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Old 04-13-2016, 11:43 AM   #21
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Honestly...it sounds like you have psychological damage from all the years of torture. Its not easy for anyone let alone a kid to go through what you did and come out on top.

Your father is going to die a very lonely man. If any lesson can be learned here is that money is not everything. Your dad tossed his family to the side for some greenbacks.

Its good you forgave him as being angry requires much more effort.
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:27 PM   #22
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It's perfectly acceptable in my book to avoid toxic people. As is often said, though, the anger or hurt you feel is only hurting you, and, in fact, might not only not be "hurting" the deserving party, but may actually be giving them pleasure, in a perverse irony...
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:10 PM   #23
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Thank you for sharing that story. It made me think of a book I'd read, by a recently deceased favorite son of my neck of the woods, Pat Conroy. He, like in your story, had an abusive childhood and a very difficult relationship with his father, about whom he'd written in his first commercially successful book, the Great Santini.
You might enjoy reading about it here: Books by Pat Conroy | My Reading Life
In the end, he was able to reconcile what he wished for his father to be with who he actually was.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:44 PM   #24
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The person is a better man than I. I would have written him off after the first beating and not looked back.
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:15 PM   #25
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Thank you for sharing that story. It made me think of a book I'd read, by a recently deceased favorite son of my neck of the woods, Pat Conroy. He, like in your story, had an abusive childhood and a very difficult relationship with his father, about whom he'd written in his first commercially successful book, the Great Santini.
You might enjoy reading about it here: Books by Pat Conroy | My Reading Life
In the end, he was able to reconcile what he wished for his father to be with who he actually was.

When the Great Santini movie came out, everyone who closely knew my dad saw a bit of him in the main character.
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:25 PM   #26
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Rob, thanks for sharing the story and how things are going now. It's amazing what can happen over time.

Some of this reminds me of the situation with my father, although I didn't get beaten as much and never kicked out but spent a lot of time on my own after 16 years of it. My dad never apologized (for a lot of bad stuff) but as he was dying of vodka poisoning, I flew to Connecticut from California to see him in the hospital and in his eyes I could see he was sorry for what he did to the family.

Since I was the only child who actually got away and get educated, I paid for the funeral and other debts he had.
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:38 PM   #27
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Rob - what an amazing story. Thank you for sharing. I've observed that the act of offering forgiveness does more for the person forgiving, than the person being forgiven. It sounds like you have experienced that benefit.

Again, thank you for sharing your story.
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A story of forgiveness
Old 04-13-2016, 09:40 PM   #28
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A story of forgiveness

Rob this is a heartwarming story of love, forgiveness and redemption. We don't choose our parents and many of us have similarly horrific childhood experiences. It's wonderful to see that you've thrived and are well adjusted despite it all. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that your father had a similar upbringing in a household with parents of little means and education. While some people break the cycle for many they just repeat it in their own families. Your story is repeated all across America everyday. It often takes a change in socio-economic circumstances including of course higher levels of education to break the cycle.


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Old 04-13-2016, 09:48 PM   #29
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Rob,

You are a bigger person than I would have been after those experiences. I am very glad that you have found the peace that forgiveness brings.

My father was an extremely difficult and angry alcoholic, and he took it out on his family. I sometimes think that I had a difficult childhood, until I hear a story like yours. The fact that you triumphed over those circumstances says a lot about your personal fortitude. The fact that you still look after your father says a lot about your character.

It is great to hear that you were able to break the cycle of dysfunction, instead of being consumed by it.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:11 PM   #30
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Rob this is a heartwarming story of love, forgiveness and redemption. We don't choose our parents and many of us have similarly horrific childhood experiences. It's wonderful to see that you've thrived and are well adjusted despite it all. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that your father had a similar upbringing in a household with parents of little means and education. While some people break the cycle for many they just repeat it in their own families. Your story is repeated all across America everyday. It often takes a change in socio-economic circumstances including of course higher levels of education to break the cycle.
+1.

It is difficult to get oneself out of the vicious cycle. My siblings never did. I, OTOH, got lucky by removing myself from the env. after high school, and met my wife who is from a different socio-economic circumstance. She showed me how to live a normal life.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:21 PM   #31
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Thanks for sharing your story.
I have a similar history as you, but have no intention of forgiveness for my "parents" or their crimes.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:42 PM   #32
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Thanks for sharing your story.
I have a similar history as you, but have no intention of forgiveness for my "parents" or their crimes.
What if they realize what they have done, change their ways, and ask you for forgiveness?
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:35 AM   #33
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What if they realize what they have done, change their ways, and ask you for forgiveness?
For me these are not forgivable actions and I have moved on.
I have no concern for their feelings regarding these issues and have not had any contact for well over three decades and would not entertain any in the future. They do not matter to me and no longer impact my life or wellbeing.
My tolerance for people who prey on other people is very low, most especially when there is a significant disparity of power between the predator and the victim, and my acceptance of assorted justifications for these types of behaviors is fairly nonexistent.
Please note however that I am glad that you were able to reach a personal resolution that satisfies your needs, which is really all that one can hope for in the end IMHO.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:25 AM   #34
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Rob. This is such a wonderful, heartfelt story of forgiveness. I applaud you for being able to do what you felt was right in the face of adversity. Sometimes it isn't about "them" or the "ones that made our lives miserable or sad". It is about how we stay true to ourselves and weather that storm, even if from a distance.
As you recognized, that $6,000 wasn't about the money. My take is it was a symbolic gesture from your Dad wanting to "give back" in recognition for all of his transgressions and "as your Dad", it was all he had to give to the one that stayed involved however, limited it may have been.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:31 AM   #35
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For me these are not forgivable actions and I have moved on.
I have no concern for their feelings regarding these issues and have not had any contact for well over three decades and would not entertain any in the future. They do not matter to me and no longer impact my life or wellbeing.
My tolerance for people who prey on other people is very low, most especially when there is a significant disparity of power between the predator and the victim, and my acceptance of assorted justifications for these types of behaviors is fairly nonexistent.
Please note however that I am glad that you were able to reach a personal resolution that satisfies your needs, which is really all that one can hope for in the end IMHO.

I think how one responds to abuse by your parents is largely due to culture. In most cultures, it's unheard of to make your parents your enemy despite what we in America would consider abuse. For many cultures it is the norm to beat your children and often quite brutally which objectively is abuse. It's also the norm in many of these places to treat boys as superior to girls and to marry off girls at very tender ages. Of course none of this is right but because the mother and father are revered and there's a cultural obligation to be good to your parents so that you in turn would be blessed, people from those cultures still care for and love their parents. Although mine were not perfect and could be considered abusive by any definition, I would find it impossible not to have a relationship with them. I couldn't bear it. Also keep in mind that people often parent based on how they were parented and what the norm was for them as children growing up in their household and culture. Often they're not acting out of malice but a misguided way of parenting. I know people who spank their children which I consider to be highly abusive but I couldn't convince them that they are wrong because ignorance reigns supreme.


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Old 04-14-2016, 08:50 AM   #36
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The person is a better man than I. I would have written him off after the first beating and not looked back.
I disagree that someone is a better person because they forgave an abuser. There is absolutely nothing wrong with cutting ties with some people.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:05 PM   #37
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As you recognized, that $6,000 wasn't about the money. My take is it was a symbolic gesture from your Dad wanting to "give back" in recognition for all of his transgressions and "as your Dad", it was all he had to give to the one that stayed involved however, limited it may have been.
This is the main point of the story, an act of redemption. I have forgave him long ago. In retrospect, the thread's title should have been about positive change and redemption. This change he had gone through is huge. There is hope for people like my dad to change their ways and seek redemption.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:33 PM   #38
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Rob,


Thanks for sharing your story. It inspires me to do better in my family relationships.
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:42 PM   #39
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This is the main point of the story, an act of redemption. I have forgave him long ago. In retrospect, the thread's title should have been about positive change and redemption. This change he had gone through is huge. There is hope for people like my dad to change their ways and seek redemption.
Great ending. Your forgiveness was rewarded.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:36 PM   #40
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This is the main point of the story, an act of redemption. I have forgave him long ago. In retrospect, the thread's title should have been about positive change and redemption. This change he had gone through is huge. There is hope for people like my dad to change their ways and seek redemption.
Interesting story, and it has caused me to reflect, which is a good thing. And I'm glad you are in a better place now.

I have a situation with a family member (not as terrible as yours, thankfully), and I agree with you, 'redemption' is the key. I hear so much about 'forgiveness', and I've thought a lot about that a lot, and it really does not mean much to me at all.

As far as I am concerned, I can forgive past problems, it's just not that big a deal to me. But what concerns me is, forgiving the past really does nothing for me for the future (unless you get that 'redemption'). Like some others, I do feel that if a relationship is 'toxic', avoid the relationship.

An analogy: Say my neighbor, an otherwise good guy, walks his dog off the leash, and the dog runs up to me and bites me, doing some significant harm (doctor's visits, $ and pain). He never says he's sorry, he tries to blame me for the dog's behavior. This happens two more times over the years.

At that point, I just don't want to be around this guy and his dog. What difference does it make if I 'forgive' him? Will that change anything the next time he and his dog approaches? No, and I'd be just plain stupid to not pay attention to the past and his behavior. Forgiveness does nothing.

However, if the neighbor knocked on my door one day, apologized, paid me for my bills, and something for my pain, and told me he now realizes he was wrong, and he and the dog went to obedience school, and they took 1st prize - OK, now, I'm listening. I just might be able to face him and his dog - they may have redeemed themselves.

But otherwise, I'm not going to be stupid, and I'm certainly not going to expose my family to that jerk and his attack dog. That would be crazy, I don't need it. I have a responsibility to myself and my family, and that comes first.

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