again, my brother does not speak with me either since my mother's death. I was the executrix. He did not want her will admitted into court. Since it was HER wish, I complied with her wishes. Once he got his money, he stopped speaking with me.
I am sure there are lots of dysfunctional families out there.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. It's funny how it works
Your brother is his father's son.
It was easy for his father to "shun", now he has done the same.
Very sad.
Will keep you in prayers.
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Piperay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:59 AM
Response to Original message
15. So SORRY
my father who is almost 86 is ill too and my brother and I are looking after him. I have a semi-good relationship with him, he was always good to us but he was never really THERE the way my mother was so I'm conflicted but trying to get closer to him as his health deteriorates. It's a difficult situation I'm doing the best I can but know that I will always regret that we never really connected.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 04:51 AM
Response to Original message
17. Digit my dad is also very distant and cold
he does love me and aknowledge me, but the only way he shows his love is with money.

I resented the fact that he did verbally abuse me, quite a bit as I was growing up. Heck he still tries his shit from to time.

Many years ago I went to this woman to talk... she is now a friend of the family... and to make a long story short, I "divorced my father" as it were. I made peace wiht all the shit he did to me... and still tries. hell I still fear the visits for they can be a source of friction

I know that this may be hard for you... and as much as I feel your pain, it may be a good idea to let by gones be bygones. I have been told by many that after that person passes, they sometimes kick themselves for not makign that peace.

Oh and I know how hard it can be... I have walked that path...

Oh and you were blessed, I never met my grand parents... and I must say, around his grand kids, he is a very different man.
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 05:48 AM
Response to Original message
19. Digit, if it's ANY consolation, the Death Angel will give him a little
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 05:48 AM by dbt
extra time to reflect on the way he has treated you all these years. Your father's very last thoughts will be those of regret; he will wish to make amends, he will see himself at last and he will begin to weep. It will be at that exact moment that the Angel takes his hand and whispers "Come."

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