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Discussion Starter #1
When I was about 14 or 15 my father, a board certified psychiatrist/neurologist, said that I suffered an Oedipal complex. I knew what an Oedipal complex was because Freudian psychology was in the media in the early 70s. But he had to spell it out.

"It means you want to murder your father so that you can marry your mother," he explained. He face was dark with rage, normal in our father son conversations.

I am now 54 years old and have two daughters (18 and 15). Their mother and I divorced around 9 years ago. We live in Europe. My parents in the States. We try to visit as often as possible because my parents are in their 80s. My father, 83, has Alzheimer's and my mother, 81, is doing a great job taking care of him. However, he is getting weaker and weaker. It is likely that he will not survive many more months.

Thoughts of my childhood are actually becoming more and more disturbing to me. The Oedipal complex accusation was simply a particularly memorable and disturbing example of the emotional abuse to which he subjected me.

In my sophomore year of highschool my mother suggested that I be sent away to a boarding school on the East coast. My father agreed. The ostensible reason was to get me to take school more seriously. I think my parents wanted to reduce the conflict between me and my father.

Now my father is at the end of life, I will sooner or later have to go back and bury or cremate him... maybe he donated his body to his medical school. Is that a kind of rug sweeping, to not want a grave? Dumping out ashes, isn’t that just a way of getting rid of the memories and putting zinc and mercury into the air?

I once tried to talk to my mother about her role in failing to defend me from his rage but she didn't want to talk about it, although she was also given some terrible emotional drubbings. She was disturbed about what I said because one of my brothers mentioned the conversation and that she had not liked where it was going.

I am considering telling my brothers about my feelings about my/our childhood. One is a surgeon, the other a telecom business executive. Both of them make more money than I do. Their wives have actively shunned my daughters when we've have opportunities to visit in the States. Is costs a lot of money to get together and they sabotage the family reunions.

I don't care if my SIL don't want to hang out with me. But my daughters are very nice and it hurts them to rejected.

The surgeon brother and I are closer. He just shrugs his shoulders and asks me to be patient and humor his wife. I feel like I am walking eggshells to not offend her. She is very smart. Graduated from the same medical school as my brother but has been a SAHM.

My other brother is a very straight uptight guy. He loved my dad and always sided with him in all the family fights. We used to have Saturday family meetings in which the abuse was dealt out, mainly to me, the eldest son. My father insisted that we follow Roberts Rules. So there were always motions. So and so would move that X child be criticised for Y. All those in favor raise your right hand. So the whole family would condemn X.

My youngest brother sometime raised his arm slowly and reluctantly. My telecom exec brother always condemned quickly. He could not see that our dad had Alzheimer's. He refused to use the word. Today my father can recognize many people. He has even had a bad morning when he did not know our mother, with whom he has lived for over 50 years.

There is more to say, but to me the watershed has been reading TAM. Denying problems and rug-sweeping just makes things worse. However, is bring stuff up now appropriate. Maybe I should just accept that I suffered emotional abuse and let it drop.

I do not have money for psychotherapy and I do not like psychiatrists or psychologists all that much. My father used to drag me to psychiatric conventions around the US and even other countries to stand in his scientific booth as a representative of his exhibition.

I had to work in his office every summer... fvck I am so angry about this stuff. Why when I have so much else to do in life does this stuff float to the surface?
 

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When I was about 14 or 15 my father, a board certified psychiatrist/neurologist, said that I suffered an Oedipal complex. I knew what an Oedipal complex was because Freudian psychology was in the media in the early 70s. But he had to spell it out.

"It means you want to murder your father so that you can marry your mother," he explained. He face was dark with rage, normal in our father son conversations.

I am now 54 years old and have two daughters (18 and 15). Their mother and I divorced around 9 years ago. We live in Europe. My parents in the States. We try to visit as often as possible because my parents are in their 80s. My father, 83, has Alzheimer's and my mother, 81, is doing a great job taking care of him. However, he is getting weaker and weaker. It is likely that he will not survive many more months.

Thoughts of my childhood are actually becoming more and more disturbing to me. The Oedipal complex accusation was simply a particularly memorable and disturbing example of the emotional abuse to which he subjected me.

In my sophomore year of highschool my mother suggested that I be sent away to a boarding school on the East coast. My father agreed. The ostensible reason was to get me to take school more seriously. I think my parents wanted to reduce the conflict between me and my father.

Now my father is at the end of life, I will sooner or later have to go back and bury or cremate him... maybe he donated his body to his medical school. Is that a kind of rug sweeping, to not want a grave? Dumping out ashes, isn’t that just a way of getting rid of the memories and putting zinc and mercury into the air?

I once tried to talk to my mother about her role in failing to defend me from his rage but she didn't want to talk about it, although she was also given some terrible emotional drubbings. She was disturbed about what I said because one of my brothers mentioned the conversation and that she had not liked where it was going.

I am considering telling my brothers about my feelings about my/our childhood. One is a surgeon, the other a telecom business executive. Both of them make more money than I do. Their wives have actively shunned my daughters when we've have opportunities to visit in the States. Is costs a lot of money to get together and they sabotage the family reunions.

I don't care if my SIL don't want to hang out with me. But my daughters are very nice and it hurts them to rejected.

The surgeon brother and I are closer. He just shrugs his shoulders and asks me to be patient and humor his wife. I feel like I am walking eggshells to not offend her. She is very smart. Graduated from the same medical school as my brother but has been a SAHM.

My other brother is a very straight uptight guy. He loved my dad and always sided with him in all the family fights. We used to have Saturday family meetings in which the abuse was dealt out, mainly to me, the eldest son. My father insisted that we follow Roberts Rules. So there were always motions. So and so would move that X child be criticised for Y. All those in favor raise your right hand. So the whole family would condemn X.

My youngest brother sometime raised his arm slowly and reluctantly. My telecom exec brother always condemned quickly. He could not see that our dad had Alzheimer's. He refused to use the word. Today my father can recognize many people. He has even had a bad morning when he did not know our mother, with whom he has lived for over 50 years.

There is more to say, but to me the watershed has been reading TAM. Denying problems and rug-sweeping just makes things worse. However, is bring stuff up now appropriate. Maybe I should just accept that I suffered emotional abuse and let it drop.

I do not have money for psychotherapy and I do not like psychiatrists or psychologists all that much. My father used to drag me to psychiatric conventions around the US and even other countries to stand in his scientific booth as a representative of his exhibition.

I had to work in his office every summer... fvck I am so angry about this stuff. Why when I have so much else to do in life does this stuff float to the surface?
I have a father who was similarly abusive to me and my mother. Not so much to my brother. My mother bailed out when she was 62. I can't blame my mother for failing to protect me. She didn't have the ability to protect herself. In the end. I felt like I failed to protect my mother but I had no idea she was that far down. If I had... I'd have rescued her.

At this point. What's the point? Doesn't sound like your father is in any condition of even know what you're talking about.

To this day.. my father is competitive with me. He's 83 and he's only told me once that he loved me. The day my mother died. He's never told me once that he was proud of me, that I did anything well... The best I can hope for is that he can't find anything to criticize me about..

I limit my time around him to about 2 hours at a time. I can't stand to be around any longer than that. He is also 83..

I gave up on trying to have a normal relationship with him about 20 years ago.

The bottom line is your dad doesn't have time to make things right... At this point ... let it go..


Maybe in the future... you can tlak about it with your mom.
 

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Probably floating to the surface because you know that you're running out of time to confront him/deal with him about the abuse.

I'm not saying you SHOULD and I'm not saying you SHOULDN'T; just saying *why* it's coming up now.

I suggest you try a couple of different tactics right from the outset.

1.) Write a letter to your parents and let out ALL the vitriol you have against them for their emotional abuse. LET THEM HAVE it! Hold NOTHING back! Think of it as an emotional 'bloodletting'. But, do NOT mail the letter or show it to anyone.

2.)Hold onto it for one week without looking at it. Then re-read it. Add anything that needs adding, make any changes, deletions, etc.

3.)Hold onto it for 1-2 more weeks WITHOUT looking at it. Then see *how YOU feel* about what's in the letter.

Was writing it down ENOUGH of a release to let you acknowledge the crap, accept that it WAS crap, accept that it's done, and move on?

If so, burn the letter and your anger with it! Figure they were screwed up and did the best they could with the problems they posessed.

If not, decide how/when you want to bring up the MOST IMPORTANT issues from your letter. Write your parents a different less ANGER-FILLED letter? Confront them face-to-face? Go from there.

Best wishes to you. Dealing with childhood crap is difficult and painful for ALL of us. It's easier to rugsweep, but it doesn't fix anything....usually makes it boil over. Remember, the point is NOT to judge, dole out punishment, point fingers, etc (although that's tempting as hell!)...the POINT is to help YOU feel better emotionally and be a stronger person going forward.

Remember: It's all about YOU! Not them, Y-O-U! Put your focus where it belongs...on getting yourself better!

...my 2 cents
 

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I think the fact that your father is at the end of his life is triggering the anger you've been carrying around for years.

My dad is psychotic (diagnosed) and he did permanent damage to me.

Unlike you I sought help when I was 32 (I'm 47 now) and worked through my anger in counseling so when my dad died I was okay. In fact the day he died he appeared to me in a dream. Peaceful and smiling. In the following days I felt his presence and he guided me to solve a VERY big problem in my life.

And then he was gone....
My mother appeared to me in an apparition and told me bye a few minutes before the Doctor called us back to that little room, for a little more privacy... to tell us she had passed away.

It's been 20 years and I remember it like it happened a few minutes ago..

She said,, "Hammy, I'm tired... I'm gonna go now".

And I said, "No Mom... you have to fight... you have to fight mom!"

And she said, "I'm going now" She closed her eyes, bowed her head and I saw her floating up and away.

Every time I tell that story it brings tears to my eyes.

My mom did not deserve to be treated the way my father treated her.. She died when our son was 9 months old and before our daughter was born. It tears me up that my mom didn't live long enough to know my kids. I'd give everything I have just to have my mom back.

Bottom line, she'd had all my fathers crap she could take.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I cannot talk to my dad obviously. I have been his caregiver twice in two week blocks to give my mom a break. She went to her home country to see family. So it was just me and dad alone. I changed his diapers. Dressed him. Got him to daycare. Fed him. I must admit I didn't put in a big effort to get him to brush his teeth.

I was not angry or hateful towards him because he is just a helpless old man. I don't even want him to die. In fact, his death will mean that I have to go back and deal with my memories. It's all so meaningless. But I feel like my brothers, although they both know what he did, pretend we had a good childhood. In truth there was something very wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I have a father who was similarly abusive to me and my mother. Not so much to my brother. My mother bailed out when she was 62. I can't blame my mother for failing to protect me. She didn't have the ability to protect herself. In the end. I felt like I failed to protect my mother but I had no idea she was that far down. If I had... I'd have rescued her.
My mother was a nurse. She came from a very poor country between Ireland and England. She used her job skills to escape to the US. Her real education, besides nursing school, was to around 7th grade level. She learned no geometry or algebra. No foreign languages, other than English. She was not my father's equal. He used this to rule over her.

Like your mother, she did not have the tools to protect herself.

At this point. What's the point? Doesn't sound like your father is in any condition of even know what you're talking about.

To this day.. my father is competitive with me. He's 83 and he's only told me once that he loved me. The day my mother died. He's never told me once that he was proud of me, that I did anything well... The best I can hope for is that he can't find anything to criticize me about..
True, there is no point. He cannot respond. My father was not an evil person. He was only cruel to me because he was fvcked up.

I limit my time around him to about 2 hours at a time. I can't stand to be around any longer than that. He is also 83..

I gave up on trying to have a normal relationship with him about 20 years ago.
I lived out my life running from him. I am dysfunctional because you my childhood. I have learned three foreign languages. Graduated from university, but I feel that I operate without any confidence.

The bottom line is your dad doesn't have time to make things right... At this point ... let it go..


Maybe in the future... you can tlak about it with your mom.
My mother is emotionally need and very domineering. I don't think she has ever said sorry to me or anyone about anything ever.
 

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It floats to the surface because it needs to be handled and dealt with. Sometimes, just acknowledging what's happened helps dispel it. Holding the burden by yourself isn't easy and it takes it's toll. You have plenty of reasons to be angry. You have plenty of reasons to reclaim a self that bears only the labels that you give it, not what others give it.

I'm especially sorry to hear that your daughters are being treated badly by others in your family. I hope that you all have friend-family or other community that welcomes them and gives them joy.

I think it is a good idea for you to acknowledge your life so that you can cope with your own demons. With respect to discussion in your family, have you thought about what you hope to gain by talking to your brothers? The obvious answer is that you seek peace, but, I mean specifics. Knowing what you hope to gain will give you some guidance in terms of how you want to talk about this or in what way. You were given a dreadful role in your family; perhaps others in your family escaped the same fate by complying with your father. It will be harder for them to see your role because it will mean they were complicit in your pain. I think that if you talk to them, you should be very careful and you should proceed with caution -- and you should have a clear idea of what you hope to gain from it.

I think it's good for you to talk about it here or with others who you trust to be there for you. But I, personally, would suggest waiting until your anger has subsided a bit before talking to your brothers or mother. Right now, this is your burden. You've held it secretly for so long. Take some time to look at it, open the parcel, make up your own mind about it. Then it might be time to bring it up with them.

The stuff we bury deepest hurts the most when it us exhumed. Every time you face one of those memories, just remember that you don't have to accept the role that someone else has given you, or rather that it says nothing about who you truly are in your soul.

The suggestions of letter-writing in stages (without sending them! ) above are very good, IMO.
 
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Yes, bringing up this stuff with my brothers now – it will only create problems if I start such conversation that demands that they take a stand. I pretty much know where they stand. My really-love-dad-a-lot brother was born with a bright happy personality. The constant turmoil of our family had a negative effect on him. He never became the laughing happy person that his genetic blueprint offered. He is very calm and defers always to the rightness of authority. Authority is good even when it lies.

We had an incident once in childhood when I was in 6th or 7th grade.

(Note, it bothers me that I cannot pin down dates and this is because I don't want to remember things and yet I am a journalists and writer so I am constantly pushing myself to recover the truth – it seems as if I have buried the truth just to, as you put it Moxy, exhume its stinking half decomposed corpse.

post script – I now realize it must have been before 7th grade. The job of the writer is to avoid losing the reader by littering the narrative with irrelevant observations. Has my brain been so over boiled by all those attacks and the desire to forget them and move on scratched and corroded the hard disk of my mind. I fear that this is true. This is why unconditional love or the ideal of it are so important for a child's development. If you throw your child's psyche against a wall to release anger, it must go back to the hardware and create actual physical chaos. We desire the repartition our minds to wipe off or reorganize the experiences that have caused trauma. Each fragment of this experience has or had a date. We want the facts but we cannot Wikipedia our minds... maybe TAM is the tool to this?)

We were sitting around the formal dining room table, having one of our family meeting and the subject was a small hole that someone had poked in window screen. My mother had found this childish act of destruction in beautiful house into which we had recently moved. The culprit had to be found. My father quickly narrowed down the possible suspects. Out of the 4 of us it had to little Oedipal.

My father was always angry so this naturally another occasion to rake me over the coals. He decided that I had done it based purely on each child's quality of denial. My refusal to buckle further enraged my father. He used to call our interactions "tests of strength". The purpose was force me to agree to what real or imagined fault or mistake I had made. I had never even seen the hole so I refused to admit it.

On and on went the grilling and the tirades, as I squirmed in the straight backed dining room chair that was largely reserved for Christmas, New Years and Thanksgiving. It was I think a sunny day, or rather I felt that I could not see or look at the monster of fury that was the chairman of the family meeting. Yes, in the early years we started the meeting by voting him chairman and writing it down in the minutes. All those in favor of dad being the chairman raise your right hand.

I must have been looking down glumly, trying to bear this bull shı†, though I would not have dared to think those words. "Unfair" is perhaps all I had. It was a fact that my father would not end a session like this until his will was done. He was intractable. He was getting his anger out but the failure of the meeting follow his improvised but always identical script created a new cause for ferocity.

How long did the standoff last. For me it was half an eternity in the fuzziness of Kafka's Trial, why did I so and so many others identify with that book. Why did he not finish it.... Sorry, for the digression. I was clinging to like a barnacle to rock that the sea has decided to destroy. All I could do was hang on. As I write this I want to cry, my chest is shaking, I am 54 years old and the fvcking tears are running down my face as I type. I fvcking hate this. No, they have passed. There are only three or four tears. The shaking had stopped. I never stopped typing.

Suddenly out of an interlude of silence. My brother, the one who loved and admired my father without reserve piped up. He had done it. What could he been then, a 4th grader?

At that moment you would think that I would have rejoiced that the trial was over or that I would be angry at my brother. No, I was far too uncertain about this truth. It was dangerous because I had been treated like shı†, and now I was guilty of having made my father look bad – I could not actually formulate this in my mind but I sensed it like small animal hiding under a stone knows that the fox is waiting. And my father could at anytime go into badger mode and start to dig me out. There was silence and my father defeated once by the truth wound the meeting up. There was no punishment or further interrogation of my brother. The matter was unimportant.

My parents still live in that house. My father now sleeps in his study unable to climb the stairs. Since Alzheimer's has hollowed him out I have stood behind to catch him as he gripped the banister and struggle up to his bedroom. Other times I have not bothered to help him. But he no longer can make to his bedroom. I cannot hate my father, at least the person that he is now. He is no longer a human Cape buffalo.

My brother, the beloved good son, was quite shy and earnest. He did well in school because he was conscientious. The PhD in physics, the Italian doctor who left NASA to teach at the boarding school we attended, told me, "your brother is not very gifted, but he works so hard that someday people will say that he is gifted." This was prophetic. His work ethic has served him well. He is always the loyal employee to whatever manager he serves. He became sales manager for an entire region. The company, a historic US institution collapsed under the weight of incompetence, casting him out of work. He simply took a couple years off to regenerate. Eventually even with huge gap in his CV he managed to get good job in the same industry, not as senior but still a very good position.

He was a virgin until after graduating from college. He really only dated one woman, a very neurotic person who suffers Münchausen syndrome by proxy. She has subjected their children to a barrage of invasive medical tests. My nephew has now survived and escaped to university. But she could have done him in. Once when I hoped he, his sister and my daughters would be meeting and bonding, she had convinced the doctors in the US to perform a cardiac catheterization to find out if he had a heart defect.

There is nothing wrong with my nephew's heart but my brother simply defers to her rulership and so the specialists slit a opening in his femoral artery and slipped the catheter up to his heart. The procedure itself involves risk. And yet he never stands up to her. One time I remember she was forcing him to be tested for mercury poisoning due the fish they eaten through the years.

Of course who he marries is his business, but I wish he could stand up to her and say that our children should meet. Incredibly, a couple of years ago, my SIL's sister, a wealthy person who also is obsessed with imaginary illnesses – she had lupus but it eventually disappeared – out of the blue wrote and offered to take my then 16-year-old daughter to a rented house in Italy. She sent this invitation directly to my daughter and did not bother to sound out the idea with me or my ex wife. My brother puts up with that stuff and never protests.

I seldom have contact with my brother. It is sad. Our relationship is damaged. We will come into intense contact now when our father dies. I am not looking forward to it.

Note to LL, if he ever returns. LL, I wrote the following above:

Has my brain been so over boiled by all those attacks and the desire to forget them and move on scratched and corroded the hard disk of my mind. I fear that this is true.
After reading enough TAM thread I believe events and emotions shape our brains at a neurophysiological level. My brain was rewired to cope with my father's rages. It is both hardware and software.

Your wife's brain has been changed by her serial cheating. Each episode of emotional excitement coupled with sex/orgasms has altered her. The woman you loved is gone. Someone else is there. The shock and anxiety you suffer are physical, the experience is making a physical impression on you.

I have learned about my own tragedy from yours. Thank you for sharing. This is true for you, too, Moxy, but you intellectually well enough to give your brain some other reward. Maybe not romantic love directly but other activities.

Mavash, Hambone and Slowly, thank you for your posts. They help.
 

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My mother was a nurse. She came from a very poor country between Ireland and England. She became a nurse and escaped to the US. Her real education, besides nursing school, was to around 7th grade level. She learned no geometry or algebra. No foreign languages, other than English. She was not my father's equal. He used this to rule over her.

Like your mother, she did not have the tools to protect herself.

True, there is no point. He cannot respond. My father was not an evil person. He was only cruel to me because he was fvcked up.

I lived out my life running from him. I am dysfunctional because you my childhood. I have learned three foreign languages. Graduated from university, but I feel that I operate without any confidence.

My mother is emotionally need and very domineering. I don't think she has ever said sorry to me or anyone about anything ever.
My father's abuse affects me to this day. Constantly being told that you are stupid... that no one likes you and no one every will.... He convinced me. Like you, my father stripped all confidence out of me. Not only was my dad verbally abusive, he was physically abusive to me. He used to beat the hell out of me. I remember going to the bathroom in school... going into a stall because I was afraid someone would see the whelps on my thigh and buttocks were I was whipped the night before. And running my hands up and down...feeling the whelps. Wondering, why I was so inadequate... why I was so much worse than the other kids.. that I DESERVED to be beat. I was ashamed.

My dad feels so competitive with me. He HAS to be king of the hill... even at my expense. He's not that way with my brother.

But, the good part. I have NOT raised my kids like my father raised me. I have never whipped my kids.

One of his favorite things to do is ask me a question... And no matter what I say, his response is, "Are you THAT damn stupid?" Now, I just answer him, "I don't know'.

I spent a lot of time and energy
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hambone,

I never got beaten. Can't make things better. Why did your brother get off scott free?
 

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I don't have much advice to offer that hasn't already been given, I do have a poem by Philip Larkin, a great British poet:

Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

They fvck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fvcked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.


So, you are not alone.
 
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My dad did those family meeting tirades as well. They lasted until the wee hours of the morning. I was 10. Used to pick a spot on the wall and check out while he berated me for hours because I answered incorrectly. I now know this was how he dumped his anger and brainwashed me. My sister was spared these meetings because she was smarter than me. No literally she's gifted with a high IQ and that gave her a free pass.

Ultimately I fared better than her because it seems the negative attention I got was better than none. She's about to marry husband #3 and no longer speaks to me. Her oldest is a train wreck. Too early to tell with the other one. She has cut herself so there is damage.

I was never hit but the emotional abuse was the worst. Being told daily how worthless and stupid you are takes its toll.

My mother resented me and was jealous so she was an especial kind of evil. She would metaphorically trip me then bat her blue eyes and pretend to help me. It would take years of counseling before I could face the truth about her. I now think she did more damage than my dad did.
 

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Hambone,

I never got beaten. Can't make things better. Why did your brother get off scott free?
No. But, he has a little bit of a speech impediment.

So, growing up... it was always, "Poor Jeff". He wasn't held to the same standards that I was.

When I was in HS. it was pounded into my head that I had to have a job. And, I worked. I worked as a janitor, in nasty hot factories, paving streets, etc.

My brother never had a job. When he graduated.. I asked if he was going to get a job. And I was told. ''NO!!!... we have plenty of jobs around the house for him to do... besides.... he's taking flying lessons!".... And I responded. "WOW... things have sure changed around the place since I finished HS."

I really think a large part of the problem was that my Dad's perception was that his older brother lorded over him. Always got the best of him. I think he was taking revenge on my for the way his brother treated him and... he was making sure that I didn't take advantage of my little brother.

His brother told me that when they were kids... and their father told them to mow the yard, he's ask my dad how he wanted to divide the yard... and which half he wanted to mow... and my dad STILL thought his brother got the easier half of the yard...

One time, my father found a single car garage that a guy was willing to pay $150 to take down and carry the debris to the dump. He said he'd take $50 for a "finder's fee" and pay me and a buddy $50 each to do the job. We did it. He paid $50 to my buddy, took his $50 finders fee and charged me $50 for using his truck.

People say I will still miss him when he's gone. I don't think so.. What I'll miss is the fact that we never had a loving father/son relationship.

This is the funniest story of all. My mother caught my dad red handed running around on her. So, a few weeks/months later... he's still in reform mode. We're riding in the car,(before seat belts) I'm sitting in the middle of the back seat... leaning forward with my chin on the front seat. Dad's driving... mom's in the passenger seat. My dad starts talking down all my girl friends. Finally, I ask him, "Dad... what are you trying to tell me?" and he says, "Well... me and your mother don't like the caliber of women you've been dating lately." And I said, "Well, mom and I don't like the caliber of women you've been dating either." Boy that pissed him off but what could he say!

BTW. My dad never apologized for beating me. BUT, after particularly nasty beatings... he'd bring me a gift.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I don't have much advice to offer that hasn't already been given, I do have a poem by Philip Larkin, a great British poet:

Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

They fvck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fvcked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.


So, you are not alone.
Great poem.
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My dad did those family meeting tirades as well. They lasted until the wee hours of the morning. I was 10. Used to pick a spot on the wall and check out while he berated me for hours because I answered incorrectly. I now know this was how he dumped his anger and brainwashed me. My sister was spared these meetings because she was smarter than me. No literally she's gifted with a high IQ and that gave her a free pass.

Ultimately I fared better than her because it seems the negative attention I got was better than none. She's about to marry husband #3 and no longer speaks to me. Her oldest is a train wreck. Too early to tell with the other one. She has cut herself so there is damage.

I was never hit but the emotional abuse was the worst. Being told daily how worthless and stupid you are takes its toll.

My mother resented me and was jealous so she was an especial kind of evil. She would metaphorically trip me then bat her blue eyes and pretend to help me. It would take years of counseling before I could face the truth about her. I now think she did more damage than my dad did.
You know, I think one reason that I got the worst of it was because my brother had a little bit of a speech impediment..

He didn't make as good of grades as I did. But, I was driven... trying to please my father.

I think he thought I had more potential than my brother did and he was bound and determined to get it out of me... by moving the bar.

I remember, one time, I made a 102 on a test.. the highest grade in class on a particularly hard test that I had really studied hard for. I kicked butt on that test and was really proud of that grade. I was beaming with pride... so proud of what I had done... I showed the paper to my dad, he gave it a cursory examination and growled, "How come you missed that 3rd bonus point?" Wadded it up and threw it at me.

It was devastating.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My dad did those family meeting tirades as well. They lasted until the wee hours of the morning. I was 10. Used to pick a spot on the wall and check out while he berated me for hours because I answered incorrectly. I now know this was how he dumped his anger and brainwashed me. My sister was spared these meetings because she was smarter than me. No literally she's gifted with a high IQ and that gave her a free pass.

Ultimately I fared better than her because it seems the negative attention I got was better than none. She's about to marry husband #3 and no longer speaks to me. Her oldest is a train wreck. Too early to tell with the other one. She has cut herself so there is damage.

I was never hit but the emotional abuse was the worst. Being told daily how worthless and stupid you are takes its toll.

My mother resented me and was jealous so she was an especial kind of evil. She would metaphorically trip me then bat her blue eyes and pretend to help me. It would take years of counseling before I could face the truth about her. I now think she did more damage than my dad did.
My mother managed to become the dominant one in me parents' relationship. My father messed up his medical practice, closed it and became a state government employee, prison psychiatrist to over 3,000 felons, a hellish job. My brother died of schizophrenia. Hurt my parents a lot. I used to go and nurse him out the state mental hospitals. He thought he was Paul the apostle. When he died of blood clots to the lungs, my brothers and I went to the county morgue. My brothers did want to go, I made them. We saw him laid out on a black and white CTR screen.

My parents knew my brother was Not 100% and my dad left him alone. My youngest brother charmed my parents. My loyal brother was always good. I was the focal point for constant attacks. My father said he was going to praise my nonexistent virtues, but then he fell silent. He couldn't even imagine anything positive to lie about.
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Spot on the wall. All stuff I stared at, same experience
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When I messed up... I was never asked what happened... I didn't get any lectures...I was never grounded, had anything taken away from me..

The ONLY discipline was an ass whipping.

The sound of my father's belt going through those belt loops was the worst sound in the world.

Until I got too heavy for him to pick up with one arm.. He'd grab me by the wrist, lift me up in the air and whip the hell out of me...

My mother never intervened.

One time, my grandmother did. My dad was out of control.. She yelled at him that "You don't know what you're doing".. He dropped me and Grandmother got a huge cursing out by my father. I used the opportunity to run out the door. She was the only person in my life growing up that ever told me she loved me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My father condemned violence because had been on the receiving end. My grandmother beat my eldest uncle. He beat my father. My father always hated him.

One time we were together at the holidays and my went ape shı† apoplectic, accusing my uncle of being disloyal to the Chinese Communist party. He was waving Mao's little red book at my uncle and everybody was just dumbfounded.

Of course it wasn't really about politics, it was the bad blood between them.

My grandmother told me: "I have four sons and your father is the stupidest of them." He was the one who sent a check every month that supported my grandparents.

The fact that he got so little love from his own parents f'd him
 
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