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Things dads say


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A few other tid-bits

  • My dad left school at age 11 to work full time.  He had been picking cotton since the age of 6.
  • Dad's dad abandoned them to a life of migrant workers to go start a new family.
  • Between his siblings, step-siblings and half siblings there were 13 children in his family.  Not counting the half siblings from his dad's happy new life.
  • Dad worked his ass off.  We were dirt poor but I never missed a meal and always had something for Christmas.

I had a better life than my dad.  I believe I passed that on to my children who in turn have given my grand-monsters stable and happy childhoods. We just have to break the cycle.

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This is the other thing. As well as looking after your kids, you're also supposed to want them to have a better life than you did. It's not supposed to be some sort of stick you use to beat them, figuratively or literally. This is another way abusive parents often justify it: I can't be abusive because I had to put up with much worse. I do not have any right to abuse my child, or redemption in it, just because I had to endure things that I hope he won't have to. How does this logic even work when the child's own suffering is because the parent is abusive? It is, to use an American phrase, ass-backwards.

In many cases, our children have a better life because the world has just evolved towards easier lives. Our parents probably had it better than our grandparents.

I can't understand this mentality of people having kids and feeling some sense of entitlement or justification or mitigation about treating them badly. The first thing I realised when my son was born was that I had absolutely no rights over him. I had responsibilities and that was it. Who gives a monkey's what I experienced before he was born? I chose to bring him into the world, I was responsible for him and none of that is any of his problem. I'm the grown up. I'm the parent.

 

Edited by Amina Sopwith
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I couldn't begin to count all the things my dad said that stuck with me or made a lasting impression -  but there is one big one.

My dad was a family doc his entire career. He and half a dozen other docs in the same town split the out-of-hours on-call for all their patients and when I was learning to drive I would get practice by driving him on those late calls to all over the town and its surrounding farms. One particularly bad night when it was doubtful  he had managed to string together more than half an hour's sleep at a time, on the way back home he said "It doesn't matter, you know. Whether it's somebody who might need an ambulance trip for emergency surgery, whether it's young Mrs Smith about to have her first baby, Tommy Ellis with a stomachache from stuffing himself on windfall apples or old Mrs Watson who lost her husband last month and really only needs to talk... They need you, you go. Sometimes healthcare is more about care than health."

There's so much in there about integrity, about what it is right to do, rather than merely what is required of you that it applies to a lot more than just the healthcare professions.

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17 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

Under what conditions should anybody be forgiven?

None.
Probably why my day job as a cognitive disability assistant suits me so well.
Fortunately I haven't flown completely off the handle for a good while. 😌
It's a rare privilege to demonstrate to students different ways to handle incredibly difficult and heartbreaking scenarios
that are forced upon them.
In the worst cases the focus is on gaining certification/s to ensure they have the ability to remove themselves from such
abusive environments which can take up to three years. :(
Until that time I do all I can to hold up a beacon of light and hope, pave the way step by step and when that time comes, when they realise
they have the keys to their future, financially and mentally, can be the most joyous day of their young lives. 😢 🤧 😊

 

Edited by Maryanne Solo
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5 hours ago, Maryanne Solo said:
22 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

Under what conditions should anybody be forgiven?

None.

My concern here is that we let Marut decide his issues with 'forgiveness' -- whether his father deserves forgiveness, or not.

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Forgiveness is a personal decision and I don't think anyone has suggested otherwise.

Abuse should be recognised for what it is, how it looks and how it operates. It may be that the abuse can be forgiven, that's up to the individual. But it is still abuse. And it's important that other grown-up abused children who are reading know this. Because abuse always has a hardship story, deep intense feelings, complex personalities and all the rest. It's not a monochromic act by a flat, one dimensional pantomime villain with no good points whatsoever, but there is a tendency to think that it is, and therefore that anything more nuanced is something else. It's not. That's what abuse looks like and that's largely why people don't leave or even recognise it. 

It's not dissimilar to rape in that regard. We think of rape as a strange man dragging a woman behind a bush. It can be, but that's statistically extremely rare. It's far more likely to be a lot more complex than that. It's still rape, that's what rape is. But that's also why women don't report it, blame themselves, minimise it....and it continues while pretending it looks different. 

And then the narrative in which women get beaten, children get traumatised and violent, abusive men get a narrative of redeemable flawed heroism. Yes, of course there are violent, abusive women too and it's every bit as wrong. But in my experience, people are less quick to give these women a sympathetic narrative of human frailty. If I'm wrong, never mind. It's still abuse and that's the point. 

Forgiveness is a separate issue. A personal decision. You (generic you) may decide you can forgive your abuser, that's your prerogative and nobody is saying otherwise. But it is abuse. That's what it looks like.

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23 hours ago, ItHadToComeToThis said:

Oh this is easy. Mines an idiot that I can’t wait to shuffle off the mortal coil...lets see

”Hitler had the right idea”

Followed by “We should do that to *insert ethnic/religious group here*”

”Women are evil and belong in the kitchen”

”Women are just always our to get you, just evil bitter creatures”

”Jews are bad because they only buy toilet roll from other Jews”

”Feminists are just angry twisted man haters”

”You are going to London next week...look...watch out for the blacks...they hang round in gangs and mug people”

As I said idiot...being his daughter was a truly world class experience.

This sounds like Archie Bunker

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27 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

 But it is abuse.

While I agree with your characterization regarding the dynamics of abusive behavior -- how those abused often take back their abuser because they believe (or want to believe) their abuser has redeemed themselves, I think you're imagining this is Marut's experience.
He explained that his father actually did change.  He never said what his father did as a child was not abusive.

 I believe in self-actualization...that people have the ability to change (I've witnessed this)...and while they should still be accountable for what they've done (I would never in a million years say what they did was okay)...they should be forgiven if remorseful and not abusing others anymore (forgiven by society, although the victim of the abuse may never be able to forgive, and I understand that...it's a very long and hard road to get to that point).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forgiveness

Edited by Luna Bliss
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4 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

I'm not getting into one of these with you, Luna.

People can be good and bad at the same time, Amina. That's all I have to say.

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30 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

Forgiveness is a separate issue. A personal decision. You (generic you) may decide you can forgive your abuser, that's your prerogative and nobody is saying otherwise. But it is abuse. That's what it looks like.

Do you remember me?
The kid I used to be?
Do you remember me?
When your world comes crashing down
I want to be there
If God is looking down on me
I'm not Jesus
Jesus wasn't there
You confess it all away
But it's only ***** to me
If God is looking down on me
I'm not Jesus
I will not forgive
 
=============
That said, I held his hand as he breathed his last and it hurt so much to watch him go.  He was still my dad.
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1 minute ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

I'm not Jesus
I will not forgive

Forgiveness is not about any religious teachings. We forgive so as not to be bitter -- it's really ourselves who benefit from not carrying around the blaming anger that can poison our lives.

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"It costs just as much to keep your gas tank empty as it does to keep it full."  Besides the fact that this statement disregards the difficulty of making an up-front payment I really like it as a personal reminder type of thing.

To be clear, it took me a long time to think of one of his charming aphorisms that was within the forum guidelines, we rarely talk like this at home lol

Edited by Branduff Bisnovat
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My dad..

He wasn't a saint.

He made mistakes in his life. But he taught me to never make the same one twice.

He was always caring.

He was always my dad.

He never struck us kids and was rarely angry. In fact, I know how protective he was of us.

I'm sad for those who didn't have someone like him in their lives.

 

A few of his sayings

"I know where the bear went through the buckwheat."

"For crying uphill!" (One of my personal favorites.)

"He's just a bubble off plumb."

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