Sorry this is a long post, but there’s a lot of background to cover. I’ll try to be brief.
My question is this – how much contact to I owe to my father, and what is your advice in dealing with him?
Background: I started therapy a few months ago.
My parents divorced when I was 2 and my dad married his mistress, to whom he is still married (33 years). He had visitation with me on weekends. My mother was physically and psychologically abusive and I begged my dad over and over throughout my childhood to take custody of me or help me.
I won’t go into the abuse, as this post is long enough. It’s bad though, and my therapist said it was in the top 5 worst cases she heard in 30 years. My mother meets the clinical definition of a sociopath, but this post isn’t about her. I have addressed her with the abuse (by 8 page letter) and have not heard back in 4 months. Ah, peace!
I told my father about the abuse many times over the years of my childhood. He told me that he wouldn’t take custody of me. He also would tell me that it was “your job in this incarnation to learn to deal with it” and that I had chosen my parents before I was born. He would also say how we all have lessons to learn, and this was mine. He believes that whatever I did in a past life meant that I had to go through this and he wouldn’t interfere. He also told me that he had gotten away from my mother, and “she’s your problem now.”
He has been into New Age/psychic phenomenon since the 60’s. He worked as a medium (including stories of spirits taking over his body and speaking in scary voices), tarot reading, past life reading, crystal ball, and he listens to his spirit guide and gets information from him/her.
He has even said how he was given a vision of my past life while cooking. He had a feeling of his chest being crushed and then he says he fell down and spoke in Chinese. After the vision of my past life, he says that he knew it was my spiritual protector that had attacked him. It explained why I had a certain medical problem as a child. Bizzare.
He’s also a belligerent alcoholic, and has gotten much worse in the past 10-15 years.
I’m giving this info so you can help me evaluate the sanity of continuing to deal with this person.
He claims he has no memory of me EVER telling him about my mother’s abuse growing up. Which means either:
1) He’s lying and denying it so everything can go back to normal
2) The info went into the “trash” pile in his head years ago because it didn’t bother him enough to remember.
There’s more – stealing $15,000 from me. Manipulation and lies. Allowing me to go hungry (as a child) and live in poverty while he had vacations and new cars. But this post is long enough.
I’m not sure how to deal with him denying I told him about the abuse. How can I even confront someone like that who acts all innocent? Am I allowed to write him a letter and end the relationship? Am I obligated to talk to him and pretend everything is ok?
For now, I have gone “low contact” – calls on birthdays, Mother’s/Father’s Day, Christmas. I return some emails. But he’s getting more insistent that I call him and talk with him. I really really don’t want to, as it’s so hard and painful to deal with.
Again, sorry about the novel. Thanks for reading it.