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Why change your memory for the worst?

I got into a conversation with my Dad. He in the last 10 years has positioned himself as the villain of the family and well everything. He’s become ultra paranoid. And will often change events in his memory to reflect this new role as the worst person in the world and how everyone is out to get him.

Part of me wonders if it was the heart attack he had many years ago, or slowly becoming deaf that’s brought on this change. (This got way longer than I thought)


e.g He tells me he never went to any of our school events.

I explain he went to all of them.

He tells me that it was only because my mother dragged him.

I explained that wasn’t true as there were events he heard me briefly mention and then would go upstairs put on a suit and be ready to go. I’d explain he didn’t need to go, because it would be over an hour drive, that’d cost $40, for 5 minutes. That I was pleased he wanted to go, but it was a little unnecessary for him to waste a whole day on 5 minutes. I could show him what I going to do, right now, if he was curious. And I did, and it was fine. I recounted this whole conversation.


He said “I don’t remember that and I was never interested in your stuff.” Telling me he was just pretending to care about that stuff for my mother.

me: ‘Why are you doing that? When we all know that’s not true. You took an active interest in our events, why are you changing the past now. Do you want me to hate you? Do you want me to think you are villain when you aren’t?”


He changes the subject, clearly growing uncomfortable. He quickly goes on to blame me for never asking for help. That a child should go to their father for guidance. When I’ve asked questions, my father usually uses it as platform to prove that A) I am stupid because I went to school, maybe I should get another degree to answer that question B) Everyone is stupid C) That the thing I am asking about is a giant piece of crap and I shouldn’t be asking about anyway. D) that the world is garbage and you shouldn’t bother anyway.

He thinks this is motivation.

I give a small example of buying a drill, he laughs when realizing that yes, he doesn’t give advice, but explains how things are garbage


I tell him the new problem I’ve had with the co-worker and leaving the anonymous letter. He tells me I should kill him, or beat up him. I explain that isn’t practical advice because I don’t want to go to jail. He tells me I should get a lead pipe and break the guy’s legs.

Nice to imagine, but doesn’t help with my rage issues and not a practical solution.


Years ago, I don’t think I could have taken that conversation. I would have thought it was about me, when it’s not about me. I don’t understand why he hates himself so much that he tries so hard to re-write the past. Maybe he wasn’t interested, but he came and would make comments on how he enjoyed whatever it was and would comment on what he saw. It wasn’t like “Oh that was a good event” it was “Oh like this thing you did in that event.” Even if you weren’t interested why tell your children you didn’t care about them years later unless you want to isolate yourself.

My dad wasn’t around much, he worked all the time. But for special events, he came to every single one. I didn’t have times where I played with my Dad, or had those bullshit tv heart to hearts, but I was never the kid whose dad didn’t come their game.

I know that to him, I am a thing to be used. He wants me to get married, have children, be his caretaker, quit my job, live at home so he can direct my life. If part of your plan is to use me, why tell me you don’t care about anything I do?


It’s really strange, frustrating and sad to watch someone basically become the evil version of their self, and you can’t pinpoint why they are isolating them self. They don’t seem to know why either.

It’s exhausting to have these conversations because they always lead to the same question with no answer. “Why are you saying that?”

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