Post # 31
as some one who came from a Jerry Springer family, and escaped it at 17….
Do you. Do not tolerate emotional blackmail or drama. The moment the channel changes tell them it’s unacceptable. Cut and run.” I am hanging up now, goodbye.”
Teach them with your responses, what your boundaries are. You have no duty to be drawn.into their terminal drama. Treat them like the 5 year olds they are behaving like.
Post # 32
Thanks for the interesting topic. I think many had problems with their family. To do this, it is worth thinking strategically and have some kind of benefit from every moment (comment moderated for self promotion) you can familiarize yourself with a number of strategies that will help you take a good rest from problems.
Post # 33
please take your spammy crap elsewhere.
Post # 34
Holy moly. Honestly I can’t imagine having this kind of toxic energy in my life. I know it’s easier said than done when you aren’t in the situation…but if it were me I’d be cutting ties and going no-contact. Like someone else said, you are not responisble for anyone else’s happiness. You should NOT be in the middle of their dysfunction and problems.
Post # 35
This is an older thread but I wanted to comment to say that I really hope you are in a healthier and happier place. I come from a similar background and understand a bit about the turmoil you must be going through. Many hugs to you, bee.
Post # 36
so, this was way earlier this year. I suppose an update is in order since some troll decided to resurrect this thread!
I did not speak to my dad for 6 months after this incident; however, when we took our trip in late June (the one during which my fiancé proposed), I asked my mom to babysit my dog. When I dropped him off, of course my dad was there—so we had a talk. My father has struggled with his mental health for his entire life, and his abusive actions have consistently been a reflection of that. I frankly told him that he needed to own up to what he did (and has been doing) to my mom for all these years, and that he needed to hold himself accountable for his own actions. I told him that I was sick of the excuses and that he cannot control anyone else’s actions—if someone does or says something that upsets you, you walk the fuck away, because if you don’t and they continue to make you angry, physically lashing out is YOUR FAULT (crazy that I had to have this conversation with a man of almost 60, but I digress).
He apologized to me and said he would do better. I told him it was time that he got help, and that if he didn’t, then I would cut him out of my life for good. I told him that I knew I’d be getting married soon, and if any grandchildren were to be had within the next 10 years or so, he would never see them because I don’t want them around what I grew up around.
Fast forward to today, my father has been seeing a therapist and has been taking his medication to treat his bipolar disorder. We recently bought a house, and my parents came up a couple of weeks ago to see it. We all went to dinner, and they genuinely seemed to get along—not just the bogus put-on that I’ve been used to seeing in public between them for my whole life. I spoke to my mom privately, and she said their relationship is better than it has ever been.
TL;DR: my parents’ relationship has had way more struggles than I EVER intend to endure within any relationship I’ll ever have; however, I am happy that they’re finally in a better place. It only took 27 years to get there!
Post # 37
This is an amazing update, and I’ so proud of you for having this incredibly difficult conversation with your dad. You totally rock!
My father was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He’s currently being medicated. I don’t live near him but our limited interactions and the comments from others lead me to believe that he has drastically improved. It is due to this improvement that we are able to have somewhat of a relationship.
I wish you the best of luck!
Post # 38
Wonderful news Bee. I applaud you for what you did and are doing.
Post # 39
This. Exactly, 100,000% this. My only regret is that I waited until I was in my 40s to dump my horrible parents.
As a child, it was natural to believe things would get better. It took decades for me to shake that off.
Life is short.
ETA: I fell for the troll bump.
But, what an awesome update!
Post # 40
This is great, Bee! Bipolar is so treatable with therapy and meds. It sounds like your father is sticking with it. Treatment can be very hard in the beginning. There is often a lot of trial and error with meds and dosing.
Unfortunately, there are not many good outcomes with abusers. Personality disorders don’t respond to treatment.
I am glad that your dad’s condition is one that is treatable.
Post # 41
thanks for the support! I suppose because my dad has gone untreated for my entire existence, it’s hard for me to tell what he’s like when he’s actually undergoing treatment. I always looked at him as an abusive asshole, and while not enough time has yet passed to say he’s gotten better, it gives me a glimmer of hope that his actions were simply from him having an untreated mental illness.
now, I do still fully expect him to be accountable for his actions, regardless of the mental illness (I am absolutely not one to excuse poor treatment of others just because of an undiagnosed/untreated mental illness—once you’re a grown ass adult, it’s on you to take care of your own mental health); however, it’s comforting to know that he seems to be improving. for my entire life, he was all doom-and-gloom with his outlook on life, but now he seems like he’s honestly taking major steps towards becoming a happier person altogether. it gives me a hope that he’s not an intentional abuser at his core. that helps me a lot with my cognitive dissonance issues towards my family.
in addition, he’s started to take care of his physical health (a couple of years ago, he started eating healthier and cut out smoking after being a pack-a-day smoker for over 30 hears), so I’m optimistic that he’s really trying to turn his life around!
Post # 42
Such a positive update. Well done for laying it all out for your Dad. Amazing.
Post # 43
Your dad sounds like one of the very few who has the potential to turn it around.
There is an enormous difference between a mood disorder and a personality disorder. The mood disorders are essentially biochemical. Some traumas can cause disruptions in brain chemistry (this is exactly why ketamine therapy works especially well with PTSD). Maybe you can also inherit wacked out chemicals. Lots of interesting research exists on this. FWIW, I would watch for drugs that affect glutamate as the next gen of antidepressants. The SSRIs and SSNIs have been a huge disappointment.
Personality disorders just *are*. Asking a Cluster B (low/no conscience PDs) to stop being an asshole is like asking him to get taller. The new research on the Cluster Bs is really fascinating. They’re finding structural and chemical differences in their brains. So much for nature vs nurture.
*Some* do show mild improvements with antidepressants or anti anxiety meds; but, they usually are not reliable about taking meds.
Bipolar is often a challenge to diagnose because it can present so much like Borderline PD, which is a Cluster B. But, a correct diagnosis is crucial for treatment purposes.
I would be optimistic about your dad as long as he is willing to stay in therapy and consistently takes his meds.
What really separates the abusers who actually have some potential for change from the totally irredeemable majority is a willingness to own their abusiveness fully. That includes *not* putting blame on the victim; not blaming *stress*, his job, or Mercury being in retrograde.
Did you ever read Lundy Bancroft’s book, Why Does He Do That? That might be a good read for you right now.
Post # 44
I realize that this is an older post but I can certainly relate to this. My mom was best friends with my aunt when she was 13 or so- so she’s been in my dad’s life forever. They got together really young and they don’t know how to live without each other. My mom had a few back surgeries and got hooked on pain killers while my dad is an alcoholic. My dad always supported us and my mom never worked. Growing up I was ALWAYS the mediator between their blowouts. Literally sending them both to their rooms (they never shared a bed for as long as I can remember). I would beg them to let it lie so I could go to sleep and go to school the next day. They always vent to me about each other and as a result I have grown up to be quite codependent. This is something that I am working on in therapy, so boundaries is something I am just learning for the first time. For the first time in my life about a month ago, I asked my mom never to ask me what she should do in her marriage again. It was a weird feeling. I didn’t realize how much of my upbringing flowed into my relationships with other people. Now I am conscious of giving unsolicited advice, I am learning to say NO (hopefully someday without guilt) and I know what I do NOT want to carry on into my marriage and the family that I build. I am choosing to break the cycle of dysfunction and not include my children in my issues. It is so hard to watch people who are miserable with each other but they refuse to do anything to change their situation. All I can do is learn from it and move on with my own life. I am so happy to hear that your family is getting some help and have a chance at a happier future. I hope that you can build a stronger relationship with your parents and let the old scars heal.