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#26071 - 10/20/03 12:04 PM My father
MM Offline

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 59
Loc: Canada
I found out today that my father just died. I have so much confusion with this that I really don't know what to do with myself. I am sad, I am cross, I am tired, I am confused, I am numb, I don't know. How can I feel sad with his death? He fucked up my life!

There is so much going on with this that I cannot deal with right now and it hurts so much. It feels just so terrible and frightening. I don't know how to feel about it. I mean, I should be glad he is dead and I am glad that he is not on the same earth as me, but I am still confused about it all.

I can't find the words properly… sorry.

#26072 - 10/20/03 12:20 PM Re: My father
FlyWM Offline

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Michigan
You don't need to be sorry MM, I know how you feel. You do not have to feel anything, it is okay to have a "unreaction" to the death of a person who greatly hurt you. To be honest that is what would happen with me I think if my father died, I would have a "unreation." You do not have to be sad, you do not have to be glad, you just have to be you, and that is more than enough. You have been strong enough to make it this far, and you can make it through this, no matter how you feel about it. I mean the way I would see it is "screw what other people think about how I feel" they don't know what happened, and even if they do, they can't possibly understand. JUst be yourself, and you will be ok, just let the feelings come as they do, and don't think about how you "should" feel, it is kay to feel whatever you do, even if you are not sure what those feelings are.


Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible in not a declaration, it's a dare.


#26073 - 10/20/03 12:58 PM Re: My father
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Mark my brother. Just remember that he relinquished the title of Father the first time he did what he continued to do to you for so long.

I lost my father in 2000 and although he never sexually assaulted me he did beat me at every opportunity etc etc. I was able to reconcile with him about 8 months before he died. But it was the times for beatings when I was young. Even when he beat and whipped me a part of me still loved him. Well maybe not him but the idea of a father.



#26074 - 10/20/03 01:05 PM Re: My father
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I am sorry for what his death has done to you emotionally. I realize that with what was done to you, you truly 'lost' your father long ago, as did I. I understand the confusion and guilt over how you feel, how you 'should' feel. Please do not let anyone tell you that what you feel is wrong. Take care of yourself during this time, as you are what is important. My thoughts are with you.


Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

#26075 - 10/20/03 01:31 PM Re: My father
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

I am sorry to hear about your father's death. Both my parents are alive, so I can't even say that I know what it was like for me.

Please take good care of yourself right now. Call Eve, your T, PM or email one of us, but don't be alone at this time, surround yourself with people who will be supportive. I do know enough to realize that you will have a lot of strong emotions now, and I hope you will rely on the people who want to support you.

You're a good man and you've come a long, long way in just a short time. Keep that in mind.


"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#26076 - 10/20/03 01:41 PM Re: My father
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
You do not have to feel sorry.

You do hurt, and I understand that.

I feel for you and I'm thinking about you.


There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

#26077 - 10/20/03 04:48 PM Re: My father
DannyT Offline

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 645
Hi MM--I just wanted to add my support to that of the others.

When my dad died, I also felt many of the things you talk about. It was very complicated, so maybe I can add a few things the others didn't mention.

I was surprised by people who said they understood what I was going through. They all expected me to lose it with grief. I had no real grief, and my face was always empty when they spoke to me, so I think they thought I was cold. I couldn't really explain what was going on, so I just said my dad and I didn't get along.

One woman, a colleague at work, came up to me weeping with sympathy for me. She scared me. She also said she knew exactly what I was going through (she must have lost a loved parent...). I said, "You have no idea what I'm going through. You barely know me," and just walked away. I wish I had been kinder.

I lived in the Virgin Islands then, and my dad died in Michigan. Neither my sister or I went to the funeral. I don't even know where he's buried.

But when I got the news that he had died suddenly (he fell down the stairs), I felt the most bizarre and confusing set of things: relief that I wouldn't have to face him any more, releif that my family could get together peacefully (he was also a drunk and angry when drunk), relief that an enormous weight was gone from my shoulders....many kinds of relief. Also though, there was deep sadness that surprised me: I realized I had always wanted a father, and that he had betrayed me in that way particularly. I've noticed (with some dread and weirdness) how alike my dad and I are (though I don't abuse people or drink too much): because of this I realize he betrayed a relationship that should have been filled with joyful sharing of interests and learning of skills: the whole dad/son thing. I would have welcomed it and so would he have welcomed it, so how come it got destroyed? So I've had lots of grief over that loss. Most of the grief has been for losses from the deep past that are now clearly permanent. His death made me realize how much I wanted to have a father who loved me and could show it in normal dad/son ways. It also obliterated the fantasy that somehow I could reconcile with him and have some of that healthy relationship at a late date. I realised that that had never been possible. My dad once said to me, "some things are not forgiveable." I realize now that he was talking about himself.

His death has also given me perspective and made the abuse way easier to deal with. Now that he no longer exists in the world, I can see that everything about the abuse is passing. There's no more abuser in the world for me to dread, and that feeling took wing after a while in my heart. It probably will for you, too. So many of the effects of abuse seem shared, why shouldn't the relief also be shared?

Anyway, just wanted you to hear another voice of someone who has gone through the situation of the death of an abuser. My reactions were very complicated, too. They have to be. It's a complicated thing to be betrayed so deeply at a young age (or any time) by someone close to the heart, especially the one who is socially understood as the provider of safety in a storm.

My heart goes out to you. I've been through this in my own way, and it was like having all the deepest feelings rise to the surface. Try to let it be clarifying and open. I'm lucky to have someone in my family who can hear all the stories. My sister went through some of the same things, and we're very close. We have very few secrets from one another and can let all of the grief come to the surface when it needs to. So we talked about these things very openly, and it brought us closer together. My mom, too. We all got perspective on our family history, even in the weirdest ways. We realized we suddenly enjoyed being together, whereas before it had always been so hard. Abusers are generally troubled in many ways, so even if there's no sex abuse, there are other things that make life so difficult around them. Like the alchoholism in my case. There was relief in many eyes and for many reasons after my dad died.

Anyway, just wanted to let you hear another voice of sympathy. I've been down this particular path in my own shoes, so I have some sense of the possible pain. It's OK if there is also very real relief. I found great peace in understanding that the failure of my relationship with my dad had nothing to do with me. All a son is supposed to do is be open to the possibilities the dad offers: You wanna play catch? Sure dad. You wanna come build a treehouse? Sure dad. You wanna learn to ride a bike? Sure dad. I would have been open if he had offered.

I just got a dad who had other things on his mind.

Not my fault.

Not yours either.


#26078 - 10/20/03 05:51 PM Re: My father
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I have no experience of the emotions you're going through now, not like some of these guys - especially Danny. But reading what's already been written a couple of things occured to me.

The first is that it isn't compulsory to have feelings and emotions about his death, if you don't - then why worry ? he had no respect for your emotions

If the emotions you feel however are confusing, and I can't see why they wouldn't be, don't fight them. They won't go away by fighting them.
Try to explore them, and maybe you'll find that a feeling of 'grief' that initially seems as though you're grieving him, is actually you grieving your lost childhood.

I know how much support you get from Eve, and the guys here. Your credits good Mark, if you feel you want some support you only have to ask.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#26079 - 10/21/03 12:01 AM Re: My father
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Mark, when a sister of mine died, who in fact had abused me, but not sexually, I just felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. Then I felt guilty for feeling that way, and sorry for all the pain she had caused her sons and myself.

Realizing that she was very sick helps some. But the fact is, that I feel free knowing she can't harm me anymore. I am not sorry for that feeling.

I wish your Dad would have taken the opportunity to reconcile with you but he didn't. I guess you can feel whatever you want. Like others said, there are no "required" feelings in situations like that.

Maybe in a month or two it will seem more clear to you, and hopefully you'll feel that relief you have needed to feel.


If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

#26080 - 10/21/03 12:59 AM Re: My father
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1984
Loc: Flint, Michigan

My prayers are with you.

I have not lost a parent or immediate family member as of yet. Nor do I known of the death of one of my many perps. Let alone a parent that was one of the perps. In these regards I have no idea of what you are going through, but I can see that it would be an emotional time.

I hold a lot of despite for my own father, not for SA or physical abuse, but for abandonment. It was not until his wife died this summer did he want anything to do with his own ten children, I am #8. In my mind, I hold him responsible for my years of SA and the almost natural transition into physical abuse. I love him at the same time. Two such contrasting emotions filling the same space, I don't know if I want to hug him or yell at him. I haven't yelled at him as of yet, and on occassion give him a big hug like the ones I wish he would have given me 30 years ago. Other times I ignore his presence when we share the space, such as the first time he saw my son and said "oh, I heard you had as kid" and that was the end of it. And the next time, a year later, when he said hi to me and nodded at my son and asked where my brothers son is because he never gets to see him. And this summer when he didn't even know who I was. Yet when he needs me, I'm there for him.

Society teaches us we are supposed to love our parents and our parents are supposed to care for us and keep us safe. Our desires want us to be close to our parents in a loving (true parent-child love, not what we were exposed to) way. Reality on the otherhand is the opposite. Our parents didn't show us the love we needed, instead they considered only themselves in their lives. They did not care for us, nor did they make any effort to keep us safe. Your father did not forfill his obligation to you as his son, instead twisted it for his own wicked things. Therefore you have no obligations to him. His obligations to you were far more than any obligation that you think you have to him. Yet this can be so confussing, and the emotions are all over the place in one thought.

Please, Mark, remember to take care of your self. You have no obligations to take care of him.

I hope you have called your T to get in quick, as this is a time-sensitive issue, to discuss and work through some of these conflicting fealings.

Take care,

Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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