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Puzzling behavior


Family Parents too demanding? Sibling driving you mad? Tell us!

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Old 17th December 2017, 11:48 PM   #1
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Puzzling behavior

Hello everyone:

I have an odd dynamic going on with my father and could use your advice. I have to give you a bit of background and context first. I have one brother and we are 1 year apart. We are both in the legal profession except we took different directions. My father was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in 2014. I relocated and moved in with my family temporarily to help. Long story short, my father is presently in remission thank goodness. I love my dad but he is an odd duck. He doesn't have any friends and his relationships with most people are strained because he says offensive controversial things and is very aggressive and opinionated. My mother and his sister describe him as a "bully." My plan was to move out now that things were quiet but my firm closed this past September and I was laid off. I have already found a new position and am slated to start after new year.

Here's the issue. My dad does not seem excited for me. He knew how upset and stressed I was when I was let go. But anytime the topic of my new position comes up I detect a hint of anger from him. He was not congratulatory when I received the offer either. I truly don't understand this. I overhear him on the phone gushing to my brother about his "boatloads of money." I have worked hard 15 years in my profession and my father makes me feel like a failure. I have worked hard to save a substantial sum and I am planning to make my move out in 2018.

I know my father loves me, but why do you think is he acting this way? Is he angry that I am going to move out? He makes me feel like I am broke and cannot afford things which is far from true. I feel like this home environment has become toxic and is affecting me negatively now. Thanks everyone.
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Old 17th December 2017, 11:56 PM   #2
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He might be scared. His health crisis may have scared him more than you realize, even though he's in remission, and he's afraid of being alone.
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Old 18th December 2017, 12:11 AM   #3
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Hi Cautious:

Thanks for your quick reply. I love my parents and would never abandon them. I think they struggle to understand that I need space and privacy and this was only meant to be a temporary living situation.

After I was laid off in September my dad and I started spending time together everyday and going walking, eating together etc. He can be abrasive though and sometimes I felt worse after these moments depending on what he would say. My brother just bought a new expensive house so I feel perhaps I am the failure? He tells me I am his daughter and he loves me no matter whether I have a job etc., but then during a walk he called me the "poor person of the family."

He just says little things that make me feel like I have not accomplished anything. When I spoke about living in the area where my new position is located he immediately responded and said "oh that's too expensive." When I spoke to him about gyms located close to the office he said "of those are going to be expensive." He acts like I am broke but I have saved all the years I have worked. He doesn't speak to my brother this way. I have tried to talk to my mom about his behavior and she says to just ignore him. But I feel like it's putting me in a negative frame of mind when I should be feeling positive about the new job.
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Old 18th December 2017, 12:12 AM   #4
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Would you feel comfortable asking him? It would be worth trying to open up to him and telling him how much his approval means to you.

You never know, it might actually help you become even closer. In light of everything that has happened, you could look at this at a second to have an even closer relationship with your Dad.
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Old 18th December 2017, 12:18 AM   #5
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Hi Scarlett:

Thank you for replying. I've been thinking about trying to speak to him and wondering how to say things in the right way so that I don't offend him. He is highly emotional and offends easily. It's so odd for a person who doesn't consider how often he offends others! I have been avoiding bringing it up to him because I think it's going to be very touchy. But right now I am holding hard feelings towards him and have been avoiding spending as much time with him.
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Old 18th December 2017, 7:56 PM   #6
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I think the key is to not come across as argumentative or accusatory. Reinforce what you are saying by telling him how much he means to you and see how it goes.

If you can feel things aren't going well, try and change the subject. I know it's complicated, but I there is the potential to improve your relationship.

If nothing else, at least you will know that you tried. I really hope that it does improve, for your sake, as well as his.
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Old 18th December 2017, 8:13 PM   #7
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Thank you for your very sound advice. I know he loves me and my brother very much. He would do anything for us. Its possible he may not realize what he is doing and how he is making me feel. Even with my mom when I bring up the topic of moving to my own place after I start the new job, she clams up. I know it's not what she wants. It's hard for me to progress in my life and celebrate accomplishments without any support or happiness from my parents. I live with them but I feel very much alone.
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Old 18th December 2017, 9:24 PM   #8
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I'm sorry you are feeling that way. Sometimes people just express their love in different ways and don't understand what you need unless you actually tell them.

It would be such a shame to leave under these circumstances.
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Old 25th December 2017, 8:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darien 76 View Post
Hi Cautious:

My brother just bought a new expensive house so I feel perhaps I am the failure? He tells me I am his daughter and he loves me no matter whether I have a job etc., but then during a walk he called me the "poor person of the family."

He just says little things that make me feel like I have not accomplished anything. When I spoke about living in the area where my new position is located he immediately responded and said "oh that's too expensive." When I spoke to him about gyms located close to the office he said "of those are going to be expensive." .
i just have to share this christmas story.

before i was married and had a home of my own,my family and i were exchanging presents Christmas eve when i unwrapped a beautiful leather wallet from my educated professional, successful older sister. as i was admiring it my sister said to me: "i got you a small wallet since you don't have any money to put in it, you don't need anything bigger'.

omg

i haven't much else to add. i changed my Christmas after i went thru the custody section of my divorce with my ex. i got Christmas. slowly over the years i weeded out my family and started spending it with people that do not complain, compare or criticize. and i allow absolutely no gossiping.

Christmas is for gratitude and thanks.

unlike thanksgiving, but that's another story.

i'm going to close with an old saying i use on my sibs: you'll miss me when i' m gone.

and they will.

maybe make your self scarce until it pinches them a little, in what passes for their hearts and they remember they love you.

good luck
__________________
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Old 27th December 2017, 2:30 AM   #10
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Hi Miss Clavel,

What an insensitive thing for your sister to say and I'm so sorry that happened. Some people don't think before they speak! I still haven't brought anything up to my father. It's awkward timing right now with Christmas and New Year and I don't want to generate any strife during the holiday. I may say something after the holidays pass. I've also thought it will be a waste of my breath since my father is in his 70s and highly unlikely to change. He is a brash insensitive person and its just his personality. I know he isn't targeting me personally.

I live by the motto, "if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all." I try my best to respect others and be kind and nice. Of course sometimes I fail at this. I have put some distance between myself and my family for purposes of my self-preservation. I do want a relationship with my parents, but I think living with them has reignited the parent/child dynamic that was present when I was younger. I'm thinking about my plan for the next chapter in my life, what I would like, and how to get there. I know my parents mean well and love me, so I'm keeping it all in perspective.
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