Struggling to forgive Dad after Mum’s passing

posted 2 weeks ago in Emotional
Post # 2
3636 posts
Sugar bee

I am so sorry for your loss. I dont have much specific advice for this situation, but I just wanted to tell you to be kind to yourself and dont put pressure on yourself to forgive your father before you are ready. Your father has exhibited a number of narcissistic traits throughout your entire life, and you are dealing with very real trauma from that. Add into it the grief you have over losing your mom and I can imagine you’re just feeling a whirlwind of emotions right now. I defintely think counseling is a great idea to help you work through all of this and also empower you to put up better boundaries with your father. 

I also highly recommend the book “Set Boundaries, Find Peace” by Nedra Glover Tawwab.

And the instagram account nate_postlethwait is also really good for working through childhood trauma due to having a narc-like parent.

Sending you love and strength <3

Post # 3
1441 posts
Bumble bee

Firstly, I am so sorry for your loss and that the issues with your dad are compounding your pain. You’ve done nothing wrong placing some boundaries and putting space between the two of you. You deserve time to process in peace and figure out what you want the relationship to look like moving forward. 

I do think that your only solution here is to try and let all of this resentment go. It’s unlikely your dad is going to change at this point or even fully see how his behavior has affected you. Therapy helped me alot with dealing with my strained relationship with my mom. 


Post # 4
580 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I’m sorry for your loss and I don’t blame you for having complicated feelings about your dad right now. It’s okay to take a step back from being in touch with him while you grieve if you think that would help you. Grief counselling for you and your family might help if any of you are needing someone outside the family to listen. 

Post # 5
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

First off I am so sorry for your loss. My dad is currently in moderate stage dementia and it is quite frankly a b*tch of a disease. It’s enough to process on it’s own, even with my parents still together. I cannot imagine how much harder this process has been for you with your dad creating so much extra drama! Your dad was definitely in the wrong crossing so many boundaries, especially if it would have put your mom in distress to see him. I agree with others it may be best for you to take a step back from your relationship with him, set some boundaries, and for sure seek out counseling. 

Post # 6
1162 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 1996

Dear BellaBeau,

First and most importantly, I am so sorry you lost your mother, particulary since she had dementia.  I have seen dementia up close and personal, and it is simply awful on top of awful.

Your dad has in many ways been a terrible husband and father.  Right now you need to do whatever you need to do to protect yourself from him and distance yourself from him.  The loss of your mother is especially terrible since the grieving starts long before the death of the loved one, and continues long after.  You need to take good care of yourself and if that means no contact with dad for a while, so be it.

I hope you will seek counseling/therapy.  There is a lot to unpack here between your sadness and grief, as well as your understandable anger toward your father and all the crap he has put you through.  Forgiving him may be possible some day, but that is not your priority right now.  YOU are your priority.

I extend my deepest and most heartfelt condolences. 

Post # 7
2186 posts
Buzzing bee

Sending hugs.  Bereavement is horrible at the best of times, without this on top.

Be gentle with yourself.  You don’t need to make any decisions yet about contact with your father.  And whether or not you decide to stay in touch in future, right now, you just need some space to heal.

It sounds as if he has never accepted that his marriage to your mother was over – he’s acting more like they were very recently separated than divorced for 10 years.  I guess your father could probably do with counselling to help him accept reality and move on, but I doubt he’s going to take that route.  So I suggest you focus on yourself, consider getting bereavement counselling and also get some help in working out what boundaries to set with him.

Also, don’t forget that however much stress your father has caused you, nothing can take away the relationship you had with your mother and the memories you still have.  You’re also still in the very early stages of grieving.  My father had a ‘good’ death and I had nothing like the drama you have had to deal with, yet I was still struggling with deep pain & depression about 6 months after the funeral.  It takes time to heal properly from a bereavement – there’s no ‘right’ time to reach any particular stage.  All I would say is that if you feel you are making no progress at all in your healing after 3 months, you should definitely consider counselling – some people work through without it, some people do better with it.  Again, there is no right or wrong decision as long as what you decide works for you xxx  

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