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I was so moved by your post and I can relate so much to a lot of what you have experienced. I also had a very difficult relationship with my father and the woman is his life for many years. My father put more emphasis on himself and his relationship than me and my feelings as a child. I felt that I wasn’t very important to him, and that despite knowing that this woman resented me, he still chose to make excuses for her and her behavior. She did a lot of the same things to me that you described. My father is also very manipulative and inappropriate. He said a lot of hurtful and disturbing things about my mother that led me to believe that a lot of her problems could be attributed to her relationship with him. I lost respect for him completely. After a lot of soul searching and with the support of my therapist, I decided I did not want a relationship with my father and asked him to stop contacting me. He is surprised and incredulous. He is also incredibly oblivious and doesn’t understand what he did wrong. Well, I could took the time to tell him how I felt and why I felt he wasn’t good enough to be in my life. I see that my relationship with him and my mother has led me to constantly search and compromise myself to find validation. Something about closing the chapter with both of them has shifted things enormously.
You are not alone in having sought relationships that were hurtful and even physically dangerous to feel validated. I know I have done this as well. I am more upset that this guy bullied you into sex despite your saying you didn’t want to do it. I have also been in that position as well. I was so intimidated that I didn’t know how to stop things either. Well, after that encounter I was so disgusted by this guy that I can’t stand to even talk to him and he is always trying to reach out to me and is shocked that I don’t like him. and I think he thought he would have the upper hand from that point forward. I found him repulsive afterward.
Please forgive me for this spiritual reference if you are not, but maybe God had this happen to get your attention. I often find that these seeming terrible things can jolt us in incredible ways. I was so shell shocked by what happened with the guy I described that I knew that I went into an incredibly dark depression. It was the best thing for me, though. I realized I never want to be treated that way again and that I needed to face why I had been treating myself so badly. It’s also what gave me the courage to walk away from my family who treated me badly or who refused to acknowledge and apologize (like your dad) for how they treated me. I feel stronger and slowly I feel more confident.
You are not damaged goods. You are just getting your bearings and God is going to use this situation to show you that are undeniable no matter what happens. I believe that as we start to give ourselves the very attention and love we’ve been looking for in others, it will lead to better love. You deserve the best and you will get it. I think you will have to change your mind about yourself and see that your feelings and needs are as important as everyone elses. That’s the thing I have to chant to myself every day.
I’m praying for you and I hope you do not mind this.