My father.. again. ( LONG) - BabyUniversity.com - Baby and parenting forums and reviews
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#1 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 03:19 PM - Thead Starter
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OK, most of you know what I have been through with my father since late '02 early '03. You know about that letter I wrote to him with 28 years of repressed aggression and hurt. And his response.
Since then, I've tried everything I can to maintain some kind of relationship with him, and to have one between him and my kids. We go on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We can't do that this year. Since we moved, I've repeatedly asked him to come visit. He always has a reason or excuse or just.. "we'll see". Well two weeks ago, I invited him here for Thanksgiving. Told him it was just easier for him and Pat to drive here than for all of us, with me pregnant to drive 4+ hours to their place, in a car that is not reliable and does not hold all the carseats. I suggested the weekend after or before, he wrote back why not hte week of. I said that would be fine too, I just thought the weekends would be easier on them. He wrote me back saying he didn't think they were going to be able to make it. Now this was in the middle of Septemeber. I wanted to give him plenty of time. ONE week later, he says he doesn't think they can make it. So.. I wrote him back here is that email.

"We would really like for you to be here thanksgiving, but.. I will understand if you can't. I really want ya'll to come visit and it's just easier for the two of you than for all of us, not to mention our car is not that reliable, and all the car seats don't fit. We are working on getting the van fixed but that won't happen until after Christmas.
Speaking of.. I have no idea what we are going to be able to do for Christmas. We want the kids to wake up in their own home Christmas morning. And with our transportation issues, there's no way we can drive to your house and back in a day or two. Maybe if you can't be here for thanksgiving.. we can do something in the middle of the two and combine them?

I just don't know what to do and I want to share the holidays with the two of you. Don't get me wrong I knew when we moved it would be a challenge, but I am trying to work something out here.

Please try your best.
We love you.
S "

Not one word did I get back as a reply. (cont)
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#2 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 03:22 PM - Thead Starter
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What i did get a little later was the typical.. Hi how is everyone. and the Forwards he sends. My aunt ( his sister) emailed me the other day and asked if we were going to see them for thanksgiving. I told her pretty much everything about the emails. This is what she sent me in reply...

I don't know. Don't every give up. I have done that in my past relationships, and always regretted that I didn't remain strong. I guess it worries him that you are pregnant again, and that he doesn't understand that you can sacrifice for having children vs a lot of "things". I think it worries him, that as the kids get older you won't have a lot and that life is such a struggle, you will end up being poor, and the benefits of an easier life won't be yours. But it is all in how you look at riches. The Bible says you are a very rich couple with a lovely little brood of children. I believe in being frugal and struggling to make things work and saving money. Sometimes it's hard to ge t out of that mode when you were raised with nothing, as Jim, Diana, and I were. BUT we didn't know it. Mother sewed and etc.

Just prove that you can make it and that you don't have to have everything. Don't have to go in debt to have a Christian home, raise your children to be very grateful and with such great joys and love for the future of their lives and what they can become. Know their talents as children and direct them so they won't have a job, they will do what they were made to do.

I think he thinks you don't discipline them enough when you all come to his place. I think he forgets that they have to "Be children" too, and yet, he thinks you are silent when they are doing something he doesn't agree with. He gets a bit frustrated.

Please don't tell him that I said that either!!! YOu might just keep that in your hat. But also think that he is older and my mother was always frustrated with my two. And they were just being kids. They are at an age of wonder., and don't think that others are out of that stage of life.

I think Jim and Pat are just wanted to be alone, and to themselves. I mentioned coming up there, but he said they had all these things going on, and it wasn't a good time. I told him, I'd help on the house on the weekend, but it didn't sound like he wanted me to. So, I just decided to wait, til he was more receptive. Maybe he 's just going through a stage.

BUT don'tgive up. Who knows, he might be a little down since his surgery and all. He can't manuever his head back, like he u sed to, and it takes more to work, and he can't turn his head to the side I think he said too far. Maybe little things get to him, more. I need to call and just chat with him sometime. He just writes short sentences, and no detail, so sometimes I wonder ifhe's depressed or just busy. That's why I say don't give up. You are all he has. You aren't in competition with Pat but just writing him little notes and making an album for him, that he/she probably won't do, would be a nice jester.

Maybe do for him, rather than asking them for anything. Just be the bigger person. That always works for me, and in the long run, it makes for a better situation. Just be the taker. I know that isn't a popular thing these days, but someone has to be the patient one.

Love you,"

And now.. I can't really confront him with the things she said. Not without betraying her confidence. So.. I don't know what to do. If he has issues with how many kids I have, or how I raise them.. he needs to come to me. And I DO NOT remain silent when they are at his house. Quite the opposite. I make Sure they do what they are supposed to and how they are supposed to do it. Not to mention we are never there for more than a couple of hours.. I.. am just at a loss here.
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#3 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 03:37 PM
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Coming from a person who deeply understands lack of transportation and health concerns, I can see it from both sides. Maybe he is not telling you everything about his health out of pride. My dh never tells his family about his health problems and they end up thinking because he's not complaining then he doesn't have a problem. Instead of being honest with you and saying "Shona, I'm in too much pain. I don't think I can make it", he's being a tough guy.

maybe your aunt is right and just making him a scrap book or a photoablum this year is the better option if neither party can travel.

 
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#4 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 03:38 PM
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Isn't this the guy who made you give back all the kids birthday presents to keep at his place for a year? Or am I thinking of someone else?

 
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#5 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 03:38 PM
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I wish I had words of wisdom

I am a proud wife to a hard working man Russ
and I have two wonderful kids Hannah and Will!
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#6 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 03:48 PM - Thead Starter
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Yeah, he did that with the christmas presents one year, that was the year I wrote him that letter.

He's usually really honest with me about his health. Because much of what he's got, I will eventually end up with.

I don't think it's him. I think if it had been him that didn't want to come, he wouldn't have emailed me asking about the week of thanksgiving instead. I'm just really hurt right now.
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#7 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 03:50 PM
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I'm so sorry Shona. I remember how much pain that stunt pulled. I had a stepmother who hated me, too and it was never easy with my dad when she was around. Now my dad has divorced her and been in counseling for 15 years... well, we'll see.

 
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#8 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 04:01 PM
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Shona,

First off I have to say what a beautifully put letter from your aunt. She has some great wisdom in there. I had a real screwed up relationship with my father, and at the time it all went down, I just got the I don't give a sh*t attitude. Well now that I wish I could do something about it, I can't. He died in a drunk driving accident when I was 20. I have never forgiven myself for not being the bigger person when I knew it was the alcohol that I dealt with, not him personally. Catch what I mean? My point is that your father is still here. You are trying to keep him a part of your life. You are doing all you can do. It is up to him at this point. I never understood how someone could keep a parent away from their family if they truly wanted to be there. I guess I am niave about the hold some have on their spouses. I just know I don't care who you are, you will not keep me from visiting my family. PERIOD!

That said, maybe you need to get him on the phone since you can't get to him in person, and have a heart to heart. Maybe not say what your aunt told you, but just say I know you may be worried about how we will manage with a new baby, but material items aren't what matters, it's the love and support you can provide your kids. And see where it goes from there? I think email is so impersonal and you might get further voice-to-voice.

As for the discipline issue, just remember he is from teh generation where children are to be seen and not heard, so anything, them running around, playing loudly etc could be interpreted as getting into trouble? Older people can't take it. However, I also feel that if there was an issue, he could have brought it to your attention.

I guess I am not much help but I sure hope it works out for you. You and George are fantastic parents with 4 great kids already, and this new baby is a gift that you both have enough love to give.

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#9 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 04:03 PM
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Sweetie... What can I say? I'm gonna give you my opinion as your sister, and the boys aunt and you can take it or leave it. Just promise not to quit speaking to me.

Your Dad is being your dad. This is who he is, and yes it hurts. You know where I'm coming from on this, and that I have no relationship with my Dad at this point. You made the effort, you invited him to come visit. It is quite frankly ridiculous of them (anyone of your family) to expect you to travel to them this year. You all are just finally getting all the way settled in. It is important like you said for the boys to be in their own house Christmas morning. They need to start having their own traditions with just Mommy and Daddy. This way you and George get to choose what you do and don't continue from your childhoods. If your Dad and his wife can't or wont come visit you that is their loss. Send them pictures, or even better make them a picture disk if they have a CD. It won't cost you very much, but they can see what the boys have been doing for the last year. Have the boys make them Christmas pictures, or thanksgiving and send them in the mail. Let your Dad know when you will be home, and that he should call them if he wants to talk. He is the Grandfather and you have done all you can. I'm sorry I know how this hurts, haven't heard from Dad since well before we moved to Germany and doubt I will be anytime soon. No matter what though there is still that little part of you that hopes.

Okay, wow that was really long winded. As for what your Aunt said, go ahead and let it stay between the two of you. She wasn't trying to hurt you, she is just trying to keep you from giving up on her brother. BTW if you get along since she seems to be at loose ends for the holidays maybe invite her (not sure if this is one of the ones you like or not can't remember)

Anyway, enough now... I love you Sis, and all your Boys. If I were to win the lottery I would fly you all here or us all there for the holidays.
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#10 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 04:38 PM - Thead Starter
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I really have to thank you all. And yes Lenora, that little stunt he pulled hurt like ****. But I thought we were progressing. Guess I was wrong.

Jennifer. -- You made me cry, LOL in a good way. I know where you're coming from and you're right. Daddy has just always been the one person in this world that intimidates me.. and I don't know why. I will try to work up the courage to talk to him over the phone. Thank you.

Sis -- I could never stop speaking to you. I value your oppinion and you're right too. As far s Aunt Glenda coming to visit.. um.. Ever.. if I can help it. No..oooooo....nonononono. LOL She is great.. at a distance. Not to mention she has two son's ( my age) and her husband and they are in Texas. She's got this.. holier than thou attitude most of the time that i just can't deal with.

thank you all, This is why I love Baby U.
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#11 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 04:39 PM - Thead Starter
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and I would LOVE to see Germany for the Holidays.
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#12 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 06:10 PM
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ahh... If I had realized who we were talking about wouldn't even have suggested it, You have told me some about her.
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#13 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 09:52 PM
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#14 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 10:31 PM
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You have gotten some great advice, and I can't really add anything to it. I am sorry you are dealing with this.

Tammy
wife to Kyle 4/27/96
Proud mom of two fabulous kids:
Emily 1/11/03
Travis 10/6/06
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#15 of 15 Old 10-04-2006, 10:35 PM
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;hug:
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