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Father Knows Best?

L

Lance

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Jul 18, 2008
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1
A couple of years ago my father's 2 brothers died on the same weekend. He died exactly 100 days later. At one of my uncle's funerals I was walking up to my dad and and old friend of his. He introduced me, "This is my boy. He's not the son I wanted. I wanted my son to be a sports superstar. But I dealt with it."

My 2 sisters and I are adopted. I had no clue my father felt that way. We were an old fashioned catholic family ...very active in the church and the catholic school. All the kids played sports. I was not a superstar. My athletic abilities were actually below average. It never bothered me to sit on the bench. I was helping the team. School spirit and all that.

When my dad was finally losing his battle with cancer several weeks later I had some time with him alone. I asked him if he really meant what he said to his friend that day. To my surprise he said yes, then he added, "The way I dealt with it was to have a job where I travelled. Then I would not have to sit with the other fathers while their son's played and you didn't." I remembered that he was always busy on the weekends with chores around the house, and Monday thru Friday he was on the road. When I was young, I understood why he couldn't come to my games, he had business and family obligations, and this was the '70's-- parents did not take as big of an interest in their kids sports as they do today.

However, I am having a hard time with this. I loved my dad. Could he really have been that shallow and I not know it. And what about the rest of the family, my mom and 2 sisters, did my dad forego a deeper relationship with them because he wanted to be on the road (so he would not have to watch me bench sit).

These remarks came from out of the blue as far as I am concerned. I have only shared them with my wife. She says to forget it--what is in the past is in the past.

I am hurt. I will admit it. I don't want to have bad feelings...but I don't want to be a schmuck either. Anyone have a similar experience?

Dad's Dissappointment
 
Fedup

Fedup

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Hello and :welcome: to MHF Lance :)

I don't really know what to say .............. i'd of been gutted too . What an awful thing to say ............. I never ever put my kids down.

Have you spoke to your mum & and sisters about this ?
 
S

Starbright

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I would feel the same way as you, Lance, if it helps.

I would also agree with your wife but be unable to put her advice into practice.

It's the kind of thing I would need help with.
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Lance for one reason or another some of us disappoint our parents. My mother has always treated me as a disappointment. She always told me that I was plain and stupid and I always believed her. I'm not a beauty queen but I'm not ugly and I am actually far from stupid. Someone I know who comes from a scientifically gifted family has told me I'm one of the most intelligent and switched on people he knows. Still my mother persists in telling me that I'm out of my depth when I'm talking to senior police officers, fire service personnel and council officials while negotiating community things as part of the many groups I sit on. She's never seen me in action. What she actually means is that she would feel out of her depth.

It hurts, yes, but we have to take a look at the evidence and realise that we can't live the lives that our parents want(ed) us to live, just the ones we've got. Your dad probably didn't even realise that what he said was hurtful or that you even thought twice about it. Live your life Lance and enjoy it.
 
lucid scream

lucid scream

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yeah, what you wrote strikes a chord with me Lance.
my father often let me know what a dissapointment i was for him. i didnt like sports at all, and still dont, at least not competitive ones. i like bike riding and skateboarding, but my dad wanted me to play football, which i did for a few years for him. but a nasty accident involving a tennis ball cannon and a lit match took me out for a season, and i never went back. its telling, tho, that at age 10 i was already self-destructive enough to spill a large amount of lighter fluid on myself while my friend was striking matches and watching them burn 2 feet away. i suffered some amount of abuse from my parents and my uncle as a child, and my dad was always disgusted with me for threatening to tell.
but hey, now that i'm grown and am a parent myself, i have to say, he wasnt half as dissapointed in me as i am of him.
 
yakuza

yakuza

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I have a similar religious upbringing Lance and I happened to be very good at football and captained my Town's team,I had reports about me in the local newspaper but my Father never came to watch me play,He never gave me any encouragement at all.
I grew up feeling bitter and hurt and the only person I ended up hurting was myself.

If I could offer any advice with this it would be try not to allow yourself to be eaten up with bitterness as it only destroys your own self-worth and you are much more important than that.
 
T

Twylight

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Hi lance,
People can say strange things when the're not well - and your father was seriously ill.
The fact that it bothers you proves that you cared for him.
 
Bluemoon

Bluemoon

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I remember when I got my GCSE results, I got 8 B-C grades which was a great surprise for me since I thought I was going to do rubbish - mainly because of the bad family environment and the bullies getting me down all the time. Still, my Dad said that I should have got straight A's and. although he agreed to pay me £10 per GCSE for grades C and above, he sighed when he got his wallet out and obviously didn't want to pay me. I'm amazed at what I achieved and he seriously believed I could do better with the nasty environment I was in most of the time - still, my mum was very proud and she expected me to do very badly for the same reasons I was thinking about. My mum's been and still is being the most understanding person I know, although my Dad is better these days and supports me with my difficulties being unwell.

As for the bullies, well, my Dad told me to just fight them and "bust their noses" even though I was talking about groups of bullies not just one individual. I tried to explain that they were a lot bigger than me and that it's not possible for me to take on 3 or more people at once - but he stood by his advice.

What I will give him Kudos for is when he went in to School and had a word with my Spanish teacher for giving me a hard time for doing poorly in class. Once that teacher knew what I was dealing with on an almost daily basis he eased off and started encouraging me. Nice to end on a high note eh (y)?
 
whisper

whisper

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May 11, 2008
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101
hi lance and welcome to the forum

yes i've had similar problems with my father he was apparently dissapointed in me for having mental health problems and what had happened before that, as well as my sexuality,
but its our lives and try as we might we cant always live in the way our pareants wanted us to
 
G

galwaygirl

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May 18, 2008
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republic of ireland
Dear Lance,
What a horrible thing to have happened to you. I want to say forget what was said but who can forget such a thing as that? I dont know how you feel about being adopted but what your father said must have brought up all sorts of issues for you.
You were brought up a Catholic. When we think of Catholics we tend to think of strong, happy, close knit families. What your father said to you is just an indication that Catholics are just as cruel and wicked as other members of society, regardless of their faith or what section of society they come from.
I can imagine you with your father before he died, hoping to have some resolve from his nasty comment about you.
I can imagine that you hoped that he was going to say - "no son, I didnt mean that and if I offended you I am sorry!"
He didnt do that. He drove the knife into you not once but twice.
Can I say this to you Lance, I thank God that the world isnt made up of just sports people. In spite of how great it is that Britain is doing so great in the Olympics, were would we be if we didnt have doctors, nurses, teachers, childminders and yes even adoptive parents.
Was your adoptive father a sports man? If he was, was he a successful sports man?
In a way your wife is correct in what she says - to forget it and get on with your life, but this must be such a painful thing for you to do.
Your father is gone, no matter what happens now you can never get the opportunity again to make things right.
I wonder what it is that your faither failed at and displeased his own father, your grandfather, with.
There are no easy answers to this, other than to say, tell your story, dont let what happened make you feel ashamed or any less of a person than you are. Even if you job is cleaning streets or toilets that doesnt make you any less of a person than anybody else, even Olympic champions.
I know sports personalities are esteemed and honoured and they have to work damn hard to get where they are but that doesnt mean they are any better than anybody else.
Lucid wrote something at the end of his posting, as I dont have it in front of me at this minute I can not quote it, but actually his comment summed it all up.
Stand proud and dont be ashamed, and if you do feel ashamed then yes, let it be that you are ashamed of this man who called himself your father.
I am a Catholic too and I dont know how your father and mother treated you, but if you were a child when he made comments like this I would call him a child abuser because that is what he seems to have been. The man isnt alive to answer the charges against him but I do wonder who treated him in the same manner.,
 
A

Anne1971

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Hi lance,
People can say strange things when the're not well - and your father was seriously ill.
Yeah they do, when my mum was recovering after having most of her stomache removed she was on morphine, and apart from seeing spiders on the walls she also told my brother and I that we were 'no good' and our eldest brother was practically a saint, I've never forgotten that and it really affected me deeply for weeks and months afterwards, still does if I think about it.
 
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