Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

I feel nothing for my dead dad

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  • This topic has 4 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 1 month ago by ron.
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  • #1074403 Reply

    My dad passed away a few years ago and the anniversary is coming up. People are getting all sentimental, and it is hard to force a smile. I know you’re not supposed to speak poorly of the dead, but am I supposed to forget what a shit bag he was?

    Growing up there was 3 of us. My older brother wasn’t his biological kid but he took care of him. Then there’s me then there is our much younger brother.

    From him leaving us for weeks at a time with no money and our mom refusing to work to not ruin welfare benefits, I became responsible for looking out for our family at a very young age. I was raped and he blamed me for it and would say “that’s why you got raped” everytime he was upset. He didn’t have much to do with parenting me and was sure to keep himself locked in his separate room away from my older brother and I all day, every day. He overall just treated me like absolute garbage and me and my older brother grew sick of it.

    Older brother left home as soon as he could and didn’t see our dad for years before he died. When he died, my mother once again looked to me to figure everything out. I refused to pay for his funeral. Which as it turned out, he left his sister (who loathes my mother) as his power of attorney and gave her rights over his remains. She blocked my mother from anything involving his funeral. 23 years they spent together (off and on) and he gave her a middle finger.

    To me, it felt a lot like he used my mother for a place to stay. She didn’t seem to get that or didn’t want to accept it. Even when he said on his deathbed our younger brother was the most important sibling to him and person in his life. Fuck you, dude.

    My fiance feels I should have therapy to sort my unresolved issues out, but I honestly think it is pretty cut and dry. Should I go? Am I an ass for not letting the past die with him?

    #1074606 Reply

    I think therapy is a great idea. It’s not that it’s cut and dry or not, it is that you had a super messed up childhood and it would be worth talking to a therapist about. You can’t let the past go until you actually deal with what happened to you, how it made you feel and what you need now to feel better. Your fiancé sounds like a peach, btw. He knows you need help to move on. He’s trying to help you overcome this.

    You don’t have to fake a smile, or talk kindly of him. He was a terrible person who caused you and your family great pain and suffering.

    #1074693 Reply

    I’m so sorry that you were handed a shitbag of a father. I do think therapy would be beneficial – not to change your mind but to perhaps giving you some coping techniques for when your shitty relatives try to revise history.

    While my dad wasn’t nearly as crappy as yours, I do remember sitting somewhat numb at his funeral while others spoke so fondly about him, listing all of the wonderful things about him while I was like “Who the fuck are you talking about?”

    Although my parents divorced about 25 years earlier, my mom and some relatives from that side of the family came to support me and they were also like “Who were they talking about up there because I don’t think I met that guy.” So that was a nice sanity check.

    Shortly after the funeral my stepmother revealed that he had been gaslighting her for years and she thought she was going crazy. I told her that was his MO and she wasn’t crazy. And then despite the fact that he left my stepmother with significant debt, had lied about his health issues for years and the gaslighting – she started turning him into a saint (and we’re Jewish!) and I had enough and I just put her on LC until she passed a few years later.

    Protect yourself, live your truth, insert additional tautological saying here…

    #1074733 Reply

    A power of attorney is no longer valid after death, so your mom did have rights if they were married.

    Anyway, yes, of course you should go to therapy. Whether you believe it or not, he taught you some things that you probably want to unlearn. Think of it as excising him from your consciousness.

    #1074794 Reply

    You mean you don’t feel sentimental and affectionate toward your deceased father. You do feel a lot of anger. Therapy will help you process and better understand that. From everything you wrote, anger is the correct feeling toward him and he was an actively awful father, in addition to an often absent one, who didn’t support his family. He sounds mentally ill.

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