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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Angry father acting childishly - November 19th 2015, 01:57 PM

This thread has been labeled as non-PG13 by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for younger users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I think I need to tell you something about my relationship with my father before we begin, but I promise it won't be too long - not this part at least. Basically, when I was a kid, he was always around, cuddling me, playing with me and generally doing the things a good father would do. My sister was born when I was six, and I had to get used to him giving most of the attention to her. The problems began when I was 11, because at the time he sort of started acting like he preferred my sister over me: I only remember him saying stuff like "you can't do it, but your sister can do it very well". This situation hasn't really got better - in the next few years I developed depression and anxiety and he still would act the exact same way. He's now stopped, but it's not really easy to forget it.
A couple days ago, I was getting ready to leave the house to go to my music lesson and I was putting on my *fake* leather jacket. He said to my mother "I want one too, but I don't know where to find it. They're also so expensive". I just replied saying that he shouldn't buy a real leather one, and that he might find one in a shop in a shopping centre. At this very moment, my mother told him she doesn't want him to wear one, because it would look awful on him. They started this "fight" and basically my mother kept telling him she doesn't want to be seen going around with him, and he kept saying that the way he dresses is none of her business. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I was by his side: you know, he's a grown man, he can make decisions for himself. He thanked me for defending him. When I left the house, I thought this would be just another discussion that would leave them angry for 5 minutes. I was wrong. When I got back home after my lesson, my father looked extremely pissed off and giving us all the silent treatment. I wasn't 100% sure it was because of that fight, but when I saw my mother, I asked her and she confirmed it. The next day (yesterday), he was still holding a grudge, also against me, who had defended him, and my sister, who played no role in the discussion. As I'd foreseen, because I know his ways, he's now calmed down and is trying to get back to me as if nothing happened.
I am fucking furious, and I feel hurt and disrespected.
I understand his anger, because I agree with him and I don't like what my mother has said, BUT he's a 56-year-old man, not a grumpy teenager. I don't care whether he's right or not, I expect a certain maturity from a person his age - especially because he himself wouldn't accept this type of behaviour from my sis and me - and acting like that towards your wife is childish as hell - hence the title, but it's not really about this.
Secondly: You don't want to talk to your wife because she's offended you? Fine - it's stupid, but there's literally nothing I can do about it. But how dare you hold a fucking grudge against me for two days after I have took your fucking side? This hurts even more when you think about the things he's done in the past - when I was hospitalised for depression/self harm back in 2013, I'd talked to my therapist about him, and she, along with the psychiatrist, told my parents about them. She told him he was part of the problem. Did he care? We'll see. I don't really care if he doesn't talk to me, but knowing that after all of that he still has the guts to treat me like a fucking doormat just because he's angry at my mother is fucking ridiculous and I do not tolerate being disrespected like that. And now he's playing all chill and laid back with me as if nothing happened.
A week or so ago he came up to me and asked why my sister is acting so bitter towards him, just like I used to do when I was her age. I blamed it on adolescence. I don't know why she's treating him like that, but I used to do that because he hurt me. That night he's told me that he hurts when we reject him. I did tell him to stop playing the victim - he's always all like "nobody loves me, why is everyone rejecting me like that what have I done" - and he said "it hurts. I hope you won't ever be in my position, but you'll only know what it feels like if you are" or something like that - seems like he didn't really care about what my therapist said after all; he probably thought she was making it up, because he "doesn't believe" in therapy.
After all these years, I still love him, because he's my father, he's brought me into this world, how could I ever not love him, even just a little bit? And even though I have disrespected him and thought I hated him in the past, I have grown. I now know the importance of respect and I have learnt that we must never, ever disrespect anyone, regardless of what they've done to us, because you don't fight fire with fire. I know he loves me and I know it hurts him to know I don't want him, but he's toxic, and I can't let him in, because this is what happens when I do. The fact that he won't give this any importance at all plays a huge role in this situation, because if I get angry at him for something in the future, he'll still be playing the victim, and I will not have the guts to tell him why I'm so bitter towards him, because I don't want to hurt him, because I know he's never meant to hurt me - all those things he did, he's not done them on purpose, I know it.
Will I tell him about this? Of course I won't, it'd make him suffer.
I don't know how to face this situation and I don't know how I could face another one like this. All I know is I'll never be taking his side again, I will just avoid speaking in the first place, at least no one gets hurt - I do, but I can deal with it...? There is something truly wrong in our relationship, but I cannot define it.
I don't even have a question, I probably just needed to vent and hear some opinions about this. It all started from a jacket.

the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: father acting childishly - November 19th 2015, 02:42 PM

I actually know how you feel...My dad is being really childish. He wants to "be younger", even though he is 36...He acts like a little bitch. And he chooses my step-sister and cousins over me.

That god does not exist, I cannot deny
That my whole being cries out for a god, I cannot forget.

The gates of Heaven were locked shut. The pits of Hell, they were all filled up. And I fear I don't belong here.....

How could someone so perfect feel so insecure? As to scar her skin with cuts and burns and still want to hurt more. How does someone so loving learn to hate her own guts? Drawing a picture on her arm with a blade, as if her mind wasn't dark enough
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: father acting childishly - November 19th 2015, 09:42 PM

Hey, Serena.

This sounds like a frustrating an upsetting situation to be in. I do agree with your dad and you regarding the jacket. Your mother most likely wouldn't appreciate your father saying such things if she wanted to buy a dress she really wanted. Because clothing is up to personal opinions. I would have taken your dad's side of the argument as well. What happened afterwards sounds upsetting to you, and I'm sorry for what happened not only now, but when you were younger. It must have been hard feeling as your sister was favored over you.

Arguments that start from something trivial usually runs deeper than what initially began the argument. Just for example, he may have already been upset with your mom over something you aren't even aware of (and maybe something she is unaware of), or perhaps he is stressed over something no one is aware of and it's showing through in how he is acting over trivial things such as the jacket.

He may have difficulties handling his anger and other emotions. Even though you took his side, he was still angry at your mom and he wasn't sure how to turn off that anger even towards other people, including you. That's a difficult task for some, even if the person acknowledges who is and isn't involved in the argument. Understanding his thought process and how he feels might help you understand it and feel slightly less frustrated. Regardless, it's still unfair to you especially since he clearly saw you stand up for him.

You're hesitant over talking to him because you are afraid you may hurt him, but he's hurting you and in turn, it's affecting the relationship you have with him. That makes all these little issues contributing important to tackle. I understand it's difficult, but honesty is important even if it hurts. He may not know all that he is doing wrong without you telling him. Same thing with him, he needs to explain how he feels and if anything is bothering him so you will be aware if anything else is causing his behavior towards you.

Right now you are hurt and frustrated, understandably. But my advice is to wait until everyone calms down and have a discussion with your dad. Just you and him. Sit down with him when he isn't busy and tell him that the way he acted towards you while arguing with your mother hurt, especially since you clearly took his side. Politely and calmly talk about how you felt, and ask him why he behaved that way. Talking can be rather scary at times, so you can ask him if the two of you can write notes to each other and communicate that way. That may sound silly, but writing down what you want to say allows both people to think over their thoughts and choose a good way to communicate how they feel without any potential yelling or misunderstandings.

I understand the idea of talking and going deeply into feelings and issues is scary and intimidating but I do believe an honest, calm, and respectful conversation could be beneficial. You acknowledge that there is a problem in your relationship with him, so it's important you two are on the same page in knowing each other's feelings and from there on, effort can be put in to repair the relationship. This way both of you treat each other equally and with respect. You obviously love your father a lot, and I know he loves you too so you two deserve to have a close father-daughter relationship. It may take time, patience, and certainly effort but I believe it's possible.

I know you are frustrated and upset, and you have a right to be, but I hope you don't give up on your relationship with your dad. Being honest even if it hurts the other person is important, because it'll hurt them a lot more learning what all they were doing wrong all this time. Your dad may not have believed what your therapist said, but that may be because he heard it from your therapist; not you. You understand he doesn't do things on purpose, and that's good that you see that. But for him to take how he treats you into consideration then he needs to be aware of what he's doing wrong and how it affects you. How it is approached is important - simply be honest, politely and respectfully. A calm discussion without yelling or directly blaming is most effective.

I hope this helped some, Serena. You must be really upset about this which is why I'm glad you opened up here. PM me anytime and hang in there.
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Re: father acting childishly - November 21st 2015, 09:51 PM

I am not bringing this or anything else up to him. He would either deny it completely or say he has never hurt me on purpose. He will not apologise to me, I know it. In his opinion, you don't need to apologise for something if you haven't done it on purpose. Honestly, I'm not even sure I care anymore. I do love him and care about him, but I noticed there's a huge difference between the way I love my mother and the way I love him. My love for him is solely based on what he's done to me in a materialstic way, as in he pays for my music lessons, for my dance classes, for school, and for a series of things that are not really necessary. I have given up on our relationship, probably long ago.
I've only realised this after reading your response. When I thought about talking to him, I felt a mixture of anxiety and anger. I fear him. I fear his response. I fear he will hurt me and invalidate my feelings, get angry, and then forget about it. And then play the victim again. I've seen this happen so many times... I know I've hurt him in the past, and I can't forgive myself for that, but I'm not hurting him now. I don't want him to touch me or get close (emotionally) to me, because I feel better when he's distant. I feel safe when he's distant. The closer he gets, the more my anxiety rises, and I do stupid things when I'm anxious.
I don't want him to suffer, but I feel good when I'm far from him. I don't want him back in my life, I feel good when he is not in it.
I have been polite and respectful way too many times. I am tired now.

the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.
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Re: father acting childishly - November 27th 2015, 07:44 AM

I respect your decision because at the end of the day, you know your father best. You have a general idea of what may help or worsen the situation.

Although I'm sorry to hear that you feel this way and mainly, I'm sorry you are in this situation of not having a strong relationship with your father. To feel afraid he'll invalidate your feelings upon talking to him about this can't be easy for you.

Are you close with your mom? I understand that a close mother-daughter relationship isn't the same as having a strong, healthy relationship with your father but I'm hoping you are close with one parent. To be able to lean on for support and to simply have a parent you do feel like you can talk to and resolve any issues that come up.

As I said, you do have a general idea of how he will react in certain situations from past experiences, but I hope one day he surprises you in a good way by having a positive response. I hope he changes his ways in a direction that allows the two of you to have a happier, closer father-daughter relationship - you deserve that.
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