I am new here and am so grateful for a place where I can see that others are feeling and going through some of the same as me, for I feel so alone on this side of the computer.
My father and I enjoyed a wonderful, loving, fun, and close relationship over the years. He is now 82. Over the years he has changed and I've expected some of those changes. What I didn't expect was the selfishness, the anger, the lack of compassion that has engulfed the body of the man who was my Dad. He is rude, says hurtful things, and the hardest part is that he really has no idea that he is this way. Our life has turned into him complaining or yelling at me about all the things that afflict him. Then, as if to turn into another personality, he laughs and brags about how wonderful his life is, and then the conversation ends. There is nothing left that seems to care about anyone else but himself.
I wish I could explain better: I miss the man who would acknowledge ME, my life, my person, the things I do or have done. I miss the man who I could count on for reciprical conversation, the man who would say, "I am so proud of you" and "you are a good person" or "you've done a lot to help our family and you are getting the short end of the stick, you don't deserve it". Everytime we talk, I'm left feeling empty and hurt and is if I've just spent that time talking to someone who doesn't know me and doesn't care to try and remember. He is so dismissive about anything and everything unless it is him. For ex. recentely I was injured and have become permanently partially disabled. The only acknowledgement of the hardship this has been for me, are his complaints about the aches and pains the same area of his body cause him. My family's world has been turned upside down by this disability and his "aches and pains" are the only thing he acknowledges.
I don't know, maybe this doesn't make sense as I put pen to paper and try to explain it. I just know the man that I knew as my father is not the man I deal with in any way and the one that I am dealing with doesn't care about anyone but himself. Each time we interact, I am in tears afterward. I have talked to him about this and he honestly doesn't understand what the problem is - he thinks everything is fine. He's surprised I think there is anything wrong with our interactions.
His health is average. He is active and sees doctors regularly. He has been treated for things like depression but he stops taking anything that he feels makes him more tired (which is just about everything).
Any advice on how to let go of the man that was and accept the man that is - when the man that is, is breaking my heart??