- 2 years ago
- Wedding: September 2008
Bees, I debated creating an anonymous account for this but I decided that I’d get more helpful responses/less people calling troll if I use my regular account.
My dad was a good father when I was young. He was very hands-on and did all of the night parenting when I was young and 80% of the emotional parenting when I was an adolescent. He’s also been hearing voices in his head since his early 20s that he insists are angels, is prone to manic episodes, and has trouble with boundaries. I set a few boundaries regarding frequency of phone calls, giving me at least 24-hour notice before showing up on my doorstep for a visit, length and timing of visits, and not disciplining me in an authoritarian manner as an adult, but each time there was loads of drama, manly tears, and accusations that I was emotionally abusing him followed by a call to his older and very much sane brother who would tell him to get over himself. Uncle would then call me to comfort me.
When I became an independent adult and my mom left him, Dad became lost and started taking in random, troubled neighborhood girls in their early 20s whose parents disowned them for various reasons to “parent”. He would tell me, “This is your sister!”, try to force a relationship between me and the girl, move her into my childhood room, pay for her room and board, write her into his will, and infantilize her (actively trying to convince her that she’s unemployable/prevent her from growing up and moving out). He would also favor her, saying that I don’t need him as much as [troubled girl] because I’m a college-educated, married mother who is financially stable. It hurt but I dealt with it.
Girl 1 was 25 and a single mother of two young girls who manipulated Dad into buying her a car with cash before taking said car and driving off into the sunset with her kids. Girl 2 was 23 and homeless, and Dad kicked her out when wouldn’t follow his strict rules. Girl 3 was 24, kicked out by her religious parents for being a lesbian, and lived with him for 2 years while she built up enough savings to buy a beater car and move into her own apartment. I liked Girl 3, unlike the others, and welcomed her into my home a few times. Right before she moved out, Dad got so clingy and possessive that she took his gun and turned it into the police. Dad then called me playing the victim. I told him that if I were her, I’d interpret his behavior as predatory.
After Girl 3 left, Dad picked out Girl 4 who he met at his local grocery store. She ran away from home and has a past that includes sexual abuse. She’s 19 and looks about 15 tops, with a squeaky little girl voice.
Dad’s doctor changed his meds and he sounded refreshingly normal, saying that he wanted to visit me and my daughter for the first time in over a year. I was super excited, thinking I might have my old Dad back. Then, pretty much right after he pulled into my driveway after an 8-hour drive, he told me that he was in a romantic relationship with Girl 4 and how they were going to get married and live happily ever after and I just stood in the doorway, stunned. I let him in because I didn’t know what else to do, and he spent pretty much the entire visit calling her and texting her, and trying to get me to approve of their relationship. I was so blindsided that all I said was that I didn’t want to talk about it because it made me uncomfortable, and asked him to please put down his phone and pay attention to us while he was here.
I don’t know what to do, Bees. I’m already estranged from my abusive mom and her side of the family, so my crazy Dad and my uncle are the only family I have left. On the other hand, I’m shaken up and deeply disturbed by Dad’s behavior and I don’t want my daughter to be exposed to this. My wonderful husband bought me chocolates and two bottles of my favorite saké and said he will support whatever decision I make. My father-in-law says he’s utterly disgusted by my Dad and that if I’m too spineless to protect myself then he will. According to a voicemail l my Dad left me yesterday begging for sympathy, Father-In-Law called him up and said to him, “You are dead to me and I care absolutely nothing for you.”
I haven’t responded to any of Dad’s communications since he left because I’m paralyzed and trying to process all this.
Please help. I feel so alone right now.