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I need advice please

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by patrickj, Oct 7, 2022.

  1. patrickj

    patrickj Well known member

    Hi all

    I’ve never had a close relationship with my Dad. We’re not necessarily “fell out” or anything, just never been friends as such. He’s never supported me with anything and is an old fashioned “get on with it” type of character. Never had any emotional connection. He’s only ever interested in what my job is and how much money I’m making. He had his own business and did really well money wise. This is one of the many reasons for my TMS.
    Anyway, he unusually asked how I am on a text the other day and rather than just say fine I said:

    “Stress, anxiety, crippling back pain, neck pain and severe headaches and dizziness which I’ve had for weeks”

    Here is the reply I received today:

    “Hiya Patrick,
    As your father and some one who loves you as much as you love your daughter, I’m going to give you some fatherly advice.
    You say your back is hurting, you neck is hurting, you have head aches, dizziness etc, firstly you say these things too much and people are starting to think your an hypochondriac and always moaning, they then stop listening, You really need to stop doing it even when you’re not feeling well you must say your fine! Other people have aches and pains too
    You say you have Stress and anxiety, why ?? You have so much good in your life! And if you don’t think that then change it! You’re a man now you need to show strength and be positive ( even when you may not think it , you still act like it) , the more you do this the easier it gets (honestly I know) your wife and daughter need this more than you realise
    I know you can’t change over night but you must start now not tomorrow but now!!!
    If you’re feeling unwell rest then get on with it
    You’re halfway through your life now so start to enjoy it, be positive, be happy, smile like you use to, do things that make you happy, change the things that are making you unhappy.
    I will stand bye you no matter what., unlike the absolute waist of a time I had for a dad who did nothing.
    If this text offends you then I’m sorry but to love someone means you do for them what they need and suffer the consequences , hopefully you understand why I’m sending it and what I’m saying . start talking with me , man to man together we’ll fix the issue . Love you Patrick. Dad xxxx
    Ps which job have you decided to take?”

    Wtf do I say to that?

    The fact “people are starting to think I’m a hydrochondiac” - I always say it’s none of my business what other people think. And what is he trying to achieve saying that?

    Obviously he’s very ignorant and doesn’t understand my perspective.

    However on another side of the coin, from a TMS approach a lot of what he says is right. I do show my pain too much attention and am trying my best. But he doesn’t understand over 10 years of chronic pain and the mental strain of that.

    I’m a classic case of a walking chronic pain / depression sufferer. If I had a walking stick or bed bound it would be a different response.

    Anyway, I hope somebody responds with thoughts and advice?
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    How do you feel about what he said. You mention what you think about it, but not how it makes you feel. I read what he wrote as very supportive, he’s asking you to take responsibility for yourself, saying he knows that helping yourself will take time. He’s saying that to feel better you need to stop playing victim and do what you need to do to gain back a quality of life. Dr. Hanscom addresses this directly. Victimizing ourselves is not self love or self kindness. It is essentially us telling ourselves we are not worthy of enjoying life. I feel your Dad your Is saying he sees that you are very worthy. You are, essentially not being kind to yourself by seeing yourself as a person suffering.
    The free SEP program, on this website can help you with your healing journey, if you choose to take it. https://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Structured_Educational_Program (Structured Educational Program)

    Have you read a book by Dr. Sarno? That is #1 recommended reading. Dr. Hanscom has excellent blog posts on his website (a tms author/advocate), this one about self victimization:
    https://backincontrol.com/the-4-stages/stage-2-forgiveness-play/choose-not-to-be-a-victim/ (Choose Not to Be a Victim)
    It’s an inspiring read to encourage you to seek wellness and end your suffering.
  3. patrickj

    patrickj Well known member

    I feel angry, to the point of rage as Dr. Sarno would say.

    I guess there’s a lifelong backstory of zero emotional connection and feeling like a failure for not making millions by the time I’m 30. And for not being a pro golfer. And then the burning resentment for pushing me into a career where I don’t belong because he has no idea who I am, what I’m good at or what my interests are. And now I’m filled with obsession to build my own business to escape my career which ironically my dad wanted in the first place.

    Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll check them out. Also I’m trying to do the SEP Programme but I barely get a minute spare and when I do, I can’t keep my eyes open.
  4. AnonymousNick

    AnonymousNick Peer Supporter

    What rightly angers you about his response -- that sounds like positive support -- is that it's actually emotionally stifling. Look up "toxic positivity" and you'll find some interesting stuff. There's little that's more infuriating than facile advice to "just relax" if you're anxious or "just stay positive" when you're struggling. It just puts even more pressure on, and implies something is wrong with you. Getting these people out of our heads is a challenge, but I think we can do it. I'm facing possibly having to visit my father right now, so I was drawn to this post. Good luck to both of us...
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  5. patrickj

    patrickj Well known member

    Thabks for you reply. Yes you’re right I’m in the process of getting him and my family out of head. I’m much better these days at dealing with this kind of stuff but it still makes me angry. He’s so ignorant and almost dismissive of any problem I may have and always has been. Good luck with visiting your dad.
    AnonymousNick likes this.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    @patrickj, the SEP includes a well-known writing technique called the Unsent Letter. You write a letter to your father and tell him what you think of him, his message, and his abilities as a father. And you do not hold back. You can even put the letter into an envelope and address it to him. A stamp is up to you, but you will then send the letter into the shredder.

    Now that I've told you all about it (it ain't rocket science, after all) just do it now. When you get to that exercise in the SEP, write another, or choose someone else. Don't skip it, thinking you don't have to do it again, because if you're honest in the letter, it's an awesome and game-changing technique for rage. And you've got plenty of rage. You undoubtedly have more than one appropriate recipient - a partner, usually.

    I can't imagine it's at all easy with a job and family, but somehow you do have to make a commitment to yourself and take a minimal amount of time for the SEP, even if you do half one day, and the rest the next day. Not all days are the same length, and most have more than one activity so it's easy to split them up. There are also rest days.

    That tiredness upon sitting down to do the SEP? As opposed to other things? That's your brain on TMS, and you have to fight back and just do it. No more dragging your feet!
    AnonymousNick and patrickj like this.
  7. newlearner

    newlearner New Member

    That was a filthy narcissist reply he sent you.

    What it basically translates to is "I am tired of hearing you complain so I'm going to be rude to you about it. By the way, other people don't like it, either. Stop complaining because it isn't what I want to hear."

    When he says other people, he means himself. I have heard rephrasings of that so often. "No one is going to want to [whatever with you]." "No one likes [whatever thing I am doing]." What it ultimately means is "I (the parent) feel bad about myself so I'm going to be degrading to you about it."

    Your dad sounds like one of my parents who has said much the same to me when I mention I don't feel well.

    No wonder you have TMS.

    I strongly disagree with yb44's reply above. He does not want to reconnect. Those words were shallow. He is trying to look like a good parent, but he isn't. One of my parents says stuff like that all the time. They're not actually supportive at all. It's for show, and it's conditional. It's manipulative, the only way they want to be in your life is if you do what they want. I strongly suggest you visit r/raisedbynarcissists That sub has been extraordinarily helpful for me. I would suggest you post the message you received from your parent there and find much more helpful replies than what I can post.

    Ever since I started my an agency and dropped out of the corporate world, one of my parents has treated me like a leper. I am CONSTANTLY getting lectures about why my choices are bad, why everything I do is wrong, why no one will want to marry me, why I shouldn't live where I live, etc. And then they have the balls to complain when I don't come visit, and try and manipulate me back in. It's absolutely gross. In hindsight, my parents were never encouraging of anything I wanted to do that they didn't approve of. If I did what they wanted, I was the best person in the city. If I had my own thoughts, MASSIVE EMOTIONAL WITHDRAWAL.

    It's why I'm in therapy.

    It's why you need to be in therapy.

    And I cannot stress enough, getting to r/raisedbynarcissists to at least get suggestions for understanding what is going on.

    Narcissism cannot be explained or recovered from by people who haven't gone through it. This is why any replies like "oh, try and talk to him" or whatever are worse than doing nothing. You do not negotiate, reconnect, or tolerate narcissists in your life. You cannot win, you will always be wrong, and you will never, ever get the love, admiration, or respect that you deserve. They basically see you as a way to benefit themselves, not as your own person. It's really gross when you learn about it.

    You simply cannot have your emotional or physical needs met with a narcissist. Any attempt at compromise will blow up in your face. It is, in fact, their way or nothing at all. They are exceptional at manipulating people and there is a good chance your dad is going to try and get the family and friends on his side, being wonderful to them and horrible to you. This is pretty normal for narcissists. Everyone loves the narcissist parent, but they are absolute trash behind closed doors. No one believes you because "how could such a sweet person be so mean? It must be in your head."

    It's not in your head.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
    patrickj and AnonymousNick like this.
  8. newlearner

    newlearner New Member

    If you are not a member of reddit, I am happy to post that letter for you if you want, anonymously, and share the replies with you. 100% guarantee it's narcissism and you'll get some amazing replies from people who have dealt with, and are dealing with, the same.
    patrickj likes this.

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