After 20 years, should I reply to my dad, who was often angry and drunk? | Ask Annalisa Barbieri

1 month ago 64

My dada is successful his 70s and has contacted maine connected Facebook. I person not yet replied. I past spoke to him astir 20 years ago, soon aft my mum died. I was 17, and helium was aggravated with maine for ignoring him. In my aboriginal puerility my dada lived with america lone briefly, but was often drunk and angry, and I heard stories of him hitting my mum.

My mum near him erstwhile I was 4 and I saw him again erstwhile I was eight, erstwhile I was expected to support him company; if I didn’t helium would spell to the pub and get precise drunk. One clip I went to play with my friends, and erstwhile I came location helium was truthful drunk helium deed my mum and threw my canine against a painting. That time I decided I hated my dad.

Despite this, I ever felt helium got maine successful a mode my mum did not. We are precise similar: we similar maths and puzzles and I got my emotion of walking from him. But helium has a temper, and I had to beryllium careful.

I present person children, a location and a career – my beingness is stable. I had years of serious intelligence wellness issues aft my mum’s death. I person thought astir reaching retired to my dada respective times. I beryllium this antheral thing but I bash not privation to unrecorded a beingness of regret oregon guilt. Should I reply?

Your longer missive described immoderate unthinkable adversities you’ve overcome: your convulsive father, your parent dying erstwhile you were truthful young (I’m truthful atrocious astir that), having to look aft your mother’s concern portion inactive a teen. You’ve earned your “stable life” truthful I’d beryllium wary of rocking that. You’ve thought astir contacting your dada earlier but haven’t, astir apt due to the fact that you retrieve what helium was like. And you haven’t replied yet for the aforesaid reason. The archetypal happening to deliberation astir is what you anticipation to achieve. Children are endlessly forgiving of their parents and hopeful that they volition change.

Psychotherapist Katherine Walker says that immoderate you do, it’s important to re-evaluate your enactment network, due to the fact that this whitethorn reopen past traumas. “You whitethorn find your puerility experiences travel hurtling backmost and memories that whitethorn person been agelong forgotten tin reignite aged wounds.” We privation you to bring your big aforesaid to immoderate meet-up, for this is important successful making harmless decisions.

If possible, it would beryllium beneficial for you to find a therapist (psychotherapy.org.uk) to enactment with you connected this – whether you conscionable up with him oregon not.

Quick Guide

Saturday mag

Show

This nonfiction comes from Saturday, the caller people mag from the Guardian which combines the champion features, culture, manner and question penning successful 1 beauteous package. Available present successful the UK and ROI.

Photograph: GNM

“You don’t request to unreserved into contacting your father,” says Walker. “It’s OK to take not to person radical successful your beingness you judge are/will beryllium harmful to your consciousness of self.”

She besides advises readying the meeting: ideate the scenario, wherever you’d similar to meet, what you’d similar to say, but don’t person “fixed expectations truthful arsenic not to disappoint yourself”.

Even if the gathering goes well, don’t get carried away. You person children to deliberation astir truthful don’t, for example, invitation him to your location until you are truly precise sure. I americium mindful of you saying helium “never made maine consciousness safe”, and his harming your dog. It’s not each oregon nothing: you tin conscionable up with him once, past ne'er again, oregon lone occasionally. You don’t person to person him backmost successful your family.

Walker and I recognise you person “taken work from a truly young age”. Be cautious of falling backmost into aged habits: guilt is often little astir our ain behaviour than work for different people’s. And regret tends to travel from not reasoning things done oregon owning your decisions.

Every week Annalisa Barbieri addresses a family-related occupation sent successful by a reader. If you would similar proposal from Annalisa connected a household matter, delight nonstop your occupation to [email protected]. Annalisa regrets she cannot participate into idiosyncratic correspondence. Submissions are taxable to our presumption and conditions

Comments connected this portion are premoderated to guarantee the treatment remains connected the topics raised by the article. Please beryllium alert that determination whitethorn beryllium a abbreviated hold successful comments appearing connected the site.