Does my dad sound very bad?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenA, May 23, 2002.

  1. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    When I was little, I admit that he was. He used to leave my mom to take care of me for days or weeks on end, he constantly did drugs, he cheated on my mom, he used me to get women while still married to my mom, he smacked me around quite a few times, had a bad temper, was very irresponsible, never kept a job long, wouldn't let me have pets so my mom would go behind his back to get me dogs cats and fish, yelled at me constantly, etc.

    There were times when he was nice. He'd take me out to breakfast, bring me to parks, bring me up in gliders, brought me to Disney World and other amusement parks, visit me constantly when I was sick in hospitals, bring me for rides on his motorcycle, bring me in his boat, bring me fishing, and other fun stuff. This didn't really make up for him being a real ass, but at least he would try sometimes.

    He was married before marrying my mom too. He had a daughter with his first wife. They ended up having problems and breaking up. he didn't pay child support for his daughter, and ended up losing her to another man who adopted her. Because of this I really don't know my older sister. I only met her a couple times after she grew up.

    My mom and dad divorced when I was 5. he would on visit me when he felt like. He was usually always late when he was supposed to get me. I'd end up not wanting to go after wating so long, and he'd end up blaming my mom. All in all he only paid 75 dollars my whole life till I was 18 for child support. He used to even have the gall to ask my mom for money to buy me presents and to take me out. My mom could have been like his first wife and have my stepfather adopt me, but she gave my dad the benefit of the doubt, and said that at least he saw me.

    Now jump 10 years later. My younger sister has been born and is 4, while my uncle comes to visit us for 2 weeks, which turned into him staying here forever. He ends up hating my dad and saying he's a real asshole and all this other stuff. Turns out he has a few demons in his closet too(add what my dad did when I was young, 4 marriages big drug addiction, and more), and has less than no right to complain. They end up clashing and I don't see my dad for like a year, which was the second time he did this to me. My uncle plays this game where he pretty much blames me for my dad being my dad and makes me feel like total shit every day due to it. It finally stops after a while.

    Now come to 2 years ago. My mom and stepfathe divorce. She goes through a similar thing with my sister's father with child support as with my dad. My dad starts saying that he feels that he was a lousy father. I felt like saying that in a lot of respects he was, but kept my mouth shut. He started doing more stuff with me, was nicer to me, started giving me money, and so on.

    Come last October. This is the last time my sister sees her father. We still haven't heard from him till this day. he could of at least called or sent a card on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my sister's birthday 3 days after Christmas, but didn't. Even my dad never forgot this, through all the bad stuff he did. He sent me cards on the 2 times I didn't see him for a year. He even thinks it's terrible about my sister's father not contacting her. My dad felt terrible, o he gave me money to take my sister out when i didn't have the money. He started talking to her more too. At Christmas time he took me and her out to see the lights. Just this past weekend he took us to see the wolves and paid for the whole thing. he even gave my sister 20 dollars for the gift shop. He did all this without batting an eye and without her being his. It was real hard to get him to do that with me when I was little. I think he's starting to change.

    With him changing and doing better, my uncle still hates him and thinks he's an asshole. So does my dad sound bad now? I know he was when I was younger, but not now. Wish my uncle would see it.
     
  2. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Tell your uncle that your dad is your dad regardless of the past, and that matters to you. Your uncle should be courteous enough not to express his opinion about your father when you are around. Some people with your childhood would never give a father the chance, some would would allow him to make the effort.

    Life's too short to continually worry about the past. It'd be one thing if your father was continually failing as a father, but it sounds as if he's got his act together and that's good for the both of you.

    How much influence on your life has your uncle had? Did he try to fill in for your father in the past? It could be that he resents your father being part of your life now. Your uncle may feel that your father didn't earn the right to be in your life now. Still, if you're willing to forgive your father for the past and move forward with your relationship, its your right to do so, and hopefully in time your uncle will accept that.
     
  3. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    Well, not everybody can be a wonderful person. And some people honestly do realize what they've been doing, then honestly try to change. It's been my experience that the ones who are most succesful are the ones who change quietly. They start doing things they overlooked before. They pay more attention to the people in their lives. They become more tolerable to be around. They don't try to throw in your face the fact that they're trying to do better. They just do it.
    It seems to me that the people who vocally want you to know they've changed, normally they're only doing it for the attention, and not necessarily because they want to be better people.
    So that's a long-winded way to say it sounds like your father is trying. And that's really hard to do. A person can really tear themselves up trying to outlive their stupidity, and it sounds like your father is trying to do it maturely. The best way you can encourage him is not to bring up his improvement, but how much you enjoy his company now, and hope it continues. If he's even half as awakened as you say he is, he'll know what you're really saying.
    As for your uncle, I'd be willing to wager he wasn't a puritan. He just doesn't like knowing that every time your dad comes by, your uncle is being forced to look into a mirror he's afraid of. I'd just try to avoid him, while not lessening your relationship with your father. A person's relationship with his parents is unquantifiable.
     
  4. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  5. Michael Pineo

    Michael Pineo Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with this 100%. It really isn't any of your uncle's business.

    I think if you feel that your Dad is really making an honest effort now, you should give him the benefit of the doubt and do your best to develop a relationship with him (If that is what you want). Like most people, as he is getting older, he is probably thinking about the past a lot and probably has a lot of regrets about the kind of father he was.

    I went through a similar situation in my life. My father was a terrible alcoholic and my parents were divorced when I was 3 years old. I generally only saw him once a week, and even then, he would just give me and my siblings a bunch of junk food and sit us in front of the television all day while he drank. I harbored a lot of resentment towards him all of my life. As he got older, he started commenting on how he didn't think he was a very good father and I think he was trying to make an effort to get closer to his children. I still resented him too much to put any effort into getting to know him better. Unfortunately, he died when I was only 25, and I never had a chance to get closer to him.

    If you really want to get closer to your father, don't let this happen to you. Regret is a terrible thing to live with.

    Good luck. I hope things work out for you and your father.

    MikeP
     
  6. Tony_Faville

    Tony_Faville Supporting Actor

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    My dad was and is a loser. Does drugs every chance he gets, drinks, womanizes, lies, cheats, steals and honestly spends most of every waking hour plotting out the next way he is going to defraud someone.

    He was injured in 1963, in the military but was injured while driving a personal vehicle (hit by a privately owned truck) and has been receiving 100% disability ever since. Always more than enough to live off of and currently about $2000 tax free a month. This has never been enough, always "fighting the government" to get more money.

    He was physically and verbally abusive to all of us and is generally a world class a-hole.

    I have not spoken with him since 1996 and neither one of us are inclined to contact the other. I don't hate him, he doesn't hate me, we just know it's best this way.

    In the long run, if someone were to bad-mouth my dad, I would drop them like a hot rock. I will say what I want and feel what I want but that's because he is my dad and I know him better than anyone on the face of this planet.

    If I were you, tell your uncle how you feel and that if he has an ounce of respect for you, he will keep his comments to himself while around you.

    Just my two cents.
     
  7. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I try to get along with my dad, but it's still hard. We're so different. He's skinny and very active, while I'm not so skinny and not always on the go, but I'm changing that. I sometimes still think back to then too. I really love animals, but he doesn't like them. He don't like the responsibility either. Our personalities clash sometimes because we both have bad tempers and totally different personalities and points of view. I wish my dad had of stuck up for me when my cousin did inapropriate stuff to me when I was 3 and 4. What really gets to me still is that my dad is still friends with him. If it was my sister or future child, the guy would be dead and I'd be sitting in a jail cell. I never asked him why he's still friends with the guy, because it causes too much rage in me to think about it. The guy never went to jail either [​IMG]
    My uncle only has been in my life 7 years, since I was 15. I don't really get along with him at all. He don't act like an uncle at all. He don't do what you think of what uncles should do, like taking nieces and nephews to ball games, to the movies, to the park, and getting them into trouble. We usually don't talk, unless he's mad at me or we are arguing. I tend to clash with him alot. He can be nice, but 98% of the time has an attitude that gets on everyone's nerves. He's the the type that thinks he's boss and to do what he says, not what he does. That doesn't go over well with me, because I'm 22 and am not gonna do anything unless my mom, dad, and grandmothers say so, or whatever boss I will have at work. I only live at home because my mom is a sickly person, and I help with my sister and the household chores. If I didn't live at home I wouldn't associate with my uncle at all, I would just come and visit my mom, sister, and grandmother. I only aknowledge him so I can keep the fighting sown and keep my mom happy.
     
  8. Paul Bond

    Paul Bond Stunt Coordinator

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    Stephen,
    By what you say you are now 22. In many ways that is too old for your father to decide to be a dad. You've pretty much grown without him. Whether he was not the perfect father by choice or by nature, it does not matter now. He does seem to be trying now, perhaps because he sees you as another adult now and can talk WITH you rather than TO you.
    All that aside, it is most important for you to have learned from him, how NOT to be a father, and to be sure you do not wind up like him should you marry and have children.

    If you have feelings for him, that is fine. He IS your father and it IS okay. When I married several years ago, I told my new stepson that I wasn't going to try to take his father's place, but that I would be as much of a dad as he wanted me to be, and as much of a friend as he wanted me to be. We've done okay. I wish you well.
     
  9. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    What you ultimately conclude with your father is up to you. Father/son relationships are dicey things with neither party frequently saying or expressing what he wants.

    To me it sounds like your father feels he can only be your father when he's 100% on his game. He's afraid to be with you when he sees himself a failure. Clearly he's worried that you won't love him if he isn't perfect all the time.

    At 22 you have some ability to take control of the relationship and, if you want to pursue it, can change his perceptions. You can feel offended that he thinks your shallow and that he disappears and does ugly things, or you can make the most crucial realization an adult child can make about parents, namely, that they aren't the gods we imagined them to be and they are certainly more fallible then we'd like to imagine.

    The choice for you is to take an active part in your father's life or let this situation continue. I can tell you that as you get older you come to realize very keenly that you'll only ever have the parents you have and it is all too easy to regret not having mended fences when you had the chance. That regret will not leave you until you die. At the very least you can say you tried. Take an interest in your father, find out where he lives and keep tabs on him. Go to him at times other than when he's not high, help him find treatment and counseling. Let him know that he shouldn't be embarassed to not be perfect all the time. While I'm not suggesting you enable his drug use, he should know that YOU are there for him in thick and thin and that you love him for who he is, not what he can give you. Follow him, find him, and help him be someone who is happy with his life.

    Far too many a father sees his worth to his children solely by what he can give them.

    This may be the hardest decision in your life. It may not work out. If it does you gain a deeper, perhaps life-changing relationship worth a price above rubies (great movie btw). If it doesn't at least you will have the consolation that you did what you could and that will ease your conscience.

    I'm 9 years older than my brother. Because of this we weren't close growing up and I always thought he was something of a punk who got everything he asked my parents for and didn't care much for anyone else; particularly me. When he was 15 he got into snorting heroin because of an older brother of a friend of his. A year after that he disappeared for 3 months under the guise of RVing with a neighboring family; he ditched them in LA after a week on the road but convinced them that he had airfare and that my parents were aware of his imminent return. We found out 2 weeks after that. So for 2 months we had no idea where he was. At the time I figured, "Well fuck him. If he wants to fuck-up his life and disappear then maybe he'll learn something." Stoooopid me. Seeing what this had done to my parents I volunteered to go to LA and find his sorry ass and drag him home.

    After I talked to the police I learned where he was likely to be. They told me to check the beaches, the "cruisey" streets, and the morgue. That was a hell of a wakeup call. I found him though, living with some other street kids, turning tricks to feed his addiction. It was like a bad movie. He was thin, pale, and when he saw me all he did was hug me and cry. I cried too and kicked myself inside wondering what I had done to contribute to this fucked-up existence. I had him on the plane that night and we had him in rehab the following morning. For the next few weeks I visited him and my parents and I went to group therapy and met with the counselors. Things were looking up.

    Five days before his release my parents came to the conclusion that they couldn't deal with my brother and didn't want him coming home to live with them. They felt they couldn't watch his every move and live in a constant state of suspicion. They also were worried about having drugs in the house. My sister, who lives in Vermont, was in school and couldn't deal with it so that left it to me or he was off to a half-way house or foster home. I took him in. Miraculously he is HIV-negative. I thank God for that.

    The time my brother has spent with me has been some of the most rewarding time in my life. I can't say it's been perfect or easy or even mostly happy. I can say that he's stayed off heroin though he has trouble keeping away from pot. We go to NA and NARANON, I talk to his teachers constantly, I watch where he goes and with whom. There's a lot of friction but he knows that I love him even if I don't tolerate shit. He is now sponsoring another teen in NA and is coming to terms with with the fact he's gay (my parents have yet to learn that). Yes this has taken a hit on my social life and definitely a hit in my career not to mention my bank account but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

    During this time I learned a lot of things about him that I never ever would have guessed before this happened. I learned his life wasn't anything like I imagined it. Much of it my parents have no idea of. We spend a lot of time talking (while watching movies in my spiffy home theater!), and a lot of time camping (best way to not be anywhere near drugs). Today my brother is turning into a fine young man with the spark and health of his youth back. Heroin is a fuck of a drug and something in him craves it every day but we're fighting this together and only time and his maturity and his willpower will keep him away from it no matter what I do. Yet, not a day goes by I don't think I'm watching a miracle. I am a very lucky man.
     
  10. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Not to be offensive, but your Dad sounds like a total ass and is just trying to make up for all the years now. Too little too late in my opinion, but remember he will always be your Dad.

    If he making an honest attempt now, you may be able to foster a relationship for the future in adulthood. Someday you may have grandchildren as well and they will want a Grandpop. I would let him make an attempt to succeed but do not allow him to harm you again.

    J
     

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