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afraid of my feelings I have about my dad

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Lizzy, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    I don't really understand what I am feeling. I wanted to share it and hear what you all think, and if anyone else found similar feelings.

    My dad was emotionally abusive. My first memory of a feeling is fear. By 12 I understood I hated him. I don't ever remember wanting a relationship that was improved, I wanted to have nothing to do with him.

    As I was journalling about the hate in my teens and still being afraid of him, I realised what I am afraid of is that he will hurt me. So, if he hurts me, I am feeling an emotion other than hate. I am so distant from my feelings I don't know what that emotion is. I am afraid I will feel......what? What does "he can hurt my feelings" mean?

    I feel embarrassed asking, but I'm not suppossed to tell myself " you shouldn't" ;)

    Any thoughts?
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm not sure I know what you mean, but perhaps "he can hurt my feelings" means that he can make you feel unloved, unworthy of his love, inferior, stupid, selfish--in other words, he can completely undermine your self-esteem.

    I was afraid of my father, too, though he never raised a hand to me. It was how he was able to make me feel bad about myself, and withhold his love, which as a child was what I wanted most.

    I hope you are finding it helpful to journal about these issues. I know how hard it is, but it does help in the long run.
  3. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Thanks Ellen, that is exactly what I have wondered, but wasn't sure if that is the sort of thing that would come up. Ironicly I was in counselling for 3 years, but spent more time working on just coping. At that time in my life ( around 30) that was all I wanted. Now, trying to think of feelings about him is very hard.

    I'm sorry about your father, but sadly we have lots of company in this area. My dad was never violent either, but I felt he could easily lose control. Looking back I think it was about control through fear. I don't think he was on the edge, I think he wanted us to think he was. I never remember wanting his love, but I do remember wanting his approval before about 8. After that I knew it was not possible, but I instead tried to keep from being noticed after that.

    I will have to journal alot more about him. I don't feel much when I journal, but my heart pounds when I post about him, so I know there is hope of getting to the feelings.

    Thanks again!
  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Lizzy,
    I am glad you can resonate with Ellen's post. This feeling of being fearful and a little vulnerable to his shutting you out probably is a deeper feeling than the hate. You are closer to your hurt around your father. Not feeling much or being a little confused is natural when there is so much potential pain.

    You are opening very tender places slowly. I hope you treat yourself well, and know that you are doing important, difficult work. You are getting to the feelings.

    Andy B.
  5. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi Lizzy,

    When I was working out my dad issues with a therapist, I started with all the fear and confusion I had about his violence toward my brother and mother (he never hit me, just them). I relived all those horrible things then eventually I was able to let them go. When he died many years later, I felt extremely relieved because I knew he was out of his misery and he could no longer hurt me or anyone else. But then I had to grieve not having had a proper father. That's hard for a child. Fathers are suppose to guide and protect their daughters. I didn't get that, so I have always felt a little unsafe in the world. It doesn't hurt anymore now, but it did for a long time.

    My point is that even if you don't need your father, you may be sad about not having a better one. Just a thought...
    Ellen likes this.
  6. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Andy, it has been so long since I have allowed a vulnerable feeling to come up, and it does feel tender. The connection between emotional and physical doesn't seem so intangible as I think about how I'm feeling, and this is mostly the feelings around thinking about the feelings. It isn't pleasant, but that tells me its important to explore. Thank you for your insights.

    Blake, I am sure I need to let my feelings come up enough to be able to allow the sadness. I have been indignant that he never protected me, but that is a cover up. In the past I refused the idea that I could feel sad about our bad relationship, but even if it was when I was very young, I now understand it is still fresh in the sub-c. I have had a very "tough" shell that is not serving me well. Thank you for sharing your past. Just in the short time since starting this thread I am aware of more feelings. Maybe they have been there but I have ignored them.

    While doesn't feel good, I know it is good. Plus, I have support here and my husband is a super guy and helping me too.

    Thank you all, Lizzy
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love how you write about this Lizzy. I'm hanging on each word, coming closer...feeling more. You are playing with a sweet fire my dear!

    Ultimately when we are vulnerable, we are vulnerable to ourselves, our deeper self, and this indeed is a sweet tenderness. Tenderness not like a bruise or a wound, but that is the way we might first encounter it. And I have sure felt "tenderized"---as like by a meat hammer! The vulnerability to the depth of ourselves can be a Tenderness like a ripe peach. So soft and sweet we want to spend lots of time there! Our own tender sweetness. What could be more delicious?

    A sweet fire, Lizzy!

    Andy B.

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