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Thread: Hi everyone

  1. #1

    Hi everyone

    I joined this group to try and get some advice from other members. I am experiencing some trust and relationship issues in my adult life due to my father abandoning us kids as youngsters. I have had alot of difficulty with relationships my whole life because I believe that if my dad left, why wouldn't someone who isn't blood related leave? My mom and dad were married, divorced when i was 9 because he was cheating with all the neighborhood women and he never had time to come visit with us kids (my brother and I). He got re-married to a family friend who didn't like us in his life, so he took up his new life with her and walked out of our lives. He popped back in when I was 22 and then 6 months later, walked out for good. I never knew where he was - wasn't sure I wanted to talk with him because I was angry. I just found out a few months ago that he died in 2002. So, I have no answers as to why he did what he did, yet I can't get past the feeling of abandonment.

    Any advice or comments are greatly appreciated. I never thought this was a problem until my last relationship (which just ended last week). A little more about me - I'm 42, have a daughter who is 20 and a son who is 8 and a grandbaby who is 5 months. I have a good job and I function very well in other areas of my life, but this has been a horrible nagging feeling that I need help overcoming.

    Thanks,
    Susan

  2. #2

    Hi everyone

    I just wanted to say welcome!!

    I'm sure someone more helpful will come along soon.

    :)

  3. #3

    Hi everyone

    Thank you very much!

    Susan

  4. #4

    Hi everyone

    Welcome, Sweetie.

    In my experience, what you describe as your feelings is not all that uncommon. Lots of people have problems with trust in relationships, for various reasons.

    For me, it was a matter of realizing that not all people are alike. While your father was irresponsible, not all men are irresponsible in relationships. Furthermore, when asked, few irresponsible people can tell you why they did irresponsible things. So, had your father lived, he wouldn't (in all probability) be able to answer your question to your satisfaction. Your question would still stand unanswered, most likely, and your life would still have to be lived without that answer.

    Learning to trust isn't easy. You have to be willing to put your feelings on the line, in full realization that you might not like the results, but that you're big enough, and strong enough, to survive that result. You have to put your expectations, your weaknesses, your strengths, and your dreams all in one basket and give them to someone else, while taking their basket in return. Believe me, they have a basket full of insecurities, too.

    Trust yourself, hon. Love yourself. The ability to love and trust others comes from loving and trusting yourself. It takes a lot of work, and a few disappointments (okay...sometimes more than a few) to finally win out. Yet, it can be done. Just hang in there and keep trying.

  5. #5

    Hi everyone

    What wonderful advice. Thanks. And you are right. I don't think he could have given me an answer - my mom tells me that all the time. She said that he probably didn't know why he did the things he did. I'm not sure if I'm willing to put my feelings on the line. I mean, I'm afraid of the results if it goes wrong. Children trust their parents and love them unconditionally. If my father can violate that trust and hurt me like it did, why would I want to go through that again? I want to be happy with someone - I want to get married again. I just can't seem to get past this and I don't know why. I want to trust people and I have become naive in some respects. I want to believe that most people are good and mean well. I want to love myself and someone else. I want that happy relationship and I just don't have the tools to get it. I find myself attracted to men who resemble my dad in personality; kind of like the 'bad boy' image. Am I looking to get love from someone to replace the void that my dad left? How do I stop doing that?

    Again, thanks for the time you took to write. You are right on and I will take your advice.

    Susan

  6. #6

    Hi everyone

    I understand completely your fear of the results of trusting fully. I think most of us have those fears, to one degree or another. However, some other questions to ask yourself are these:

    If I do not trust others, who will trust me?
    If this relationships doesn't work, will it be the first time? Have I not dealth with it before?
    If I give my basket to another, and take theirs in return, can I help them carry their basket while they help me carry mine? Is that not a worthwhile project for both of us?

    And one really good question for the little demons that plague us daily:

    What difference is this particular horror going to make in my life two weeks down the road. ;)

  7. #7

    Hi everyone

    Ack. I forgot to address the problem of being attracted to "bad boys". That happens a lot, too. I think there's a sublimated hope that we can conquer their "badness" and change them. We can't. It's as simple as that. Nobody can change another person. That person must want to change and be willing to put the work into it to make it happen.

    Sometimes, the antics of the bad boys offer excitement and a challenge. We need to realize that those are challenges we really don't want. We've proven that to ourselves every time one of these relationship fails. I found it helpful to ask myself how often I needed to run into a brick wall before I realized it was hard, and that it hurt. After awhile, my "self" finally got the point.

    Might you be trying to recreate the relationship with your dad in hopes that it will end differently? I suppose that could be true. That's best left to people like Dr. Baxter to answer. However, as we said before, your dad would not be able to tell you why he did what he did. He also seemed incapable of NOT doing what he did. Sooo...if we extrapolate that, we find our hopes for finally assuaging our pain over his behaviors are, most likely, going to be dashed again. It is best, I think, to simply accept that he was who he was, with all his warts, and move on with your life. What happened in the past cannot be changed. It can only serve as a learning tool for making the future better.

  8. #8

    Hi everyone

    Thank you again. What a powerful response. You are so on target.

    This has a horrible thing for me because I think maybe I let it do that to me. Maybe that's my excuse for bad relationships. Maybe my choice of men is really bad. :-) I just want to be happy and I know that in order to do that, I need to learn how to trust someone else. I'll tell you something about me. I dated a man for 4 years and we were madly in love. I still swear to this day that we are soul mates. I sabotaged that relationship and he left me back in 2002 and rightfully so. I tried so hard to mend that relationship and I couldn't. He wound up with another woman and is very happy with her. There have been quite a few relationships that I have self destructed in because when someone gets very close to me, I am like waiting for them to up and leave...like my dad did. I am waiting for them to deceive me because my father did that. I need the tools to get past that. I need to learn that not all people are like that.

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