Hi Kally Jo
Many people don't realise that parents can be just as confused or "lost" in relationship problems as their children are.
He seems to be in conflict with your thinking patterns. That doesn't mean he expects you to change, just can't maintain the chemistry he'd like to be present.
For this reason it might be better for you to accept also that the chemistry may never be ideal. Therefore lowering your expectations of him as a father including regularity of visits and the time of those visits.
The better way to go is twofold. Either come to an agreement on the above or seek out a relationship therapist. Visit the therapist and hope he also attends. But again, no expectations.
Is your dad lacking confidence? Is he estranged with your mother and finds your mother inside you hard to cope with?
All these types of issues can be delved into by a therapist.
PS I think my dad may be lacking confidence as he had narcissistic parents and he and his other brothers had mental illness due to his parents being manipulative and they would not allow him or his brothers to seek treatment from a therapist because they did not believe in therapy
my parents divorced when I was a baby. My mother has a lot of anger towards him because they had an unhealthy marriage.Their marriage ended because my dad had a habit of cheating on her but my dad has never said anything bad about my mother and at his house he had a picture of her in the bedroom I use to sleep in.
again thank you for your help 🙂
Dear Kally jo~
I think that Tony WK has the right of it, it can be very hard to understand what is going though a parent's mind or the types of hassles they have to deal with . This of course makes understanding their behaviour a puzzle.
I know you feel it when your expectations are dashed, and it is only natural to try to close off so it does not keep happening.
To look on the generous side after the information in your last post it may well be your father feels a great sense of loss and blames himself entirely for it. He may well be struggling, never having been shown the way to handle guilt and grief and it may be a real struggle to see an offspring he may feel he has let down badly.
As a result contact may be unpredictable depending on his state at the time.
I know from your other posts that you may have a form of anxiety. I do too and one of the downsides is I tend to think the worst.
Although hard to do it may be possible to simply take the rare contact as a plus, no reflection on you, but a reflection of his unsettled state.
Do you think this might be a reasonable approach to try for?
Hi Kally Jo
Thanks Croix for posting
As a son of a narcissist and manipulator I know what your dad has endured, the concept and the challenges that is especially with low self esteem. In one generation it is unlikely the problem will vanish, some parts of these sorts of behaviours continue so each generation has to acknowledge them and try to stamp them out. For that reason he might require lots of patience and understanding.
I have a friend that has a father that never ever rings him, it is always the son that contacts his dad. This has always been the case and my friend came to me and was angry that for decades his dad never rings him. My friend notices all the time parents ringing their children so feel deprived of a normal dad. So I suggested he ask his dad why.
A few months went by and my friend visited with a big smile on his face. He did indeed ask his dad why he didnt ring him. He dad stared at him and burst into tears. "Well son, it isnt only you, its my friends as well. I've had 3 instances on the telephone that were traumatic. First was your mum leaving me telling me basically that I'm no longer a full time dad as she took you away. Second was when my mother passed away and third was when you had that bad car accident. I've never instigated a phone call since!"
So my friend discussed this at length with me. He realised that the phone for his dad was a connection to traumatic events. It had zero to do with his son./their relationship.
In your case it seems your father has love for you but finds difficulty in being reliable to meet up. Whatever the cause you both are not going to make a bad situation better by rejection and no understanding of each individual. Considering his lack of turning up I'd visit his home instead. Chasing him might have to be the price to pay to get to know him better but the big positive is him remembering your birthday and making contact. For that reason you have a huge reason to believe he loves you.
I hope that helps.
Dear Kally jo~
Kindness and thinking positively about those that have hurt you is a pretty big ask at times, however it least it offers hope that matters might improve. 5 years is a long time and people like your father might come to see things to value they had missed before, or maybe gain courage.
You are sensitive and loving person, if you were not you would not be hurt by your father's actions. It may be confusing now, hopefully thngs will become clearer in time.
Please let us know how you go.
Update on my father issues
I wish I believed that my father loves me but it’s hard to believe when it’s been a repetitive circle of when I tried to make a time to see him and it’s always ended up in broken promises or not showing up. I don’t hate my dad it’s just difficult to trust someone when they’ve rejected me a few times and make the same mistakes. At the moment I’m in tears. He contacted me and said that he wants me back in his life. To protect myself from getting hurt I usually lie and tell him that I’m sick or busy but I felt like I had to be honest with him and I said to him that I wasn’t comfortable seeing him. Standing up for myself towards a parent hurt and I feel bad for it but the thought of being face to face with him scares me.
Dear Kally jo~
While I'm sorry that things are not working out at the moment I do think that you standing up for your self and being straight about your feelings to his face is a much better was of handling things than making excuses -something that I'd expect made you feel worse. So please don't feel bad about it, you are as much an adult as he, and probably have a lot more sense.
You never know it may make him thing differently.
Would I be being to intrusive to ask you what you fear seeing him face to face?
Hello Kally, and thanks White Knight and Croix for your comments.
I understand that by seeing your father now, there would be so much to catch up on and what he says and if there are any excuses might not be what you're prepared to listen to and may make that connection to be difficult for you to handle.
If you like you could do this slowly over a period of time, then if you make a decision not to see him because you don't believe he's telling you the truth, then it won't be so hard to pull away, rather than going the whole hog and wanting to see him regularly, then to pull away will be more difficult and devastating for you, just look after yourself.