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Author Topic: Missing my Dad  (Read 66 times)
Zabava
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« on: August 13, 2019, 08:51:34 PM »

Hi everyone,

I'm about to visit my bpd mum in my chilhood home for the first time in a year and I'm scared.  One of the things on my mind is my father.  He died in that house 19 years ago and my mum and I found him.  He died of alcohol poisoning at 61 after years of struggling to heal. 

My mother undermined his efforts to get sober every time and part of me feels like she killed his spirit.  She was controlling, critical, violent and contemptuous towards him, just like she was with me and my sister.

I wonder if anyone here can relate.  Why didn't he stop her from hurting my sister and I? Was he a victim too?  He hit my mum and she hit him; who was the abuser and who was the victim?  I don't know.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 07:45:46 AM »

I can.

I don't like being in my mother's home. It's the home she lived with my father. After he died, she removed any remnant of him. There's nothing of him left in that home. I think it would be creepy to have it look like he was alive there with his things everywhere, but it's also strange to have it look like he didn't exist. Maybe this is her black and white thinking way of coping- don't keep any reminders. But I would hope that "normal" would have something, like a family picture up, to honor the memory.

The home feels empty. I don't like to spend time there. For one, I don't stay there. It costs some money to stay in a hotel but I don't want to be alone there with BPD mom. When I do visit, I try to take her out- to lunch, the mall, to movies- a place that is emotionally neutral. I might have coffee with her in her kitchen, but I don't like to be in other areas of the house.

The bottom line I think is to pay attention to you- self care. If it's hard on you emotionally, what can you do to take care of yourself? If you stay there, maybe take walks, go out for coffee- just you for a moment of self care. Maybe take Mum out so you aren't in the house with her all of the time.
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GreenGlit
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 11:11:20 AM »

This hits me hard. I also have very mixed and conflicted feelings about my father. I am so sorry your last memories of him were so profoundly tragic and scarring.

For some context: My dad is still living, but also suffers from drug abuse. Like you, I have been a witness to my mother undermining his attempts at sobriety. They are both doctors and she continues to inappropriately prescribe him benzos. I see him largely as a victim of my mother's abuse. But I also watched him make a lot of bad decisions. He was unable or unwilling to intervene and protect me from my mother's abuse, despite the fact he was always kind to me. I went LC and now NC with my uBPD mother, and he has chosen to become collateral damage. He occasionally sends me texts to say hi, but he has failed to make efforts to maintain a relationship with me despite my expressed wishes. I once even asked him tearfully if he was ok with never seeing me again before he dies...and he couldn't offer any reassuring words. I have some forgiveness for him because he has to live with my mom....but he also chooses to live with my mom and thus chooses to lose a relationship with his daughter. The choices my mom forces him to make are unfair. But he chooses to stay.

These relationships are very complicated and I urge you to steer yourself away from oversimplifying them. I have wasted a lot of time trying to find some logic in the turbulent and illogical universe my BPD mother has created around herself. Yes, he was a victim. Yes, your mother likely abused and brainwashed him to a degree that he may have felt like his best option was to stay with her and endure. On the other hand, like my father, he was also an adult with some resources and options, and sadly he did not chose the path to healing...neither for himself nor his children.

People make choices based on what they see as the "best option," even if to an outsider it may not seem like their choice was the best one. People smoke because it makes them feel better now even though they are aware they may get cancer in 3 decades. Your father perhaps felt that not intervening in witnessed abuse was a better option than whatever expected outcome would result from stepping in. Maybe that was a selfish choice to protect himself. Maybe it was a subconscious choice from a place of denial and fear. Maybe it was what he thought was best for you. You will never know the answer, and that's a hard pill to swallow. Coming to terms with that is part of the healing process.

I'm not saying it's easy. I still feel incredibly sad at times thinking about how ugly and complicated my FOO relationships have become, and how much I feel I have lost. I hope you can find peace in your own life and  build something better for yourself. I also hope you can find the mental energy to visit your mom and make the best of what she can give you, however limited that might be. And if what she gives you is more hurt than happiness, I hope you can find a way to establish and maintain boundaries to protect yourself.

Good luck, OP. Would love to hear how the visit goes.
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Notwendy
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 11:37:38 AM »

Green Glit,

You have so eloquently described the dilemmas in these kinds of relationships and the kind of shared dysfunction between two enmeshed individuals. My father was not an MD, but he was a highly educated and intelligent man. You are correct that the emotional decisions people make aren't necessarily logical or explainable. They are complicated.

I am sorry you are also seeing substance addiction in your father, and your mother is certainly breaking the boundaries of her medical license by prescribing them. I don't know if you are in the US, but with electronic medical records, prescribing controlled substances are tracked electronically, and this is perilous to her career. But as you said, addiction is difficult, and anyone can struggle with this, including medical professionals.

I am glad you have been able to maintain some space and some perspective. I have also been able to come to some understanding about my father's situation that has helped me to deal with his behavior towards me. He wasn't addicted to drugs, but he was, in a sense, in an "addictive" relationship with my mother, and addictive behavior is tough to manage.

Hope you are doing well Green Glit.
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WTL
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 08:45:08 PM »

Zabava, what you describe sounds like a double edged sword. A catch 22. So many things can play into the “why” of your question. Mental illness, threats behind their bedroom door, conditioning that started in his childhood, etc. The list could go on and on. pwBPD typically undermine the concerns of others because they’re very self centered. Child like mentalities. They can’t see beyond their nose. They become upset when attention is taken off of them. There might be some narcissism at play there if you believe that she undermined his efforts to get sober. A superiority complex. She was better than him if he was sick. He was possibly a victim. Something to think about is that he was experiencing your mom’s abuse before you and your sister were born. Old traditions all but forbade the dissolving of a marriage. He turned to drinking as a way to cope. To check out of reality. Standing up for you and your sister likely came with consequences that he was already exhausted by. It’s hard to say who was the abused and who was the abuser. It sounds like total enmeshment. Neither one knew where one ended and the other began. Honestly, your dad was likely reacting and the alcohol gave way to being impulsive.

Why do you have to visit your mum? If you’re scared, do you think that you should?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 08:50:10 PM by WTL » Logged

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