Author Topic: A  (Read 5169 times)

Damiansinc

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A
« on: June 19, 2016, 07:39:21 AM »
D
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 03:22:24 PM by ArtLovingDad »

Wheelerswife

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Re: A Fathers Day confession
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 08:19:47 AM »
ALD,

You are courageous to admit your weakness.  I don't know if saying it here will help you to figure out how to be more present to your son.  I'm not a parent and I don't know if I could have been a good mother.  I worried about re-creating the critical parents that I had.

I'm sending hugs...I don't know what good they might do, but I want to acknowledge that you were heard and I'm sorry that your wife had to end up with early-onset dementia and not be available to parent the child she wanted.  And if your son is the child you describe, somehow, you are figuring out how to be his father.

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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TooSoon

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Re: A Fathers Day confession
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 10:32:26 AM »
First of all, I think it is very brave to step up and own these things.  For that reason alone, you are a good parent. 

I would say that, at best, I have what I would describe as a "detente" with parenting.  I am not good at it.  As my daughter has gotten older, I've learned to enjoy it more but at 6?  No way.  The parts of it that I love, I love very much; the rest, not so much. 

Try to leave behind whatever standard you might be holding yourself to.   My daughter and I have a pretty unconventional relationship but what choice did we have in the matter, really?  We've been at this for more than half her life now - and I am still insecure and scared - but I think as each day comes and I watch her grow and mature, I realize I might have done a couple of things right. 

I dislike the way we use this word "parenting" as if it has one fixed, static meaning.  It does not.  "Parenting" is not the pretty pictures in the movies or advertising; it is not, as I have had to remind my Mother repeatedly, "Leave It To Beaver" anymore.  It helps me to try and remember that.  I learned the hard way to stop beating myself up about what I had been indoctrinated to view as shortcomings.  I just didn't know what kind of parent I would be, parenting alone, as I never really thought about it even though I knew for more than two years that is what I was going to become. 

Happy Father's Day.  I hope there is something in it just for you today.  Sending you lots of support and empathy. 

kpgct

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Re: A Fathers Day confession
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2016, 01:39:46 PM »
Ah, ArtLovingDad, I'm sorry that it all feels so hard right now.

Being a single parent through widowhood is a terribly difficult task, even when parenthood is freely and joyfully chosen.  And grief – especially in the early days (and from my perspective, those ‘early days’ might be best counted in years, btw) – can make even the easiest task seem like drudgery.

Parenting is never really all that easy, or even always all that rewarding – except in some abstract sort of way. Little kids can be incredibly demanding, sometimes pretty damn boring, and require you to always put their basic needs first. <sigh> Parenting is hard work.

Grieving? Also hard work. You don’t sound like you’re enjoying much of your life at all right now, so why would you be enjoying the extra demands that parenting brings?

I’m wearing a few hats here as I comment: I’m a solo parent (widowed 8+ years with a 20 year old son; he was 11 when his dad died) who was raised by a single mom (after my dad died when I was 9) and am a practicing psychotherapist who works with children and families.  And I gotta tell you, the value of a well-balanced, complete meal is probably not worth as much as you might imagine ;). (Clean houses, routines, etc, also can be pretty highly over-rated; really gotta just figure out what works for your little family.)

Good parents come in all stripes and varieties, and no one parent is great at the job over an entire childhood. Those parents who excel at parenting infants may suck at being with adolescents, and a 6 year old is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. You’ve got a lot of time yet to hit your stride and to grow with your child into a mutually satisfying, rewarding relationship. In the meantime, being kept safe, dry and fed, with a moderate amount of good-enough parenting is probably just fine. Foster some key supplemental supportive relationships (well chosen nannies, sitters, friends & neighbors who like kids, scout troop leaders, extended family members, teachers, etc) and they, too, can help to create that safe and loving network that help children to thrive. It does take a village, and for a widowed parent, that village is even more critical.

And I hope that you’ll give your own relationship with your son a chance, keeping open the possibility that he might just be someone who – independent of your responsibility for him – may be, or may grow into, someone who you can really enjoy.

Both as a one half of a couple and as a solo mom, I’ve found parenting to have moments of unmitigated joy as often as moments of frustration, tedium, fear, and exhaustion.  And honestly?  I think that I’m a pretty good parent. Don’t let anyone try to sell you on the idea that being a good parent requires you to be unwavering or unambivalent in your commitment; that’s just wrong.

One caveat, though, as the child of a mom who became pretty depressed for quite some time after my dad died: if it feels like your grief is sliding towards depression (and sometimes it does), both of you will benefit from you taking the time to address that with a professional. And even if it’s not, having an unbiased listening ear can help.

Hope that today does hold some peace and time to take care of just you.

Portside

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Re: A Fathers Day confession
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2016, 03:15:36 PM »
Well, you've said it and bared your soul. Good for you I guess.

Now it's time to change some things and do what is necessary for your son. Tough nuggies if it doesn't exactly match with what you want to do.

It seems to me you have accurately identified the areas of your parenting where you need some improvement. Wonderful! That is always the toughest part for any of us. Actively try to modify those areas/feelings as they crop up and soon they may diminish. It's vital, for the sake of your son, that they do.

By the way, if your son ever finds out/hears you say/said you never wanted to be a father, you will destroy him emotionally. Even if you continue to feel that way, don't verbalize it. Just keep it to yourself. One slip from you and that thought will never leave your son's head. Sometimes being an adult is keeping your mouth shut when you don't want to.

An unwanted child can feel it - you don't even have to say it. So please, work on these items.

I know you can do it - if you have to force yourself for a while to feel differently, please do that too.

Your life can be infinitely easier if you are able to make some progress here.

I'm pulling for you. Good luck ! Mike
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

Wheelerswife

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Re: A
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2016, 04:16:58 PM »
I'm sorry this wasn't a safe place for you, ALD. 

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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BrokenHeart2

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Re: A
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2016, 04:50:04 PM »
Some of what was commented on could have been put in a private message instead but first asking if he wanted the advise.  I think he commented in his post he didn't want any, he just wanted to get his thoughts out of his head.  Isn't this supposed to be the safe place to do that when so many don't get us.  When I read it, it seemed harsh for a man in such pain to have to take.  I remember being in that depth of pain.  Taking a hard criticism would have had me "outta here fast" as well.  I think sometimes some "old timers" need to step back a bit and remember how raw and hard the early days are.  Sometimes good intentions can pave the road to hell. 
So sorry ALD. If I remember correctly you weren't looking for advise but to just vent.  I hope you come back eventually or just read if you find enough support that way. 
Hugs to you ALD.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 05:00:11 PM by BrokenHeart2 »
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.

TooSoon

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Re: A Fathers Day confession
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2016, 05:46:51 PM »
Well, you've said it and bared your soul. Good for you I guess.

Now it's time to change some things and do what is necessary for your son. Tough nuggies if it doesn't exactly match with what you want to do.

It seems to me you have accurately identified the areas of your parenting where you need some improvement. Wonderful! That is always the toughest part for any of us. Actively try to modify those areas/feelings as they crop up and soon they may diminish. It's vital, for the sake of your son, that they do.

By the way, if your son ever finds out/hears you say/said you never wanted to be a father, you will destroy him emotionally. Even if you continue to feel that way, don't verbalize it. Just keep it to yourself. One slip from you and that thought will never leave your son's head. Sometimes being an adult is keeping your mouth shut when you don't want to.

An unwanted child can feel it - you don't even have to say it. So please, work on these items.

I know you can do it - if you have to force yourself for a while to feel differently, please do that too.

Your life can be infinitely easier if you are able to make some progress here.

I'm pulling for you. Good luck ! Mike

Are you fucking kidding me?  Portside, you owe the original poster and everyone who responded an apology.  You must be out of your mind to think that you have all of the answers in this case.  I've struggled being a solo parent; I have been so very honest about my ambivalence about being a mother. So, you think you know ArtLovingDad's whole story? You don't; none of us do.   I've been honest about my insecurity about parenting alone.  I have come here for three and a half years to find the support I need to be the parent I want to be.  Say it to me but do not do it to a newcomer to this forum, someone who, on Father's day, for Christ's sake, needed a safe place to go.  What the hell?  Way to kick someone when they are feeling weak and vulnerable and insecure.  Shame on you.  ArtLovingDad, we are not all  Neanderthals here.  I am so sorry.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 07:59:14 PM by TooSoon »

BrokenHeart2

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Re: A
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2016, 08:01:03 PM »
Hey TS, I think you said it a whole hell of alot better than I did!
Thanks.
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.

Bunny

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Re: A
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2016, 10:30:46 PM »
Wow, portside. This is the second time* you've shamed someone off the board because they shared some honest feelings about children that you just couldn't help 'chiding' them about, along with imparting some 'helpful wisdom'. So, here's a little helpful hint of my own- trying to end things on a 'positive' note does absolutely nothing to lessen the shame you've worked to instill in an OP. Really, you just shouldn't bother.

I'm so sorry, artlovingdad.


*the first was mawidow (which, selfishly, pissed me off because I appreciated her insight on relationships post-widowhood.)
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.

serpico

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Re: A
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2016, 11:45:56 PM »
I didn't see the original post so I can't comment on the appropriateness of portside's input in this particular instance.  I can, however, vouch for his character and his desire to help those on this board. There are many different ways to help people, and portside's 'tough love' approach certainly runs against the grain of much of the advice/support that you see here. And he takes a lot of heat for it - he has been publicly 'shamed' plenty of times himself because he refuses to coddle people and give mealy-mouthed 'support' for things he doesn't agree with.  And yet he is still here, shrugging off the insults and continuing to help people the only way he knows how to. And I'm thankful for it, because his blunt advice has helped me many times, even if it stung initially.  Because he cares. Which is what matters.
'I think I got some of your pickle'

BrokenHeart2

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Re: A
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 01:38:33 AM »
 :-\
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 06:17:14 AM by BrokenHeart2 »
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.

Wheelerswife

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Re: A
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 07:11:39 AM »
I didn't see the original post so I can't comment on the appropriateness of portside's input in this particular instance.  I can, however, vouch for his character and his desire to help those on this board. There are many different ways to help people, and portside's 'tough love' approach certainly runs against the grain of much of the advice/support that you see here. And he takes a lot of heat for it - he has been publicly 'shamed' plenty of times himself because he refuses to coddle people and give mealy-mouthed 'support' for things he doesn't agree with.  And yet he is still here, shrugging off the insults and continuing to help people the only way he knows how to. And I'm thankful for it, because his blunt advice has helped me many times, even if it stung initially.  Because he cares. Which is what matters.

It isn't all that matters, serpico.  It isn't okay to inflict injury on someone who is hurting and vulnerable.  The reality is that Portside knows that what he says is going to bite and he does it anyway.  When people come here because it is a place where they can be vulnerable, and someone kicks them in the groin when they are down, that ends up leaving a person even more isolated than they were already.  There are plenty of people in our lives making us feel inadequate enough.  ArtLovingDad didn't need a fellow brother to tell him he might just ruin his kid.  If you had had the chance to read ArtLovingDad's post, you would realize that he is doing a great job at parenting, even though he had been through the hell of losing his wife to dementia before she hit 40, without ever being able to care for the son that she wanted.  Portside's version of "suck it up" caring obviously wasn't the answer to this grieving parent's problems.  It was cruel and uncalled for.

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

Empathy  Developer  Responsibility  Adaptability Connectedness

SoVerySad

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Re: A
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2016, 07:44:16 AM »
I think "tough love" approaches are best reserved for those who we know well enough (which would likely be very few people here) for the "blunt advice" to be seen as such and to have real value. One of the greatest features of this forum has been to be able to just vent and say the things running through our heads to people who likely will understand, if not the exact feelings or sentiments, at least the fact that all sorts of confusing feelings run through our minds in the throes of grief. To be able to freely vent them here is often enough to offer some relief just in itself. To be taken to task will make not only that member, but others members who witness it, feel reluctant to share their feelings or vent. I know this from pms sent to me from people who no longer felt safe sharing here. That is a real shame.

I remember in the early timeframe after my husband died, that I felt like I no longer wanted to be here either (non-suicidal, just wanting to be away from the intense, unrelenting pain). I wanted to be with him, despite having two children here who mean the world to me. I myself was ashamed and confused by those feelings, but I had them none-the-less. My IRL friends and my family could not understand my feelings when I honestly answered how I was. They were quick to remind me of my responsibilities, which I didn't need. My children were and always have been first in my mind. I didn't need anyone to remind me of that in a manner that was shaming. So the lesson they taught me was to not share my feelings. But it was so helpful for someone here to tell me it wasn't uncommon to feel that way and to "listen" without judgement. I had some crazy thoughts those first couple of years (still do at times), so unlike the pre-loss me. I've managed to keep fighting everyday to be here to care for my children. I believe I've been able to be a better parent after venting my feelings than if I had to keep them bottled up and festering. I had so little energy. It was good to be able not to expend so much on feeling guilty for having the thoughts I had.
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.

Mrskro

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Re: A
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2016, 08:03:58 AM »
I didn't see the orginal post.   But honestly I'm appalled at Portside's response.  There was absolutely nothing helpful in it.  Not one shred of actual advice anyone could use.   

I'm not sure if you've heard the phrase "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all!"

"good for you"
"tough Nuggies"
"you will destroy him emotionally"
"force yourself to feel differently"

Absolutely none of these comments were necessary or helpful.  They were mean and spiteful. I'm not sure who pissed in your cheerios but IN MY OPINION keep that shit to yourself!

This wasn't even tough love.  This was a complete slap in the face, rude, ignorant and uncalled for. 

No one, and I mean no one can tell another person how to feel. 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 09:30:44 AM by Mrskro »