Talked To My Father For The First Time In 10 Years Today.

I got off the phone earlier today with the father I’ve talked to once in about a decade.  I asked why he’s calling after all these years and he said because it’s my sister’s birthday and he didn’t have her number and I was just speechless.  I asked why she would want to talk to someone who was a source of pain for so many years – he said “how have I been a source of pain?”  I said, citing just one of many examples, “You twisted her arm until she cried at her graduation in front of her friends and teachers.”  (which he did because in the church ceremony before she had read an essay about the person she admired most and it was our mother, not him)  I also pointed out the time he stopped by to take us to the batting cages after months of no visitation and I said I hadn’t gotten any sleep and would feel horrible all day the next day, to which he replied without any sign of humor “what do I care, I’m not gonna be here”.  He replied that he doesn’t remember either and that they never happened – I said I believe him, that he probably doesn’t remember it, that hurting his kids probably doesn’t stick out in his memory.  And I asked him if I had punched him in the stomach and then when he brought it up I maintained it didn’t happen (assuming I hadn’t recently suffered a head injury) would he want a relationship with me? 

So he changed the subject.

I talked with him for awhile, mostly taking the high ground (and it may have been therapeutic on some level), and said if he cared about his kids (his new kids) he should look into narcissistic personality disorder (I left off the “disorder” part though).  He then got defensive and said I didn’t know anything about him, and I said “yeah that’s usually the response people with narcissistic personalities give”.  He then, in the classic fashion of someone with NPD said “when did you get so smart?” (trying to inflate my ego to deflect a perceived attack and assuming my psyche works the way his does).

Lets see what else.  I explained for his kids’ benefit what made our relationship impossible and made us hate him, that if someone rationalizes, forgets or deflects blame and never takes responsibility for wrongdoing it makes it impossible for others to forgive them and let go of pain so any harm they do keeps accumulating and can never be resolved.  I said “forgiveness requires an act of contrition, the catholic church actually got that one right”.  He replied by saying that he has “photo albums full of proof” that he cared, ie he took us to sea world and a few other places when we were very young and coasted on it for years to rationalize bad behavior.  I told him all the good deeds and gifts in the world can’t take the place of an apology if he’s wronged someone.  So he said he would apologize (but wouldn’t say what for) if we met in person.  I told him I had already made clear that this would probably be the last time we talked and that if he had something to say he was free to say it – last chance to apologize.  So he said (without even saying “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” that his biggest regret was not “putting up with” our mother and staying.  I just laughed and said he couldn’t even apologize without blaming someone else mid-sentence, “I’m sorry your mother was so horrible I left”.  My mom is a wonderful person btw who was horribly abused and divorced him and got a restraining order on advice of his parish priest (a catholic priest telling a woman to divorce her husband is like one telling their flock to use condoms, it doesn’t happen often).  And despite worsening physical disabilities she was a damn good parent and is the only reason I didn’t end up like my father.

I said that his “apology” was no different than someone, when asked what their biggest flaw was, saying they’re too much of a perfectionist.  He didn’t seem to understand (to be fair I doubt he’s capable).  I pointed out that he was literally saying that the worst thing he ever did was deprive us of his presence (the ego), and said that was the one thing he did that I didn’t mind.  He got angry and said “no you did, you were angry at the time”, to which I said any child in that situation is going to feel bad about being objectified and cast aside and feel abandoned to some degree, but generally not having a source of pain in my life was a positive thing.  He maintained several times throughout the conversation that I was angry with him for not calling before this, because I asked why he was calling.  I had to correct him several times.  In his mind our lives are ruined without him and we would rush to his side in a heartbeat if not for our evil witch of a mother casting her black magic over our hearts.

This is how he lives with himself.  It has to be infinitely less work to just own up to your shit and make amends with people.  It’s people like him that turn into family annihilators, people who lose their jobs or something and in their mind their family would be lost without them, so they have to “save” them by wiping them out (usually to send them to heaven).  Fortunately he’s a milder version of it and just abandoned us and deluded himself.

My guess is his new kids are in highschool now and they’re at the rebellious stage where they a) no longer take his shit and b) no longer feed his ego, so he thought about shopping for some spare kids and remembered he’d thrown out an old pair.  Just like he left when we started standing up to him.

A good friend of mine I talked to later asked if he had asked how we were doing or if we were okay, how my sister was doing etc – he never inquired once.  That just makes it crystal clear who he was concerned for.

I might blog about it more later, but yeah.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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43 Responses to Talked To My Father For The First Time In 10 Years Today.

  1. QuantumStorm says:

    People can be such assholes sometimes. Sorry to hear that it ended up being your dad in this case. 

  2. I’m sorry your dad’s such a prick.    I can relate to a lot of it.  While my mother and I aren’t quite estranged from each other the way you and your dad are, we’re quickly heading in that direction.  And there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

  3. whyzat says:

    I’m glad you told him how you feel even thought it probably didn’t sink in.

  4. What a painful situation. I’m sorry he’s in such denial and is so clueless about the pain he has caused..

  5. Wow that’s terrible. I’m sorry you had to go through that. Thankfully your mother was there for you! I feel sorry for your dad. He sounds pretty pathetic. Ultimately he can’t live with the truth so he lives in delusion. You’re better off without him and good on you to tell him how it is!

  6. Sorry to hear how your father is. You are a wonderful person 

  7. tgwiy says:

    I haven’t spoken to my dad in 7 years.Well maybe that’s not true. He recently took me to court to have the restraining order I had against him removed (I know…) He won, because the judge was an asshole. So I sent him an email telling him if he ever contacted me, I was calling the police and taking him back to court. So I feel you on the whole “dad is a waste of space” thing.

  8. YouToMe says:

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through, but so glad you came out stronger and wiser, compassionate for it. You’re really amazing, Mark. I’m so proud of how you handled yourself. I’m am still in awe of this day and all that’s happened. I’m so glad you and your sister had a good talk too.

  9. This post made me very, very sad. 

  10. Why a parent can act that way,especially a father,just astounds me.My kids always come before me.Your dad sounds like quite the selfish man.Some men just never grow up and when that happens it has a terrible effect on families.I know it doesn’t help,but I’m sorry as a dad at how your dad is.

  11. musterion99 says:

    Sorry to hear your dad abused you like this.

  12. SheTigerCat says:

    So sorry things are so distant between you and your dad… both my parents are deceased and I miss them so much… it hurts to see that things are working out… I wish you peace!^..^

  13. yourkbear says:

    I’m so sorry. That’s not a father at all. My dad wasn’t abusive, but he did abandon us and blame my mother. Now that he has grand-kids, though, he has come around.

  14. leaflesstree says:

    Yeah, I think your narcissism diagnosis is spot on. I was lucky enough not to have abusive parents, but it always astonishes me in reading or hearing others’ accounts how clueless they are to the pain they caused. There’s always this idea in the parent’s mind of, “Well, I tried. Well, we had some good times, right?” and they’re genuinely shocked when the kid replies, “Um. No. It was awful. You hurt me, and I don’t want anything to do with you.”Glad you had a mother who was there for you anyway.

  15. I’m sorry to hear of the pain you and your family have endured by a father figure who was meant to love and protect.  God bless your mother who has stayed strong for her children.  Although your earthly father has more than failed you, you have a Heavenly Father who loves you and promises to shelter you in the midst of your “storms”.  I only pray that the anger and betrayal you feel towards your father does not hinder you from knowing God’s love for you.

  16. That’s rough, especially for you and you siblings as children. The word “parents” holds a connotation of superhero-esque qualities, and a lot of times(well all the time), parents are just people. And some people just have better qualities than others. Damned predispositions! Either way, glad to see you came out with the recognition your father lacked. 

  17. Lovegrove says:

    A sad tale to read but all too common, I’m afraid. I’ve read somewhere that one in seven people are psychopaths to one degree or the other; and my experiences with social interaction seems to support that astonishingly high statistic.

  18. I know how you feel. My father was diagnosed with anti-personality disorder AND took anabolic steroids….so you can imagine the cluster fuck that I grew up in…. My father is also quite narcissistic as well; he apologized once, in front of our therapist, and then took me out and laughed at me for believing him…so I never did again. We haven’t spoken since I was 14.So sorry you’re having to go through this, but I am glad that you’ve been able to realize the tricks they try to pull and are able to view it objectively…getting to that point is no easy task.

  19. But somewhere in your heart you feel that perhaps you are a bad son.

  20. Sounds much like my soon to be ex.  I’m sorry you had to endure such bullshit growing up.{hugs}

  21. Agroblog says:

    I fell out with my mother whome I had fought with and made up again with throughout my growing years, I fell out with her in 2003 the next time I spoke to her was March 2004 in her coffin, I told her I was sorry for being as stubborn and awkward as her, how much I had really loved her, how I had missed her cuddles in the last 8 months and how I was going to miss her forever 😦 sometimes we are so much like our parent/s we fail to see it until its too late, at which point we are left unfinished, saddened, angry, and totally heartbroken by life’s events…

  22. FoliageDecay says:

    People with NPD are rough to deal with.I had a relative who acted like that for years–then seemed to get better, I’m very confused by that recovery–but it somehow seems to have happened.(Or I successfully avoid that relative enough.)

  23. Wow no offense but your dad sounds like a real asshat.

  24. A sad story, but all too common.  Some people just don’t get that a few trips scattered throughout their child’s life doesn’t equate “always having fun together”.  I’m glad you stood your ground with him and hope you had the chance to tell your mother she did a great job.  And I agree with livingcracked that he is a real asshat. 

  25. There is a lot of pain in this entry, and I can only imagine what it would have taken to write it. I’m glad your mother managed to be a better parent.

  26. Tallman says:

    Some parents suck.

  27. MyTwoCentss says:

    What a douche bag.  I’m sorry that your father is the way he is rather than the way a father should be.  I have a douche bag dad too.  Only he never physically touched my brother or I – just my mother.  That was torture enough worrying about her & seeing all that.  So reading this, it reminded me a lot of my own father (alcoholic).  It’s amazing that these people can have the memory issues they have when their behavior has left such a lasting impression on our own memories, right?  You’re better off without him.

  28. molladoll24 says:

    Pretty tough thing to go through :/ Admire you for standing up to him, when it’s so easy to feel hurt instead. If I were to hear from my dad, I’ve already decided I would just kick him in the pants and steal his wallet. 

  29. I’m sorry, dude. Your father sounds like a dick. Does that make you mad when people insult your father? Because if it does I won’t. I have some less-than-stellar members of my family but when anybody else insults them besides me I’m like hey, what are you doing. You can’t do that. It’s weird.Anyway, I checked out that song Turn Turn Turn. It is very good. Check out this song, it’s what I’m obsessed with right now. http://youtu.be/abBpc1LKM6k

  30. agnophilo says:

    @QuantumStorm – Thanks.@the_rocking_of_socks – Is that a good thing or a bad thing though?@whyzat – I hope it did, but only for his kids’ and future victims’ sake.@Roadkill_Spatula – He’s so far gone you can’t really even hold him to human standards of conduct.  Though of course he should still go to jail if he breaks the law etc for obvious practical reasons.@theasianwithnoname – I agree : )  And thanks.@Kristenmomof3 – Thanks : )@tgwiy – Sorry you have had similar experiences.  Hopefully it made you stronger though, or will make you a better parent someday.@YouToMe – I think you will have a similar confrontation, but like with mine it will be once you’re far enough away to not be controlled by the abuser.  Thanks for being a good friend : )@sometimestheycomebackanyway – I’m thinking you’ve known someone with some of these qualities.@endure2theend – They just get screwed up in childhood and end up not even being people, just a ball of defense mechanisms.  Ironically those defense mechanisms keep most from ever seeking help because in order to do that they would need to admit to having a problem – which 99% of them are incapable of or unwilling to do.@musterion99 – Thanks.  Could’ve been a lot worse.@SheTigerCat – Working out?  And I don’t miss him, I grew up wishing he’d leave.@yourkbear – I’d rather have an imperfect dad than no dad at all – but him I can’t even have a relationship with and visa versa.  My relationship with him will be nothing but pain, his with me will have less depth than the relationship between most people and their pets.@leaflesstree – This is part of why objectivity is so important and faith is often so harmful.  Using beliefs as an emotional means to an end distorts your vision, and that distorts everything you do and the effect you have on people and on society.  When I was young I thought about what it means to be a good person and quickly realized that the first step toward being a good person is understanding what makes something good or bad.  Truth and morality are inexorably bound.  And people do the most harm who are detached from reality.  I’m sure in his warped mind he was being a good father, and in hitler’s mind he was a warrior for justice and the common good, and in george bush’s mind he was a great president.  We have to acknowledge problems if we ever hope to fix them, in ourselves and in the world.@aZn_sEduCtReSs – While it is true that many peoples’ feelings about god have to do with their feelings for their fathers (frued thought that faith was a desire to feel in adulthood how we feel as a child when our parents seem all-knowing, all-powerful and infinitely loving and wise and that this is why so many religions call their gods father or mother), mine do not.  My concept of god was as a vague being that maybe would be there when you died, I never thought god was hovering over me changing my life or making me feel a certain way.  I never personified the things around me and thought they were blessings or punishments from god.  While I was christian in a sense, I did not have a sense of having a relationship with god, and so I do not think having an asshole father is why I’m an atheist.  Though it may have made me not feel the need to replace my father because I never really had one.  But if that is what faith is, then it’s psychological, not supernatural, so there is no heavenly father and it’s just comforting belief.  Either way you’ll be glad to know I don’t disbelieve in the existence of god based on anything any human being does.@darlingbeloved – All children essentially lose faith in the god-like image of their parents.  But just like losing faith, the more mundane reality, when you become accustomed to it, can be just as richly rewarding (assuming the parent isn’t a sociopathic shithead of course).  The storyline of buzz lightyear in toy story is a really good parable about losing faith, though I doubt it was intended as such.@Lovegrove – That sounds about right sadly.  Hopefully effective law enforcement will reduce those figures gradually over time.@Xbeautifully_broken_downX – I would’ve been totally sucked in and just broken by him if I hadn’t had one healthy parent to get normal interaction and validation.  Distance and variety of interactions with people is the only safeguard against someone like that.  You need healthy interactions so you can understand that how they treat you is not normal, you need a basis for comparison.  Sorry you had a shitty father though.  My advice is to see through it, realize why he’s the way he is so you don’t just react emotionally to the abuse.  Sam Vaknin (whose youtube videos I highly recommend) suggests looking at a narcissist as a force of nature.  Treat them as you would a storm or a tornado, something to be avoided or managed.  You don’t try to reason with a thunder storm or hope it’s really something else, you just go indoors or use an umbrella etc.  It may be hard to remember they’re not really a person because they look and sound like one, and often are very good at mimicking normal responses.@RulerofMasons – No, I don’t.  I never got to be a son.  All he was growing up was a source of pain, I never connected with him emotionally.  Part of how I realize this is that I had another emotionally healthy parent to contrast him with, and we would sit around laughing and joking and talking about things then I would go over to his house and it would have all the warmth of staying in a hotel, a cold and intermittently hostile environment.  I can understand how without that contrast people can take an abusive parents’ neurotic reactions at face value and try to deal with them as though they were genuine and not just a byproduct of their neurosis.  So that if say the parent devalued the child they might forever try to get into their good graces, thinking that the abusive parent was being genuine and that it really was something they did to upset them.  When someone like him if they need to feel better about themselves or justify their behavior, they will invent fictional faults to attack, like he did with my mother.  It’s about them, not you.  And if you follow them down the rabbit hole of their delusions and their neurosis it will just inflict the same pain that screwed them up and made them incapable of being happy onto you.  But just like them if you are willing to explore the source of that pain, you can recover and heal.  I hope that whatever is going on inside your head doesn’t prevent you from doing that.@gottobereal64 – Glad to hear the soon-to-be part.  I also recommend sam vagnin’s youtube videos.@FoliageDecay – People with NPD feed their insanity two ways – they devalue and abuse and control others, and they seek ego gratification, praise etc.  In the first instance they act like monsters, in the second they play the hero.  You may just be seeing another side of the coin.@Agroblog – My father is essentially a sociopath.  I don’t know anything about your relationship with your parents, but to love my father I would have to project a fictional, hidden personality onto him, or selectively imagine his false kindness (motivated by spite toward someone else or an attempt to manipulate or seek praise) was the “real” him and his faults were somehow excusable.@livingcracked – None taken.@TheEmeraldPixie – Yeah we were just props to support his delusion.

  31. Sociopaths have feelings too, you’ re hurt, and in your pain it’s easy to lash out and call your own father a monster. You feel rejected, but you will only hurt yourself by placing all of the blame on your father. You need to admit you want his support.

  32. agnophilo says:

    @howsaboutsomemilk – Not in the least.  And the song is not bad.  You might enjoy this.

  33. agnophilo says:

    @RulerofMasons – I don’t want his support though.  And I know sociopaths have feelings too (though entirely selfish ones), which is why I was not deliberate cruel in my interactions with him.  But neither do I think the world should cater to sociopaths.  They should change their destructive patterns, not the other way around.  It’s simple math, them changing helps them and everyone else, everyone else changing turns the world into an orgy of self-perpetuating pain.

  34. @agnophilo – If I wanted any contact with him, I probably would. I do that with my mom alot, though, because she’s got some of the same problems. I don’t think she’s a full blown narcissist, however, she definitely has some traits. Thanks for the youtube suggestion! I”ll have to check him out! 🙂 Have a good one! 

  35. agnophilo says:

    @blonde_apocalypse – The conversation with me didn’t really hurt, I’m not hurt by him anymore – but re-litigating and remembering my childhood was uncomfortable.  So much of this stuff I had forgotten and not thought about in years.  Thanks for taking the time to say as much.  I know you’re going through stuff right now, so I appreciate it.@Tallman – Oh yeah.@MyTwoCentss – I agree, and I’m sorry your father was an asshole.  Alcoholics tend to delude themselves too, booze is usually not the first way they try to cope with whatever’s going on in their head.

  36. agnophilo says:

    @RulerofMasons – My guess is you have a condition which reduces your ability to emotionally connect to or sympathize with others rather than being truly sociopathic, but I am not going on much.  I’d look into it though.  This (or something similar) might help.  If you get to the end of the test and it’s trying to sell you something or get your email I apologize, I didn’t take it first.

  37. @agnophilo – I haven’t decided yet. For the most part, it’s just super irritating and frustrating.

  38. layhomeopath says:

    Very candid and well-written. You handled that so well for someone so young…wow.

  39. agnophilo says:

    @Xbeautifully_broken_downX – There are different types, worth looking into.  Maybe you could even “save” her one day.@blonde_apocalypse – That sounds a lot like a “goodbye”, lol.@the_rocking_of_socks – I recommend his other vids, they might help to see if they apply to your family.  And if they do, they might help to make sure you don’t go down the same road someday.@layhomeopath – Thanks : )@RulerofMasons – Did you take the test?  Bear in mind it’s just an internet test and isn’t going to be ironclad – the worst thing you can do is shrink from the problem.  Some pain we’re too close to to unravel entirely by ourselves.  We need outside help or perspectives.

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