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Day 11 Anyone else dealing with dad issues?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Aziz, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. Aziz

    Aziz Peer Supporter

    As I've dug into the SEP and journaled more about specific memories from childhood, I've discovered this startling insight:

    My dad was incapable of emotionally expression, tenderness, or presence.

    As a result, I grew up without much connection or life guidance from him - how to deal with feelings, make friends, dating and relationships... Any deep conversation about anything really.

    He closed himself off emotionally due to his own childhood trauma, and preferred to have more of an overseeing relationship with his kids. His role was to earn money and be around the house (usually doing his own thing). But not pay much attention to us emotionally or deeply know us.

    As I see all this, I feel a deep, intense, and very persistent feeling of ache and longing in the center of my chest. My heart burns.

    I spend time each day focusing on it directly, sending that inner child love. Journaling about memories, etc.

    I am going once a week to therapy. I talk with my wife about it. I give the attention and love to my two small children that I didn't receive from my dad (that last one feels especially healing).

    I bring my mind out of TMS obsession loops when it tries to focus on my pain or some other distraction.

    But, man, that heartache. It's hard to sit with. Honestly, I want it to go away faster, although I don't think I can just "make it go away" without more suppression.

    Anyone else dealing with or dealt with a dismissive father heartache situation?

    Hearing about your experience, insights, and growth would sure help. Thank you!
  2. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    I believe an important part of this is to accept the emotions and to forgive him for the lack of support that he gave you. Be angry at him, cry out, kick his ass in your mind, but at the end give him a hug and tell him you forgive him.
    Maybe the positive thing here is that it made you realize how important it is to show your love and compassion to your own children. That's worth more than gold.
    take care!
  3. sacolucci23

    sacolucci23 Peer Supporter

    My mother was the same way. She spent her life trying to get "a new one", after her divorce with my father when I was only 2. I was just a traveling companion of hers while she jumped from relationship to relationship.

    My mother never cared about my school work or asked me how I felt about big things like a new man living with us or changing schools or moving around so much. She was totally emotionally absent. I realize now I was emotionally abandoned and that is why my life is all about "control." I need to feel safe because I never did. I've always tried to be tough like these things never bothered me. I guess they did.
  4. Aziz

    Aziz Peer Supporter

    Thanks for sharing sacoulucci and Gigalos.

    I can see the cycle as I do this work. How my dad was wounded in the same way and just passed it down to me...

    The core message he communicated when he was angry was:

    “I am angry at you. I hate you. You failed me. You aren’t good enough.”

    This is the root of my perfectionism and striving - to avoid this response or reaction from others.

    As I discover this, I tell myself:

    "Sweet Aziz. I am so sorry you got this message from dad on the soccer field and everywhere else in life. This is so toxic and sad. It’s so unfortunate, and it’s not true. He had his own deep, deep wounds that he never addressed. And so, your existence, your vulnerability, you simply being the age that he once was, triggered the pain that he had kept locked away and avoided for decades. But then you were there and BAM it came flooding in. Too intense, too painful for him, so he ramps up his nervous system and out comes rage - at you, at life, and everything."

    That was the same message he received as a kid.
  5. Time2be

    Time2be Well known member

    I guess fathers are in a different way difficult for men. For girls and women the father can be the first adored male. Not so in my case. I have a father who is unsecure and at the same time dominating the family. He was violent towards my mother, me and my sister. He is a hypochondriac and whenever he is frightened of just another disease he gives all of us a really hard time. He is demanding, narcissistic and can be a bully. This evening he called me because he is afraid of having some sort of cancer. I told him of course to calm down and told him a bit cynical that at his age, he is 85, he will die of something else than this cancer (which I am quite sure is nothing). Do I now pity my father? I try to see the old man who never really loved life because he was so busy to safeguard himself from sickness. And then I ask myself to forgive him. But I can’t. I know why and how thing happened to me. But I cannot accept that an adult treats a child as he did with me. For me there is a difference between letting go and forgiving. I let go of the struggle with father. But I don’t forgive him.
    So, my experience is a father who was also often not present, and if so, he often either unsecure or commanding. I remember only a few situations where I felt relaxed and loved. This lack of recognition by the father is a huge problem in modern societies, basically the father is not present in families other than the breadwinner and the ‘chief’. I think that men today have the chance to rise their kids differently. And this could also be a chance for people with TMS ...
    Gigalos and Aziz like this.
  6. Aziz

    Aziz Peer Supporter

    Thanks for sharing Time2be. I think the forgiveness element is complex, and hastily encouraged by most people, including therapists. I think there is great value in feeling all the feelings and not rushing to or trying to force forgiveness.

    I find that in this process, as I really dig and feel the hurt of the young boy inside me, I at times feel deep sadness and loneliness, then rage. But I also feel love for my dad, seeing his limitations and the wounded boy inside of him.
    Gigalos likes this.
  7. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Aziz,

    I am with you on this view. In my experience, it takes a strong capacity to hang out with the ache, which you are doing. As you're finding, the forgiveness will happen in its own time, as your heart softens. The wounded heart, as you're exploring is a deep key to being compassion, both for yourself and others. It seems you have the strength and love to do this "generational healing" work. And it starts by hanging out in the place you don't want to: the hurt and disappointment, and grief.

    Our tender hearts won't let us down, and indeed my greatest vulnerability turns into the deepest love. The more you do this work, the more deeply the transference which we project onto the world, left over from childhood --issues of an unloving, non-attuned Universe in everyday life, this will change. The love everywhere becomes more available to us. And it starts in your heart, as you know.

    plum likes this.
  8. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    I think you are doing good work toward healing your heart and your mind. Also, as you ask for ideas, as we share, and hear you and each other, we all benefit. So, thank you.

    Reading this thread brings my heart rate up. Yes, I deal with dad issues. My dad was angry and scary. Many years ago I was in therapy, with him as much of the focus. One very helpful exercise I was taught, and I used a lot, was to act out childhood memories. In therapy and by myself, I would pretend my dad parented in a loving way. Our brain doesn't know the difference between a scary tiger and and a scary thought. Maybe the same works in soothing, your brain doesn't know it isn't really talking with your dad.

    It might feel silly, but if only you are there, and it helps, who cares?


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