To forgive my father or not.

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Thread: To forgive my father or not.

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array WhoWeBePart1's Avatar
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    To forgive my father or not.

    My father is nothing to me other than a man that gave me life. He never was a dad. He caused me a lot of grief when I was younger. From the ages of 10 till 15 just where not pleasant for me and I placed my mother who passed away last year under a great deal of stress because of him. I wish she was still alive so I could ask her for this advice but I can't so I figured I would ask people I don't know. My sisters know I pretty much hate my father and want nothing to do with him but here comes the but.....

    His health is not well. He is having surgery tomorrow to relive fluid around his heart and lungs. Yes, I've been thinking a lot about it the past two days. I think to myself if I should call him but while driving today I passed a father and son getting ready to go fishing. My father used to promise to take me fishing often but he would never show up. I would be ready but he never showed up. I don't remember crying over it but my mother and older sisters do. So when I saw this today and started to wonder if I should call him my mind says nope. Let him die. He has been nothing to me for years why should I give him a free pass to forgiveness now because he might be dying.

    I don't believe death or getting near death gives you a free pass to forgiveness. He won't call me because he knows I do hate him. Yes, hate is a strong word but it's true. I do hate the man for the grief he caused me but here comes another but...

    He is my father, he gave me life. Part of me wants to call him and see if I can have civil conversation with him and part of me does not. I don't care if he lives or dies. He has been dead to me for a very long time but he is my father.

    I don't know if it would give him any comfort if I called but he has never made the attempt to call me to inform me of his current condition. He could, as he has informed one of my sisters about what is going on. She has my numbers but I doubt he would ever call me.

    I don't have many people to talk to about this. I have few friends. My sisters know how I feel. My mother is dead and my 3 real friends would not be of much help.

    I'm an atheist so please don't tell me to pray about it or pray for me. I just do not know if I can forgive him or ever talk to him again. Years of pain will always be remembered.

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  3. #2
    DM2
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    The fact that you have to ask the question says to me that somewhere deep inside you care. Besides, forgiveness is not for the one that needs forgiving, its for the one thats doing the forgiving. Forgiveness releases the anger and stress from you. Whether you forgive him or not, he has to deal with what he did or did not do while you were growing up.

    My father did the same to me. He'd say he was coming to pick me up but never showed up and never called. He never paid the child support, never spent quality time with me. Now that I'm 45 years old and he is pushing 70, he tries to make up for his lack of presence in my life growing up. So I know how you feel.

    Call your dad and let him know you know his situation and just wanted him to know. If you don't want to call, send him a card to say you're thinking about him. If you don't want him to know, send the card anonymously. But he's your dad. Hatred is self serving and in the long run, it only hurts you.
    DM2
    "I did the thing I feared the most. Excuse me while I cheer. Now here I stand a stronger soul and all I lost was fear." ...Anonymous

  4. #3
    Member Array XsYang's Avatar
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    I have issues with mine also because I worked for him for almost 20 years. The last 2 years I worked for him without getting paid because He told me if I quit he would have a heart attack and die. By working for free I was able to work less hours for him and do my other job and go to Chinese Medical School.

    Like I said I still have issues but one thing I make sure of is that I don't turn into him.

    Save yourself the possibility of wanting to kick yourself in the a$$ for not doing something. Do it for yourself, not for him.

    Good luck with your decision!

  5. #4
    Member Array TRICKORMATE's Avatar
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    Bitterness is a tough baggage to carry in life, your dad is probably to proud to say "I'm sorry son for not being there" , you don't care if he lives or dies, but his blood flows thru your veins just as your mothers does.

    You will never change the past, what is done is done! like I said bitterness is tough to carry. I would give your dad the chance he wants from you even if he doesnt pick up the phone to call you.

    You will not only live with bitterness but with guilt if something does happen to him because you never acted on what you feel for him. Make the best of it with what ever time he may have.

    Kind Regards,
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  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    I have lost both of my parents. My dad died in 1990 and my mother passed away in 2005.

    Even though my mother raised me and was always there, I still feel I never said enough of the things I should have said. It is too late now.

    My situation with my dad was similar, not exactly as yours, but still similar in that he wasn't there as a father. I did have some time with him but it was never what it should have been. I never hated him, I just never really knew him like a son should know his father.

    I never really missed him after he died. If I could have made things different I guess I would have, however, they were as they were.

    I honestly think it would be best to at least attempt to talk with him, your dad, before he passes. Once that window is closed, it can never be reopened and there may be regrets later.

    Don't call him. Go see him in person. It will make a world of difference in what you get out of it.

    What can it hurt? If it doesn't seem to feel right then you can go back to the hate.
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  7. #6
    Member Array Bkrazy's Avatar
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    Everyones responses have been pretty spot on. I had a pos dad as well. It is a common thing nowadays I suppose. Should you forgive him? Yes, but not for him. Not so he can feel good. You forgive him, for you. You thank him for showing you the type of person you dont want to be. You let him know exactly how you feel. Perhaps he will sincerely apologize. Perhaps he will tell you to bug off. At least you will know that you had an opportunity to say your piece. I called my dad before my first deployment. I called him a few times and never received an answer. I told him how I felt on the answering machine, but I dont know if he ever received the messages. He died of cancer during my deployment. I wasnt sad that he passed. I was upset that I never truly got to tell him how I felt. My father made me the person I am today. By being a pos I learned that that is not what I want to become. You owe it to yourself to get your feelings off your chest. Good luck. I hope everything works out.

  8. #7
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    This is something I learned in a class I took from an Air Force Psychiatrist who worked with the NASA space program, studying and treating depression in the Astronauts in the early 1970's. His name was Thad Billingsley M.D. and he wrote a couple of text books on "cognitive therapy" and treatment in depression.

    He didn't put a lot of stock into psycho-analysis and visiting repressed feelings and what he called a lot of "gobbledygook" as to why things happened they way they did in a person's past. He was more interested in getting people emotionally healthy and on the right track from the present moving forward.

    What happened in your past is the past. Stuff that happened light years ago. You can't change it, make it go away or wish it didn't happen. It did... drive on! You don't need to hang on to it, analyze why it happened or even understand why it happened. It just happened. Move forward with the rest of your life.

    I think you have to ask yourself if contacting him today, will have such a negative effect on your life in the future that you will regret contacting him for the rest of your life, then don't contact him.

    If it is not going to have such a negative effect on your life today or in the future, then go ahead and make the brief contact.

    You don't have to have an all warm and fuzzy happy reunion like fairy tale story book ending. But a brief contact to let him know you are at least thinking of him may help him reconcile with himself in his final days, months or years. It doesn't have to be a repeat performance and go like you found your long lost buddy. But even you may end up with some sort of closure and peace in your life.

    It is not up to us or you to judge the man. You are a grown man and today, you are Captain of your own ship. He has no more influence over being able to hurt you, or be any more of a disappointment to you than he has already been in the past. You control your destiny now, not him.

    If you feel that any further contact is going to affect your life in such a bad and terrible way then by all means, don't contact him and live your life without regrets.

    However, you do not want to be the one to have the regrets in your life. And you control what will or will not be a regretful.

    If there's any chance you will regret not contacting him once he's gone, then that is going to be a huge negative influence in your life for sometime to come and maybe you should contact him, no matter how brief, for your own peace of mind.

    I hope this can help put things in perspective for you.

    Good luck buddy, and whatever you choose, make sure you do it for YOU. And make sure you'll have no regrets later on.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  9. #8
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    Go see him, the past is over and you will constantly think about the 'what if's'...it never hurts to mend fences.
    Comfort him, and you will receive comfort...
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    If you don't give it a try, you will never forgive yourself! You make the effort, if it doesn't work out you will have no guilt to bear for the rest of your life. If it does work out, maybe the latter part of his life will be better and give you a better feeling about him. You hate him, wait until he is gone!

    Dave M.

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    I think a lot of people don't understand what forgiveness is, and thus don't do it when they should.
    Forgiveness is not excusing someone for the things they did. Forgiveness is not ignoring those things. Forgiveness is simply moving on. It's understanding that people are not perfect. People mess up, and mess up bad every day. You don't need to like your dad. You don't need to tell him that what he did doesn't matter any more. But what you do need to do is to very simply forgive. You need to simply accept the fact that you dad made some big mistakes while you were growing up, and thats horrible, but right now he probably needs you. Showing even the slightest form of compassion to someone who 'doesn't deserve it', is one of the best things you can do. Both for them and mostly for you. Talking to your dad before he passes will not change the past. It will not change the fact that you hate the things he did to you. Talking to your dad however will help the healing process. It doesn't need to be some big heart felt reunion, but just calling him, saying hello, asking if he needs anything... it will help you down the road. Don't bring up the past; try not to be bitter.
    Look at it as if you are talking to a stranger (which by the sounds of it, he pretty much is for you now), instead of a bad father.
    Don't do it because he deserves it. Don't do it b/c you will be afraid you will feel bad later if you don't. Do it because its the right thing to do.
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by friesepferd View Post
    I think a lot of people don't understand what forgiveness is, and thus don't do it when they should.
    Forgiveness is not excusing someone for the things they did. Forgiveness is not ignoring those things. Forgiveness is simply moving on. It's understanding that people are not perfect. People mess up, and mess up bad every day. You don't need to like your dad. You don't need to tell him that what he did doesn't matter any more. But what you do need to do is to very simply forgive. You need to simply accept the fact that you dad made some big mistakes while you were growing up, and thats horrible, but right now he probably needs you. Showing even the slightest form of compassion to someone who 'doesn't deserve it', is one of the best things you can do. Both for them and mostly for you. Talking to your dad before he passes will not change the past. It will not change the fact that you hate the things he did to you. Talking to your dad however will help the healing process. It doesn't need to be some big heart felt reunion, but just calling him, saying hello, asking if he needs anything... it will help you down the road. Don't bring up the past; try not to be bitter.
    Look at it as if you are talking to a stranger (which by the sounds of it, he pretty much is for you now), instead of a bad father.
    Don't do it because he deserves it. Don't do it b/c you will be afraid you will feel bad later if you don't. Do it because its the right thing to do.
    Good advice right here. Take the high road. Also keep in mind we all change to some degree as we go through life. For example, today, you remember the hurts he put on you back when he was in his 30's; but now he's in his 60's.......he's probably a different person today.

    Make the first step with him and "walk together", if your relationship develops more then that's great, if not, well at least you were pro-active and you tried.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Elk Hunter's Avatar
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    Forgive him. Unforgiveness just holds you captive and creates bitterness. We all have been forgiven much and I am sure you are one of us.

    I hope everything goes well.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    The hate you feel for him is affecting you more than him and even more so once he has passed. Forgive him for your own sake. Hate can eat a man alive. You need to find a way to let it go.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array stevem174's Avatar
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    Easy to say...hard to do. let go of the hate.

    He is dieing with regret and you are living with hate. He will have those regrets the rest of his life. Will you keep the hate?

    I know that I would always wonder....."What if"

    Good luck
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  16. #15
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    Forgiving someone is the toughest thing to ever do, but it seems as if you feel it should be done before the inevitible death of your dad.

    Forgive him, it will do wonders for your soul and his as well. Also remember to forgive yourself for carrying around a whole load of bitterness.
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