Father's instability

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Monk

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Father's instability
« on: April 14, 2019, 11:13:01 PM »
Been thinking a lot about my past and how my parents influenced my behavior. I've spoken in length about my mother here before, but now I'm curious for input on my father's BPD. I think he's had severely low self-esteem his whole life and took this out on his children, specifically me as I am the oldest and he mellowed out in subsequent years out as my siblings were born. Absolute perfection in all aspects of my life was expected or I'd face abuse. Examples:

-At 4 years old, I couldn't clearly and succinctly pronunce the lyrics to "the sun will come out tomorrow" from Annie (specifically "bet your bottom dollar"), so I'd be smacked in the head and told that life demands perfection in speech.

-Around 5, he tried teaching me math re: how many cents are in a dollar. I couldn't quite grasp how giving a dollar for a 40 cent item yielded 60 cents change. "SO HOW MANY CENTS ARE IN A DOLLAR?!" I'd say I still didn't know and get smacked for it, then told that mathematical skills are essential to my survival in the real world.

-At 7 or 8, he felt I wasn't being aggressive enough on the soccer field and this was an embarassment to him. So he started smacking me in the head pre-emptively on Saturday mornings before the games, telling me how awful it was to be forced to get up early on a Saturday after a hard week's work only to waste his time watching his failure of a son on the field. I'd then get a lecture about how sports are a microcosm/training ground of the real world's ultra competetive atmosphere and if I couldn't succeed NOW, I was in for a world of hurt when I grew up and got my first job.

-Around 9, he thought it was OK to tell me that he almost OD'd on Tylenol because of the stress over supporting a family of 4 on a limited income. He said he stopped himself at the last minute and spit out the pills, but just wanted to tell me so I could be prepared for the stresses that life would bring my way. Again, my father thought it was ok to tell his 9 yr old son about his suicide attempt to prep me for life's hardships!

I could add more in subsequent posts, but I think this is a good start in constructing a bpd profile of the man. I think projection was another big problem when it came to his opinion of me. Any input would be appreciated.

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11JB68

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Re: Father's instability
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 01:29:52 AM »
I agree that when parents are unreasonably harsh with their children it can be at least partly due to projection. I'm so sorry you experienced such abuse, physical, verbal, and emotional...and especially at such a young age...
While my uPDh was not physically abusive to our ds (now 21) some similar themes were there, expecting perfection, insisting we need to prepare for harsh reality etc. Many of the criticisms are for things that uPDh struggled with.

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appaloosa

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Re: Father's instability
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 12:10:13 PM »
It's terribly sad that you were treated that way--esp at such a young age. My uNPD F expected perfection from me, too--like you, I was the oldest and got the worst of it.  Even as a baby, I was expected to sleep through the night and if I cried he gave me an injection of Benadryl. (he was a doctor) Later, he would tell this story like he was proud of his ingenuity in solving the problem of the crying baby. He called me "a lazy little bitch" because I got a C on my report card in math. Criticized for my clothing choices. Had to wear my hair in ponytail or pigtails. He saw me with it down one day and told me not to come back to the house until it was all cut off in a pixie --traumatic for teenage girl!  In 7th or 8th grade he saw a pair of my bikini underwear in the washer and threw them in the trash (this was 1973) saying that's what 'whores' wear. Enjoyed taking out his frustrations with the belt or whatever weapon was at hand. Loved to lecture for hours on end (literally) about how "life is hard" and if I didn't have the correct expression on my face, would get a backhand.

Looking at his awful relationship with his father, I guess he was trying to create perfection in me, in the hopes it would somehow compensate for the failure of his father/son relationship. I don't know. All I know is it was horrible, and I've been NC for over 5 years. Have no intention of ever seeing him again in this lifetime.

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Goldielocks

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Re: Father's instability
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2019, 04:46:07 AM »
His expectations were high. He blamed you for not living up to them. That song from ďAnnieĒ must be hard for you to hear.I donít suppose you like soccer much either. Failing to teach you about dollars was his lack of ability to explain it in a suitable way, definitely projection.
He made excuses each time for his behaviour towards you along the lines of ďlife is hard.Ē
He made it harder.

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Marinette

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Re: Father's instability
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2019, 10:01:46 AM »
I am very sorry you went through this.
Itís very traumatic for a young child and has a very negative lasting effect on self-esteem, confidence, boundaries etc.
I had a very similar father. He was hypercritical and extremely harsh.
I was also shamed for any grade below A, mocked because I didnít do sports ( he never lifted his finger to enroll me or take me anywhere). He made derogatory comments about my looks and height which is traumatic for a young girl. For a long time I had Zero self-esteem and felt like I was an empty space.  When he tried to teach me math at age 7, and I didnít understand it, he would ask me why I was so stupid.
I was deeply ashamed and believed I was stupid.
At age 15 he sent me off to a boarding school which traumatized me more than his abuse. I hated that place and cried every day asking to come home. He kept me there against my will for 2 years. 
He abused my mother too, daily. She had no self respect or any self esteem and was too weak to leave.  She took his abuse for 25 years and one day he just up and left with his mistress ( who he was seeing for years).  Yeah....