Some how we ended up talking about my dad again. Sometimes I want to password protect posts like this out of fear he will read them, but maybe someone can give me some feedback or relate so I will keep it public. Me and my dad have a strained but close relationship, which is very complicated.
My dad was verbally and emotionally abusive when I was a child. My mental health problems were seen as me being too sensitive and being a baby. I was constantly invalidated. My dad was also physically absent a lot. He has a bad temper and still does. He and my mom took us places, we were never deprived or neglected except maybe emotionally. On the outside everything looked good and I was the messed up one.
My dad makes some effort as an adult to be supportive, but when what he does doesn’t work and I tell him he isn’t willing to change. When I suggest ways to be supportive he usually doesn’t receive them well or try them. He uses excuses about being set in his old ways. He still often doesn’t believe me because I’m still “too sensitive” or “making a mountain out of a molehill” or it’s just easy for him, so he thinks it should be easy for everyone. I use my sister to medicate and occasionally he will change his behavior for a couple weeks. On the positive side he tries to keep me active and out of bed. Is financially supportive so I can keep busy and have fun with friends.
One of the biggest problems I have is that everyone loves him. They think he’s so great and charismatic, funny and nice. I’ve lived it and I see through it. I feel like I have to hold on to that resentment, anger, and disrespect because it is what is true for me. Most no one would agree with how I feel about him or who I think he is as a person, and that makes it harder. Even some of my friends (I think) prefer his company to mine.
So today when talking about assertiveness, healthy boundaries, and just relationships in general this came up. My case manager says she doesn’t know if I’m willing to give up that frustration and “play nice.” I wonder if I have a superficial relationship with him, for the same of making peace and life being easier for me, what does that mean? Do I lose my integrity, because I am faking a relationship and allowing him to believe things that I don’t think or feel. (Note: Living at home it’s not really an option to tell him how I really feel, and I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings either.) Nothing will change with him so why bother. But with this change to myself, does it change my character? My integrity? My values? My core beliefs I believe in and integrity?