My Dad is at times the most frustrating person in the universe. (TW emotional abuse)
He hasn't learned how to be direct or say what he means and this constantly results in a fights and hurt feelings. Of course, he claims he has no feelings.
This morning he started at me, I say this because it wasn't a conversation but a lecture.
First was about the heat, the heating is programmed to go down on weekends when no one is suppose to be in the building. I was not shown how to program it, and it's a home made system so it's not the usual "Press up to increase heat." He was annoyed for me for not knowing and not wanting to mess with it.
He could have said 'I'm cold, can you try to turn up the heat."
Instead it became a lecture about how I won't do things when I don't know how. How I was wasting electricity because I was using the space heater. About how I should have known to turn off something that I didn't notice was on. How I was wasting my time on my current project, and that it will never work any way so why bother. How I'm bad at my job and being a member of the family because I didn't know what either of my siblings are doing this weekend. I haven't seen one of them in over a week and the other I knew was planning on sleeping in and didn't want to be bothered.
It's frustrating. There is no correct answer to anything. So I just say "okay." and when he leaves I mutter "Asshole."
I'm barely here, and he expects the world of me. Then after these kinds of talks I sit at my desk and I don't do anything, because I stop seeing the point in it. I'm not gonna get the machine working, so why bother trying. And even if I do, I'll be critiqued for taking too long. If I complain about the critique, the job will be taken away and given to someone else because I can't handle it. If I say it hurts my feelings, he won't talk to me for months because apparently he's not allowed too any more. So I say nothing.
I'll go get a coffee and work on something else, because I don't want to deal with this.
I don't have too.
Lately he's been bothering me about coming home and taking care of him and my mom when they get old. I don't want to do it. When he mentions it, I feel trapped and I just leave the room. I can't do it. I can't listen to someone be an asshole to me everyday because they don't know how to say:
"Can you turn up the heat?"
"Call your brother, I need him today if he isn't busy."
"That projects seems like a wild goose chase, maybe work on something else."
"Look I know you have another job, but can you look after these things?"
No, it's never that simple. It's always 30 minute to 3 hour lecture about how everything is fucked up. I just stop caring. Then because I want my father's love, I try super hard in the hopes of getting approval, knowing full well there will be none.
I try to seek approval in myself. But have been conditioned to know that nothing I do will ever be good enough or fast enough. I try to overcome this, and it works from time to time.
I'm not a therapist. I can't solve his problems. I've spent years explaining that if he was direct and didn't launch into lecture mode that maybe he'd get further. That maybe he he didn't try to insult everyone and point out all their flaws that maybe he'd get further. Apparently they don't get the joke. That maybe he should consider talking to a professional because he seems miserable.
Of course, this isn't true, because he's just telling facts. It's my fault because I interpret them as criticism. They aren't feelings. They are facts. It's just the way it is, and it apparently has nothing to do with him.
He knows I'm in therapy. He tells me that I should just take up drinking and don't talk about that kind of stuff, because no one wants to know. You just deal with it. He leaves the room.
I'm in therapy because I don't want to be you.
These conversations come up ever few months. He needs to talk about a suicide in town and grows annoyed with me that I can't guess who it was based on "You went to school with this guy." I went to school with a lot of guys. He doesn't understand the difference between suicide and accidents. It's all tragic to him. I wonder if he's asking me if I'm gonna kill myself. I refuse to make the conversation personal. I feel the implying. I feel the need to confess, but I choose not too.
It won't do anything. He won't understand my position. It will be ammo to attack me later. To further prove that I am weak and that I make him feel like a failure.
I often wonder if I'll ever be able to have an honest conversation with my father when he's not drunk. I know it won't happen. He always asks the same things when he's drunk and never remembers the answer in the morning. And the conversation isn't about me, but how he felt about the incident and how he was hurt my choice not to tell him things in my life. I become a garbage dump of his feelings. He tries to make me responsible for them. They aren't my responsibility.
This continues when he tries to put me in the role of therapist. It's not my place, but I try and help because I can't seem to not do it. On nights when I have better sense, I go to bed early to avoid these conversations. After awhile, I'll forget about it, thinking they've stopped and then I'll get sucked back into it.
When I watch movies with good fathers that listen and are emotionally available, I get angry, jealous and sad. I wanted one of those relationships. Not this.
My Dad was good in the sense he came to all my school functions. If I presented or did anything, he was there. He was always around when I was growing up. He spoke with gestures like clearing snow to make a snow fort. He's the kind of person that doesn't know what to say, but hopes that if he can find the right practical thing to buy it will solve the problem. I have good memories of my childhood. It's only been the last 15 years that he's become more problematic.
But he can't hold a conversation. He can't understand that his words hurt.
When I think of the gestures, I'm okay. But the day to day things like basic conversation or empathy, that's when I get frustrated. It's exhausting. I hate dealing with it.
I hate when my sister comes home and takes his side. They are the same. Just as manipulative. It's always that I'm too sensitive.
I'm not too sensitive. I dislike dealing with shitty people who don't know how to have feelings and instead project them on to everyone else. I don't want to be one of them.