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(Slate)   "I'm in my 50s; my dad is still alive. He's a charming, charismatic, wealthy man who abandoned me and my mother, never paid child support, never showed up for birthdays. I am still trying desperately for his love; am I a fool?"   (slate.com) divider line
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339 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 22 Oct 2020 at 9:35 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



35 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-10-22 7:25:32 AM  
For some people it really is true that they can never really become an adult as long as their parents are alive.
 
2020-10-22 7:30:17 AM  
Yes, you are a fool.  Next question?
 
2020-10-22 7:50:39 AM  
It's farked up no matter how much you know you'll never be truly loved by a parent you still want that love and approval.
 
2020-10-22 7:58:41 AM  
You are only a fool if you keep this up instead of getting therapy.
 
2020-10-22 7:58:50 AM  
Yes.

Forget that asshole exists.  He was just a sperm donor.
 
2020-10-22 8:12:13 AM  
Fool? Maybe. The "man" is unbelievably cruel, though.
 
2020-10-22 8:43:04 AM  
Is this 'terrible males day'?

I thought that was every day, since this is a patriarchy.
 
2020-10-22 9:25:59 AM  

labman: Yes.

Forget that asshole exists.  He was just a sperm donor.


So is your answer butt stuff or no butt stuff?
 
2020-10-22 9:48:10 AM  
Yes.
 
2020-10-22 10:00:08 AM  
Goddamn.  I read TFA.  Letter Writer is a breathtaking doormat and needs therapy very badly.  In fact, LW is so ridiculous, I disbelieve the letter.

Then I read the rest. SMH. These can't be real, right?
 
2020-10-22 10:08:27 AM  
I know kink shaming is looked down upon here on Fark, but goddamn...
 
2020-10-22 10:08:44 AM  
I am still trying desperately for his love inheritance

FTFY
 
2020-10-22 10:14:11 AM  

Gunboat: Goddamn.  I read TFA.  Letter Writer is a breathtaking doormat and needs therapy very badly.  In fact, LW is so ridiculous, I disbelieve the letter.

Then I read the rest. SMH. These can't be real, right?



I'm amazed at the tortured permutations of sexuality and gender that she manages to keep coming up with.
 
2020-10-22 10:17:40 AM  
And you'll ugly cry when he passes, I'm sure.
 
2020-10-22 10:26:04 AM  
I'm in my 50s, and my father is alive. He was an abusive alcoholic, and at 15 I left his house to travel across the country to Maine to live with my Aunt and Uncle, because I finally hit him back, and we both realized that one of us was going to wind up dead.

We have never had a warm relationship. I do have some good memories, but they're rare. When I became a father, I came to understand my father better. He was the son of an abusive father. And my Grandad was himself the son of an abusive father. My Dad...he tried. He did the best he could, with what he had. He was 20 when I came along. He had lied about his age, he went on two tours in Vietnam, and was starting to have a life, when he got his girlfriend pregnant in Japan, who he then found out had lied about her age, and he did what he thought was the honorable thing, and he married her just after she turned 16, and right before I was born. He wasn't ready to be a father, or a husband, heck, he was having issues even fitting back into civilized society, and oddly enough, alcohol was right there, and had been his go-to since he was 13 to numb things to a dull roar. He never had a supportive father figure. He was better than his father, but he failed in new and spectacular ways. As we all pretty much do, though his entailed trying to impose impossible order, and he had raised a boy as mule-headed as he was.

It didn't make it right, but I understood why he did some of the things he did. He did the best he could. With what he had. As most fathers do. There's no manual, and we often muddle through and hope for the best. His best was muddled a bit more than usual because of the booze. And that was him trying to keep a lid on a lot of things, so that they didn't spill into the rest of his life, and yeah, that failed. His signing over power of attorney to his sister, that was not so much "abandonment" as much as it was acknowledging that he didn't know how to make things right.

My Dad and I aren't overly close. I call, he still isn't sure how to deal with me, but I try. Because it's the right thing to do. Because it's the thing that he'd want me to do. Trying to connect to your father, even a father that has failed you...that's just hope. Hope that you can turn things. To at least give it every chance. That you can prove that you're open to the possibility. We can only try, and sometimes that trying doesn't work, but it doesn't mean that the attempt isn't worth it. For what it's worth, he was much less of a bastard than his Dad was. And I have often been not the greatest Dad in the world, but I like to think that I did better than my Dad. It's a progression. We learn from our Dads, both from their successes and their failures.

Our Dear Author isn't a fool, just hopeful, and human. We hope we can bring folks back into the fold, and yeah it doesn't always work, but it's worth the try. And to keep trying says something about you, as much as it says about the hand that rebuffs it. My own father...he stays estranged, I think, because he's ashamed, and he thinks he deserves to be outside my and my daughter's life. And I can only hold the door open for him, and hope he'll take the hand offered. And perhaps, our Dear Author's father...a bit of that shame runs through that relationship too. He doesn't know how to make things better, so bluff it out as much as possible, and retreat quickly. But that's just a spitballing guess. Could be more, could be less. Relationships with absent fathers are weird.
 
2020-10-22 10:26:25 AM  

labman: Yes.

Forget that asshole exists.  He was just a sperm donor.


I had one of those. I just searched online. I think I found the right one. He died 3 years ago. I kept hoping for a contact from a lawyer someday about an inheritance. Never happened :(
He remarried and I have a half-brother. Maybe some other half-siblings. I ain't never going to contact them.
 
2020-10-22 10:47:51 AM  
Screw the bastard's love. Get his money.
 
2020-10-22 10:52:41 AM  
Nope, author is just human and wanting validation.
 
2020-10-22 10:56:18 AM  

Irving Maimway: It's farked up no matter how much you know you'll never be truly loved by a parent you still want that love and approval.


Some of us get past that, some of us even early on.

/ my dad was great, but died when I was 22
 
2020-10-22 11:02:28 AM  
Is this from Don Jr. or from Eric?
 
2020-10-22 11:05:14 AM  
1) I Don't Care Anymore: Weird to say about a parent, but DTMFA.

2) Mother-in-Law.  The Worst Person I Know: If the family tries to force her on you, tell them to FRO.

3) My Girl Wants To Party All The Time: It seems a curious overreaction.  This does seem a problem about control in the relationship and if it can't be resolved, then DTMFA.

4) You Don't Lose When You Lose Fake Friends: Clearly she really doesn't have much interest in maintaining the friendship.  MYOB and let it die.

5) You, Babe, Steppin' Out: You've offered your positive affirmation and that's a great place to start.  Next I think is getting him with those who've navigated this before as well as yourself because I'm sure you're aware there's a lot you don't know.  But unlike Prudie, I do think it's important to emphasize many won't accept it.  This doesn't mean stay closeted exactly, but the child will need to exercise caution and better to start out overly so.

6) And Another One Rides The Bus: I like driving.  I do not like commuting and back when I did so, I was desperate to find a good way to avoid doing so.  I failed to find something that works because all of the sudden, I'm needing to be at the bus stop at 6:30 to be at work by 8:30.  Then not home again until well after 7 p.m.  So yeah, I'd say that you don't enjoy driving and don't need to.  Anyone unhappy with that should be told to STFU and MYOB.

7) Dead Puppies Aren't Much Fun (Classic): This came up in classic before.  The kid is 13 and not over it?  Damn, get him to therapy.  It's wholly unreasonable to suggest moving the grave, period.
 
2020-10-22 11:07:18 AM  
My mother was an abusive alcoholic and my last words to her were to lie and say that I couldn't find a ride home from college over the Christmas holiday, when the truth was I eagerly stayed at my apartment at school because it was the first time in my adult life that I felt empowered to not be obligated to spend my holidays with her and witness her codependent abusive relationship with my sister.  She was dead by February.  That was 30 years ago, and I haven't regretted the decision for a single moment of my life.
 
2020-10-22 11:28:41 AM  
Yes, you're a fool. I will never understand people's insistence that you care for or about a parent, grandparent, cousin, or sibling. It a genetic lottery and odds are at least some of the people related to you are going to be awful people.

If they are terrible people, you need to grow up and cut them out of your life.

Make some friends if you feel you need companionship. Good friends are friends to you because of who you are, not from some outdated concept of family.
 
2020-10-22 11:33:18 AM  
hubiestubert:


Curious if you ever said all that to your dad.
 
2020-10-22 11:37:24 AM  
I figured it out when I was 12. But yeah, keep trying, he's sure to change this time...
 
2020-10-22 11:39:52 AM  
It's not the stupidest thing in the world to want a better relationship with shiatty family.  There are some fairly routine sub-plots to this story I find interesting.

Economic power disparity.  This makes a relationship difficult.

-There's the "the gold digger is only interested in me for my money" concern.  No one wants to be treated as a walking ATM...

-  Except the people who do.  The people who use money as a bludgeon, they dispense it with strings attached.  They try to buy love, they try to buy compliance.

- There's the "never showed up, never paid for my care as a parent" thing.  Despicable behavior, but not really the type of thing one should try to correct with vague hints about needing money.  It's the kind of thing that should be corrected in a court room, and good luck with a poor person suing a rich person.

In this story, the daughter is using terrible techniques to correct/hold on to the relationship.  She's trying to buy his affection, and enforce him into loving him with money... which she doesn't even have.  It's a doubly losing bet.
 
2020-10-22 11:40:16 AM  
Scream until your throat stops working, imagine him dying, far away, every night before you go to sleep.  It only took me a couple years of doing that when I was a kid to just not feel anything, including disappointment, when he finally did die, 40 years on.  Worked great for me!
 
2020-10-22 12:02:01 PM  

Rapmaster2000: Is this from Don Jr. or from Eric?


It said "charming" and "wealthy", so I doubt either one (even though I'm sure Vince McMahon has some money).
 
2020-10-22 12:08:59 PM  
That's some serious daddy issues.

Back in the day, what strip clubs did you dance at?
 
2020-10-22 12:13:38 PM  

donutsauce: hubiestubert:


Curious if you ever said all that to your dad.


Yeah. And my daughter too. It went better with my daughter. She holds a grudge like my side of the family though, and she hasn't forgiven her Grandpa yet. I'm hoping to get her there before my Dad passes.
 
2020-10-22 12:14:43 PM  

born_yesterday: My mother was an abusive alcoholic and my last words to her were to lie and say that I couldn't find a ride home from college over the Christmas holiday, when the truth was I eagerly stayed at my apartment at school because it was the first time in my adult life that I felt empowered to not be obligated to spend my holidays with her and witness her codependent abusive relationship with my sister.  She was dead by February.  That was 30 years ago, and I haven't regretted the decision for a single moment of my life.


Your username is A LIE!!!!
 
2020-10-22 7:02:20 PM  
It sucks to have a narcissist for a parent.
 
2020-10-22 7:19:28 PM  

Raoul Eaton: It sucks to have a narcissist for a parent.


You'll get through it, Barron.
 
2020-10-22 9:24:56 PM  
RE: the question in the headline.

Yes.
 
2020-10-23 10:09:33 AM  

labman: Yes.

Forget that asshole exists.  He was just a sperm donor.


This. He's literally only a motherfarker.
 
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