Why couldn't I speak the truth and confront my dad? the need to vent

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by iceblue, Oct 12, 2012.

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  1. iceblue

    iceblue Well-Known Member

    I saw my dad today and its been eating at me for years that he, and my mum, (they divorced when I was little) never supported me to go into further education and go to university whereas each of them supported their younger children that they had by new partners. This was on top of neglect generally and a crappy upbringing which compared unfavourably to my younger siblings.

    I was all ready to confront my dad last night and tell him just how devasted I'd been by his neglect and lack of encouragement and interest, not to mention being completely dumbstruck when my mum decided to go to art school at the time when I was thinking of going, but I just caved in and when he questioned 'why was it that you didn't go to university' (as if he was totally innocent of any involvement in the matter) i muttered something about originally not knowing what I had wanted to do which wasn't really true.

    I also said that when I had decided what I wanted to do in my twenties (which was medicine) that I needed a home to live in to complete my entrance qualifications for uni and I couldn't go back home to either him or mum to do that and I didn't have anywhere to live, to which he said 'shame'.

    But basically I remember that I was totally screwed up by his cold indifference to my studies at which I was doing really well - but he would completely blank me when I talked about what i was doing and it hurt like hell. This was in comparison to him supporting my younger sisters - one of whom went to vet school because he said she 'deserved' to go because she knew from a young age what she wanted to do.

    I just don't know why I couldn't confront him last night. He actually said to me 'oh I remember, yes, I thought there was something wrong with your thinking because you hadn't thought through how you were going to pay for it all'. (This is despite the fact that at that time I would have got a full grant for all of the degree and just needed a place to stay for a year to get ready to go).

    Now, when I think of it - he has always been so mean and judgemental when it comes to me achieving anything and he never said well done or gave me any recognition for getting good grades. I'm sick, totally sick that I've wasted my life, feeling and being really messed up because he and my mum were never really there for me. Now it's too late - I'm in my mid-forties. I've had years of mental illness triggered by my childhood - physically I'm messed up because of the medication I've become chemically dependent on which has caused poor concentration too.

    My dad's meanness and my mum's selfishness, and their neglect and my inability to stand up to them has wrecked my life. But just why couldn't I tell him those words - I didn't go to university because you didn't support me?

    The fact that I didn't go to uni and achieve has haunted me almost every day for the past twenty years and has been one of the main roots of my inability to move on. I know that some people go back in later life, but I have no savings, no income, I still have no support, and I'm trying to recover from mental illness so realistically the opportunity has gone. And yes, this does contrast dramatically with all of my half-siblings who all studied.

    I guess it's not just about not going to uni - its about having parents who decide to neglect you and your interests, and consistently favour your siblings and their own interests and in the case of my dad, who are quick to point out your flaws, but never get round to complimenting you on achievements. I guess it was a form of abuse.
  2. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    It is a form of abuse and neglect Rachel. Lots of terms and explanations about how children from previous marriages are associated with the children from those marriages and books of psycho babble as to why it can happen but in the end none of it matters. You were neglected and treated as less than equal as compared to your siblings. There are many people that say confronting somebody that has wronged you in such was is therapeutic or can help you move on- I do not know if that is true or not. I think it is likely different for everybody but it seems from casual observation that though it gives a day or two of self satisfaction a few days later it hits that it did nothing to change any of the facts of previous or current life and is disappointing that having worked up to do that in the end nothing changed. I would guess it also has to do with the type of abuse with those having suffered more direct physical abuse getting slightly more from it than those that suffered neglect and emotional trauma. In the end, feeling worse because of something you did not do (confront him) is not going to help. If you decide to change that and confront him because you believe it needs to be done than by all means make an attempt to do that, either in person or a letter saying "what I really meant the other day when you asked was...." but I would caution not to expect it to be the silver bullet that changes the way you feel about yourself and your life. Maybe part of the reason you did not was the realization that ,as you put it, his cold indifference to my studies at which I was doing really well - but he would completely blank me when I talked about what i was doing and it hurt like hell and you likely decided on some level it simply was not worth feeling that pain again on top of other things you are going through.

    I hope you are able to find some way to achieve something that satisfies you, you sound like you have a lot to offer. i have no idea if it is feasible or not to return to uni at your present point, but that does not mean that there is nothing you can do to feel whole and useful. The hardest thing in the world to do is to let go of the past and truly move on - but often that is the best thing to do however one goes about accomplishing it.

    Take Care and Be Safe


    ps - placement and forum choice was perfectly fine
  3. iceblue

    iceblue Well-Known Member

    Hi Ben, thank you so much for your kind reply. I have been trying to move on for about twenty years but have kept getting stuck. Maybe its because some subtleties of the abuse have continued in the intrinsic way both of my parents relate to me. Both are quick to cite their own childhood experiences when the issue of mine comes up (my mum got pregnant at college and neither of them got parental support) and yet they have clearly wanted more for my half-siblings.

    I appreciate you validating the realisation that it was a form of abuse and neglect. Now that I've posted here and am reflecting on your reply, I think I do maybe need to chat this over with someone - perhaps a mental health therapist that it might be possible to see. (I've had severe mental health issues which I firmly believed stemmed from my upbringing). I think I need to write to both my parents to address this somehow because somehow the injustice of it all haunts me and I feel I need to recover a voice. I realise that it won't get me an education, make my health problems go away, or get me a career, or the years back, but maybe it will help to take back some sense of control and establish better boundaries and greater awareness of what's needed for healthier relationships with both of them.

    I so wish I could go to university and study but realistically I can't see how it would be possible because I am now very physically unfit due to taking mental health medication for many years. Thanks for your encouragement to go forward. Just recently I began taking part in more volunteer work so I'm hoping that it opens doors to work opportunities in the future. I must admit that I have also found myself doing the lottery in the vain hope of winning my way out of this situation which I realise is crazy. It just hurts and is hard when compared to both sides of my family, I know I'm likely to always be a poor and less healthy relation. know I have to quit the 'poor me' notion, but reality is tough sometimes.

    I'm conscious that I need to end on a more positive note - I think writing clearly to both parents with the help of a therapist could help.
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