My dad

Avatar for tinderdoc
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
My dad
5
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 7:42pm
I posted here a few weeks ago about the hurt I felt when my dad did not acknowledge my birthday. Because we had contemplated about having friends and family go out for dinner for my birthday, he refused to go because he doesn't 'do crowds well'. Well, two friends went to eat with my family, and dad refused to go to dinner with us because those two friends were there (two friends that my brother and I grew up with, so it's not like they are strangers to my dad). After I posted, I got slammed for being inconsiderate of the anxiety he feels around 'crowds'. Personally, I don't consider two people (that he's known for 20 years) to be a crowd when you are surrounded by four other family members with whom you eat out with all the time, but that's just my opinion.

I'll be graduating in three weeks. Our senior banquet is tomorrow night. It's a formal event, and family is invited. I called my parents last week to see if they'd be interested in going. I spoke to my dad, and he said 'sure we'll go!' So I bought tickets for them (and for my bro and SIL who also want to go). My mom called me tonight to let me know that my dad wasn't going to attend tomorrow's event. Big Surprise.

So, am I out of line for feeling somewhat miffed? I am starting to wonder if he's going to attend my graduation. It will be my last one. He's attended my other two, but then again he has never acted so standoffish in the past. I feel very hurt, not because of the banquet thing......it's just so many little slights from him that are adding up to so much hurt. I just cannot believe he is acting like this. I take that back - I understand why he feels the need to shut himself off from the rest of the world. He is of retiring age and doesn't feel like he is able to retire, and he is desperately looking for other employment options just in case his boss 'gets rid of him'. He goes into his office, shuts the door, and gets on the internet looking for get-rich-quick schemes. He has done this for so long (everyday for 2 years) that he has turned into a hermit. I guess that is why I'm so angry at him. This is an important time in my life and he is completely shut off from reality. I wanted him take part in these next few weeks because he's one of the reasons why I've made it to this point. I wish he could understand how important his presence is to me.
Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: tinderdoc
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 9:01pm
Sounds to me that your dad is going thru some kind of depression. He could be worrying too much about his future, after retirement. Or his health? When you said he goes in the other room and goes online, and closed the door, do you think he's downloading porno? Sorry, but that's what people do to keep something bottled up inside to get out of their moodiness. I know how you're feeling. When I first got married and pregnant, I went to church alone w/out my husband. I felt like I was pregnant without my baby's father. Then after my child was born, I continued to go to church alone w/baby, and my thoughts of having a child w/out his father. Yes, it made me feel very insecure and betrayed. My parents never attended any of my school plays or choir, they sent my sister and her DH, but my parents always made excuses: we have to go to work the next morning. Well, duh, so was all the children with parents in school! But, they were pressured to attend to my graduation and wedding. They didn't like gatherings, because they didn't know anyone, or that they didn't know how to speak English. Now, they go whenever we ask.

Sorry, about your dad's attitude, I don't know what else to say. Just go about your plans w/out him, is HIS LOSS really! That's too bad.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: tinderdoc
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 9:11am
My father has been, is, and always will be, the same way. I have been, am, and always will be upset about it. I'm sure you get the drift.

I've asked him to my house on multiple occasions, he says he is going to come, but something always comes up and he can't make it. He hasn't been to one of my kids birthday parties in almost three years. I see him MAYBE at Christmas, but the rest of the year, there is no contact. I call and leave messages, but they are never returned.

My youngest sister has completely disowned him, she's 25. I'm 35 and just not ready to give up yet.

I understand your pain. Try to understand that no matter how old you get, there's always a part of you that wants your "daddy", no matter the circumstances.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: tinderdoc
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 2:33pm
Shari, this sounds alot like my dad. My parents have been divorced for 12 years, I'm 27. I have always felt very distant from him, even when they were married. Then after I got married, in 2001 he started coming around, emailing me more and calling me more. Unfortunately that only lasted a few months, because he reconnected on classmates w/an old girlfriend and they got married Dec. '01! I was so shocked that he would do that so quickly. I was hurt too because I felt like I almost had a chance to become closer to him than ever before and as an adult to adult relationship but he moved away and it became harder and harder to keep in touch w/him. We have spurts of emailing eachother, but that's about it. Actually it's been a few months now since the last i heard from him. I've written him 3 emails in the past month or two and he will not respond. I'm worried. I haven't called him yet, but I think I will have to break down and find his # soon. I haven't disowned him..... yet. It's tempting though. But you're right, no matter how bad it gets there will always be something inside me that wants her daddy, especially since I never really had a relationship with him.

 baby

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: tinderdoc
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 2:45pm
I don't think you were being inconsiderate of his feelings. Your feelings were hurt and you have every reason to feel that, and own it. I don't think you are out of line at all! Does he realize how much he is hurting you? Is he aware that he is cutting himself off from you? I wonder if you tell him your feelings, just straight out, in a loving way. What does your mom think? I would sit down and talk to him and explain why it hurts you that he keeps canceling on you and that you really want him there because you love him and miss him. And tell him what you said here, that you want him involved in your graduation events because of his big role in helping you get to this point in your life. It might be uncomfortable at first to sit down and talk to him about this, I should know, I haven't had the best relationship w/my dad over the years. It's very hard to talk to them when their so cut off from you. It almost sounds a little on the verge of agoraphobia, where he is afraid to leave the house/office and be in social situations. Definitely sounds like a social anxiety disorder of some kind. If this is the case he needs counseling. If he gets help for this it will be easier for you to handle the times when he doesn't come thru for you, and he also will learn that he needs to validate your feelings. See what happens when you talk to him about this and keep us posted. Good luck to you and God bless!

Jenny

 baby

Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: tinderdoc
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 3:47pm
First off, I am sorry that you feel that you got slammed. I don't think that is common on the board. We can only read about a small part of the story and do our best to reply. And many times we use our own backgrounds and experiences to try to relate. Lots of times, people don't like to hear what is said but as a whole our posters here want to help and never mean to "slam" anyone. (although it has happen a few times and we try to avoid poster)

It is too bad that your father doesn't want to participate in your life. But I still think you need to just tell him how it makes you feel, cite examples of things that have happen. Lay it out on the table and walk away. And then do not expect or hope that he will change. Don't plan on his coming to any of your plans. Then you won't be disappointed that he doesn't show up. And if perchance he does show up one day, you can be pleasently surprised.

Enjoy your graduation and surround yourself with people who love you and want to celebrate the day with you. And maybe even send your dad a card thanking him for paying for your education (if he did) and know that is all you can do.

Best of luck,

Melissa