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acdcking12
 
A Long issue. Looking for closure with my Dad\Family

I won't bore you all with a long story. Just a brief overview as best that I can. Cant do cliffs. Sorry.


I have been estranged from my parents, and two sisters since I got married 12 years ago. My family has always been on the poorer side, and I was raised to treat everything I have as gold. Well, my family was horrible for a long time. My mother would always ask me for money or to co sign on car loans, etc. Mainly because I was a lot better off than they were.

My dad is never much into feelings, so you never knew how he felt. He has stolen guns from me, as well as an aquarium. He did it right under my nose. That started the initial no talking period.

My two sisters is a different story. My older sister is some crazy woman who has a massive temper. She threw a full computer case at my wife once because she was mad that I asked for 40 dollars to buy a new MB for her machine after one of her kids physically broke it.

My younger sister is an emotional wreck. She is, (I think), addicted to drugs. I dont want my kids around that. We simply lost touch due to the fact that I wrote off my family after various issues where I let them borrow more and more money and never got any of it back. I got fed up by them always calling, (Mainly my mother), so I decided to just not talk to them anymore.

Well, a couple of years ago or so, my mother died. Me and my wife went to the funeral. My younger sister did talk to me, and it was a little beside herself. My older sister wouldn't say anything to me at all. Nor would my dad. I did tell him I was sorry that she had died. But all he said was thanks, and we let it stay at that. Even my own kids dont see him much. And I hate that we came to this.

So my dilemma that I have been trying to decide on is this....Do I contact him, tell him how I feel or do I just let things go and try to live with it? I feel that I could ultimately regret not doing anything, but not sure if it is really worth it after all of these years.

I just cant decide the best thing to do. And with him still alive, I feel I still have time. But since he hasn't contacted me either, it tells me that he doesnt care one way or the other. So this would be just to put my mind at ease..

Thoughts from you guys?
Old 08-26-2010, 08:36 AM acdcking12 is offline  
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jpgoody123
 
These people do not seem to me with what you wrote as good people. You would think once grandkids started to show up they would mellow. Decent people would. You have a family of your own and should not expose them to toxic people, even if they are your family.
Old 08-26-2010, 08:53 AM jpgoody123 is offline  
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matt00926
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I would attempt to make peace and lay your cards down on the table, explaining why you feel the way you feel. If they do not understand, then break contact.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:55 AM matt00926 is offline  
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DetoxDropout
 
I have to agree. If the situation is as bad as you described, I'd imagine their actions weren't simply rash decisions, but had gone on for the course of many years.

Judging by what you have said, your family seems incredibly entitled. If you allow them back into your life, you again run the risk of them abusing your kindness.

You can't really expect them to change if they feel as if it is you that has wronged them in some way, deferring all blame or guilt and instead imposing their anger on you.

If you are tying to include your children into the lives of your family, I would tread very carefully. You have to be able to trust that your family will act appropriately in the presence of your kids. If you are trying to reconnect for your own sake, again, don't set yourself up to be used. You should go in being honest with your family but weary of their actions and motives.

It's never an easy decision to cut a family member out of your life, let alone several. Keep an eye on what's right for the family you have now with your wife and children.

I hope you'll keep us updated with any new developments.
Old 08-26-2010, 09:58 AM DetoxDropout is offline  
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theNoid
 
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Heres what you do.

1. Write off all the debt, you are never going to see a dime. Get over that (as much as it sucks).
2. Never 'loan' money to anyone, especially family/friends. Money should always be a 'gift' so that you never expect to see anything back. "Heres $100, I dont want it back." is the only way money will never get inbetween relationships.
3. Honestly, don't loan money to grown adults.. regardless. Most of these types need to learn from life lessons and being an enabler isn't helping neither yourself or them.
4. Straighten out your family issues first, inside your head. Wash clean the past and go into step 5 with zero expectations.
5. Contact them, no mentions of money, mom or anything else that may stir up old feelings.
6. Emphasize rebuilding family relations for the sake of your children and other children in the family. Your dad, sister etc.. deserve to see and know your kids/vise versa.
7. Listen
8. Hope for the best.

All you can do is go in level headed, forget the past and be willing to listen to whatever they have to say. In your situation, it sounds like your family is at most of the fault here and you're being a self respecting person and good father by distancing yourself from people (who in the past) have degraded happiness in your life, and well-being.

You have to be the bigger person, be willing to subject yourself to a doormat if you want to likely get past their walls. I'm sure they've painted you some kind of traitorous enemy and probably dont want anything to do with you. However, on a human level I'm sure they miss you somewhere in the back of their mind. Be the better person, reach out.. let them speak as its a progressive step towards healing.

If they refuse to talk, make it clear that you will always be willing to re-build family ties and they can come to whenever they are ready. Make sure you leave the door open, so that they never have to give themselves excuses that you should contact them etc.. Put the ball in their court, sit, wait.

edit. I will not recommend you forget them based solely on the fact this thread is proof you are interested in salvaging these relationships. If after giving it a real and true effort, one which you cannot regret ... then you can rest assured you gave it your best shot.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:00 PM theNoid is offline  
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acdcking12
 
Well, he is my dad. And before my grandmother died, I was actually fairly happy with my family. Once she died, and I found out that she was giving money to my parents each week to make ends meet, that is when all the shit hit the fan.


In other words, my family was fine until they lost that money source. Then it was, well Michael is doing well. Michael just bought a new truck. He can help us...

I got sick of it, and I felt guilty when I wouldn't help them. Then I FELT that my mother was using the sympathy card when she would leave messages about just checking on me, etc. When in reality, if I called back, I am sure money would get brought up again.


So I guess I still feel guilt all of these years later. And with my mother dead, there is no way to make the peace. I guess it is hard to just let them all completely go...At least in my mind..
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:49 PM acdcking12 is offline  
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acdcking12
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theNoid View Post
Heres what you do.

1. Write off all the debt, you are never going to see a dime. Get over that (as much as it sucks).
2. Never 'loan' money to anyone, especially family/friends. Money should always be a 'gift' so that you never expect to see anything back. "Heres $100, I dont want it back." is the only way money will never get inbetween relationships.
3. Honestly, don't loan money to grown adults.. regardless. Most of these types need to learn from life lessons and being an enabler isn't helping neither yourself or them.
4. Straighten out your family issues first, inside your head. Wash clean the past and go into step 5 with zero expectations.
5. Contact them, no mentions of money, mom or anything else that may stir up old feelings.
6. Emphasize rebuilding family relations for the sake of your children and other children in the family. Your dad, sister etc.. deserve to see and know your kids/vise versa.
7. Listen
8. Hope for the best.

All you can do is go in level headed, forget the past and be willing to listen to whatever they have to say. In your situation, it sounds like your family is at most of the fault here and you're being a self respecting person and good father by distancing yourself from people (who in the past) have degraded happiness in your life, and well-being.

You have to be the bigger person, be willing to subject yourself to a doormat if you want to likely get past their walls. I'm sure they've painted you some kind of traitorous enemy and probably dont want anything to do with you. However, on a human level I'm sure they miss you somewhere in the back of their mind. Be the better person, reach out.. let them speak as its a progressive step towards healing.

If they refuse to talk, make it clear that you will always be willing to re-build family ties and they can come to whenever they are ready. Make sure you leave the door open, so that they never have to give themselves excuses that you should contact them etc.. Put the ball in their court, sit, wait.

edit. I will not recommend you forget them based solely on the fact this thread is proof you are interested in salvaging these relationships. If after giving it a real and true effort, one which you cannot regret ... then you can rest assured you gave it your best shot.

I can appreciate what you have said. I never expected any of this money back. I really just wanted to help them. But they made me feel bad about buying me and my wife things that they could not afford. And I think they expected me to help them. And I don't think that was fair...That is really where the bitterness came from on my end..
Old 08-26-2010, 12:52 PM acdcking12 is offline  
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SupermanwOOt
 
Thats really hard being the one that people come to for money especially when you can see that your family really needs it although they aren't using it for the right reasons that they could be.

Like Noid said, don't be an enabler. They seem to be going down a path that you don't want your own family (wife and kids) to follow.

Since you have already cut ties, the ball is in your court and you can remake some ties on your own terms.

No talking about the loaning money or drug issues. Casual conversation and end the conversation or divert if they hint at/request money.

I think the focus needs to be on a healthy relationship between you guys that isnt focused on you giving them money or on the "wrong" things they are doing. Just be their friend again and they will understand. If not, then you may have to explain to them that they are putting you in a place that you don't want to be in and that you'd appreciate if they could back off and just be your friends.

It takes time. It didn't get like this just yesterday, so it will take more than that to build things back up. Play it smart and you'll get there.
Old 08-26-2010, 03:49 PM SupermanwOOt is offline  
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diearzte2
 
Honestly, you have to decide what you really want to do. I feel like I'm kind of in the phase you were in way back when, distancing myself from my father. I've just honestly never gotten anything positive out of the relationship, and feel bitterness towards him whenever I am around him. I am still only 24, and am really just trying to figure my own life out and have decided it is easier without certain members of my family.

I am by no means trying to make this a permanent decision, or create drama. I am moving out of town and am just doing it quietly until I can do some more growing up. Maybe I'll come back to visit and I'll feel differently 3 months from now, or maybe 3 years from now. I'm not trying to burn any bridges.

Don't anticipate things to be dramatically different. If you miss being around them, make an effort to reach out. But if you felt bitterness towards them a decade ago, don't expect things to have gotten better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theNoid View Post
2. Never 'loan' money to anyone, especially family/friends. Money should always be a 'gift' so that you never expect to see anything back. "Heres $100, I dont want it back." is the only way money will never get inbetween relationships.
3. Honestly, don't loan money to grown adults.. regardless. Most of these types need to learn from life lessons and being an enabler isn't helping neither yourself or them.

This is really subjective advice. I routinely exchange small to large amounts of money with my brother and my friends and it has never soured a relationship. If I owe my friend a hundred dollars and we go out drinking and spend 40 at the bar he wouldn't ever ask me about the money or be bitter that I was spending money that he could be entitled to, it's just not a concern. Similarly with my brother, I just last week bought him a sectional couch and a television because I came across a good deal and knew he needed to update his living room. I don't expect anything but a thank you since he's done things like this for me in the past. Not all people are the same, money issues stress a lot of people out but not everyone.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:52 PM diearzte2 is offline  
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damo
 
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wow thats pretty depressing man. much respect to you for not letting them hold you back and going out and doing something with yourself and starting a family. you must have a lot of unresolved emotions about them, its probably in your best interest to get back on speaking terms with them and get close to your dad while hes still around. your sisters, they may have changed after the loss of your mom , you should start being there for them. thenoids post was pretty good advice , i would follow what he said and get back on speaking terms with them so you can clear your head and conscience once and for all. good luck.
Old 08-30-2010, 11:19 PM damo is offline  
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Bunchies
 
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These people do not seem to me with what you wrote as good people. You would think once grandkids started to show up they would mellow. Decent people would. You have a family of your own and should not expose them to toxic people, even if they are your family.

There are usually a lot of underlying issues such that it's difficult to judge people as "good" or "toxic" without understanding the context.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:39 PM Bunchies is offline  
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theNoid
 
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Quote:
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This is really subjective advice. I routinely exchange small to large amounts of money with my brother and my friends and it has never soured a relationship. If I owe my friend a hundred dollars and we go out drinking and spend 40 at the bar he wouldn't ever ask me about the money or be bitter that I was spending money that he could be entitled to, it's just not a concern. Similarly with my brother, I just last week bought him a sectional couch and a television because I came across a good deal and knew he needed to update his living room. I don't expect anything but a thank you since he's done things like this for me in the past. Not all people are the same, money issues stress a lot of people out but not everyone.

My point was that money gets in between relationships and its generally a bad idea. I'm glad that its worked out for you, I suspect that it would the same for myself because I have a great relationship with all of my friends and family members.

But I have had people politely ask me for help in the past and my response was a kind, "Sorry you're going to have to pick yourself off the ground. It is not my burden that you are irresponsible. I have my own bills, wife and child to take care of." I asked my dad for money once and got a similar response.

It forced me to pick myself up and I'm a better person because of it. But even you said you've bought furniture and not expected anything back, and that was my simple point. Don't buy things/loan money with the intent of getting it back ... it buts strain on the relationship. Bar tabs? I don't consider those loans so to speak. There are times I buy the entire night, $200 tabs, and the next time my friend buys for me.

I was simply saying that when family/friends come to you in need, asking for you to bail them out the best solutions are ..

1. Don't give them a dime.
2. Gift them money, do not loan it.

I'm not sure how anyone could advocate any different. With so many avenues one could take to degrade the quality of their own life, this is one that can be easily avoided.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:52 AM theNoid is offline  
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