Social Question

ette_'s avatar

Can't stop feeling angry and enraged at something my dad did.

Asked by ette_ (1360points) February 11th, 2011

Please, before anyone jumps on me for being materialistic, the short story of what happened is:

My dad was helping me move last week and got angry that I spent so much money on designer bags (I had over $5k worth of them, including a special edition Louis Vuitton). So angry, in fact, that while I was out at a job interview and he was overseeing the moving truck/movers, he took all of my bags and threw them into the community garbage dumpster last Tuesday.

I didn’t find out until today, because I’ve been so busy unpacking and moving other stuff that my bags were not the first thing on my mind.

I am LIVID. I am so angry that I don’t think I can forgive him. A lot of it is more about him completely violating my trust. The issues I have with my dad go back a long, long time.

I am turning 30 this weekend. My dad used to fight with my mom all the time from since I can remember at a young age. Things got so bad before that he dragged her down the stairs, hit her, etc. He would use me to pit me against her by trashing her verbally in front of me.

Anyway, I have been struggling financially for the past few years and prior to that, when I was actually employed, I had a bad habit of overspending.

This is totally rambling and all over the place but I am SO ANGRY right now, I don’t think I can forgive him. First, he lied to me and told me he donated the bags. So then I asked him to tell me where he took them and he wouldn’t tell me because “it’s for my own good.” Then about 10 minutes later he emails me and says he didn’t really donate them, he actually threw them into the garbage.

I called the police to report a theft but they said that it’s a civil matter.

So I have 2 questions.

(1) Can I contact the waste/garbage people and ask them where they might have been dumped?

(2) How can I possibly get over this anger? I am still seething. I honestly don’t think I can ever forgive him. This is the last straw. It’s not about the bags so much as the principle of things.

Please help :(

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63 Answers

flutherother's avatar

Your father shouldn’t have done that. I would just tell him that you trusted him with your stuff and he let you down, plain and simple. It was nice of him to help you move but this action, though it may have been impulsive, is unforgiveable.

I would check with the garbage people just in case. There is also a faint possibility your father has kept the bags. I’m sorry, but from what you have told me your father has problems with the women who are closest to him.

LuckyGuy's avatar

He shouldn’t have. But… I’m just theorizing here…
Imagine how mad and frustrated he must have been. He took two days off from work to help you move, because you did not have money to pay movers. You weren’t ready. Your stuff wasn’t in boxes. There was no one else around to help.
For the past x years your parent have been helping pay bills or your car insurance, sometimes rent.
And then he saw the bags…

Call the trash service immediately. You might not have good luck though. Our trash is hauled directly to a waste recycling facility. Where it is turned into RDF – refuse derived fuel within minutes.

BarnacleBill's avatar

It’s entirely likely dumpster divers made off with them before they even hit the dump.

Your father’s behavior indicates anger management issues, both in the past and with this. It’s childish to throw your stuff away because he’s mad that you have it. You want to make sure that you approach this situation from a different perspective than what he has modeled for you as an “appropriate reaction.”

Your father’s actions are probably a game-changer in your relationship with him. He was entirely out of line to do that. At age 30, you’re not a child. However, your father still is. You are going to have to discuss this with him once you calm down about it. It sounds like he operates at the rage and anger level, and if you are drawn into that level you will never win; he is more familiar with it.

SuperMouse's avatar

First, I think @BarnacleBill is right, those bags are probably long gone. If dumpster divers didn’t take them, the sanitation engineers handling the refuse probably did. In all reality I think making your father understand is a lost cause as well. He probably believed he was helping you out by teaching you that material things don’t matter and there will be no convincing him otherwise. You are going to have to make the choice to forgive him or not forgive him then move forward with your choice.

mrentropy's avatar

I don’t think it was a life lesson, I just think he was pissed and chucked it. Which is like taking $5,000 and throwing it in an incinerator to somehow prove a point about pissing money away. The guy sounds like he’s abusive and has mental issues.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Don’t totally cut him out of your life, but he doesn’t sound like a guy I’d want around my children unsupervised….

john65pennington's avatar

Your anger did not start with your expensive bags. Your anger, with your dad, started years ago with the domestic assault and abuse of your mother. I am amazed that you even talk to him. Did you expect him to do anything else, with your expensive bags, than he did? Five thousand dollars is an enormous amout to pay for these items. Nevertheless, they belonged to you and not your dad. It is a civil matter and no police action can be taken. I hope this is a learning lesson for you and relationship with your dad.

Where is your mother?

ette_'s avatar

They are divorced and my entire family has basically washed their hands of me because of my emotional issues. A lot of which, as you (@john65pennington) note, started a long time ago because that’s all I was exposed to as a child…learning that handling situations with irrational behavior and emotions was “normal”.

I honestly am broken beyond repair. Obviously my feelings right now have much more to do than just losing my handbags. I have spent the last couple hours crying and actually thinking of ways to end my life. This is the worst it has ever been. I have a son and he is the only thing keeping me from doing anything (he is with his dad right now, because I split time with him). My mother hung up on me because I told her I couldn’t take it anymore and that I was going to just leave and/or end my life. My sister, who is 4 years younger, got “lucky” from being younger and not being as exposed to the crap that I was, and went away to college 8 years ago and never came back home.

I can’t forgive him. I actually want him to feel the pain he has caused me in my life and this
is a horrible thing for me to be saying because I am not an evil person.

I really doubt that there is a person in this world who cares if I live or die.

marinelife's avatar

@hurtntired If you were to end your life, you would be letting your father win. Don’t do that.

I know the loss of the bags is just a symbol of everything vile that your father has done, but killing yourself over some brand name luggage doesn’t sound good, does it?

You are 30. It is time that you separated yourself from your father. By calling on him to move you, you gave him the opportunity to throw away the bags. You need to shut him out of your life. Maybe for good or maybe just for right now.

Therapy would be very helpful in dealing with your anger and with the emotional issues that are hanging around from your childhood. It is time to deal with them, and then move on. That would be an excellent way to get back at your father.

Read Dr. Susan Forward’s book Toxic Parents as a starter.

And, by the way, your Mom hung up on you when you called her in your distress? She doesn’t sound so great either.

Finally, I don’t think you can get the bags back. Consider them gone. Work on getting rid of the baggage that living with your father left you with.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@hurtntired, please call this number RIGHT NOW! 1–800-273–8255


Listen: your father’s behaviour has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with his own issues. Please don’t hurt yourself because of him. He’s only doing what he knows how to do. I’m not saying that to excuse him, but because it’s true. I know, I grew up with an abuser as well who would beat me in front of my friends with her fists when she was angry enough, among other horrors, and I figured out as an adult that she didn’t know any other way to offload her anger and frustration than to do what she did.

I thought of it this way: if someone unrelated to me treated me as she did, they’d be in jail! Or friends would ask me why I’m around such a person. Abusers don’t get a pass because they’re your parents! Realizing that freed me to walk away. I deserve better from people in my life, and no amount of bullying from her was going to force me to maintain a relationship with her. You also deserve better, and it starts by giving yourself the care that these people should’ve given to you, but didn’t. I’m sorry this is happening.

Please call that number now and talk to someone. Please.

SuperMouse's avatar

@hurtntired please call 1–800-SUICIDE (1–800-784–2433) or 1–800-277-TALK (1–800-273–8255) right now. You need to speak to someone who can help you right now to deal with these feelings. You are not broken beyond repair, I promise.

ette_'s avatar

Just to clarify, not that this changes the situation, I actually did not ask him to help me. He has continually FORCED his help upon me and I say no, but then he comes knocking on the door and I can’t just tell him to go away. Same with the whole financial situation. I have repeatedly refused to accept money from him and he still shoves it down my throat and now I am completely debilitated.

I started to call the local crisis hotline earlier but the woman who picked up sounded like the last thing she wanted to do was talk to someone who was a crying hot mess. I can’t talk to a crisis line because they don’t CARE. And nobody who is supposed to care in my life does. My parents both claim that they love me but they sure have funny ways of showing it. My mom has in the past told me that she wishes I wasn’t born.

I’m a little calmer now but everytime I think about the entire situation I get riled up again and I get bitterly angry and there is just this black SHIT inside me that wants to wreak havoc on my parents’ lives.

marinelife's avatar

@hurtntired Even more reason for you to cut your parents out of your life right now until you get your balance back and are more prepared to deal with them.

ette_'s avatar

Also, I don’t know if this makes a difference to anyone but my parents are immigrants. It makes a slight difference to me because I was born in the US and I’m stuck between the two cultures.

I’m SO ANGRY right now. I hate how I am feeling. I literally want to throw up because of all the anger that is inside me. So much resentment.

And yes, I have thought about counseling and have actually gone and I agree that it helps, but I am literally surviving on pennies and counselors are expensive.

marinelife's avatar

@hurtntired Many counselors will work on a sliding scale or there may be mental health services available from the county where you live.

Let’s talk about getting rid of some of the rage you are feeling right now. Take a large pillow or beanbag chair or the like and go to the center of the room (a clear space).

Stand with your knees slightly bent and your arms hanging at you side, and breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Think about what your father did to you and how it makes you feel and hit the pillow or beanbag chair. While you are hitting it, remember to keep breathing.

You can yell stuff like “I hate you dad.” Keep hitting until you feel the anger leave you, and you are calmer inside.

bunnygrl's avatar

<hugs> honey you are worth so much more than this, and I promise you it will get better. It’ll take a little time but I swear it’ll get better. I lived in hell for a long time, and I don’t mean feeling a little blue I mean spending every day thinking of ways to make it all stop. Unless someone has felt that, they can’t understand how it twists and turns you inside out and how unbearable the pain is. Just noticed some replies appearing above this, my fellow jellies have given some excellent advice, please call one of the numbers they’ve given you, you need to talk about this. Talking helps you see, I promise. Think of this like a poison thats floating about inside and making you ill, you need to get the poison out, and talking about it really,really helps. It took me a long time to figure that out. You have your son, and he needs his Mum more than anything else in this world. What your Dad did was unforgivable, stay away from him, at least for a while till you’re feeling stronger. I’m so sorry this has happened honey, I so wish I could make it all right for you <hugs>. My Grandmother told me when I was young that family can hurt you far worse than strangers because they know exactly how to, and it wasn’t till after she died that I found out how right she was. I had a breakdown because of mine, and as I said, I lived in hell, properly in hell, for a long time. You need to take care of you honey, you and your son are a single strong little unit. Take care of that unit. People only have the amount of power over you that you give them, so take their (your dad as well as your Mum by the sounds of it) power away from them by not allowing any contact for a while, till you feel stronger.

You’ve found your way here at least honey, fluther is full of lovely caring people who will listen, and there is some great advice above. First things first you have to take care of yourself so that you can feel better, and stronger. With regards to your bags, if the police have said its a civil matter, would you be able (not now, when you are strong enough to cope) to claim the cost of the bags from your dad? it might teach him a lesson about respecting other people’s belongings, as well as giving you some kind of closure. Sending mountains of hugs honey xx

Judi's avatar

You have every right to be angry, but consider this. IF he were to die tomorrow, could you live with yourself if this is where you left your relationship?
My advice would be to find a way to put this behind you. That doesn’t mean that you give him any more opportunity to do this again, it means that you learn that your father is controlling, so you continue to work hard Towards independence so you never have to rely on him, and can afford to have a relationship on YOUR terms. Determine your boundaries, but be prepared to afford the boundaries he might put up in response.
I just think if you let your anger consume you to the point of cutting him out of your life completely you will regret it forever.

ette_'s avatar

@Judi, I probably could. As callous as that sounds, I honestly think I would be more free to live my life and breathe and be healthy if he died tomorrow. I’m sorry. I’m not a terrible person but he has caused me enough grief in my life. He has damaged our relationship beyond repair.

@marinelife I tried to breathe and calm down but the anger comes back in waves. The second I think about it I see red again.

I will never forgive my dad. This kind of damage is a little easier to forgive when you’re 10 or 15, or even 20, but not anymore. This will NEVER be something I will look back on and “laugh” about even if in a cynical way. I am tired of having my life and emotions yanked around by a 61 year-old child.

YoBob's avatar

Let me get this straight.

You are struggling financially yet somehow found the money to buy $5k worth of designer bags and can’t understand why your dad would be torqued about that?????

Sure, he shouldn’t have tossed your personal property, but have you considered that perhaps you drove him to such levels of frustration by not listening to his fatherly advice when it comes to being a bit more frugal?

marinelife's avatar

@hurtntired But did you hit a pillow and vent your anger? Do that.

WasCy's avatar

Considering his abusive and (apparently) capricious nature, it isn’t surprising that you would harbor antagonism toward him dating from even before this incident. And he was wrong to do what he did – whichever way he’s lying about it. (Either he did donate the bags to charity but doesn’t want you to find them, or he did throw them away but lied at first so that you wouldn’t think he was that destructive. Who knows?)

In any case, he was wrong, and apparently has a history of acting impulsively and abusively, so not much here is out of character for him.

But what he trashed was just “stuff”. You can get more “stuff” later. Really, it’s not worth harboring the hate over the “stuff”. You should forgive him – after all, he didn’t drag you down the stairs by your hair and beat you, so you’re ahead of the game in that respect – take a win on that! Holding and nursing that hate is going to hurt you. After you’ve forgiven him, just cut him out of your life.

You’ve already inherited too much of his anger.

poofandmook's avatar

@YoBob: Do you read? This is obviously about way more than bags or money… the situation involving them just happened to be the trigger. Go away if you can’t be helpful.

@hurtntired: Hey listen, I’ve been where you are… and now I’m really happy. Stressed at the moment, but overall, I’m happy. It’s possible to get there. When someone told me to do what @marinelife suggested with the pillow, I scoffed at how stupid it sounded. But guess what? That shit works. Don’t give up. I PROMISE you, it gets better.

YoBob's avatar

@poofandmook Well, IMHO, in most cases the root cause of conflict is shared among the participants and rather than simply trying to place blame on the other party and find sympathetic ears to tell you you are right and the other guy is wrong rather than coming to terms with that concept is helpful.

However, as I’m sure that neither the original poster nor you care to hear that, I’ll be happy to hit the “Stop Following” button.


Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Replace your bags with my witchcraft altar and I’ve got the same story as you. I have NEVER forgiven him for it. He’s dead now but after that point (after he so carelessly threw out what was very imporant to me) he wasn’t my father anymore. Sounds extreme, I know, but it wasn’t just about him throwing that out, it was his not knowing me ever that did it.

tranquilsea's avatar

At some point you have to separate yourself from your father. If you can’t trust him around you put a boundary around yourself and only contact him by phone. If he comes to your door don’t answer it. You need to do this to begin the process of getting better yourself. Then sometime in the future you may be strong enough to deal with your dad in a more direct way.

As to your experience with the crisis centre: I had the same kind of reaction when I was in a crisis. But please, please get yourself to a hospital if you get really serious about killing yourself. If you can’t do it for yourself do it for your son.

I’ve been where you are and it is the most torturous place I can imagine. Please know that, with help, you can get better. Try to find a therapist that can help you process all of this. This is too much to handle on your own.

ette_'s avatar

Ok @YoBob, if you didn’t read before, you obviously didn’t read the part about how I bought these years ago when I actually WAS employed and was simply spending my money on the wrong things. I’m not an idiot.

ette_'s avatar

To everyone else, thank you for the thoughtful and caring responses.

I am not above understanding what the trigger was that pissed my dad off. But regardless, nobody should have done what he did. I also never said that I have never been at fault in our relationship before. But this is it for me in terms of ever trusting him again. He has broken my trust time and time again throughout the course of my life. He cheated on my mom (physical abuse notwithstanding), lied to us about it (to my face when I asked him point blank), then went and married the bitch secretly after my sister and I had finally come to terms with his new “relationship” but just asked that he be honest with us going forward (specifically, if you’re going to get married to her, fine, but at least let us know in advance). And in the middle of all this, he throws money at me and a car to prove that he’s still the “cool” parent who gave me what I “wanted” and not my mom.

So @YoBob, read everything first before you decide to chime in and call me oblivious.

poofandmook's avatar

@hurtntired: That comment wasn’t even worth addressing; you don’t have to explain yourself to someone who obviously doesn’t understand.

How are you feeling now?

ette_'s avatar

@poofandmook, thank you… this is why I love Fluther because in general the community is respectful and takes the time to understand the entire story before jumping on someone.

So about the pillow thing…I didn’t do it earlier because I think I just have never done something like that and it’s so foreign to me and I felt like even if I did, my anger would still come back. Anyway, so my dad comes to my apartment this morning because last night, before all the drama, we had discussed moving the remainder of my things (and for those of you who want to judge me for asking my dad for help this time, I don’t have a big car and he has a minivan so there are naturally things that won’t fit in my sedan but would fit in his minivan). Obviously after the drama happened I wasn’t trying to talk to him at all. I actually blocked his phone number from calling me and I set my email filters to delete his emails and never hit my inbox. The apartment call box rings this morning and I knew it was him, and I ignored it. And then somehow he finds his way inside and knocks on the door. I don’t understand how he can possibly think that things are just fine again or ignore what happened. I told him to leave. So after he came by I got really pissed off again and I was in bed trying to sleep so I yelled “I hate you!” to the wall which is about as far as I got with the whole pillow thing. I’ll try to attempt it again later.

My whole face is swollen from crying and it’s so embarrassing.

@marinelife I ordered that book you mentioned at the very beginning, thank you – I read the reviews and I almost can’t believe that there is a book out there written for people like me. It just seems like no one else I know has a crazy family or crazy parents but I guess people are just really good at keeping things like that to themselves…

ette_'s avatar

Oh…I guess I forgot to answer the part about how I am feeling now. I’m still feeling pretty shitty. And to make matters worse, I signed my house over to my ex last month because we’re both on the loan/title, and he was going to take it over/refinance it, but because I missed some payments to the employment department for overpayment of unemployment benefits, they put a lien on the house, and unless I pay the amount in full, they won’t remove the lien. So my dad emails me (and I guess the filter only works if it’s not part of a group email) and asks me what I want to do about it and if he should help me find the money to pay it off so I don’t have to deal with my ex anymore. My whole life is literally being beaten to a pulp right now.

Maybe I should try the pillow thing right now.

YoBob's avatar

Just wanted to send you an apology.

While I did read your original post I did not read all of the subsequent ones before I chimed in. In my pre-coffee spin up this morning it rather looked to me like you were being an impetuous child who was pissed that daddy got angry and took her play thing away. I see that the situation is a bit more complicated than that.

So… you can write “YoBob” on your pillow if you want.

poofandmook's avatar

@YoBob: I can’t speak for the OP, but as the one who called you out, I have to say that I think it was a very respectable thing for you to admit your misconception.

ninjacolin's avatar

I’m too mad at your dad to talk about him.

ette_'s avatar

I am feeling so trapped. I need to make sure that when I am with my son (50% of his time) he is fed, clothed, bathed, and has a roof over his head. But I have no money and no job. I have a CPA but my experience is too specific and I don’t often get an opportunity because of the job market. I’ve applied to office assistant and other similar jobs and always get the “you’re too experienced” response. I cannot depend on my father because the dependency is so detrimental to everyone involved.

ette_'s avatar

@YoBob thank you for your apology. I can see how my first post could be taken trivially but my mind is a mess right now and I can’t really organize my thoughts clearly enough to explain everything that has gone into what I’m feeling right now besides the actual trigger.

bunnygrl's avatar

<hugs> I know what you mean re jobs. I applied everywhere and got nowhere, until I rewrote my CV and took all mention of university away. I ended up with a job on checkout, which to this day I’m grateful I got. I sometimes wish I could go back to what I trained for (I’m a paralegal) but there isn’t any work where I am. It’s just not fair that folk have to deny any acheivements in order to get a job. This world is just crazy right now, but you know what, things do have a habit of working themselves out. Do what your instincts tell you is right, listen to your judgement.

Just remember that you’re a strong, caring, wonderful person honey. You are better than this situation and it’ll pass. Just try to stay strong, and take care of yourself, ok? and you’ve now got loads of new friends here to come talk to.
sending love and hugs xx

ette_'s avatar

@ninjacolin I really hope that your response was genuine and not sarcastic or an attempt to be witty and make light of my situation. If not, I have no idea why people would say that your answer is a “great answer” because it sounds flippant to me and is upsetting that someone would find humor in someone else’s pain.

bunnygrl's avatar

@hurtntired I really do believe that @ninjacolin was being genuine honey really, he wouldn’t hurt you like that <hugs> xx

@YoBob Just wanted to say that was lovely of you to apologise like that, it showed a lot of class, you’re a gentleman <hugs> xx

wundayatta's avatar

@hurtntired I think you’ve been getting some excellent advice and support here, and it sounds like it’s helping.

I would like to suggest a technique that might work to help you stop thinking all those thoughts you don’t want to think. It’s kind of simple, although it is also difficult.

You mentioned earlier using your breath, so maybe you know this already. Contrary to what most people believe, it is nearly impossible for people to truly multitask. When we say we are multitasking, we are actually multiple single tasking. We switch our attention from one thing to another, and because there is no continuity, everything suffers.

For most of us, we can only focus on one thing at a time. This means that our minds can only really think about one thing at a time. This is not quite true but it is largely true.

This idea is the basis for the idea that if you focus your mind on something, then you can not focus on another thing. The way to do this is by focusing on your breath. The idea is to see how well you can focus on your breath.

The first thing you do is try to lengthen your breath. You want long slow inbreaths and equally long slow outbreaths. Don’t go so long you don’t get the oxygen you need, but do try to make it as long as you can.

Then you start counting your breaths. Your goal is to count to 100. Each breath consists of the intake and exhalation.

Most people can’t even count to ten breaths before their mind starts wandering. This is ok. However, as soon as you become aware you are thinking about something other than counting your breaths, try to redirect your attention to counting your breaths. Start at 1 again. It is surprisingly hard to do this, so don’t worry if you can’t get very far. That’s not really the point. The point is that if your mind is focused on your breath, there is very little room left for it to think about anything else. It’s a process. The number 100 is arbitrary.

As you do this, it will allow you to calm down. Eventually, you can use this technique to slow down and pay attention to your surroundings and to what is happening now, instead of the things your mind wants to obsess about.

When you do this, you can start to let go of the thoughts that bother you. You can’t stop them, but you can stop letting them control you. Once you let go, you can focus on things that really will be useful to you, such as getting a job without beating yourself up for not having a job.

It’s cool stuff. I started learning it when I was ready to check out. The people here told me a lot of the same things they are telling you. I have two kids. They were in trouble in school because of how I was behaving. After a lot of work, I am doing much better. I hope you will see that kind of improvement in your life, too. You sound like a fighter, I think you will see that improvement.

faye's avatar

Wow, I’d be so furious, I’d feel sick, too. You absolutely have to stay away from him for awhile. I don’t think I could forgive that either, it would always be in the back of my mind. Maybe he is so screwed up himself that he doesn’t have much control? Best of luck to you. At least you can teach your son not to be like him.

bunnygrl's avatar

@wundayatta GA and wonderful advice <hugs> xx

ette_'s avatar

@wundayatta, thank you for your thoughtful response. I will give that a try.

For anyone who is interested, I called the waste management people and then the transfer station and they pretty much told me that even if my bags survived the crushing of the compactor (unlikely) they are now buried in a landfill under tons of other garbage.

I think that as petty as this sounds, at least my beautiful bags aren’t on someone else’s arm. :( Again, please don’t judge me for caring about my material things. We all have things that we hold dear to us materially. And above and beyond my relationship with my dad is not reparable and it is NOT just because of some “silly purses”.

I’m on the defensive right now, I apologize, but I really can’t deal with people who read this and don’t try to understand the whole situation and just see me as a little spoiled brat who is crying about a purse.

VS's avatar

I would only pass along to you what I consider the most valuable piece of learning to have every taken place in this 61 year-old lady: You cannot change other people. You can only change your REACTION to other people. Your dad is not going to change. He’s been like he is for a very long time. You can only change your reaction to him. When he asks to help you with money or moving, or anything else, simply tell him “thanks for the offer, but I have it under control.” Forgiveness is very often more about helping YOU to heal than any way in which it might actually impact the forgiven. They were designer bags, they meant a great deal to you obviously, but they were just material things. They can be replaced at some point in time if your financial situation becomes viable. Threats of suing your dad over five grand for some bags he threw away is going to do nothing to make you feel better and it certainly won’t have much impact on him. So you go to Court and the Court decides he was wrong and orders him to pay you $5,000. Then what? Would you go and buy more designer bags? Doubtful. I’m so sorry for your loss,but I just really again would reiterate—you cannot change your dad, only your reaction to what he has done, with regard to both the bags, your mom, and your family dynamic in general.

ninjacolin's avatar

@hurtntired when I was moving out some years ago I thought I was being clever putting all my new clothes in a garbage bag when I ran out of boxes.. guess where they ended up?... yea.. it happened during a really hard part of my life when a few thousand things were going wrong but somehow losing my clothes was the most crushing thing. For a few years I actually thought one of my roommates did it semi-intentionally.. but I got over it eventually and I really had no reason to think he would do that, was just rough on me for some reason. I empathize, genuinely.

Also.. i really like purses for some reason. No, I don’t own any :P I just appreciate the design work

ette_'s avatar

@ninjacolin, thanks for replying and sharing your story.

I’m most of all mourning the loss of my limited edition LV Watercolor Speedy. I cringe just typing it out.

I think I know the answer to this question, but should I fight the urge to write an email to my father basically telling him that I am done with him and cutting him off, and instead be silent about it? I have yet to hear an apology from him and I don’t know if I ever will. But the fact that he hurt me so badly and broke my trust and cannot muster an apology really pours salt on the wound.

ette_'s avatar

@wundayatta I’m trying your breath thing and I can’t even do it for one breath. I mean, not while I’m on the computer. But I can literally almost physically feel my brain trying to steer my thoughts. :(

marinelife's avatar

I think you should ignore your father for now. I don’t think sending him an email is a good idea.

ette_'s avatar

Now I’m having conflicted emotions about feeling guilty about ignoring him and I know I shouldn’t. I really hate my family. I just told my ex that he has to deal with my dad because I’m not speaking to him, period. I was reading some of the comments on that book and I guess this feeling of guilt isn’t uncommon. It doesn’t really make me feel any better though.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Yes, you should ignore him. Revenge—and anger—is a dish best served cold.

ette_'s avatar

I’m now starting to get really irritated by my sister and friends who have no idea what it feels like to be in my shoes. I am getting this “quit pointing the finger” and “stop blaming your parents” bullshit and I am not trying to point fingers! I am hurting and trying to heal and it’s so frustrating because even siblings within the same family can have completely different views of the same parents and I feel so alone. :(

And I literally have an image of my dad standing at my door knocking asking to come in and help me. I feel like crap. :(

ette_'s avatar

Along with, “try to look at things from others’ views”. Um…just because I want to cut my dad off and cool off doesn’t mean I only see things from my view.

bunnygrl's avatar

No honey it doesn’t. <hugs> your feelings are yours, and you don’t have to justify them to anyone. I had family trouble too, as I said, as well as proper nastiness from a couple of now ex friends, who had hurt me so badly that, for the sake of my mental health, the only path open to me was to cut them out of my life. Like I said yesterday honey, you have to concentrate on doing what’s right for you, whatever will make you feel strong enough to get through this, which you will, and move on from it. How are you feeling today? did you manage to get some sleep?

ninjacolin's avatar

@hurtntired can I ask your opinion on why people sometimes do wrong things?
Your dad did something wrong. I would say he still is doing something wrong.
If my roommate had actually thrown my clothes out on purpose, he would have been wrong.
Many people in power have done wrong things.
Some kids get into drugs at a waaay early age and they end up ruining their lives.
Some people sabotage their own health plans.
Some people sabotage their marriages.
Some people sabotage their friendships and other relationships and often only to makes things worse for themselves.
Hitler made wrong decisions for more than 12 years..
Global warming.. haha, nuff said..

Why do people make mistakes in your opinion? Why do some people continue to make mistakes for long periods of time, even at present?

ette_'s avatar

@bunnygrl, I’m feeling better in general, but whenever I think about what happened I just get sick to my stomach still. My dad is seriously acting like nothing happened and emailing me. I haven’t responded, and I blocked his phone number from calling me. It’s my 30th birthday today and it sucks that I am in this position. I keep thinking what the fuck, I’m not 10, these weren’t stuffed animals that were thrown out because I misbehaved, I paid with my own money for those and I’m a friggin adult. Anyway…thank you for checking in… :] I really appreciate it. Those crisis hotlines just don’t cut it for me. I mean seriously, if someone is calling with a crisis, the last thing a depressed person wants to hear is a bored voice on the other end picking up.

@ninjacolin, you know, that is something I have struggled with for a long, long time. It’s what has hurt me so much growing up because I just have had this idea in my head forever that everyone is intrinsically good at heart. As I went through college and beyond, however, I quickly found that was not the case, but I still kept clinging to hope that people were just making mistakes and were still good deep down. As I’m at this point today, I’ve realized over the past 4 or 5 years that at the end of the day, being kind and good is a CHOICE. Some of us are taught how to do so at an early age, and others are taught but the darkness still overcomes them. I know it sounds silly but people, as a whole, are just human beings who make mistakes or worst case scenario have some kind of evil in them. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I’m an angel. I’ve made mistakes and done selfish things and possibly even things others would consider shady if they knew, but at the time, when I was doing those “bad” things, I wouldn’t necessarily say I had malice in mind. Just insecurity. But there are some truly evil, bad, messed up people out there. Whatever their inner demons may be that cause them to be that way, I don’t know.

Wrong things kind of run the gamut because what my dad did was wrong, but not “evil”. He was doing what he thought was the best for me but he has a warped sense of that and he has not and will never realize that he can’t control my life. Even if those bags were a spending mistake that I made, I made it myself and I have already been learning the consequences of overspending quite well without him having to chuck the bags into the garbage to be pulverized. Last summer I was finally able to get to a point where I told my family, “Look, you may not agree with the decisions I’m making to get myself back on my own two feet, but I have to do this on my own.” I’m stubborn, and even if someone tells me what they think is best for me and may possibly be right, just for the mere fact that they are telling me what to do will make me go in the opposite direction. In my dad’s case, what he has done is so extreme that I don’t think I care to repair our relationship because he is delusional. I might eventually choose to forgive him (not feeling like it for a long while), but he has done irreparable damage to our already shaky relationship.

bunnygrl's avatar

@hurtntired It will take a while for you to be able to cope with this enough to move on honey, just take it one day at a time. After my breakdown, I needed to be able to cope and even though I had decided I didn’t want the people who had hurt me in my life, the thing I couldn’t control were the thoughts. I told my dr at the time that I had a mind that liked to torment me, and it did. It would play the same scenes over and over and I’d think of what I should have done, and then what actually happened, and I’d get so angry (at myself strangely enough, not at the friends who had stolen from me and treated me so terribly), that I’d end up crying myself sick. It took me such a long time to be able to shut those thoughts out. Even now, sometimes, they start to creep in, and I have to make a mental effort to stop them. You’ll get over this honey, you will. The fact that you’ve coped so well so far (and you have by the way, lots of people wouldn’t have coped anywhere near so well) proves what a strong, capable, amazing person you are. The exercise that @wundayatta described for you above will work, it just takes practice, and like anything else the more you do it, the easier it will become. It’s a great art to master because if you can control where your thoughts go, at least to stop the negative ones from hurting you, it will go a long way to helping you cope and be stronger. I so wish I could make it go away for you, you seem like such a lovely person, and I don’t know why in this life the really horrible stuff always seems to happen to really nice people. Sending you mountains of hugs honey xx

ette_'s avatar

Okay, I am now realizing that he also threw out about $600 worth of my designer denim too. I am so EFFING angry again, and I just got off the phone with my mom who told me to “stop being angry” and “he’s your dad, you have to forgive him”. Um HELLO? What the fuck??? He beat you and cheated on you and divorced you and you were devastated, and you’re telling me to forgive him???

#(&(%&%(@&% ;(

Why the fuck does my entire family think this is something that I’ll just “get over” or let “blow over” and that I shouldn’t be ANGRY about it???

BarnacleBill's avatar

What’s magnifying this for you is that this is not really just about the purses or the jeans, but about a lot more than that. The stuff is just stuff. As much as you like your stuff, it makes you happy, etc. It’s really much more than that. It really is the tipping point for taking control of your life, and not giving it back.

As they say, “You go, girl!”

ette_'s avatar

Thank you @BarnacleBill. I am so grateful that there are people like you and everyone else who has responded to my post who actually can understand that this issue is more than just about the material things.

I called my dad once today because I couldn’t find some of my business clothes and thought he had thrown them away. And then I told him I would not speak to him again. And he wrote me an email saying that I was an ungrateful brat and a selfish, spoiled failure. I guess we now know what he REALLY thinks. He thought I should have told him on the phone THANK YOU for paying for something. Are you serious?

I’ve deduced that he thought I wasn’t using the handbags because they were still in boxes and dustbags and stuffed with paper (BECAUSE THAT’S HOW YOU SHOULD TREAT NICE BAGS) but it doesn’t make it ANY BETTER. If that’s what he thought, he still should have asked me first.

Sorry for shouting.

ninjacolin's avatar

First of all, I really agree with @BarnacleBill about the milestone that you’re at.

@hurtntired said: “I’ve realized over the past 4 or 5 years that at the end of the day, being kind and good is a CHOICE. Some of us are taught how to do so at an early age, and others are taught but the darkness still overcomes them.”

You seem to have given two contradicting answers here:
A) You believe people can simply choose to do good.
B) You believe people can’t help but be taken over by darkness/evil. Hence: No choice.

Which one is it? Do people have a choice or are they just victims of random acts of darkness? Are there circumstances where people have no choice but to do wrong? What would be the cause of that?

Myself, I believe there are such circumstances of choicelessness and it helps me to understand and deal with wrong doings in life. If you believe it possible (or if you would simply humor me in asssuming) that your dad was or is in a circumstance where he had or has no choice but to do wrong, throughout your entire life, then what would you be mad at him for exactly? (Oh, I guess you would have to humor me with a hypothetical response to this question, I hope you find it enlightening)

wundayatta's avatar

to still your mind, when you have such strong feeling, is very, very difficult. As always, at the time when you need it most, it is hardest to do. It’s not a big deal. One breath or half a breath—it’s a start. Each breath follows the next, so there are plenty of other chances to start, or to continue.

This might help: really, really, really focus on the numbers. Try to get one breath. and then two. But just getting one breath is helping. I think perhaps if you don’t try to make your breaths so long, it might help. The other thing to do is to pay attention to how your breath feels—coming in your mouth, expanding your lungs, the taste, the smell, how fast it travels, whatever you can notice. I like to visualize it, and maybe I sing the numbers internally. But you could do it out loud, too. Oooooooooooonnnnnnneeeeeee. Try doing it on the inbreath as well as the outbreath. It’s pretty tricky to sing on the inbreath. Really focus on trying—it’s harder to think of other stuff if you keep bringing your focus back to this one note. If you can’t sing on inbreath, just do it on outbreath. Sound helps.

If you have a harmonica around, just put that between your lips and breathe through it. Then you don’t have to make the sounds yourself.

ette_'s avatar

I’ve been hyperventilating all day; I’m not sure exactly why. It might be because of the stress of this particular situation, but I haven’t been consciously thinking about it much the past couple days.

My dad responded to my email @BarnacleBill – he cc’d my mom and sister and then proceeded to say “we” this and “we” that as if to pull them into the picture and told me to stop hating “them”.

I’ve been discovering more and more things the past couple days that he’s likely thrown out, like a bunch of my scrapbooking tools, more clothes, etc. and it just makes me madder and madder. But now the anger is just resentment and, dare I say, hate. I hate my father. I know that sounds terrible. But I’d rather feel this way than to feel pain and betrayal.

Is it ok to hate him?

@marinelife my book is coming tomorrow…I really hope it can bring me some peace.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Your father has no earthly justification for throwing out a 30 year old woman’s possessions that were not in his house. Everyone owns their own interpretation to this situation. Who knows what your mother really thinks? Certainly not your father. Your mother is going to have to do what she needs to do to keep the peace. Your sister, she has her own agenda with this.

There are worse things than not talking to your family. Like talking to them and taking abuse.
It needs to sink in for your mother and sister exactly what he’s done here.

It’s wrong that your father chose to put your relationship in a position where hating him is a logical outcome. Certainly you shouldn’t love him for what he did. You are going to need to distance yourself from them all.

I’m sorry you’re going through this; it’s really an unpleasant place to be put.

poofandmook's avatar

@hurtntired: As far as I’m concerned (and I’m trying to teach my boyfriend this since he’s going through a similiar situation with his mother), parents don’t get to use the “parent card” forever. They brought you into the world, and they provided housing and whatnot for the next 18-ish years. That’s the part where they should have to maintain whatever trust, and nurture whatever relationship they have with their children. If they don’t, they don’t deserve that trust and relationship any more than any person you meet on the street does.

In other words, they don’t get a free pass to act like jerks to their offspring. They aren’t entitled to your love, your time, your thoughts.

So, I’d say just push him right out of your head. He’s proven that he’s not worth your love, time, or thoughts. But YOU are worth all those things and more. Focus all that on yourself, girl, and stop worrying about who else is worthy of them.

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