It Hurts So Much...

 I have been sitting here reading all of your stories and it is making me feel much better just knowing there are people who truly understand the damage that this experience yields.  This morning I was going through some old boxes of stuff, getting ready to move across the country.  Among all the random memorabilia I found lots of baby pictures of me with my dad, and even one with me, my mom and my dad.  Naturally, they brought up a lot of feelings for me.  After a while the feelings became overwhelming and unpleasant so I took the photos with me to the computer and I found this group.  

It looks like my father loved me very much, which is strange, because I have grown to believe he is incapable of love.  in 1987 he left me and my mom to marry a younger woman he met in law school.  This event had several consequences.  For one, my mother was devastated and sank into a near-catatonic depression for the next 15 years.  Also, the woman my father married was mentally-ill and extremely abusive toward me, and at times, him.  My stepmother hated me and wanted me dead.  I suffered her cruelty and evil manipulation until I was eleven and I tried to hang myself in the living room of my mother's house to avoid having to go back.  As a result, I met with a psychologist, who in turn, met with my father and step-mother.  After only one meeting, he came out as pale as a ghost and announced that he didn't think I should go to visitation there anymore on the grounds of abuse.  So after that I was liberated from that house of horror.  But I still had to deal with the effects of the abuse for the rest of my life, and now my father could not see me at all except for sporadic meetings for lunch now and then.  Very soon after the psychologist ended those visitations, my stepmother became pregnant.  This was no accident.  As crazy as this sounds, she later told my grandmother that she had the baby to make me "jealous".  My father naively thought that I could be integrated into this new family.  But that didn't jive with my step-mothers plans to "replace" me.  

I will never forget the day of my sister's christening.  My father pulled up in an SUV that was packed with relatives.  My stepmother was in the back seat holding my infant sister.  I was terrified as usual.  My father took me by the hand and led me to the back door to show me my new baby sister.  I could feel in my soul that something was not right.  He started to open the door and my stepmother reached over and tried to yank it shut as hard as she could.  Startled, but determined, my dad tugged harder on the door to get it open saying "No... no..." and finally succeeded in getting it open.  There between her family members sat my stepmother bundled up in a large fur coat clutching the baby to her and scowling at me like I was a flea-ridden stray dog.  After the ceremony we were sitting in their house and I was told not to touch any of the baby's things because I was "contaminated" with my mother's stench.  I saw my sister two or three other times in my life when my father basically kidnapped her in secret and took her to meet me.  As I grew older my father and I met only a handful of times in secret, because his wife wouldn't "let him" see me.  I felt like his mistress.  My mother and I starved a lot and went through hard times.  Over the years I tried everything to get my dad to own up to his mistakes, to acknowledge what happened and to reconnect with me.  But it never happened.  He was under a spell.

I am now 25.  I have not seen my dad in 4 years, even though he lives just a couple of hours away.  The last time I saw him was for another secret lunch.  I was attending a prestigious University on a merit scholarship at the time.  I was very depressed and I tried to ask him for advice.  He suggested I join the Army.  I went home and later that night I swallowed all the pills in the house including an entire bottle of Tylenol PM and drank it all down with alcohol.  I was unconscious for 3 days in my apartment until my mother came to look for me because I wasn't answering the phone.  I didn't admit that I had tried to kill myself.  My mouth had been hanging open for those 3 days and my tongue had swollen and hardened, I contracted a severe throat infection which caused me to go to the hospital a week later.  It looked like my throat was rotting.  When I was there they took my blood and my liver was so badly damaged they thought I had hepatitis and might need a liver transplant.  I still would not tell anyone I had tried to commit suicide.  I was afraid they would lock me up.  For the next month I lay in bed in my mother's apartment in a haze of depression.  Thankfully, after a month my liver was back to normal.  I sold everything I could and left town.  I traveled around the country for over a year just wandering around, lost.  But that is another story....

My life is okay now and I am putting the pieces back together.  I learned to love myself where he failed to.  Even my mom is starting to recover.  But when I look at this picture of my mom and dad together, holding me, and looking proud and happy, I wonder... what happened?  Things could have been so different for me, for all of us.  My father is approaching 70 now, and he is a shell of a man.  i know he feels very guilty and sorry for what happened, even though he has strange ways of letting it show.  I can tell when it is really getting to him because I will find a card full of money in my mailbox.  It is always in cash so my stepmother can't trace it.  

For some reason he thinks that someday my sister and I will be a family, and sometimes it seems he has begun to see me only as a peripheral part of his vision that I will be a good big sister to her.   Maybe when she grows up.  But its kind of hard to imagine, since her mother ruined my life and her very existence has to do with her mother's malicious intentions toward me.  

Anyway, I don't know how the rest of my life will unfold but it didn't get off to a great start thanks to my Dad.  I look at the baby in the pictures and think "How could he do that to her?"  I still don't understand.  And it hurts so much.  

JoanieDearest JoanieDearest
8 Responses Jan 2, 2009

I too was abandoned by my father at the age of 7. He had an affair with my mom's friend and left with her and moved to the other side of the country with that women and her kids. I visited them the first summer he left and his wife smacked me in the face and demanded I call her mother. I refused and called my mom to send me a plan ticket. I never saw him again until I was 14/when he moved back. He never paid child support or called MW on my birthday or Christmas. I received nothing from him. She left him and he met another women at my sister's wedding (the groom's widowed mother). He discusted me so much and was abusive to my mom and siblings before he left. I hate this man. My mom passed away in 2006 and he had the nerve to show up at my mom's funeral with this women. My mom hated him for what he did and so do I. I couldn't believe the nerve he had. After not talking to him since my mother's funeral, I receive a phone call from his current wife telling me my dad is not well and she invited me and my husband there to see him. I brought dinner and he didn't even say thank you. All he said is where have you been. Can he really be so delusional in thinking I abandoned him. His wife called again to invite us to dinner and to tell me they are selling the house and moving away. It's father's day and I"be thought about calling him and have decided against it. Father's day is to thank a father for all he has done for you during your life. This man is no father and there is a lot more to this storey but what I really want to say to you is that I'm now 45 years old and at the age of 7 I was so hurt but what I've learned is that I only get one life in this world and I'm going to live my life as best I can. I refuse to allow my life depend in whether or not this man loved me or not and that I was abandoned. I decided in my 20's to let him go along with the hurt. I refuse to allow him to affect how I was going to live my life. You need to value yourself and think about what you would like to accomplish in your life. You are#1 from now on. Stay away from this toxic situation and refuse to be manipulated and paid off by your father in secret because he feels guilty. Leaving you $ in a mailbox is not a father. Stop letting this situation control you and how you feel. You have the control and from this day forward you will take it back and refuse to let these people hurt you by staying away from them. Start new and build your own life. You can do it, I did. I love myself and my life and I'm proud of what I've accomplished and I won't let some pathetic old man make me feel like him abandoning me is my fault. It's easier to stay away and don't think like a victim. Think of yourself like a strong, beautiful successfully women who has a lot of love to give and start thinking that and living that from this day forward. Don't look at pictures etc., it will only make you feel sad and unloved and you don't want to slip back into victim mode. Never feel so unloved by this man that you would take your own life. You have the power and control to change your thought process and how you feel. I care and other people who read your storey care. That's why we are taking the time to write you.

@JoannieDearest: I absolutely support your idea on organising a march!! It is NOT okay to behave like this and it is becoming more and more socially acceptable for men to leave their wives and kids ( a lot of them in financial demise too). I completely support your idea in organising an awareness campaign on this! Unfortunately, there are A LOT of us in this situation who are left struggling with the emotional and financial pain that the father have imposed on the wives and kids.....though this also means that there are big enough numbers to collect ourselves into a big group! We could organise marches in the cities in US, canada europe least to say that if the man chooses to leave his family, then there should laws that impose child support, spousal support, and emotional support....maybe with this law men will think TWICE before just impregnating is an IRREVERSIBLE action and this should be enforced!

Kevinaims I hope you receive the emotional support from friends or us here in this group to remove yourself from the abusive relationship you are in....I grew up in a home with domestic violence, my father was evil and still is ( abandoned us emotionally financially etc) though psychollogically he still taunts us...Lots of love from all of us here xx

I'm so sorry. What my dad has done isn't as bad as that, but it's a little familiar.<br />
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He married a younger woman a few years ago, when I was about 19. (my parents had been divorced a few years) And once they were expecting a baby, my dad told me to get out of his life permanently.<br />
Most ppl in my family think it's something that his wife has influenced him in saying. But the words came out of his mouth. So, it's at least 50/50 in my opinion.<br />
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I have a baby half sister. I've never seen her. I've lost all hope of having a bond my father after spending 3 years trying to forge a relationship. I don't know what kind of house she's growing up in with an older alcoholic father and a mother who none of us knows really well. They fight like cats and dogs.<br />
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I'm just wondering how your sister is doing.<br />
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I know how I turned out living under my father's roof. My husband is abusive, verbally and emotionally for now... becoming more physical. thanks for posting your story.

"I wish my father would die, he deserves it, he never protected me from her, he's never been there for me, someone should behead him as a penalty for forfeiting his family. On the other hand, I dread his death, because I know once he dies the possibility for resolution really will be gone."<br />
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Wow, I know exactly what you mean. I hate my father so much for what he has done to us and sometimes I wished he had just died before he had the chance to leave us, because then it would have been so much easier. I could miss him, knowing that he wasn't able to take care of us anymore but now he is still around and just denies our existance :( That makes it so much more painful!<br />
On the other hand, I know that if he dies now, I would be devastated because I will never have the chance to tell him how angry I am with him and how much I miss him and have missed him. I know that deep down inside I am still waiting for the happy ending.. like you see in the movies.. and even though I know it's too late, if he dies, all hope will be gone.<br />
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Sorry for my long comment. :$<br />
Thank you very much for sharing your story here. I know how hard it is to miss you father.

What a sad story, I can never understand why some people choose *anything* over their children. It seems so inexcusable.<br />
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Your mother must have been great, because somehow you obviously ended up level-headed and strong despite your step-mother. :)

Thanks, all. I wish someone WOULD kick my stepmother's ___. But probably the best thing anybody can do is pray for her. Because I'm pretty sure she's under demonic possession. aboy, that was a pretty insensitive thing for the principle to say. He probably would have said something else if you were a girl. Boys are subject to a lot of "toughen up" talks. But it sounds like you are pretty tough as it is. You're a survivor, just like me, and so many others.<br />
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I can't believe our fathers are such selfish men. How can they rationalize bringing a human life into the world and then obliterating the environment in which it needs to grow in order to chase a piece of @$$!!!!!!!!!!???????? It is BEYOND me. And how can they do that to the woman who bore their child? On the one hand I wish my father would die, he deserves it, he never protected me from her, he's never been there for me, someone should behead him as a penalty for forfeiting his family. On the other hand, I dread his death, because I know once he dies the possibility for resolution really will be gone. I'm so angry today. I am so angry at all the people who helped my dad cheat on my mom, who helped him and encouraged him to get into this relationship. Its not fair that I have already undergone a lifetime of punishment, and yet he, and his conspirators are living long, happy, healthy lives. The injustice is enough to drive me crazy. I wish we could get all the abandoned children together and organize a march on Washington to show the world that this is a serious problem. A whole army of people who were tossed aside by their fathers. We need to start turning this culture around, its not okay to behave like barbarians, the way my father did. I know its a little more complicated than that. But knowing first hand, how much damage it can do to a child, and how it seems as if its perfectly acceptable to leave your wife and kids behind for a brand new set, I feel like there needs to be a group that advocates for the victims in that situation. I know that I, and so many people, struggle all their lives with the deep hurt, the devastated self-esteem, the rage, the confusion. And they never really see any justice, they can never get back the childhood they deserved to have, nor the satisfaction of any kind of compensation for their misery. <br />
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Check out these stats:<br />
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.<br />
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[U. S. D.H.H.S. Bureau of the Census]<br />
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90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.<br />
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.<br />
[Center for Disease Control]<br />
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80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.<br />
[Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14 p. 403-26]<br />
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71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.<br />
[National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]<br />
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70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes<br />
[U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept., 1988]<br />
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85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.<br />
[Fulton County Georgia Jail Populations and Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992]<br />
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Nearly 2 of every 5 children in America do not live with their fathers.<br />
[US News and World Report, February 27, 1995, p.39]<br />
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HELLO!!?!?!?!?!?! Anybody see a big freeking problem here?!<br />
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Sorry- I will be ranting more soon.

1) Thank you for sharing.<br />
2) I heard a quote one day that sounds appropriate here.<br />
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Everyone's life serves one of two purposes. Either to inspire or to warn.<br />
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I am sitting here inspired that you are putting the pieces back together and you have prospective into how bad the choices your father has made. <br />
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Keep strong<br />
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