Bitch on the Blog

April 9, 2017

Not Trump – MY father

Filed under: Family — bitchontheblog @ 16:07
Tags: , , , ,

This is pretty raw stuff since it only happened a few minutes ago.

Most of you, obviously, will have/had parents.  My father drives me to despair. I am trying, hard. The expenditure of energy when talking to him (on the phone) bears no relation to how terrible I feel afterwards. For ages.

The man doesn’t let me finish one thought, not even one sentence. If I make it to a comma I count myself lucky. Talking over me. Shouting down the line. Am I deaf? It’s awful.  

Bloody hell. It’s a Sunday afternoon, the sun is shining, I tried to phone my mother (she was out) served with my father answering the phone. Now I am sitting here, not exactly five years old any longer, crying. And yes, I did put the phone down on him, eventually. There are limits. And mine stretch far,

Leaving aside that he has always been overbearing, are we now entering that land of the lost old? The land where they are so obtuse they don’t know what they are doing? For heavens sake, I am the one of his children who loyally holds out. The one who is always at the end of the telephone line.  I can’t do this any more.

Anyway, any of you, please let me know what you think.

The odd thing is, my mother being four years older than my father (he will be eighty later this year) is who she always was (albeit physically wilting as roses do) – but fully compos mentis. My father? I hate to think of him like that but I think he becoming more of what he always was. And maybe – unlike his wife, my mother – not with it that much any longer. Or maybe, likely, he is just frustrated how his life has panned out.

I don’t know.

Pretty distraught,

U

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22 Comments »

  1. Yep, life is what it is, not what we want it to be. It took me a long time to learn how to protect myself from people who I care about but who rant and don’t let others get a word in sideways.

    I can understand why your father’s decline is hard, but then, ours is too! 😀

    Comment by Cheerfulmonk — April 9, 2017 @ 18:48 | Reply

    • Thank you, Jean. I appreciate you taking the time to answer – more than you may imagine.

      I definitely do have some hurdle, emotionally, I can’t get over, yet should a life two thirds lived. I never give up, am bewildered as my often quoted five year old self was. It’s ridiculous.

      You mention “our” own decline.. Of course. Yet, I sincerely hope I’ll pack it in before I give my son grief whilst still alive.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 9, 2017 @ 23:10 | Reply

  2. Ursula, I so feel you on this one! My dad remains the same but mum becomes more and more of what she was. She doesn’t listen, always has a strong opinion on what actions should be taken and when and how, regardless of how viable the ideas are and if her bulldozing ways don’t work she turns everything around so that I am at fault. If I mention a word of it to my sister, my sister tells me I am stupid for even attempting a conversation with mum but she is my mother so I give the benefit of doubt to the point of exhaustion

    Comment by Kylie — April 9, 2017 @ 21:56 | Reply

    • You sound a bit like me, Kylie, and your sister sounds like one of mine. Where does one draw the line when it comes to parents?

      I dread next time I speak to my mother. She is no fool and will know that, once more, I have hit a wall with my father. Yes, fathers. I have that ideal of a father. My grandfather was ideal – for me he was my first father. Tough act to follow – no doubt. My own father? Looking back he has always been more of a challenge than any comfort. Not that he would let any of us down – in his own way. It’s this/his blasted age thing that I don’t seem to be able to cope with well.

      Am currently watching an American TV series with the Angel. One of the characters, and the Angel rolls his eyes – not because he doesn’t understand what I am talking about but because I keep saying it – who is my ideal father. No bullshit. Straight through the middle. Yet benign.

      Running low on tissues.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 9, 2017 @ 23:22 | Reply

  3. it’s not my parents I have problems with (they both died when I wasn’t even in the country in my early 20s…) it’s my elderly sister who just can’t get off a wave band that is completely unacceptable. Now to a point where I have not spoken to her since 1st week in January and not seen her since Boxing Day. One of my friends is taken aback until I pointed out – that sister could easily phone me, and if I don’t answer leave a short phone message – it’s a 2-way street!

    I have seen her daughter a couple of times, along with her grandson; daughters’ ex-dh and his new partner (who I actually like)…today at some point sisters’ son and newer family arriving – so there could be communication made but the trip isn’t about me – it’s about my elderly sister…hopefully I can keep them at arms length.

    I know others will say family is VIP but it’s the nugget “you can chose your friends, but not your family” and U – it’s not my parents that I’m having difficulties with 🙂

    Comment by cedar51 — April 10, 2017 @ 06:39 | Reply

    • Hope all goes well with today’s visit, Catherine. Main thing is to stay as relaxed as you can. Please don’t anticipate problems where maybe there won’t be any.

      Out of interest: Did your sister take on the role of “mother” as you are so much younger than your siblings?

      Again, good luck with today; don’t lose your cool,
      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 10, 2017 @ 07:05 | Reply

      • I don’t believe she had my needs as in Mothering me – although Mother was rather unwell when I was born, then when the dust settled, she went back to her own life (she was still single at that point). But now sometimes when she gifts me some money she will say/write “on behalf of our parents” – really strange because she nearly says it’s for to “do what you like…” so now I rarely say what it’s used for – because she got very angry with me when I said I used it to pay the phone bill!!! And of course, she gives the old fashioned cheque, which I just can’t go to the bank and cash – I have to put it in my bank account – how I’m supposed to have it separate is beyond me – okay “so I take out the amount” – “now what?” – of course it’s just going to be used!!!

        Comment by cedar51 — April 13, 2017 @ 03:02 | Reply

        • Interesting turn of phrase “on behalf of our parents”. Your sister is clearly trying to help as best she can without wishing you having to “thank” her profusely for her generosity.

          As to the phone bill. Her objection, if you can call it that, is more common than one might think. Often when people gift you money they want it to be for something “special” – not spending it on the profanities of daily life. I once met with considerable anger in a similar situation, not because the person was angry with me, but angry that life had dealt me a financial shit card (cue 2009) and its occasionally still reverberating fallout.

          Best to cut people some slack, think an intention benign. So, whilst your sister might not come across how you’d like her to at least she appears to still care for you.

          U

          Comment by bitchontheblog — April 13, 2017 @ 09:45 | Reply

  4. My father too was not willing to listen to me whenever I had called him to enquire about his wellbeing before he moved in with me. It was after he came to live with us that I discovered that he was partially deaf and could not hear properly on the phone. He was too proud to get himself hearing aids and after I got him a set too he refused to wear them. Perhaps that is the problem with your father too.

    Comment by rummuser — April 10, 2017 @ 11:08 | Reply

    • Oh my dear Ramana, thank you for making me smile. What an optimist you are. Another friend, like you of a kind disposition, suggested the same. My father isn’t losing his hearing. He is losing his manners.

      It’s a great pity it’s come to this. Whilst my father has never been easy to be around he was always interesting. He is extremely well educated and has a formidable brain. Discussions with him used to be so stimulating, so exciting. Now? Now, I suppose, it’s best if I just listen to his rants. And they have become rants. I suppose what I was lamenting in my above post, and not for the first time, that I am “losing” the father i once knew and quite liked.

      U

      PS You may also like to read my reply to Looney’s comment. Maybe you’ll be pleased to know that I have a learnt a lesson and am determined to act upon it

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 10, 2017 @ 12:48 | Reply

  5. My dad never listens to me…. and yes, I think he is also frustrated by how his life panned out.
    Sx

    Comment by Scarlet — April 10, 2017 @ 11:38 | Reply

    • Hi, Scarlet. Have been missing you.

      After a long and largely sleepless night I have decided to change my approach to my father by not expecting any longer how our discussions used to be. The other day I mentioned grief. And, to my cost – not just with my father, I have come to realize that we may grieve for losing the living before they die.

      That both our fathers’ life, possibly, didn’t pan out the way they hoped is, of course, not only a great pity but pitiable.

      Hope all is well with you.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 10, 2017 @ 12:57 | Reply

  6. I still have two parents and two parents-in-law to talk with. Not much has changed in the pattern of our conversations for many decades. but the nature of the conversation with each one of them is different.

    Comment by Looney — April 10, 2017 @ 12:00 | Reply

    • What you say, Looney, is self understood.

      The test comes when old age combines with an already difficult character. And unlike, say Ramana or some of my other friends who have to deal with their parents’ fallout of old age, I haven’t even opened the “rule book” yet, never mind understanding what is going on.

      However, and on a more practical note, this morning, after a miserable night, I decided to completely change my approach to my father. Mainly for my own benefit because I can’t allow myself being felled by him every single time as has been happening for some time now.

      How? Simple. I have switched off all expectation of a sensible discussion as we used to have. To understand, Looney: My father and I rarely talk about the personal, we mainly discuss the world and its Gods. And that has always been most stimulating. What isn’t stimulating when you get the feeling that whatever I say (if I am allowed to finish a sentence – or two) is immaterial. His monologues become more and more unleashed. The moment my alarm bells started ringing – and never more than yesterday afternoon – that he jumps from subject to subject, the subjects being unrelated. Doesn’t make sense.

      His hopping back and forth leaves me so perplexed my mind spins. It was the one funny moment of yesterday’s conversation when I fell silent and even HE noticed that he’d left me speechless. Alas, when I told him why I had run out of puff, he didn’t acknowledge what I’d said, just went off on another roller coaster.

      Still, he said one good thing, and it chimes in a little with what you said in your comment, That he and his wife, my mother, couldn’t be more different. And he is right. Clearly a case for “Opposites attract”.

      Should any of your parents and parents-in-law ever change I think you, Looney, the type of person who will take it in your stride, patiently so. As I am now determined to do.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 10, 2017 @ 12:46 | Reply

  7. I had to disengage from my bullying father for a while when he was in his early eighties. His condemnation of my life had gotten worse and I learned that whatever character defects we have in life magnify intolerably as we age.

    For some reason my disengagement softened him and I saw, briefly, for one glorious summer before he died, the father I had always dreamed of.

    Bottom line lesson: we don’t have to take abuse. From anyone.

    Big hug.

    XO
    WWW

    Comment by wisewebwoman — April 10, 2017 @ 13:05 | Reply

    • Thank you for the hug, WWW. I am still pretty shaken but determined to not allow myself to be affected again. I will not neglect or abandon my father. What I will do is lower my expectation, make allowances. Having said that, it is so sad, WWW, it is so sad. I am welling up as I am writing these words.

      My father was always a “big” man. A man of great intellect. To see that the rot may have set in (I am not making excuses for him) is the day I dreaded. What is so strange that my mother is physically becoming frailer whilst he is still an oxen, yet mentally? Must be all those vexing cross words she is doing and he refuses to do.

      Will visit yours later this afternoon. You are in my thoughts often.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 10, 2017 @ 13:27 | Reply

  8. My father died many years ago. He was also pretty overbearing and censorious. Very hard to silence someone like that. My mother is the opposite. Trying to get anything out of her is like trying to get blood out of a stone.

    Comment by nick — April 10, 2017 @ 21:27 | Reply

    • Interesting, Nick. Maybe your mother’s refusal is a defense mechanism. I sometimes keep myself to myself which is never meant as rejection. Often it’s almost a kindness as not to burden others with some momentary dilemma/misery/whatever. Yet I have, not least by my sisters, been accused of being secretive, private. Well, yes, I am private. Though going by the above blog post you wouldn’t think so, would you?

      In which spirit, and it is a very personal question: Were you relieved when your father died? Did it take a weight of your shoulders? Did it take a weight of your mother’s shoulders? Or is she, to this day, mourning his demise?

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 10, 2017 @ 23:46 | Reply

      • I was very relieved when my father died. He never accepted me as a fully independent, free thinking adult, and we hadn’t spoken for about 20 years (mainly his intransigence, not mine). I think my mother, as you suggested, is still mourning and still has a high opinion of him. Though I couldn’t be sure of that because of the reticence I referred to.

        Comment by nick — April 11, 2017 @ 06:51 | Reply

  9. As you may recall, I’ve never been close to my father as he was never really a significant part of my life growing up and my relationship with my mother wasn’t the best, either, after she left my sister and me with her parents for several years. With your post about “grief” the other day, I came to realize that, many times over the years, I experienced a sense of grief over what never was: a “normal” childhood in a normal home with both parents.

    Your frustration and distress in the changes in your father is understandable, I think. We experienced some of that with my mother-in-law, though in different ways, for quite a few of her last several years.

    I am envious, though, that you had a relationship with a father who was “always interesting… extremely well educated and has a formidable brain…. (discussions) used to be so stimulating, so exciting.” I can only imagine. My dad was always just an ordinary “Joe,”(1) a hard-working man who had many jobs and was decent provider for his second wife and their kids. Intellectual, no. Smart, yes. Stubborn? Of course.

    (1) The phrase, ordinary Joe, just came to me as I was writing, not intending any pun as that is what my dad is called: Joe, short for Joseph.

    Comment by Mike — April 11, 2017 @ 03:15 | Reply

    • Sometimes an “ordinary” Joe is better than a fanciful Joseph.

      Yes, Mike, I remember you mentioning that part of your youth. Odd though, isn’t it, whilst it’s culturally accepted that a father does not necessarily stick around, I myself am (harshly) judgmental when a mother doesn’t put her children first. It’s primal, as the Angel would say. And it is. For me.

      However, your mother might have found herself between a rock and a sticky place. It is so hard to look into another’s soul. Coming from a vast family, and before even mentioning those of my friends’ experiences, there are so many stories I could draw on to give your mother the “out of jail” free card. So many possible explanations I could offer you, none of which help with the grief you so openly express, namely, an ideal we have of what you call “a normal childhood”. No wonder, Mike, that we all loved the Waltons. On the other hand there were Bonanza (dad, no mum) and Big Valley (mum, no dad) – but both families with strong ties. And happy endings. And lost children stuffing the witch into the oven and finding their way back home with the evil stepmother gone. If I don’t stop this minute I’ll be way on the way of compiling an encyclopedia (dastardly word to spell) of paradises lost and found.

      U

      Comment by bitchontheblog — April 13, 2017 @ 09:44 | Reply

  10. Having a difficult Parent or one who ages to being Unlovely can be trying as Hell… I have a point of reference only it was Dear Old Mom who could be very complicated, especially as she Aged Bless her Heart. Both of my Parents are now gone and I would give anything to have a day, even a difficult one, with either of them, I Miss them every single day since they have passed into the afterlife. Cherish that you still have them and perhaps take a stiff drink to settle your nerves if Coping with how he is becoming is just Too Much. *Winks* I am a full time Caregiver now of a Spouse with Traumatic Brain Injury and two Special Needs Grands, Love them all to the Moon and back… but some days… well… it’s like you said! *Smiles* Big Virtual Hugs, you are a Good Adult Child and they are therefore Richly Blessed Parents, both of them! Dawn… The Bohemian

    Comment by Bohemian Valhalla — April 13, 2017 @ 08:15 | Reply


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