Medical Questions > Relationships > Grief and Loss Forum

Grief ! How do i move on from my Dad ?

Hi, I'm not sure if this in the relevant forum but here goes :

i'm 25 years old, 3 years ago I lost my mother to depression. She didn't actually die from depression but she might as well have, She stopped eating properly, became ill because her immune system was failing, Had a heart attack and died within a few days. I know this isn't a pity party and sorry for being so morbid but this helps me to grieve.

Anyway i had these exact feelings after her death, Going back over everything, Wondering if i could have done anything better or been anyone better for her. With depression it's not just damaging for the one suffering from it. It's damaging to the people watching it happen because you can't do anything. You feel so helpless and frustrated and angry and sad and god, Every emotion available and you start to hate the world and god and even the person sometimes and thats where the guilt comes from, after they are gone.Parents are great and amazing and you'd be lost without them but sometimes they can really mess you up and it's not even their fault.

my mother didn't self harm or drink or commit suicide, She just gave up on life which to me is worse because at least with self harm and drink there's something to work with because at least they care enough to pick up the knife or bottle but how do you reason with someone who doesn't care at all? The answer is you don't. You just watch them fade away before your eyes and then when they die you don't even grieve. You did that already when they were still alive, And then you hate yourself because you didn't. A vicious circle.

I guess the reason i posted this is because i'm venting some of my grief and also because you have all these wonderful people around you but sometimes it really helps to connect with people who truly understand whats it's like to live with depression when you don't even suffer from it.

I think the worst thing about depression is the self loathing that you have for yourself. Watching someone you love been taken bit by bit each day until it's just a shell left over and god, you can't do anything at all. They're fighting this battle that you can't get near and you want to protect because of love. The roles have reversed, You are the mother and they are the child and they can look after themselves but they don't care enough to want to and your friends and relatives don't understand because they are walking and talking just fine but what about behind closed doors.

Then you start to withdraw in to yourself and shut people out of your life because what else can you do. You're afraid that you might afflict them with this pain that you feel. i'm just trying to make sense of what happened. I feel guilty sometimes because i'm mild compared to other people's experiences.

5 years ago we found out that my father was having an affair and he and my mother were getting a separation. My mother has suffered from depression all of her adult life so naturally when he left her condition worsened. It got to the stage where i was only out of college and i began to look after her. Well obviously from my above post you know how that went.

As my parents were separating my dad still was living in the house for about 5 months before he left, in the November of that year. Tensions were awful during that time. We still had to see him during that time after everything he had put us through. I was studying for important exams so i had a lot on my plate that year. My stomach was in pieces that year. It was horrible.

He left then and it was a great sense of relief for us all because there was mental torture involved like making plans to improve the house when he knew he was having an affair. Talking about taking what he needed, selling our house, cold shouldering us, disrespectful behavior towards my mother. It was scary we didn't know whether we were coming or going.

we had a year without him and it was done and dusted and we had other things to worry about, like my Mam but i had moved on and it was surprisingly easy for me ( i was a typical daddy's girl). I was closer to my dad than my mam for most of my life but when he left i became really close to my mam. Kinda ironic.

She died and he came back. We spent 4 days in the hospital in Intensive care before she died and he showed up at the hospital on the 3rd day. We weren't ready even though we knew he was coming. it was awkward and uncomfortable because the rest of the families were there. His side and her side. It was like being put on the spot.

We started to talk about everything that had happened and i'm a soft person so i think i forgave him but looking back now it was like pulling teeth. After all the pain and suffering he put us through it was like he didn't wanna talk about what he had done and just wanted to move on and forget it. i let it go.

A few months after her death i realized i wasn't coping with everything. It was like all of the unresolved issues i had ever had in my life came on top of me after her death so i went for counseling and she helped me to see his side of things and not be so judgmental. So i forgave him but something has changed.

It's been 3 years since my mam's death and i don't recognize him anymore. I see things in him that could have always been there but i was blinded by love so didn't notice. I see an ego and a dominating, controlling nature. I haven't got the patience for him anymore. He's my father, shouldn't i be grateful for the only parent i have left ?.

I have forgiven him but the feelings are not there anymore and i can't find them. There has been nothing but arguments for the past 3 years and lately my stomach is doing the stress thing again. I dread when he comes to stay and there is a great sense of relief when he leaves.

Xmas is a hard time of year for us because we lost our mam at xmas. Xmas just gone was one of the worst since she died. He came to stay and it was same old same old but something in me snapped. I wanted to give up. For the first time in a long time i could see clearly and i wanted him out of my life for good. I tried to ask him to cut the trip short and spend xmas separate from us because he has a new partner so he wouldn't be alone, All hell broke loose. He said that he could come over whenever he wanted to to see the rest of his family (he lives abroad). He doesn't see the severity of the situation. It's become untenable. I feel trapped and powerless.

When he comes i spiral into a dark mood resembling depression and it's miserable. i cry alot and avoid him. When i was grieving at xmas i spent a lot of time on my own and my brother told him to which his fatherly response was " we're all grieving, I loved your mother too". Like some sick competition, I wanted to punch him for that. Empty words. He also told me when i told him that he's responsible for the issues that my brother has towards him that their my brother's problems and not his. Like we have to get with the program.

He has me questioning myself. Maybe i'm being to hard on him. Maybe i need to let go and move on. maybe i need more counseling, I'm not sure anymore. I find it hard to trust men due to me being raped when i was 5 by a stranger. My mam wasn't there for me emotionally but my dad was, I think thats why i formed a bond with him on a subconscious level. I never had any doubt in him i trusted him completely and had the utmost faith in him and even idolized him a bit. Obviously you know what happened with that.

I don't trust him anymore, i don't respect him, I find him manipulative, arrogant, selfish, narcissistic etc. When my mam died we needed to get the house done up and he's done a lot in the house. flooring, painting etc. He says look at all the things he does for us, we're ungrateful, we can't cope without him etc. It feels like emotional blackmail and a clever ploy to gain more of a foothold in our lives. We had no choice at the time. we were desperate.

When he hugs me i feel like i'm going through the motions. when he touches me i feel uncomfortable and a bit repulsed. when he tells us that he loves us and we're his world i want the ground to swallow me whole. When i make eye contact which is not a lot i feel disappointed and sad that we are where we are and a weird sense of grief which is bizarre because he's not dead.

I'm sorry this is so damn long. This is the shortest i can get it. I guess i just want a fresh pair of eyes on the situation or advice. I want to forget him. Is that the right thing to do?. It's been 3 years. Does it need more time?. Is it me maybe?, i don't know. i'm very confused 4you
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replied April 8th, 2010
You''ve been through so much - past & present. First BREATHE. Depression and dealing with past issues is very taxing and people who haven''t been through it simply "don''t get it". The anger, the hopelessness, the lack of emotion, the changing emotion - it is all part of the depression you are experiencing. Are you taking medication? Have you sought medical advice. If so, good. Medication can help balance things out & help sort through the many things you have going on. If you''ve not seen a dr - you should. Really. That''s first. You need to take care of yourself. Nobody else will. You do it. Find the positives in life and get busy with other things.

You need to separate yourself a bit - especially at holidays. If you can''t avoid it - LIMIT your time around your father right now. Not that you have to be standoffish, but take it slower & take it in small doses. Don''t have the "family" thing...all those dynamics may be too much. Slow things down or have someone with you that you have as a supporter or can recognize when you need to remove yourself from a difficult conversation or the situation in its entirity.

Your mom''s death is certainly not your fault. She made a decision to stop taking care of herself - she made a decision to "give up". Not you. We cannot save anyone else - just ourselves.
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Users who thank momgscout for this post: rochey 

replied November 17th, 2010
Thank you for the reply....I am in a much better place now and i have removed my father from my life....It is the most healthiest and sensible thing i have done....So once again...thank you <33
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replied November 17th, 2010
I'm happy for you that you're better. You say you are so young...25? May I please say matter what...your parent/father is your parent/father. Life is SO short so at some point I hope you'll find a satisfactory means to meet your father 1/2 way, you know? Having lost my own dad at around your age, I GET it...I really do. It was hard for me because I had similar issues I dealt with....his drinking, affairs, his abuse of both my sister & myself. There was a lot in my history/heart and his sudden death was difficult as there a lot of unsaid things that hit me hard when I married & had kids myself....years later even. Sticks with you & doesn't just get "erased", if you know what I mean. Forgiveness is matter what...somehow at some point consider it. Even given the things I went through I have tried to find this in my own sould to forgive my father. It's tough for sure, but hang in there! You're doing great. Just keep on going & pursuing the things you enjoy...but listen to the inner voice when it might be time to reconcile somewhat with your parent.
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replied November 17th, 2010
Thank you
Hi momgscout Smile

I see where you are coming from....You're very wise with your words...I'm very sorry for, what you have had to endure...HEY thats life is my Motto...Everyone one suffers at some point, or another...What doesn't kill you makes you stronger Smile

I have forgiven my Father...and what had kept me hanging on in my misery for so long, was thinking This is what my Mother would want, or he's the only parent i have left....I can't forget everything, and i have learned to deal with it, and use it in a positve way Smile

He's not the same person anymore, and it's toxic, and destructive to have him in my life...You're right though...Maybe something might happen in the future...I doubt it...I've tried for 5 years, and i think i can say with a clear head, that i have my closure...But thank you for everything, and i hope you are happy in your life. <33
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replied November 17th, 2010
wow thats ALOT to deal with! glad to hear your in a better place and know this sounds harsh but i think you made the right decision by cutting your father out. from what i hear he has been harsh and unfair. i have the same thing going on now really but kinda different. basicly my uncle has commited suicide very recently and his father abandoned him a long tome ago agter he beat up my nan (his exwife) and hurt the entire family. and he turned up to the funeral where we all wanted to say good bye and fair enough he is the father but to show his face to my dad and nan after all he has done just made losing a brother and a son so much harder!

so keep strong

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