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Jake.
Member
(04-21-2017, 02:29 PM)
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brief background, and i'll try to avoid being too livejournal:

i'm an only child and moved from england with both of my parents to australia at 8 y/o. consequently, i grew up with almost zero other family.

i'm now about to turn 30 and have had a terrible relationship with my father since i was a teenager. the last legitimate conversation i had with him was about a decade ago, and we speak for about thirty seconds when we see each other 2-3 times a year.

my father has always been a very insecure, aggressive, and controlling man: he was not particularly physically violent, but the psychological abuse was fairly significant. with the exception of grades, he never showed any particular interest in me as a kid (e.g. by attending one of my basketball games or something), and would typically spend most of his time outside gardening which i believe remains his one sole hobby. i vaguely remember playing soccer with him when i still lived in england, but that's about my only positive childhood memory of him.

sadly my mother had a number of serious health issues growing up, and seeing her live under his thumb always made me resent him further. conversely, i have always been very close with her and despite my parents' sometimes turbulent ups and downs, their relationship seemingly improved in the last 5ish years and they remain married. this unfortunately causes issues some obvious for her, because the tension between me and him is very obvious to anyone. uncomfortable and awkward silences are common.

TLDR - maybe i'm having a quarter-life crisis since i'm torn between trying to make an effort to reconnect, or just letting sleeping dogs lie entirely. people having a shitty relationship with their parent/s is somewhat common, but i'm curious if anyone has ever salvaged a relationship with their mother/father/guardian they thought was too far gone?
Last edited by Jake.; 04-21-2017 at 02:33 PM.
Jazzy Geoff
Member
(04-21-2017, 02:34 PM)
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They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one anotherís throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And donít have any kids yourself.
Jake.
Member
(04-21-2017, 02:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by Jazzy Geoff

And donít have any kids yourself.

the snip will be happening next year. i have always had zero interest in having kids for some potentially obvious reasons haha.
Jazzy Geoff
Member
(04-21-2017, 02:45 PM)
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Woah! Are you sure? Don't do it just because of that poem, Philip Larkin is a miserable cunt. You don't have to pass on your shit, I hope I haven't anyway.

IN answer to your question, my mother walked out on us when I was 10 to be with a trekkie with a personality and appearance not too dissimilar to Comic Book Guy. Twas quite a wrench and he, not being too fond of children, made sure that she didn't spend too much time with us going forward. The odd hour or two here or there. It's still like that now. She'll travel down to London to see the kids and me and my wife but her train will get in a 5pm and the kids go to bed at 7. Train back first thing in the morning. It's nice to see her but the relationship is effectively ruined. C'est la vie.
Ladekabel
Member
(04-21-2017, 02:46 PM)
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I have more contact with my father since about one year and a half. Given it is not as tough a situation like it is with yours.

My parents divorced when I was four. I saw him more often back then but the contact and meetings got fewer and fewer over the years. He found a new wife and has two other sons besides me. Only had contact when we each had birthday but it was only a gratulation message. We met around christmas and maybe once in the summer for roughly two hours.

There were a few events which finally made me say him that I'm missing a father in my life and I would like to see him more. He took it to heart and since then messages me more often, we meet more frequently and he has been more supportive. I'm still not as close with him as I am with my mother and probably never will be but it's nice having my father having a bigger role in my life than the years before.
XShagrath
Member
(04-21-2017, 02:51 PM)
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My biological father tried to re-connect with me a few years ago. My parents got divorced when I was 4-5 years old, and when she got remarried, her new husband adopted me and I took his last name. Soon after that, my biological father dipped out of the picture and the last time I saw him was Christmas when I was 8.

He wrote me a letter when I was 25 or so, wanting to reconnect and explaining the situation of why he stopped contact. Essentially, he didn't want to confuse me with two father figures and felt I would be in a better place growing up without him (he was in a different state). At that point in my life, I didn't feel the need or desire to contact him back. I figured I'd made it almost 20 years without him, so I obviously didn't need him in my life. He was also extremely religious and essentially living in a commune at that point, and that's not the type of person I am.

A few years ago (I guess I was 36 or 37), he called the house a few times, and I didn't answer. He left some voicemails wanting to re-connect. At this point, my mom had divorced again and my father (adopted) is out of the picture as well. I wasn't in need of a "father" figure, but felt I'd give him the courtesy of letting him know where we stand, so that he could be at ease and not stress over his lost son anymore.

We ended up talking on the phone once or twice a month for about a year. I could still tell that he was very religious, so I tried to keep the conversation away from that. After a few months, he said he would like to see me. That was way too soon, but after about a year, we invited him to fly in for a weekend and we could see how things would go. I hadn't seen the man for 30 years at that point.

The first morning after he got here, we sat down and he showed me a bunch of old pictures of us and then of some of his family (who I didn't even remember). He also talked about the divorce from my mom, and then got really crazy with visions of Jesus, snakes, and other shit. I felt extremely awkward, but didn't want to make the situation any worse. The whole weekend, I felt I really couldn't be myself. After that, I took him back to the airport and I think we maybe talked once or twice on the phone after that, and that was the end of that.

Ultimately, I think he got the closure that he needed. I am his only child, and he got to see that I'm a successful professional and doing good with my life. However, I think he probably is disappointed in the fact that I'm not religious and probably thinks I'm going to hell.

In the end, I guess reconnections sometimes work, and sometimes don't.
SomewhatGroovy
Member
(04-21-2017, 02:54 PM)
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I have no relationship with either of my parents and won't in this lifetime unfortunately. My mom is a very troubled person with an abusive past that she tries to take out on me and my 8 and 3 year old kids. my dad, who lives on other side of the planet, remarried and had another kid at age 57 and has moved on.

I can only control my relationship with my kids and work hard to ensure we have a stronger foundation in the future.
RMI
Banned
(04-21-2017, 03:05 PM)
I'm not super close to my dad. Like your dad, OP, he was supremely disinterested in my and my siblings while we were growing up, and basically just did the bare minimum in terms of emotional involvement or interest in what we were doing. Luckily my mom is a terrific parent and A+ role model who always put us kids first and was very involved (especially when we were younger).

I didn't have a great relationship with my dad when I was in high school and pretty much through college. Things got better after I moved away, but I wouldn't say that we're very close. We talk a bit just about basic shit when I come to visit a few times a year(gardening, stock market, fixing up our respective houses, etc) but when I'm not visiting we don't communicate at all.

I don't resent the guy for not being interested in what we were doing. He had kind of a terrible work situation that he stuck through for many years to try and do his best to provide for the family. I think that took a toll on him. Now that he's older I just feel kind of bad for him because he alienated 2/3 of his kid and his wife with his behavior.

Not saying you have to forgive your dad for being a bad dad. Do whatever you think feels right.
highrider
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:18 PM)
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Yeah I definitely changed my relationship with my parents when I had children of my own. I kind of developed more empathy for my parents. I wasn't estranged, just didn't have much of a personal relationship with them. I consider myself close to them now, and most of my peers have lost their parents ( I'm 50 ), so I feel pretty fortunate that they are still around and healthy.
ironichaos
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:20 PM)
There was a gap of about 10 years (teens and early 20s) when I didn't see or talk to my mother. I won't go into the details. But then found out she had cancer and was able to get a hold of her email address online. We exchanged a few emails. My sister had a destination wedding in Mexico and invited her along. It was really nice seeing her for a few days and being able to ask the 'why' question about a lot of things.

She was able to beat the cancer and we continued emailing only on the holidays but then about three years ago she stopped responding.

I think there's a lot of guilt there. At some point you just have to forgive the person and recognize that we're all imperfect. Just try to be a really good person and love your friends and family who do want to be by your side and treat you well. I wish her health and happiness but at the end of the day she still has to find that herself. I've told her I forgive her and made peace with our relationship (essentially we don't have one and that's okay) but I do have four other siblings and so they've/she likely haven't forgiven her/herself. It takes two to make a relationship work, two to put in the effort. And I've accepted that there will likely just never be one between us.
capitalCORN
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:23 PM)
I severed between 19 and 30, due to a history of bad relations with my father. I did reconcile with my mother past that a little. I'm now on low effort attendance of events to at least support my sister's attempt to re-bridge the family.
jdstorm
Member
(04-21-2017, 03:41 PM)
Not going to overshare, but its fair to say growing up things with both of my parents were tumultuous. Time and perspective can heal a great many things as we learn to accept our parents as regular flawed people just like the rest of us.

My relationship with my mother is reasonably healthy now. I set some strict boundaries, showed some understanding, she respected them and with time things got better. As for Dads the same principles work. Either they will meet you at your terms or they wont.
CarpeDeezNutz
Member
(04-21-2017, 04:01 PM)
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Makes me sad to see these threads pop up, I have a great relationship with my parents and reading the OP and responses, I remember the times I was a brat and it makes me feel ashamed.


I think I would just not even try if I had to go through with what you went through tbh.
BadWolf
Member
(04-21-2017, 04:05 PM)
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My father was on the POS side so when I was able to get out on my own I did and took my mom (who is pretty much a saint) with me and we never looked back. Been six years now and we have zero intention of ever trying to make contact.
JoeNut
Member
(04-21-2017, 04:15 PM)
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I don't speak to my bio dad and haven't for about 16 years now, which means i've not known him, longer than i knew him.

He has tried to connect with me twice now, only to then change his mind about it, both times on facebook. the first time he basically spent the whole time talking shit about my mum, who i obviously defended, we got into a big argument over the phone and he didnt try again for about 3 years.

then last year he again used facebook to message me out of the blue, we chatted about nothing important and i suggested we meet up to have a proper one to one. He declined and said that it was because i was raised by people he hates (my mum and step dad) so we are too different to reconnect.

Since then i've blocked him from Facebook and don't intend on ever trying again, i've had a son in the last 3 months so he's now technically a grandad, but he won't ever get to meet him.

it's sad but unfortunately just as "an Ex is an ex for a reason" - it's probably quite likely that most reconnections won't work because of the original reason they left in the first place.
Clockwork5
Member
(04-21-2017, 07:55 PM)
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My father and I never got along and my preteen/teenage years were a time of constant conflict and caused some lingering issues into my adulthood. I internally forgave both of us for the shit we put each other through in my twenties after being thousands of miles away from each other for years.

We get along great now. My parents live in the same city as me and we see each other all the time. I never had to have a conversation with him, I probably never will but putting those grudges to rest and slowly reaching out has been one of the best things I have ever done.

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