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Jeanne

What To Do...Giving Up

50 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hi guys..this weekend I spent time with my father and stepmother as she has recently been sent home from the hospital with the sad news of "there is nothing else we can do".  She is a stalwart, strong and faithful Christ believing woman..(she says prayers in restaurants) of the Methodist faith ..we had a wonderful visit and talked a lot about important and personal things.  My Dad married her about 8 years ago.a second marriage for him after losing Mom (Temple marriage) and I grew to love her very much.

To understand my relationship with Dad would be a novel..but suffice to say that he does not hold a lot of respect for women. They have their place and as a priesthood holder he took it very seriously that he was head of household, family..and all else never mattered.  So when he married a non LDS woman..I was surprised of course.

In any case, my father knew that I had fallen away from the church many moons ago..and of course he would drill me..plead...and outright call me out in conversations I tried to stay away from.

This weekend was no different.  Though none of my siblings are active anymore, I am the chosen one...When he had the Church News on the table, he said are you reading this...are you listening to the apostles and the prophet.  I told him that I was aware of many things and that all the magazines/newspaper articles were available to me and discussed at length.  I also told him that I was somewhat acquainted with Scott Lloyd and we read his article together.  I knew where this was leading...He used to call me "you dumb s%%t...now I am a dirty rotten liar...only because I asked him if he had read the essays.  He would not believe that the 2015 policy on baptism was from the church..I cried..because of frustration and walked away.  Please note..that I did not want to go there..but answered his questions..

I give up guys..you would think that there would be enough love in a family that would accept me..I won;t go back.  I have worked to hard on my self esteem...and my own spiritual growth to take this anymore.  My heart grieves and I understand that he is old..but his mind is keen..and I can't do it anymore. 

Edited by Jeanne
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Sounds like s a situation where you can be the best daughter to your father by staying away from him as much as possible. Send him Christmas and birthday cards but if he's truly constantly berating you and verbally demeaning you, not just over his self righteous manner but even over minor things such as casual conversations, then stay away.

You are 100% welcome to come back to church and I hope and pray you find your way back.

 

Take care and God bless;

Darren

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24 minutes ago, Darren10 said:

Sounds like s a situation where you can be the best daughter to your father by staying away from him as much as possible. Send him Christmas and birthday cards but if he's truly constantly berating you and verbally demeaning you, not just over his self righteous manner but even over minor things such as casual conversations, then stay away.

You are 100% welcome to come back to church and I hope and pray you find your way back.

 

Take care and God bless;

Darren

Thanks so much.  It is just that I want to help.  Just an hour before he vented, I was holding his hands and telling him that I knew what he was going through..living with a spouse that is dying is a difficult thing to go through and I tried to let him know I would be there for him.  I feel selfish that my psych can't seem to handle his anger and frustration with me..I will have to stay away. Thanks so much. 

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2 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Thanks so much.  It is just that I want to help.  Just an hour before he vented, I was holding his hands and telling him that I knew what he was going through..living with a spouse that is dying is a difficult thing to go through and I tried to let him know I would be there for him.  I feel selfish that my psych can't seem to handle his anger and frustration with me..I will have to stay away. Thanks so much. 

Although I appreciate Darren's comments and position there may be another way to look at this.  It may be that your dad's anger has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him and the manner in which he is dealing with the trails in his life.  Humans attack others often out of their own lack of control of their own emotions and not because they have a personal problem with others.  I suspect your dad is just as human as others and though his comments may sound as if they are personal they may not be.

If we can learn to do one thing it would be to neve to take things personally.  People deal with their own problems by striking out at others and it is not personal. 

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9 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Although I appreciate Darren's comments and position there may be another way to look at this.  It may be that your dad's anger has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him and the manner in which he is dealing with the trails in his life.  Humans attack others often out of their own lack of control of their own emotions and not because they have a personal problem with others.  I suspect your dad is just as human as others and though his comments may sound as if they are personal they may not be.

If we can learn to do one thing it would be to neve to take things personally.  People deal with their own problems by striking out at others and it is not personal. 

Thanks so much for your reply and perspective.  This is probably really not the place to vent those things from my own views..but I respect all of you and to me you are my friends.  I see where you are coming from here and I have thought about that.  It is just that he has always been this way in and outside the church, I have had a hard time measuring up.  You are right though.,,I take it too personally and that feeds the guilt that I may not be strong enough to take it.  If I could wrap my head around the name calling..I could do this.  Thanks again.  I so appreciate any understanding.  I am just so sad.

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2 hours ago, Jeanne said:

Hi guys..this weekend I spent time with my father and stepmother as she has recently been sent home from the hospital with the sad news of "there is nothing else we can do".  She is a stalwart, strong and faithful Christ believing woman..(she says prayers in restaurants) of the Methodist faith ..we had a wonderful visit and talked a lot about important and personal things.  My Dad married her about 8 years ago.a second marriage for him after losing Mom (Temple marriage) and I grew to love her very much.

To understand my relationship with Dad would be a novel..but suffice to say that he does not hold a lot of respect for women. They have their place and as a priesthood holder he took it very seriously that he was head of household, family..and all else never mattered.  So when he married a non LDS woman..I was surprised of course.

In any case, my father knew that I had fallen away from the church many moons ago..and of course he would drill me..plead...and outright call me out in conversations I tried to stay away from.

This weekend was no different.  Though none of my siblings are active anymore, I am the chosen one...When he had the Church News on the table, he said are you reading this...are you listening to the apostles and the prophet.  I told him that I was aware of many things and that all the magazines/newspaper articles were available to me and discussed at length.  I also told him that I was somewhat acquainted with Scott Lloyd and we read his article together.  I knew where this was leading...He used to call me "you dumb s%%t...now I am a dirty rotten liar...only because I asked him if he had read the essays.  He would not believe that the 2015 policy on baptism was from the church..I cried..because of frustration and walked away.  Please note..that I did not want to go there..but answered his questions..

I give up guys..you would think that there would be enough love in a family that would accept me..I won;t go back.  I have worked to hard on my self esteem...and my own spiritual growth to take this anymore.  My heart grieves and I understand that he is old..but his mind is keen..and I can't do it anymore. 

Sounds to me that you are justified, Jeanne.  There are reasonable limits, even for family, and you have been very sincere.  Too bad he can't accept you as his daughter and just love you.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Jeanne said:

Thanks so much.  It is just that I want to help.  Just an hour before he vented, I was holding his hands and telling him that I knew what he was going through..living with a spouse that is dying is a difficult thing to go through and I tried to let him know I would be there for him.  I feel selfish that my psych can't seem to handle his anger and frustration with me..I will have to stay away. Thanks so much. 

You my friend, are not the problem! But I doubt you need to be told that. That is what I despise, how some church teachings can brain wash people to believing those that don't believe are apostate. And if apostate, then you're bad. Hate this. How many families are torn apart over this thinking. How many would be happy and close without this religious dogmatism. 

Here is a portion of this link, it exlains it all. https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-12?lang=eng

"Those who lose the Spirit are filled with darkness and confusion.

When men lose the spirit of the work in which we are engaged, they become infidel in their feelings. They say that they do not know whether the Bible is true, whether the Book of Mormon is true, nor about new revelations, nor whether there is a God or not. When they lose the spirit of this work, they lose the knowledge of the things of God in time and in eternity; all is lost to them (DBY, 83–84).

Men begin to apostatize by taking to themselves strength, by hearkening to the whisperings of the enemy who leads them astray little by little, until they gather to themselves that which they call the wisdom of man; then they begin to depart from God, and their minds become confused (DBY, 84).

What have the Latter-day Saints got to apostatize from? Everything that there is good, pure, holy, God-like, exalting, ennobling, extending the ideas, the capacities of the intelligent beings that our Heavenly Father has brought forth upon this earth. What will they receive in exchange? I can comprehend it in a very few words. These would be the words that I should use: death, hell and the grave. That is what they will get in exchange. We may go into the particulars of that which they experience. They experience darkness, ignorance, doubt, pain, sorrow, grief, mourning, unhappiness; no person to condole [lament] with in the hour of trouble, no arm to lean upon in the day of calamity, no eye to pity when they are forlorn and cast down; and I comprehend it by saying death, hell and the grave. This is what they will get in exchange for their apostasy from the Gospel of the Son of God." (DBY, 85).

Jeanne, I hope he comes around before he passes on, I'll keep you in my prayers. :(

ETA: Just wanted to add, how you don't fit this description because of your belief of the hereafter and a God. So discount that portion please. :) Don't even want to put this up against your experience, just think it may be what your father may have read in his life, along with much more.

Edited by Tacenda
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Posted (edited)

Thank you Robert and Tacenda. 

  • It is hard to explain that when one leaves the church..there are so many wonderful fundamental things that stay.  The very basic active young woman still remains in many ways and for heavens sakes..our love for family never changes.  He won't come around..so the choice is mine..and if his wife needs me...I will be there in a heartbeat..endure the tension and remain faithful to the person that I am and want to be.
  • Thanks so much!

Edited to add:  During our conversation..I told him that I did not want to talk about it..to let it go.  That I was happy that he had a testimony because he was happy with it.  Never ever have I wanted to sway or talk disbelief because I would not want to hurt him anymore than I have. 

Edited by Jeanne
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Posted (edited)

If he doesn't do it to others in the family (you said you are the Chosen One), you might look at what makes the difference and see if there is any way to change that.  I also know it is difficult, but can you say to him "I won't talk religion with you, so please let's talk about something else" and stick with it, never giving in?  If you give in on occasion, even rare occasions, he will just believe if he keeps pushing you will eventually give in...and if you do, that proves him right and just makes him that much more persistent next time, so you have to make the commitment, tell him "no more" and stick to it.  Maybe even giving him a chance to change the subject by offering a comment on something else he likes to talk about, but if he persists, recognize his behaviour with a "no thank you, not interested as I have stated before" so he knows why you are doing what you are doing and turn and walk out.  Don't stay there to be a silent punching bag as he will get enough 'conversation' from your body language.

Just a suggestion, take it or leave it.

Edited by Calm
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46 minutes ago, Calm said:

If he doesn't do it to others in the family (you said you are the Chosen One), you might look at what makes the difference and see if there is any way to change that.  I also know it is difficult, but can you say to him "I won't talk religion with you, so please let's talk about something else" and stick with it, never giving in?  If you give in on occasion, even rare occasions, he will just believe if he keeps pushing you will eventually give in...and if you do, that proves him right and just makes him that much more persistent next time, so you have to make the commitment, tell him "no more" and stick to it.  Maybe even giving him a chance to change the subject by offering a comment on something else he likes to talk about, but if he persists, recognize his behaviour with a "no thank you, not interested as I have stated before" so he knows why you are doing what you are doing and turn and walk out.  Don't stay there to be a silent punching bag as he will get enough 'conversation' from your body language.

Just a suggestion, take it or leave it.

Thanks so much...I will take it.  I have tried some of it..I just give in.  Thank you.

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Posted (edited)

Hard not to give in when you love someone and wish they would just realize how much they are hurting you and really don't want to hurt them.

Behavioral psychology has been discredited to a certain extent...this works perfectly on little chicks as I trained one to "extinguish behavior" and got an A for it, but humans are a lot more convoluted in their thinking, so no guarantee that it will stop even if you never, ever, do it again.  But I can guarantee from personal human experience that if you give in from time to time, at his age...it won't be going away.  You need to make your rejection of the discussion clear, civil, and forceful/assertive...not as a victim...and that is to verbalize why you are acting ("not interested") and then dramatic, but controlled act...no temper shown or anything he can use to justify his ongoing treatment (he will likely find something, but don't make it easy for him).  Just turning the back and walking out of the room as soon as he says something limits his pleasure/reward for bringing up the subject.  His not being able to see your face will hopefully cut the reward of whatever he is doing quickly.  And don't get upset if you hear inflated stories from others of your behavior, just explain to them what you are doing and if it bugs them, just change the subject or tell them you are not interested, etc. etc. rinse, repeat. ;)

If you have to stay in the room with him for some reason when he brings it up, if someone else is there, talk to them about something else or just keep changing the subject when he talks about it.  Keep asking him about a show you know he likes and just watched or other family members.  Try not to use a subject that allows for him to lead into religion.  (like a great grandchild's baptism or other church activity).  Don't engage beyond telling him once you aren't interested.

PS:  I sort of know what it is like to be the "Chosen One".   In part because of my personality (I am sincerely interested in people's feelings, superficial and deeper) and in part because I am Mom's primary caregiver these days, our conversations are now limited to hearing how hard her life is and any problems she is having.  She can't shift gears so even after the 'work' is done, we have nothing else to talk about.  My comments about anything else just don't elicit any interest, her brain is either linear or completely off the tracks these days (meaning out of commission, not crazy; she just sits and stares).  She apparently has quite lovely and intelligent conversations with other people and rarely or never complains except on occasion on the phone to my sister (unless my sister is visiting and then she gets almost the same treatment).  I have to work at guiding Mom into non complaining paths as she does much better if she thinks she is doing better.  There has been quite a bit of improvement over the last few years.  She used to cry every day on the phone, I stopped that when I told her (even though I felt like throwing up at the time because I knew it would hurt her feelings to point it out) it was a bad habit to get into and she was rather offended, she said she hardly ever did it.  I corrected her and said she was doing it almost every call for the last three months.  The next two weeks she would call me just to tell me she was not crying.  And she has never cried in that whiney way since (she has been in real pain and exhaustion, but even then it isn't that pity party horrible cry she was slipping into the habit of doing).  I finally had figured out it was habit as when my husband was visiting with me one time, she had been bright and chipper standing up while he was in the room, he left to use the restroom and as soon as he was out of the room, she collapsed into the chair and started whimpering as she was doing, but then as soon as he walked back in, she pulled herself upright, got the smile back on her face as if the crying had never happened.  Seeing that she had total control over it gave me courage to say something. 

 It really helps that Mom's natural inclinations is to avoid the pity party.  I am afraid in your case you are working against natural inclinations from what you have said of your dad in the past, so it will be harder.  At least doing it will give you something else to think about when he goes there...instead of thinking how you will respond to him, you already know that and you can shift to thinking about what positive thing you want to do next when (maybe that should be "if") he stops. :) 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Hard not to give in when you love someone and wish they would just realize how much they are hurting you and really don't want to hurt them.

Behavioral psychology has been discredited to a certain extent...this works perfectly on little chicks as I trained one to "extinguish behavior" and got an A for it, but humans are a lot more convoluted in their thinking, so no guarantee that it will stop even if you never, ever, do it again.  But I can guarantee from personal human experience that if you give in from time to time, at his age...it won't be going away.  You need to make your rejection of the discussion clear, civil, and forceful/assertive...not as a victim...and that is to verbalize why you are acting ("not interested") and then dramatic, but controlled act...no temper shown or anything he can use to justify his ongoing treatment (he will likely find something, but don't make it easy for him).  Just turning the back and walking out of the room as soon as he says something limits his pleasure/reward for bringing up the subject.  His not being able to see your face will hopefully cut the reward of whatever he is doing quickly.  And don't get upset if you hear inflated stories from others of your behavior, just explain to them what you are doing and if it bugs them, just change the subject or tell them you are not interested, etc. etc. rinse, repeat. ;)

If you have to stay in the room with him for some reason when he brings it up, if someone else is there, talk to them about something else or just keep changing the subject when he talks about it.  Keep asking him about a show you know he likes and just watched or other family members.  Try not to use a subject that allows for him to lead into religion.  (like a great grandchild's baptism or other church activity).  Don't engage beyond telling him once you aren't interested.

PS:  I sort of know what it is like to be the "Chosen One".   In part because of my personality (I am sincerely interested in people's feelings, superficial and deeper) and in part because I am Mom's primary caregiver these days, our conversations are now limited to hearing how hard her life is and any problems she is having.  She can't shift gears so even after the 'work' is done, we have nothing else to talk about.  My comments about anything else just don't elicit any interest, her brain is either linear or completely off the tracks these days (meaning out of commission, not crazy; she just sits and stares).  She apparently has quite lovely and intelligent conversations with other people and rarely or never complains except on occasion on the phone to my sister (unless my sister is visiting and then she gets almost the same treatment).  I have to work at guiding Mom into non complaining paths as she does much better if she thinks she is doing better.  There has been quite a bit of improvement over the last few years.  She used to cry every day on the phone, I stopped that when I told her (even though I felt like throwing up at the time because I knew it would hurt her feelings to point it out) it was a bad habit to get into and she was rather offended, she said she hardly ever did it.  I corrected her and said she was doing it almost every call for the last three months.  The next two weeks she would call me just to tell me she was not crying.  And she has never cried in that whiney way since (she has been in real pain and exhaustion, but even then it isn't that pity party horrible cry she was slipping into the habit of doing).  I finally had figured out it was habit as when my husband was visiting with me one time, she had been bright and chipper standing up while he was in the room, he left to use the restroom and as soon as he was out of the room, she collapsed into the chair and started whimpering as she was doing, but then as soon as he walked back in, she pulled herself upright, got the smile back on her face as if the crying had never happened.  Seeing that she had total control over it gave me courage to say something. 

 It really helps that Mom's natural inclinations is to avoid the pity party.  I am afraid in your case you are working against natural inclinations from what you have said of your dad in the past, so it will be hYoarder.  At least doing it will give you something else to think about when he goes there...instead of thinking how you will respond to him, you already know that and you can shift to thinking about what positive thing you want to do next when (maybe that should be "if") he stops. :) 

Your comments about your mother really hit home.  I appreciate your understanding of what  I am going through.  Though I try to steer the conversation away..it is like he needs to do this..as if his own salvation depends on it.  Thanks so much.  I am going to read this post again and take heart.  I admire your own trials and how you deal with them ..as the chosen one..:)

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Forgiveness is a requirement to be forgiven, but forgiving someone (even your Father) does not require that you allow him or any other to keep hurting you. I forgave my bio-father 30 years ago, but never saw or spoke to him after that. I wrote him a letter and explained all of this to him, but I had a Father who raised me, who gave me his name...and I put all that in the letter. I did go with my older sister to his funeral, but for her sake not mine. He died of a heart attack, but had he become ill, and asked to see me, I would have probably gone, it is just not in me to be cruel. I know this is a little different, I did not even know him, I was so young when he left us. But understand, I understand what it means when someone in whom your love and safety should rest, abuses it. I hope this helps a little...

Bill 

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1 minute ago, Bill "Papa" Lee said:

Forgiveness is a requirement to be forgiven, but forgiving someone (even your Father) does not require that you allow him or any other to keep hurting you. I forgave my bio-father 30 years ago, but never saw or spoke to him after that. I wrote him a letter and explained all of this to him, but I had a Father who raised me, who gave me his name...and I put all that in the letter. I did go with my older sister to his funeral, but for her sake not mine. He died of a heart attack, but had he become ill, and asked to see me, I would have probably gone, it is just not in me to be cruel. I know this is a little different, I did not even know him, I was so young when he left us. But understand, I understand what it means when someone in whom your love and safety should rest, abuses it. I hope this helps a little...

Bill 

It does help..thank you for sharing your experience and understanding mine.  With forgiveness..there also has to be a give and take in a relationship.  Thank you. I think you handled your situation with grace and appreciation for who a father is.

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, Jeanne said:

It does help..thank you for sharing your experience and understanding mine.  With forgiveness..there also has to be a give and take in a relationship.  Thank you. I think you handled your situation with grace and appreciation for who a father is.

I hope I handled it well. That understanding came at such a cost to my Mother and her three young children, I being the youngest. But, I think that it is due more to the man she later married, and whose last name that is mine...he who showed me what a Father was. My four children (the first I adopted, as my Dad did me) we're really more the benefit of the pain of my bio-father, and the wisdom of my adopted Father, than myself. When it came to Grandparents for them (and parents for me) we all won the lottery. BTW, the "forgiveness" I spoke of is the gift that you give yourself, from what you said, he does not need to forgive you. Either way...God bless you. 

Edited by Bill "Papa" Lee
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Jeanne, I just saw this and my sleeping pill is kicking in so I will get back to you. 

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Posted (edited)

On 3/20/2017 at 1:00 PM, Jeanne said:

Thanks so much for your reply and perspective.  This is probably really not the place to vent those things from my own views..but I respect all of you and to me you are my friends.  I see where you are coming from here and I have thought about that.  It is just that he has always been this way in and outside the church, I have had a hard time measuring up.  You are right though.,,I take it too personally and that feeds the guilt that I may not be strong enough to take it.  If I could wrap my head around the name calling..I could do this.  Thanks again.  I so appreciate any understanding.  I am just so sad.

Jeanne, parental relationships for some of us can be really bizarre.  My father was never a member of the church and early on would chide me asking if I was a Mormon or a moron.  I was the second son and for him that meant exactly that - I was the second and a very distant second son at that.  There were a few good times, but I just was never a person that my father enjoyed very much.  He did not attend my sporting events, often ignored me when growing up. When it was time to go fishing, hunting, etc. he often just left me at home.  

As adults we had a very frank conversation where I shared what I thought of him as a father and then we did not talk for several years.  Eventually we started talking again, but the conversations were very general - sun is shining today, how are you doing, etc.  We were cordial with one another and I learned that he loved me in a certain way and I accepted that was the best he could do.  

I let go of the negative feelings about not being as loved as the first son or being someone he enjoyed.  I was me and he was my father.  There was respect between us, but I don't think we were ever friends.  He died, I was there at the end with him and I have no regrets.  

Our parents are human and have just as many problems as we do.  I guess I would advise that we be as merciful to others as we would want them, or God, to be merciful to us.  I try to be a good father to our kids - our daugther adores me and our son, well, I think he likes me, but gads he is a quiet fellow.  He does say he loves me, but we don't really do a lot together.  Such is life. 

Edited by Storm Rider
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35 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

Jeanne, parental relationships for some of us can be really bizarre.  My father was never a member of the church and early on would chide me about being a Mormon or a moron.  I was the second son and for him that meant exactly that - I was second and a very distant second son at that.  There were a few good times, but I just was never a person that my father enjoyed very much.  He did not attend my sporting events, often ignored me when growing up when it was time to go fishing, hunting, etc.  He just left me at home.  After we had a very frank conversation where I shared what I thought of him we did not talk for several years.  We eventually started talking, but the conversations were very general - sun is shining today, how are doing, etc.  We were cordial with one another and I learned that he loved me in a certain way and I accepted that was the best he could do.  

I let go of the negative feelings about not being as loved as the first son or being someone he enjoyed.  I was me and he was my father.  There was respect between us, but I don't think we were ever friends.  He died, I was there at the end with him and I have no regrets.  Our parents are human and have just as many problems as we do.  I guess I would advise to be as merciful to others as you would want them, or God, to be merciful to you.  I try to be a good father to our kids - our daugther adores me and our son, well, I think he like me, but gads he is a quiet fellow.  He does say he loves me, but we don't really do a lot together.  Such is life. 

Wow..I so empathize with great understanding of how you must have felt growing up.  You have moved on and made peace with things.  I try to do that too..In fact I had a great heart to heart with him before the big name calling event.  I am the only female left in the family.  My Dad decided to move to another place when he got married and he told my brothers ..one of you can have the place if you want...When they declined because of jobs, family etc., he said I could BUY the place if I want.  I am his oldest...but like I say, it is his attitude on women.  When my sister's little girl died...Dad told her that if she didn't get her act together, she would never see her daughter again.  This was just a few weeks after the funeral. I remember my mom telling me that she would be more active and involved in the church if he would just leave her alone...she owned a silver pot for coffee for when my maternal grandmother came to visit.  He found it..smashed it..then smashed mom.  Oh well...I will quit venting here..but I so appreciate your thoughts and caring enough to share your experience.  I hope to just move on only if to feel better about myself and my own esteem without looking at myself as my father sees me. 

Hugs to you..all of you for letting this exmo be your friend.

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On 3/20/2017 at 9:36 AM, Jeanne said:

Thanks so much.  It is just that I want to help.  Just an hour before he vented, I was holding his hands and telling him that I knew what he was going through..living with a spouse that is dying is a difficult thing to go through and I tried to let him know I would be there for him.  I feel selfish that my psych can't seem to handle his anger and frustration with me..I will have to stay away. Thanks so much. 

Getting to this late, but I had a thought.  I have 5 children and 7 stepchildren.  None of my children are active in the church.  One even joined another church.  Of the stepchildren, one, whose upbringing I had the least to do with (he was on his mission when I married his mother), is the only one active in church, and married in the temple.  Now, how do I feel about all this?  Very discouraged and kind of hopeless about it all.  I feel that it is my fault, to a certain extent, that as soon as they came of age they immediately dropped all church attendance and gave up virtually every teaching that they had grown up with.  None of them did so because of a reasoned consideration of church doctrine that they disagreed with, nor any other kind of problem with church teachings.  

I do not say this because I am looking for reassurance from anyone here about the matter.  I am saying this because I think I understand your father's difficulty -- aside from his odd view on women.  If none of his children stayed in church, he may feel discouraged and a failure because of this.  You may be the person whom he feels is most likely to be amenable to entreaties to return.  If so, it seems to be a compliment of sorts.  Though I can clearly see that the heavy-handed style of dragging a child back to church is likely to be the least effective, he may not see it very clearly, or at all.  From your description of his personality it seems quite likely.

I say this only to help you understand what he perhaps is thinking on the matter.

I don't know what you can do about it.  I think you could tell him that if you ever come back to church it will because the Lord has led you back, and that heavy-handed entreaties will likely make you stay away even harder.  In your own words.  What I am suggesting, is something that will give him some hope that maybe you will make it back, and that he will only make things worse by pushing.

My best wishes on all of the above.

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8 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Getting to this late, but I had a thought.  I have 5 children and 7 stepchildren.  None of my children are active in the church.  One even joined another church.  Of the stepchildren, one, whose upbringing I had the least to do with (he was on his mission when I married his mother), is the only one active in church, and married in the temple.  Now, how do I feel about all this?  Very discouraged and kind of hopeless about it all.  I feel that it is my fault, to a certain extent, that as soon as they came of age they immediately dropped all church attendance and gave up virtually every teaching that they had grown up with.  None of them did so because of a reasoned consideration of church doctrine that they disagreed with, nor any other kind of problem with church teachings.  

I do not say this because I am looking for reassurance from anyone here about the matter.  I am saying this because I think I understand your father's difficulty -- aside from his odd view on women.  If none of his children stayed in church, he may feel discouraged and a failure because of this.  You may be the person whom he feels is most likely to be amenable to entreaties to return.  If so, it seems to be a compliment of sorts.  Though I can clearly see that the heavy-handed style of dragging a child back to church is likely to be the least effective, he may not see it very clearly, or at all.  From your description of his personality it seems quite likely.

I say this only to help you understand what he perhaps is thinking on the matter.

I don't know what you can do about it.  I think you could tell him that if you ever come back to church it will because the Lord has led you back, and that heavy-handed entreaties will likely make you stay away even harder.  In your own words.  What I am suggesting, is something that will give him some hope that maybe you will make it back, and that he will only make things worse by pushing.

My best wishes on all of the above.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and sharing your experience.  I have thought of this..which is why I really don't want to discuss things with him.  I don't want to share new things with him.  He still has no idea about the policy in 2015..and I want his last days to be filled with hope and continuance of his beliefs..would never try to take that away.  I try to understand his concern.  I will just let things be.  I may not be the daughter he has hoped upon..but I can try and be the daughter that forgives loves and still hopes for a relationship not based on his gospel.  I admire you.  You love and place value on those children you have whether their beliefs are the same or not.  Bless you...it is in the end what will really matter.  Your wife is lucky to have you..and I wish you much happiness. 

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On 3/20/2017 at 9:22 AM, Jeanne said:

...I give up guys..you would think that there would be enough love in a family that would accept me..I won;t go back.  I have worked to hard on my self esteem...and my own spiritual growth to take this anymore.  My heart grieves and I understand that he is old..but his mind is keen..and I can't do it anymore. 

There was a point when Nephi and his brothers had to withdraw from the rest of their family.

Can't fault you if you've carefully determined that you've reached a similar survival need (literal or figurative).

Hoping you can still find a way to honor him...as your father...from a safe distance if need be. Blessings are attached to honoring him - for you and your posterity.

Edited by probablyHagoth7
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On 3/20/2017 at 11:00 AM, Jeanne said:

...I take it too personally and that feeds the guilt that I may not be strong enough to take it.  If I could wrap my head around the name calling..I could do this.  Thanks again.  I so appreciate any understanding.  I am just so sad.

Jeanne,

Would it help for someone to step in and be a voice of reason with your father? 

I'm sure there are many here, myself included, who would be willing to make a call, or if in close proximity, would be willing to offer to drop in and speak/plead with him to care for you (in the unconditional way we all at times need). If you don't deem one of us appropriate, perhaps a sibling? 

Thoughts?

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57 minutes ago, probablyHagoth7 said:

Jeanne,

Would it help for someone to step in and be a voice of reason with your father? 

I'm sure there are many here, myself included, who would be willing to make a call, or if in close proximity, would be willing to offer to drop in and speak/plead with him to care for you (in the unconditional way we all at times need). If you don't deem one of us appropriate, perhaps a sibling? 

Thoughts?

Thank you for your loving thoughts and offer.  My brother has stepped in to talk to him a couple of times..and it just ended up a battle between the two.  This is why when Dad talks to  me about the church, he waits until we are alone.  Short of an apostle, I don't think anything would sway.  But I do honor him.  I moved out there and took care of him while his wife was in the hospital.  Several of the grandkids have his wonderful musical talents and we do love him.  I believe like someone mentioned here before..that most adamant to save me because he feels a huge responsibility and probably feels he has failed.  I so appreciate this though.  I do.  You guys have been great about this.  I did offer to sit down with him and his Bishop and have a more calm discussion.   That might still work out.  I will keep all of you posted.  As it is, I know he is dealing with a very sick wife and he will be 96 in June..I mean really....I want him to live his days full as he can with happiness and assurance of his faith.

Jeanne

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Jeanne, I had a rough relationship with my mother. I got counseling after my husband died and talked about  it. The counselor told me that it is very common for families to have a "scapegoat." Later, I cared for my father who had paralysis from a stroke and we built a close relationship after she died. We get a lot of pressure to honor our parents no matter how much damage they leave in their wake,  It took me until middle age to admit to myself that I didn't like my mom. It was such a release, I think the majority of the conflict is in stuffing your real feelings down as they are evil or something.   She was not going to change and I didn't have to pretend (not that I wasn't nice or anything, when I did that it removed that hope or expectation that will not be realized and that made interaction much easier, actually.)

I hope you can work it out but I also hope you don't feel the least bit obligated to stuff down what you are really feeling about his unkindness (honest labeling of the behavior helps, too.) 

Edited by juliann
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57 minutes ago, juliann said:

...We get a lot of pressure to honor our parents no matter how much damage they leave in their wake,  It took me until middle age to admit to myself that I didn't like my mom. It was such a release, I think the majority of the conflict is in stuffing your real feelings down as they are evil or something.

...I also hope you don't feel the least bit obligated to stuff down what you are really feeling about his unkindness (honest labeling of the behavior helps, too.) 

Sunday school last week touched on this very issue. The balance between honoring one's parents, and being honest/healthy.

Just in case I was misunderstood in an earlier post, I wasn't suggesting we have to pretend a parent was perfect...or even close. (I don't expect such from my kids.)

  • One way to honor a parent is to be grateful for what they provided us.
  • Another is to remember, pass on, and build upon the good things they taught/did. (In theory that involves exerting a bit of initiative to get clarity on what they teach/do.)
  • Learning from their mistakes - without disdain (there but for the grace of God...) - is another way. Which is something Nephite forefathers wished for their descendants.

Honoring someone does *not* mean we have to pretend they were someone other than who they actually were.

Edited by probablyHagoth7
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