Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today

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BrightMoon

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Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« on: December 07, 2020, 03:39:22 PM »
it wasnt meant to be therapy to fix things, just online therapy to allow me to finally try to be heard. what happened? my father talked over me non stop, always interrupting, despite agreeing beforehand to stop that. repeatedly told me its all in my head. told me things that happened six years ago happened this year. utterly ignored countless points i tried to make and focused instead of tangential unimportant things. behaved like a stroppy teenager, constantly huffing and puffing and tutting and flailing his arms about at almost everything I said. repeatedly threatening to log off and end the sessions everytime I said anything. denied any basic facts. ignored all calm clear points i made.

he acted towards me with such hate and venom and i dont understand why, and it hurts so bad. i also feel a bit shocked to find myself so affected by it all as an adult. wish I was in a better place do deal with this, that I didnt care, or could ignore it, or deal with it. instead i feel like i want to cry but am scared too. i just want someone to tell me all the things he did arent my fault. I keep thinking 'well, maybe he's angry at me for the lack of contact and boundaries I put in place, maybe if I offered to meet him more in exchange for him listening and not interrupting me always....', and thoughts like that.

I've been in therapy before, and I know im not done with it yet. but my dad is old and I worry he wont be around much longer. i didnt expect to fix things today, but i didnt expect the level of insensitivity, childishness, venom, hatred, bullying behaviour. Yet i worry im being soft for feeling this way about it all.

All thoughts or views welcome, all will be read, though I may be too tired to reply for a time. I just want to feel Im not alone, not being childish for feeling as I am, and could use any support out there, or even any online safe hugs.

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Andeza

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2020, 06:05:26 PM »
Lots of hugs to you, that's not the kind of situation any of us would willingly subject ourselves to. Was there an actual therapist present on the call? Did they just sit there on their butt? Or did they even attempt to mediate this three ring circus at all? Your dad, that is, he's the one acting up.

If he is living with a PD, then this is all very much what happens any time they are called out on their behavior. And whatever we express as being hurtful, they double down on that specific behavior. By definition, people with personality disorders don't change. At least, not long term. They may launch into periods of "best behavior" in which they tone down their abuse of us in order to lull us back into the fold, but it's never the new normal. They get tired, and then they blame it on us. If we weren't so darn "sensitive" or "needy" or "delicate" or "crazy".... But that is projection. 100% They will accuse us of being and doing all the things they are and do because it's part of the disorder.

The thing you need to know is that you don't have to deal with it at all. The onus is not on you here. It's not your responsibility to patch things up, or take the hits whenever he feels like it, or try to ignore the pain. The pain tells you something. It tells you this isn't a safe relationship. Pain means run. This is a very, very primal part of our being. No amount of abuse is acceptable. None. Say that to yourself, please. You need to hear it.

You didn't cause this, you can't control it, and you can't fix it. Only he can fix himself. Most likely that looks like him getting into therapy for his own problems, alone, for quite some time before attempting to engage with you.

I highly recommend maintaining your boundaries and limited contact to protect yourself. Of course he's angry about the level of contact and boundaries. You've denied him his punching bag. Keep denying him. You're not an emotional punching bag that he gets to beat whenever he feels like it. You deserve to have people in your life that care about and treat you with respect. Period. We all do. :bighug:
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
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nanotech

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2020, 07:19:29 PM »
Iím sending lots of hugs 🤗 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗
Get therapy without him.  Therapy with them present doesnít work unless the therapist has superpowers. PDs will charm and trick ( you and the therapist) and then gaslight.  They will also try to get the therapist onside with them.
You donít need HIM to tell you youíre not at fault.
NO approval is needed from him.
NO admission of guilt from him is required. They are not capable of seeing themselves at fault.  So it  wonít happen anyway, even when the truth is staring them in the face. But the good news is, you donít need it.
They like us to think we do need it, so that we stay and play the drama game.

Youíll heal on your own. Youíre not responsible for resolving the toxic conflict heís created.
You need to talk ABOUT him, not TO him.
NPD and PDs donít change. They remain disordered for life.
 You just need YOU to affirm you. One on one sessions with a recommended therapist will help loads. Youíll get validation and your life back. Heís not invited. Xx
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 07:24:13 PM by nanotech »

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Amadahy

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2020, 07:41:10 PM »
Aw, Brightmoon, that sounds awful!  Big hugs!  :hug:  :hug:  :hug:

You are not the "cause" of his inability to behave himself through this medium.  Did the facilitator try to reign him in or was it a free-for-all?  You are perfectly within your rights to remove yourself from abuse, in real life or online. 

Do you live in the same house with your father? 

You have support here!  Please keep us posted.  :hug:  :hug:  :hug:
Ring the bells that still can ring;
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There's a crack in everything ~~
That's how the Light gets in!

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Hilltop

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2020, 02:26:54 AM »
Oh that sounds awful, I am sorry you went through that  :bighug:

Of course its going to hurt, you tried online therapy I'm assuming with hopes of getting something out of it and in the end you just had more hurtful things thrown your way, which now you have to sort through and heal from.

If there is one thing I do hope you get out of it, is that your dad isn't going to change.  You tried to bridge your relationship with him together and it really isn't possible without your dad being a willing participant and this therapy  session clearly shows he is not willing to try. 

All the tactics he did, talking over you, deflecting the conversation, denying, flailing his arms around, threatening to log off, its all to make it impossible to actually talk.

You say he is old and you are worried he won't be around for much longer.  I read that as he is old which means he really isn't likely to change.  If he is unlikely or unable to change then you may have to start looking at yourself and how you handle the remaining years with him.  I feel like acceptance that this is the relationship that you have and you can't fix it may be the first step you need to take.  This is not your responsibility to fix, you cannot do this alone, there is nothing you can do to change him, no amount of conversation is going to make him suddenly see what you are saying, he is unlikely to suddenly apologise and understand that he hurt you.  If you accept this is him and he isn't going to change then perhaps you can then look at yourself and see what boundaries you need to put in place to protect yourself.

I hope you are taking care of yourself, these interactions are exhausting.

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Maxtrem

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2020, 07:09:14 PM »
I'm really sorry you had to go through all this, but your therapist should have stepped in and stopped your dad from treating you like this! One of my uncles N bragged that he would say anything to his psychologist and get validated! Unfortunately many therapists are incompetent or don't know the ravages of narcissistic abuse.

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Free2Bme

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2020, 01:50:59 AM »
BrightMoon,

I am hoping you have been able to rest and recover a bit from this terrible event.  It is so very hurtful to be on the receiving end of such vile treatment.  There is absolutely. no. context. in which this behavior would be considered healthy/acceptable.  In other words, even if you were a terrible adult-child (which of course you are not), this would still be unacceptable behavior on his part. 

There is nothing about you that is responsible for the things he said and did. 
There is no inadequacy in you that deserves this treatment.
This was an opportunity for your F, he doesn't value this precious chance to repair things.
He has no capacity to be any different

The saddest part IME, is having to accept that a parent will not likely ever be any different.  I am stuck at this juncture, it's so tough.

Stick close to those who can offer comfort to you as you process.

 :bighug:



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blistering

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2020, 01:26:20 PM »
That's awful, have a safe online hug from me too. I wonder how the therapist thought about this and reacted. Tbh you can very likely not 'fix' issues with a narcissist as they will never admit any fault. I think you should get individual therapy instead to make your peace with this unfortunate situation.

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IRedW77

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2020, 02:09:56 PM »
That sounds awful! It sounds like the therapist wasnít doing their job.

Itís tough to recognize and accept that your parent just isnít normal and will never be normal. They have a mental disorder.

Itís so hard to reconcile with this because:

A. Theyíre your parent. Theyíll always hold some special place inside of you whether you want them to or not.

B. You have normal and healthy needs that a normal parent could meet. But yours canít meet those needs. Itís normal to want what they canít give, but they still canít give it.

C. They donít accept any responsibility and they sincerely donít believe that thereís anything at all wrong with them. The core of these disorders is an inability to accept responsibility for your own actions.

Just imagine your parent carrying an invisible garden hose with them all the time and spraying everyone they meet with water. If everyone you met was always getting themselves soaked while you stayed dry youíd think that there was something wrong with them and not you. 

D. Theyíve been telling you since before you can even remember that theyíre totally normal, so itís hard not to believe.

Itís typical to want closure. Itís normal to want a healthy reaction from a normal personóbut theyíre disordered and not normal. Itís normal to expect someone whoís hurt you to apologize. Healthy people, even difficult people can do that. Your parent just canít and wonít ever act normal.

They will also keep hurting you if you let them. You have to get yourself dried off, but any chance they get theyíll soak you all over again.

All you can do is make YOU ok. You donít have to do that alone (therapists, friends, people here, other healthy family members can help), but you will never get any help from your parent. It is ok to grieve for thatóitís a major loss.

Iím so sorry.

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BrightMoon

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2020, 01:01:33 PM »
Hi
Thanks everyone-the replies really helped me through a tough period, and helped me get perspective. I'll try to reply to each comment

Andeza-thanks for the big online hug. yes unfortunately this was despite there being a therapist present. I think youre right about pain. Its telling me I need to take care of myself and that means not putting up with such things. I had pretty much gone nc with him before but the irony is, he claims that makes him angry-yet whenever I increased contact, he just used it to vent at me non stop about his anger(!)

Nanotech-I see what you mean about the charming and tricking part. I dont think I ever saw it before, but I've kind of been able to view things through new eyes lately. I guess part of the problem is I do feel I desperately want his approval-though Im realizing this, where I was blind to that urge before. Also, thankfully, my own approval finally is starting to mean a lot to me, whilst Im seeing my father for what he truly is, so those yearnings are reducing. (slowly!). Great point about 'talking about, not to him'. He makes it incredibly difficult, but I see the difference is important. Thanks for the many safe virtual hugs!

amadahy-Sadly it was a free for all-the therapist totally did nothing. I realise now that that was part of the upset for me also. I felt very let down by it. As for living with him, no, not after he nearly made me homeless 15 ish years ago when he flipped out at me, even though my siblings were manipulating and taking money from him, which he had no issue with(!). I appreciate your support, and am grateful for the many hugs!

Hilltop-yes, this was part of it-that the therapy itself also let me down, meaning I'd had more to deal with emotionally. It felt horrible at the time! I realised your point was accurate also about tactics designed to stop me talking. I think he was literally trying to run down the clock until time was up, to avoid the truth or being exposed for what he is....

As for boundaries, I realised looking back that he never respected one. Not the smallest request I made. even when I used to let him visit occasionally, I asked if he could not play his music so loud with the car windows wound fully down, parked right in front of my house as I was concerned about the neighbours. Nope-no change. Asked if he would avoid constanly honking the car horn other times to demand I rush out to meet him (he has mobility issues), even though things had been pre arranged and I knew he had arrived. Never changed. Requested he not call but wait to hear from me-didnt happen. Etc, etc. Meanwhile he would do whatever anybody else asked of him at the drop of a hat(!)

Anyway-as you mentioned, any interaction with him is just hurtful, exhausting, and draining. Than you for the hugs, and your input.

Maxtrem-Yeah I agree. too many really seem to take the money and do very little! your post just reminded me of something too-my dad repeatedly said things to me over the years (when I had contact with him) if I had difficulty with someone-he would just tell me to lie to them, or cheat them, or trick them! I'd forgotten, and I guess it is revealing of his attitudes to things... I recall when I mistakenly told him I intended to see a therapist some years back, but couldnt find one that seemed to fit-he suggested I lie to them to get what it was I was wanting! Again, with hindsight, I guess that says lots....

Free2BMe- Thanks for your kind words. Its a good point about it being an opportunity. Sadly he just used it to berate me and blame and criticise...  I *think* im starting to process the reality of my original family. its so painful though, like you say, the hardest thing i've ever done. I find it hardest when i lose sight of my own progress, and almost go blank at such times, forgetting important self care skills and tools. At those times, I even start questioning whether I was to blame! Getting better at it though....I hope you make progress too. I'd be interested to hear how things go. Im still newish to using this site more often, and want to try to be more regular on here. thanks for the safe hug!

blistering-thanks for the hug. yes ive been looking for personal therapy but found it very very difficult to find someone. i really have encountered some terrible therapists, countless ones who broke the ethics rules, etc. where i am, therapy in general is really in a mess, not really regulated at all, costly, and many therapists have unresolved issues themselves (according to others have told me, who were therapists I knew only in a social capacity). its also difficult now-therapists go on holiday generally from yesterday until mid january here, and due to the virus, most are booked until late february at the earliest....

IRedW77-yeah I agree there, I dont think the therapist was doing their job at all. no idea why they just let him rant on and talk over me.... thanks for your post. much appreciated!

I just want to say to everyone thanks for the thoughts and kind words-it really meant a lot, helped things. Apologies for not replying sooner, but it takes me quite a while to process difficult things, and I'd not felt up to replying until now.

apologies too for my typing-errors are due to fatigue.

As for the latest-well, there was quite a turnaround. there was another session scheduled for just days later. somehow, in that time, i found some strength, and anger, and was able to stand up for myself and for the session, stay 100 percent focused and sidestepped my dad's 'tricks' (are we allowed to swear, or use censored swear words here?) . By that i mean i just stuck rigidly to some things I wanted to say, some questions I wanted to ask, didnt fall for his rubbish and attempted manipulation, and just went at him again and again when he tried to dodge questions or contradicted his claim he had just made minutes before. I specifically said about how nasty it was to do some of the things he did when I was very young. He was vague in replying. I directly said-do you think its cruel to do that to a kid? he said he didnt know. i said if you saw a father do the same in a shop to his kid, would he intervene? he pretended to not understand. As with him, i was 100 percent upfront and concise and determined to make best use of the therapist so I straight up turned to her and said 'with all your experience, is such treatment of a child abusive?' (she'd been silent again up until then). she said it was abusive. I again pressed my dad on this, and eventually, he let slip he still didnt think it was a big deal in any way at all, then quickly tried to backtrack, tried fake anger with me, tried everything.

my main point is that not only did i somehow stand up to his force 10 hurricane of tricks and lies-its that I was able to see they were tricks and lies. before, i had been manipulated by them, let doubt creep in-boy, the name of this web forum sure is accurate in being called 'Out of the FOG'-thats what my family creates-a fog of lies and tricks and manipulation to cover their abuse and actions and cruelty, to try to hide its existance. Well-this time I saw it. I saw it for what it was. A fog. lies. manipulation, etc.

Something about that, and my ability to finally get the better of him and get to the truth of the abuser he is mattered. I have been grieving what I didnt have for quite a while. But this has helped. validation. clarity. inner self belief. standing up to him.

So-Im still grieving. i know it will take time. some days are more difficult. i feel clearer now though. i feel i've seen behind the curtain and the reality of the small man trying to hide it by acting big and being nasty, manipulating, bullying, being selfish.

It hurts. im glad i found this forum, and thankful to everyone for their interest and their replies. i'll try to keep making use of this.

best to all of you!

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Hilltop

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2020, 09:30:58 PM »
Brightmoon congratulations, I read your update with a smile.  I am so glad you stood up for yourself and took control in the second session.  It probably won't change him however the self respect and validation you get is huge.

You were able to say what you needed to say and were able to listen to his responses.  You were able to get clarity from what he said.  I'm happy it went well for you.


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moglow

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2020, 02:57:01 PM »
I'm glad you had a second session and stood up for yourself! And honestly, in a sad way I'm glad he performed for the therapist, even painful as it had to have been for you. Sometimes people need to see THAT in order to see us and the damage. If he'd put up a front, I think it would ultimately have been worse for you, swept under a rug as supposed imaginings even though nothing is further from the truth. Having that out there makes it incredibly hard to ignore - and now you have a witness!

What's your plan now? Are you going to pursue counseling for yourself, to help you grieve? It truly dies help to get it out so it doesnt continue to poison us - but know you owe NO ONE an explanation for your choices. Whatever you choose, we're here with you.

:hug:
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sandpiper

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Re: Devastated after encounter with abusive father in therapy today
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2020, 04:28:04 PM »
Kudos to you for going back into the fray and standing up for yourself.
I'm with those who are saying 'Um, where was the T when he was misbehaving, out the back making scones?' If the T understood that your goal in that session was to Be Heard and they didn't at least attempt to facilitate that then they either didn't understand that goal, didn't care enough to help you achieve it, or they were no match for the PD's hijacking of the conversation.
I don't think I can add anything that others here haven't already said.
Just, be kind to yourself.
My parents were long gone when I started T, but I've been at these boards for a long time & have seen a lot of my invisible friends here go through the same deal as you.
T is just another opportunity for the PD to abuse, triangulate, gaslight, FOG and torment you.
Generally what people get out of this, after they've had time to process it, is this.
1. You tried your damnedest to make the relationship work. And when you tried to build bridges, with a relationship engineer in the room, the PD did their damnedest to knock those bridges down. In time this will be of value to you when they are trying to FOG you. You will have this experience to remind yourself 'Well, I tried to work this out in therapy and the PD ran a wrecking ball through that.' You know how you see those warning signs up with Road Blocked/Dangerous Conditions? This is that sign post. If in future you are tempted to go there, remind yourself what happens. The PD is the one putting up the road blocks. And also inviting you to go past them at your peril. Don't.
I know this hurts right now but down the track, you'll be able to review this as 'I tried everything.' And you'll have that when they try to guilt you. Which they will.
2. Going to T with the PD usually gives you validation of the behaviour because there is a witness who can call them on it. In this case it sounds like the witness - the T - failed to do so. But you've got everyone here, who has Been There.
3. You start to trust that you are the expert on your PD and you don't need a T to validate you. There's still a lot of insight to be gained from therapy because it's about undoing the damage that has been done to you and shifting the trajectory of your life's journey so that you end up in a much better place and those wounds don't hold you back.

I hope that helps.
It was good of you to try to resolve things. Sadly I think as they get older they just get worse. If they haven't done the work then they aren't going to start now. MIL died this year and she'd spent the last 20 years intent on destroying every last one of her relationships. DH wouldn't have coped without the skills he acquired vicariously through me sharing stuff I'd learned in T and at these boards here. It's about your healing from this point on.
I don't know if you've seen it but there's an award winning book here in Oz called 'The Erratics' by Vicki Laveau-Harvie. It's dry and insightful and funny and I found that it really helped to read a book by one of us, about dealing with a PD parent in the final stages of their lives. I tell everyone with PD parents to read it. It helped me so much to know that one of us children of PD parents finally got to make their voice heard and to national acclaim.
You've done what you could, and I'm glad you were able to stand up for yourself in T.
That's peak Wizard of Oz :) Remember the line 'You have no power here. Now, Begone! Before a house falls on you, too.'