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February


One sided. Tuesday February 21, 2017

Prompted by Jane, in my last blog, about things sometimes appearing 'one sided' and also talk of parents recently, I thought I would share my relationship with my dad, or lack of! He is still with us, but I rarely see him.

He left us when I was a child, he fell in love with another woman, who he had been having an affair with for some time. I didn't really hold it against him, you cannot help who you fall in love with. He saw my sister and I on a regular basis when we were children and some of my best memories are with him.

When we got older, contact became less and less, like he didn't know how to relate to us anymore. He wasn't there for us anymore, refused invites, made excuses if we asked for anything and didn't bother with his grandchildren (my sister's kids).

We tried and tried in different ways but eventually it was time to give up. We were not getting anywhere and as Pennie-Lynn said in her response to my last blog, you have to accept the way things are...

His wife died of cancer some years ago now, she was only 49 (10 years younger than him) so this was a massive shock. It was quick and unpleasant and my dad turned to me, ringing me at every given opportunity. I was there for him of course, my sister however, had a completely different attitude. "He hasn't been there for us, so why should we be there for him".

When my step mum was moved to a hospice, with only days to live, I moved in with my dad to support him. I put my whole life on hold and would not leave him alone at any given time. I was there when he received the dreaded phone call, I was there to arrange the funeral, to help him with all of the paperwork, I stayed with him for a good few months. How could I leave my father to cope alone?

It wasn't an easy time, as others must have thought, "He's ok, his daughter is with him" so we had little support.

I also foolishly believed our relationship had been rekindled and that we would become close again. We had conversations we had never had before.

But my dad couldn't bear being alone, as in not in a relationship, he often told me this, I was no substitute for a partner or wife. "Better than nobody", I would reply.

He met someone else very quickly, through one of the support groups he attended.

And I was dumped! He had no interest in anything but her, to the point of obsession, which may have been his way of coping, I understand that.

But I felt used.

I didn't get my dad back.

I don't regret it, I would probably do it all over again...

Molly
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

The woman whose feet don't touch th Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 6:33am

Hi Molly, I felt so sad when I read your blog for you. I think you did so much for him. I can understand why you did it, and would do again- but it doesn't make it less painful, I think it is quite common. Parents who for some reason. See their offspring as servants for their needs, with their purpose being to serve their parents and not having their own feelings that are valid and need less be loved and nurturing. Telling someone old with no ability to change their behaviour and llottle interest and no acceptance of any room for improvement doesn't appear to help, so one is left with feelings of pain and loss. Take care, your value is great and your dad is missing out.

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:08pm

Thank you, you have a great understanding xx

Eva Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 7:38am

Hi Molly, I feel very a kin with you, my relationship with my dad had some similarities, I was never in a position to offer support in his life as the occasion never arose. I did however support him through his illness and death, of which thankfully he was largely unaware until near the end and although I had chalked up a fair bit of lack of interest, respect, and nippy and spiteful comments over the years I too wouldn't have missed that opportunity. I happily also had some moments in the couple of years before he got ill where he did finally pay attention to me, it probably sums up to about an hour or so, but it was worth it to me.

Why is it that some parents drop their children? in my case my dad partially blamed myself and my brother for the break down in his marriage, we unfortunately or fortunately didn't know this at the time, and although there were occasional moments of joy there was a lot of tension and hostility, not helped by living on different continents. He was wounded and largely moved on. Our mum started to make negative comments about him and how lucky she was to have our love and how he was missing out on it, I think she truly believed that we had grown not to love him and was very surprised at our distress when he got ill. We did love him though but it was buried under a lot of pain.

You seem to have gained acceptance, which is such an achievement and a testimony to your nature. I guess sometimes you just have to look at what you do have and realise that it has to be enough as they can't or won't give any more. A hard lesson, one I am trying to come to terms with currently.

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:16pm

Thank you Eva, I feel your hurt, and appreciate that you have experienced similar to me. I don't think parents realise what a huge responsibility they have and that children should always come first, without the bickering between the parents and the blame going on. So very sad. I hope you find a way to accept your situation, to be honest I am have found a certain amount of acceptance but it will never leave me xx

Sarah yellow rose Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 7:56am

Hi Molly, thank you for your honest and interesting blog. I think it says more about you, that you are kind and caring and it will be good to remember that. If you had not helped him you may have felt guilty and that is such a negative feeling. Instead I think you should feel very proud. Also that although your Dad isn't behaving how you want you haven't allowed it to affect your behaviour.

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:31pm

Thank you Sarah. I really appreciate your kind words. I think it has affected my behaviour but I am really trying to accept the way it is as it is not ever going to change. You are also right in saying that I would have felt guilty if I hadn't have helped, I did it maybe for my own sanity? I will remember that xx

LP Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 8:46am

Hi Molly,
It's interesting how differently siblings respond to parenting.. or lack of. You have acceptance of what is. The word dumped got me wondering about whether the onesidedness has been an issue for you in relationships. I'm not prying or even asking, just mentioing that it struck me, as girls' relationships with their fathers some times influence their adult relationships, but that's a whole other blog!
Thank you for sharing your experience Molly.
Kind wishes to you and all. LPxx

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:20pm

Hi LP, yes I guess we all have different personalities and ways we deal with things, my sister being completely different from me. Yes it has affected my relationships. I was told once by a psychatrist that I would always have two men in my life, as I had two 'dads'. My step dad was not a very nice man, rejection twice over, but yes (again) that is a whole new blog ! Thank you LP xx

Dragonfly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 9:41pm

Dear LP such a valid point again! I think girls relationship with their father might have a huge bearing on future relationships. My own have been far from harmonious based on my need for attention - even if its damaging. I've been in a very one-sided 'friendship' which I know I've clung onto because of my low self esteem and the other person has manipulated and taken advantage of my soft nature. I never seem to learn

LP Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 11:29pm

Hi Dragonfly, These things are quite entrenched from developed over years, but I'm hopeful that that doesn't mean they're permenent. You've got the first bit sorted, awareness. Think about the qualities a d thpe of relationship that you would like. Put your wish list out there and one way or another it will come to you. Try not to tell yourself that you never learn. Maybe in some ways each has been a little better than the last, even if you're not there yet. I can identify! Xx

Jul Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 8:50am

Hello Molly.Do you think that if your father hadn't contacted you when your stepmother had cancer, you would never have contacted him? I can understand you answering his calls for help but can also understand your sister's reaction too. Your father is very very lucky to have your love and to know you are there for him whatever. It would be good to have a male perspective on this. So often us females blame the men. My immediate thought was oh yes typical!,widowed men always find another partner very quickly despite professing their undying love for their wife of many years and still outwardly and publicly grieving for them. It sounds from what you write Molly that your father was an uncaring man and father, but for you to be so loving towards him despite this, makes me think you knew him differently. I am thinking about your blog Molly and you are a brave girl to write it and share with us your feelings, your father's vulnerabilities and your strength in coping and dealing with such an experience. Bravo and go well. Be strong,carry on in the same loving way and you will be fine. Julxx

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:27pm

Hi Jul. I would have contacted him yes, there is no way I could have ignored the fact his wife had died. He loved her, and he was left in a sorry state. I feel sorry for him, he didn't know how to be a father but he didn't deserve that. He is not an uncaring man, he rings me once a week and we have a nice chat, he just doesn't seem to know how to be more of a father than that. My sister however decided to ignore him when they found themselves in the same place. I feel torn between them. Really appreciate your response and your advice Jul, thank you xx

Wyvern Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 8:51am

Is the key to it your final sentence?:
I don't regret it, I would probably do it all over again...

Molly, your story resonates with me but for a different reason. What I am doing now for my mother (who has dementia), I am doing because despite all, I love her. Our relationship has never been easy, full of criticism and control-freakery on her part, rebellion and escape on mine, but still, she is my mother, brought me into the world, and brought me up as best she could. Now for me, it's pay-back time, and I am seeing her out of the world as best I can. She doesn't know who I am a lot of the time, so there's a sense in which I have already lost her, but still ...

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:38pm

Hi Wyvern, dementia is a cruel illness, I went through it with my mum-in-law, yes it feels like they are already gone. I think it is very hard when we lose our parents under these circumstances. Bitter sweet really isn't it. Thank you for responding xx

Orangeblossom Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 9:13am

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Molly. I admire your acceptance of this situation. I don't think that I would have been as accepting or as forgiving.

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:40pm

Thank you Orangeblossom. I sometimes wonder if I am a fool, but it is just the way I am. I do feel I will be a little more selective in future :-) xx

Carol Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 10:16am

I completely understand your response to your dad - all the way through - but feel so sorry for you now, after his lack of response, empathy or understanding. I'm sure you can continue to believe you did the right thing and hope this comforts you.

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:41pm

Thanks Carol, yes I guess I know I did the right thing and that will stay with me xx

Leah Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 10:50am

Molly
Thanks for your emotionally revealing and honest post.
The parent child relationship is so complicated that even 16 years after my mum dread and 10 years after my dad I am still examining my relationship wth them.

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:43pm

Thanks Leah. I think we do don't we, I haven't children of my own and I am glad in a way, as the responsibility is huge for the rest of our lives xx

Norman Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 12:08pm

Molly, integrity is what you do when no-one is looking. When you were faced with the choice you did what you felt to be right. Nothing else matters. Your "official" reason for helping him was to "get your dad back" but deep down that wasn't the real reason. You know this, hence the last line that you would do it all again. You were there for him when it mattered. You did the right thing. Feel good within yourself. xxx

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:45pm

Norman, hello, I love your reply, thank you. You are so right xx

Vickie Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 12:33pm

Hi Molly,
What a touching blog. It tells me that you are a wonderful human being. Both of my parents are still alive. I can remember seeing my father a handful of times in my entire life. The relationship with my mother is similar to what Wyvern described - full of criticism and control. I hope if I am called upon the way you were, that I can stand up and be as kind and loving as you have been. May you be at peace with all that you have done.

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:48pm

How lovely Vickie, thank you. My step father was full of control, he controls my mother, he now is also ill himself and it is very hard to be supportive - this is separate from my post about my real dad, but I will take on boad your compliments, thank you xx

Oli Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 1:05pm

Molly, that moved me. Thank you. Be well.

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 4:48pm

Thank you Oli xx

The Gardener Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 1:38pm

As a child my relationship with my Dad was good, despite the war and his absence. He had an awful marriage, one of those too frequent ghastly mistakes. He and I were pals. After my parents separated we'd do things like go to a local restaurant, park our bikes in the hedge, and walk past a Rolls-Royce and check we'd locked the doors. Daddy then embarked on a series of mostly disastrous relationships - he was of the era when divorce was impossible unless both 'sides' agreed. He visited our eldest son quite often, but only turned up at our home (I am an only child) when he'd got himself in a mess. I was torn to shreds, and went to see our excellent priest. Daddy was notorious, and the priest said that, as a Christian, I should not see him destitute - but NEVER consider him living with us, he was a critical despot - and would have wrecked my family and marriage. Today Radio 4 has been all about caring - and the government saying we ought to do more for your parents/family. One woman's husband is 92, in a very bad way, she says he is a poor, frightened old man and she (with the aid of a daughter, luckily) will not put him in a home. I'm torn to bits by this - I have had four days hell - abuse, insults, dependence and possessiveness which have increased 50%. It's respite day - and I have no strength for anything - so, and gathering forces by knitting, listening to radio and enjoying, only word, a bit of peace, to do anything or nothing. Yes, I will continue, using all the help I can get - but, like Molly and many others, there are two 'sides'. My father, my mother-in-law and my husband were/are all forceful characters, and VERY selfish - tolerance was an unknown word - nobody is allowed to be weak or ill. If, as often happens now, I have my head in my hands, in tears, Mr G says 'Stop crying at once - does not do any good' then continues to berate me. One caller on the programme summed up 'caring' so well - no matter what age, or what nature of the 'dependency' you are a virtual prisoner - and, as with small children, dependent on 'baby sitters. Last word - every night, however awful the day, I look round my new house, take pleasure and pride in what I have done, and go to bed with plans for the morrow. Last night I just saw it as a prison house, where I am verbally (and, yesterday, nearly physically) abused

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 5:00pm

Oh my word, The Gardener, I felt so sad reading this. You were my last comment, as I went through and replied to everyone. It is in a way comforting to know that there are others who have experienced bad relationships. But what can I say, there are alot of selfish people out there for sure. I think you should cry as much as you want to cry, as it releases all the tensions inside you. Keep going, it sounds like you have achieved alot, and it sounds like you are being as positive as you can be and I love reading your posts - with my love to you, Molly xx

Lacey Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 5:02pm

You are very grave and strong
I don't think I could do the same however I've not been put in your position......yet
I pf I ever am I would like to think I would do the right thing......and care.....although maybe from a distance
I hope not.....

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 9:52pm

Thank you Lacey. I can understand both ways, I don't think there is a right or wrong. Just have to with how you feel xx

Lacey Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 5:02pm

You are very grave and strong
I don't think I could do the same however I've not been put in your position......yet
I pf I ever am I would like to think I would do the right thing......and care.....although maybe from a distance
I hope not.....

Jul Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 5:46pm

Molly. Please write again won't you? I found your blog today and your comments touching and your blog will stay with me for a long time. I am glad your dad rings you once a week. Sister relationships can be difficult. I should know. I have one sister, we are like chalk and cheese and have had huge problems. Thinking of you. Julxx

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 9:47pm

Oh Jul, thank you for the encouragement, it means alot to me. I often think of things to write, so yes I will. My sister and I are certainly chalk and cheese like yours, it certainly does help to know there are others in the same boat, in the nicest possible way. Thank you Jul xx

Mary Wednesday Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 6:13pm

This blog makes me give thanks for my wonderful mother. We celebrated her 80th birthday on Saturday, my sister and her husband, my brother and his wife, myself and my husband and the six grandchildren (2 each) who were all born within exactly four years of each other (the first and last share a birthday). Yes, there are differences, most notably between my sister and myself, but we were able to celebrate together with joy and harmony. My father left us by suicide 49 years ago and my mother has never remarried. But, oh, we have so much to be thankful and grateful for. Your blog makes me cherish what I have even more. Thank you for writing it and for being the generous and caring person you are.

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 10:04pm

Hello Mary Wednesday, thank you for sharing your story and for your kind words, I really appreciate it xx

Jane Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 9:39pm

Dear Molly, I see my name! Glad you were prompted to write this. Firstly, WOW, what a fantastic and caring daughter you have been. I'm so sorry about the outcome. Reading about your Dad reminded so much of my own experiences. I cannot find away to open the archive folders. I was trying to find the other blog you wrote. I feel I'm not doing this justice as I'm feeling very poorly with a tummy bug, my young daughter has it too. We've both felt sorry for ourselves today. I would like to read all the other comments here but my head hurts. I'm glad you don't regret caring your Dad. You really do sound wonderful. Good for you for not letting his actions change the caring person you are. Sending you a hug xx

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 10:09pm

Hi Jane, it is always nice to see your name isn't it :-) You certainly gave a lovely reply to me and DID give it justice. My last blog was a while ago, about Christmas, I think I called it Christmas, but thank you for your very kind words and I hope that you and your daughter are feeling better soon, sending you a hug back xx

Jane Wed, Feb 22nd 2017 @ 6:19pm

Thank Molly, we are both feeling a bit better today although very tired. I'm glad my comment was ok yesterday! I wish I could open the archives so I can re read your Christmas blog xxx

Dragonfly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 9:43pm

Dear Molly. I felt so sad reading this too, but what a generous and big heart you have. It really is so awful to feel used x

Molly Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 10:10pm

Thank you Dragonfly xx

S Tue, Feb 21st 2017 @ 11:27pm

Thank you Molly for really saying how it has been for you looking after your Dad- I felt sad reading it - you seem very loving and caring. My dad says that he finds it almost unbearable to be alone and I know he means like your dad that he wants to find another partner. It brings out very mixed feelings in me. Please write again, Sx

Molly Wed, Feb 22nd 2017 @ 1:44am

Oh thank you so much S, really appreciate your response and that you understand xx

Molly Wed, Feb 22nd 2017 @ 1:46am

I have been so grateful to everyone that replied to my post today, thank you all so much, and thank you Moodscope for publishing it xx

Salt Water Mum Wed, Feb 22nd 2017 @ 8:50am

Hi Molly,

I am a day late to respond! Apologies - life very busy at the mo! (plus a lot of horrid bugs in this house) but I wanted to comment because I was moved by your blog. ( As Jul says, please do write again).

You are indeed brave and kind as others have said. It's all about acceptance isn't it? Your dad is not going to change as this stage and your one phone call a week is probably as much as he can give. But you do have that. Many family relationships are so fractious that even one weekly phone call would be a dream. So, well done. Because that is down to you. When he needed you, you were there. His reaction is disappointing for you but perhaps predictable.

Hold you head high Molly, you did the right thing. And, as you said yourself, you would probably do it all over again... because you were true to yourself. And perhaps your sister was true to herself.
No right or wrong. Just truth.

Have a good day,

SWM x

Molly Wed, Feb 22nd 2017 @ 3:41pm

Thank you SWM ! I love your response, you say it all in a nutshell really. Acceptance is the key word, I agree. Be thankful for what we have and not to dwell on what we haven't got. 'No right or wrong. Just truth' A very enlightening statement, which was like a breath of fresh air. Thank you for responding, I appreciate it. Molly xx

Pennie-Lynn Thu, Mar 2nd 2017 @ 6:42am

What you did for your father was a kind and selfless thing, Molly. The fact that he did not appreciate it is irrelevant. It was still a lovely gift that you should feel proud of.

Nicco Sun, Mar 12th 2017 @ 3:41am

Hello Molly - I've only just got to your blog. I felt sad when I read it as it reminded me of the situation with my own father. He is 91 and my mother died nearly 5yrs ago. He always hated me and was cruel and violent to me and my mother but I still went to stay with him and help him sort out my mother's funeral as he was a broken man unable to do much at that point. It was hard talking to people at the funeral and I guess it will be even harder when I have to sort out his funeral but, for the moment, he is having a good time going out with lots of different women, some of whom he rings daily or weekly. He never rings me unless something awful is happening like his heating/boiler isn't working or he's worried about a bill, but I try to ring him weekly to see how he is doing. I have a brother who died just before my mother - his coping stragey with my father was to become even more violent than him so that our father was afraid of him, whereas my mother and I sank into anxiety, depressing and panic attacks (myself from a very early age, so school for me was hell, esp as I was bullied so never knew if I'd get belted at school or at home). I have one brother left alive who my parents disowned, believing lies from my other brother, so I'm torn between them. I don't see my in-laws - I married out of one dysfunctional family and into another and they hate me for taking their son away from them. Yes, families can be heart-breaking. However, you and I, Molly, can both put our hands on our hearts and say that we did what we thought was right, true and honourable. Thank you again for posting your blog.

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