He’s Back! Oh, no…Wait, He’s Gone Again!

So contact with my Father has remained inconsistent since my last post starring him. Not because of the post – because, as I wrote at the time, he doesn’t bother to read my blog – just because of our inexplicable relationship. The only thing that has remained consistent in each of his phone calls (there’s been 3!) is that we have an argument.

I have always tried not to argue with my parents – they are my parents and deserve respect – but this is getting crazy. Mostly, instead of arguing, I say ‘okay’, hang up and burst into tears. Then, of course, I have a flare.

My Father is currently in rehab (funnily enough, the same place that I go). He was transferred there after a back operation. I had to call the hospital to find out that he had been transferred!

Our last phone call was Monday night (the eve of the Day of Atonement, in the Jewish religion), when he called me to tell me off for something else (you’ll hear about it in a minute). Yes, I said ‘okay’. Yes, I hung up on him. Yes, I burst into uncontrollable tears. I just want to have a normal father/daughter relationship with him (is there such a thing?)

On Friday morning, he phoned me while I was asleep and left a message. I don’t want to return the call just to have another argument and another flare, so I wrote him a letter. I realised that this letter might end our relationship totally but I cannot handle it the way it is now.

This letter took me a couple of hours to compose and write (and cry about) – I wanted him to REALLY understand (WARNING: This is a very long letter):

Dear Dad,

You called this morning, when I was asleep, and I can’t decide whether I should call you back: every time we have a conversation, we have an argument. And every argument we have causes my fibro to flare (that is: every part of my body starts to hurt and this can last two to three days). I don’t know if it is worth it, as you don’t seem to think that I am worth it.

I do NOT try to upset you or Yvonne – I ALWAYS try to do the right thing (I was trained that way by my Zajda!) So, while I have your attention, I’ll let you know how I see our (yours, Yvonne’s and mine) relationship:

  • Everything I say is wrong – either Yvonne gets upset by it, there and then; or you phone me later to admonish me.

You tell me that a lot of it is because I talk about Mum and that part of my family – but they are my life. I don’t go out very much and, if I do, it tends to be with Mum (she is the ONLY person who can be bothered to come get me and take me anywhere).

I am sick. I have been this sick for a whole year, yet I think that you have only visited me (maybe) four times. (One of those times was because you needed extra meds and another was because I begged you to pick up some food for me). You do not support any of my fibromyalgia awareness activities; in fact, you probably can’t even describe my condition. I have tried to get you to look at my blog so you can understand but you show absolutely no interest. I know that you are going through rehab now (and I hope it is helping and you are doing better) but I have been attending rehab for 3 months. The pain you are having now is the pain I have each time my body flares.

I have only one friend (Thais) who bothers to stay in contact with me.

So, yes, if you want me to talk about anything in my life, it is likely to include my mother and her side of the family.

  • Then, I decide, for the sake of peace, I will just be quiet. I will attend any family dinners but I will shut up.

That doesn’t help, either. You phone me to tell me that I do not talk to Yvonne, the boys or her mother (I have nothing to say!); that I must include them all in my life and conversations.

  • So, I try to talk to Yvonne when I call you at home and she cuts me off EVERY time with ‘I suppose you want to talk to your father’.

Well, of course I do – what am I supposed to do then?

  • The other day, when I left the hospital and as I was getting in the car, I thought to myself ‘Shall I call Yvonne and tell her that I’ve seen you and that you are sleeping’ so she didn’t need to rush over.

No, I won’t, and I started the car and drove away. Then I thought that, if I had seen Uncle Jack in hospital (recently), I would call Mum in that same situation, as knowing she didn’t need to rush to see him would most likely make her life easier. So I stopped my car by the side of the road and called Yvonne. The conversation went something like this:

S: Hi Yvonne, it’s Simone. How are you?
Y: Are you there now?
S: I just left. Dad is sleeping at the moment.
Y: Well, I’m rushing around. What did you want?
S: I just wanted to let you know that Dad was asleep so you didn’t need to rush there.
Y: Your father and I are communicating just fine, thank you. Is that all?
S: I also wanted to let you know about Danny’s on the corner.
Y: I know it. I don’t think your father is up to walking to a restaurant.
S: I just meant that maybe one time you could pick up a nice lunch to have together…
Y: Look, Simone. Everything is fine. We are all organised. You don’t need to worry. Was there anything else?
S: No, I guess I’ll see you another time.

Now, I remember that conversation very well because I was really upset afterwards. I did NOT tell Yvonne NOT to visit at the hospital, yet you phoned me to tell me that Yvonne can come and go as she pleases. I KNOW that! I just wanted to let her know that she didn’t need to rush around, to take some pressure off – which, obviously, didn’t work.

  • After your phone call to me, where I just said okay and hung up, I fell apart. I can’t even describe the type of tears that were pouring out of me (and I am still very upset just writing about it).

I feel helpless and hopeless, as I can do no right.

I get it, Dad. You and Yvonne are a couple – I KNOW that. I have no problem with that – UNTIL it affects our (yours and mine) relationship.

I feel like you are not allowed to spend any time with me – I am your daughter. Yes, I am over 18 or 21 or whatever…but I will always be your daughter. You seem to forget that, or maybe, take it for granted.

I understand that Yvonne has a problem with talking about anything to do with your previous life – but, hey! you’ve been together for 20 years; perhaps it’s time for her to get over some of her insecurities? Especially as it feels like I am part of the life she wants you NOT to be a part of, anymore.

I understand that you have to compromise because you live with Yvonne. But, sometimes Dad, you need to choose me – I am NOT always in the wrong!

Perhaps you’re scared, at the moment? You’ve just had an operation. You can’t work. You can’t do very much for yourself. You don’t have a home of your own. You MUST get along with Yvonne – is that any way to live? And alienating all your own (not just Yvonne’s) friends and family is not leaving any doors open. Anyway, that’s just my psycho-babble – I could have it very wrong; but I’m looking for excuses for you and your behaviour towards me.

I CANNOT deal with stress – for some unknown reason, my body has rebelled against me and won’t let me lead a normal life; so yes, I know that stress is part of life, but I can’t handle it and need to avoid it.

So, I still don’t know if I want to return your phone call. What do you think? 

I love you

His response came in the way of a text:

1stly before delivering a letter u should consider the ramifications. And then have the guts to deliver it in person. Any time u want 2 discuss all the points ring me. Until then look in the mirror.

I guess he really didn’t get it, did he?

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  1. I feel so sad reading your blog today, and don’t know how to make things feel better. Sometimes you just cannot make people understand. Because in understanding they may have to change.
    I hope things resolve with your dad, cause I know how important your family is to you.
    Kim <3

  2. You did the right thing, your letter says it perfectly. He really doesn’t get it. My father met my oldest son once. He died never meeting my husband or even setting foot in my home. And I still would have let him in to hurt me again and again and I did over and over, my mom hated it. And I still love him. So sorry Simone:( xoxo

  3. I am so sorry this is happening to you.

  4. If you believe in it pray. I went thru these same things with my Dad, but his lady was booze and mental illness. Not wanting to take his meds so he could drink. He molested me and beat me from age 18 months to 11 years. I prayed for him and forgave him. Prayed for many years. About 5 years ago Dad and I made peace. He got on a good medication and stopped drinking and realized all he’d missed with his children. I knew his soul was going to be tormented forever if he didn’t get his life right so I kept praying. After many years of letters back and forth, and words, he started calling asking how things are etc, and at age 81 last year got lung cancer and died. The best thing I ever did was forgive, it set me free and gave me peace. I was with him everyday until he passed. I wouldn’t take a million $$ for the that long goodbye. I hope things work out and my story gives you hope. They are never to old to change until theres no breath left.

  5. I’m sorry to hear about your relationship with your dad. I totally can relate. My dad remarried in 1990. I’ve never had a the type of relationship with my dad that every little girl dreams of. But since my stepmom came into the picture, it has definitely deteriorated. My brother and I always took the backseat to her kids or her family. She’s also a very fake person to top it off. She will always say that she wants to do something with me, but never call or attempt to make plans. Since they have been married, it seems like dad just doesn’t have any desire to make any time for his kids. I’m 42 now and have my own kids and grandkids to worry about. I’ve just learned not to expect much from him. Sad.

  6. I have a similar relationship with my mum. I got to the point where I decided I wouldn’t let a freind treat me like that and I will no longer allow my mother to either. I haven’t spoken to her in months and while I know the whole situation is sad, I feel better in some strange way. I am not always waiting for her to hurt me, again. It has been quite liberating, knowing that I have taken her power to hurt me away. I am worth more than her lack of understanding of my situation, it just took me a very long time to be brave enough to cut the cord.

  7. Sorry about your relationship with your Dad. You were quit right to send him the letter, & for him saying to deliver it in person when all he could do is send you an e-mail. I was lucky I had a Dad whom I could talk to he was always there for us. My husband on the other hand had a Dad that showed no love at all. So you see I have seen both sides of the coin. There are some men who just don’t want to see us. Why do you put yourself through this, for his love? I’m not saying this to be mean to you but he has no love for you, You see I believe that a Father should love his children & should not let anyone come between their relationship no matter what it is. Forget him & let your Father make the first move, if he phones to complain about what you have done or haven’t tell him the complaint department is closed, & untill you have something nice to say to me then don’t phone. You are to nice a person to put up with this. So don’t all he is doing is using you as a punching bag & you are better than that. You are a better person than he will ever be. My prayers are with you & God Bless you Simone.

  8. I am deeply moved by your blog today, and by everyone else s comments. You did the right thing, and more than that, you had the guts to see it through. I had a very rocky relationship with my parents and wrote many a letter to try to get them to understand what they were putting my sister and I through, but I never sent them. I wallowed in it, getting all upset when they where not aware. One day I went over to see them and everything just exploded. I said things I should never had said and thought I’d lost my parents for ever. Months went past with no contact. Then I get a call as if nothing has happened, but things had changed. We now have a fairly good relationship, better then it was. I still yearn for my Dad to give me a hug, I’d give all the money in the world for that, but he’s not that sort of person. You have said your piece now and he has made his position clear. Now stop the stress and move away from the situation. Hopefully, and I really do hope, that he will think about it and, in time, will probably contact you as if nothing happened, but know it has. It may take months, even years, but I do think the ball is in his court now and anything more that you do will only upset YOU. I really hope, for you sake, things change, you don’t deserve or need the stress. Huge hugs to you xx

    My parents are ‘business partner’ in as much as they live together just because it makes financial sense. However they wind each other up all the time, constantly having secret ‘affairs’, and moaning about one another to me and my sister like silly children. Sometime I loathe picking the phone up to hear what awful crime my ‘Father’ has committed!

  9. I really do feel for you. It’s a horrible feeling when you have a parent that treats you like that (my father also). You said your piece to him…that alone should have gotten rid of some of your stress. It’s up to him now if he wants to act like a grown up and have a relationship with you.(with or without the STEPMONSTER). You are incredibly lucky to have a WONDERFUL MOTHER like you do…mine is awesome also.You don’t need that stress of conflict in your life. It sounds like he was/is just a PHONE FATHER anyway…just don’t pick up the phone to answer it or to call him,therefore, no fights with him. Keep trying to be positive…after all, you have plenty of things in your life to be thankful for, right? Keep your chin up…your FIBRO FRIENDS love you!!

  10. redheadboxermomma

    Simone – you are not alone and there is strength, and empathy, in numbers. I would have never guessed that others had the same issues with their parents/family.

    It took me two counseling sessions to get up the nerve to explain to my parents that when I ask them to take me places, we have to follow the schedule. (They don’t tell me the schedule has changed until I’m in the car and then I’m stuck.) IThe last straw was when we were running “my” errands in all parts of the county for FIVE hours. I was in horrible pain by the time I got home and was fighting back tears. Even when I asked to go home, the response is “in a bit.”

    Even though I did it in the most respectful, polite way I could, I found out my mother was complaining to her friends that how dare I ask them to stick to my schedule. After all, we are helping her and it’s my time that I’m giving her. (Everything is always about her, always has been.)

    So, I haven’t spoken to my parents in months, outside of little chit chat, 2 minute conversations. They have no idea what fibro is and haven’t bothered to find out. One of my mom’s cousins said she has had fibro for 20 years and just takes ibuprofen when it’s bad.

    Well, that’s her and I’m me…and I’ll bet the cousin’s diagnosis was wrong. So sad, so frustrating.

    To everyone that commented, thank you for validating my feelings and my actions!

  11. I have been reading your blog and I would like you to follow mine if you get a chance. It’s private, but I’ll approve you. I leave access for my closest friends and anyone else who might benefit from it w/my fibro experience.

    My Dad situation is much different. I, too, wrote a letter and it’s in my blog. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. I understand your pain both physical and emotional and I pray for you although I don’t know you. Healing is a process and writing that letter was the first step, even if it doesn’t feel that way.

  12. been there, done that–detach–Sometimes life gives us the answer that is best for our health; it’s just not the outcome or the one we want so we keep trying to swim upstream (fibro hates swimming upstream!–I am sure you have an adorable FibroModem Girl illustrating this, lol!!) A wise woman once told me, “When you are in a hole, quit digging” and “As hard as you push, you will not be able to move that oak tree.” Unfortunately, anyone can become a parent and that is sad because many don’t have the skills or compassion to be one. You are wise beyond your years and unfortunately they just can’t hear you. It’s not because they don’t have ears, lol, it’s because it’s like a foreign language to them. (Speaking from experience, you are wasting valuable oxygen on them and your sore fibro muscles could sure use that oxygen, just ask FibroModem Girl and butterfly.) Wish them love and compassion and detach so you can give yourself the love and compassion that you deserve. At 48, I am truly starting to learn and understand the word, “self-preservation.” Sometimes in order to Self-Preserve, the only option is detachment especially from those who don’t handle us with care. PS–I loved that your intuition/heart (or God, whatever your belief may be) told you, “no, don’t call–when you left the hospital.” However, you over-rode it when you used your mind and compared the situation to Uncle Jack. Remember, just follow your intuition/heart or (God’s voice speaking to you, trying to protect you, self-preserve you-a child of God). You don’t need to know why or it doesn’t even need to make “logical” sense, it just is. I don’t know much about your religion, but maybe you can think of God as your father–how wonderfully perfect. I am sure “He” thinks your website/blog is wonderful and you didn’t even have to ask/beg for him to look at it! I also like this daily motivation that Nichole Kellerman sent me, “Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what. Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.” She also wrote a blog, “I’ve Lost My Parents, But They’re Still Alive”–very motivational.

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