I’ve been reading some posts recently about family and relationships and how complex and related these two can be while shaping one’s personality. Family dictates relationships. Family is the place where we learn how to treat others, how to behave and how to form social patterns. You represent your family.
It is not only about the spoken and directed instructions, but also about imposed role models. There are things that we inherit and the things that we look at or listen everyday, so those become our behavioral models. We adopt them wanted or not and represent them in our adolescence and later in adulthood.
When the models are bad, you’re bad even if you’re not being aware of it. But you try your best still because someone explained and rooted into you that a certain thing is a good thing.
Looking inside myself I can name all the bad things I have adopted from both of my parents. Some characteristics are disgusting for me and I believe that others can see them very well. I’m afraid of it.
I think that in my family we’re all living in an illusion. On one side there’s my mother who’s so transparent. She affects only a little. There’s my father on the other who neglects us. A lot.
Talking about role models what I could adopt from him was poor behavior and relation to others, not appreciating anyone in current surrounding or doing it in a very rough way, selfishness as an usual act, no tolerance and underestimating other people, alcohol issues. That’s what he offered to me.
As nothing is black and white, I can only thank him for giving me the money with which I used to live one fine life here, paid my university and vacations, gave me home to live in. But there’s a gap that I can feel between us and it is so dark.
I’ll explain this as a girl. As a feminine confronted by other man, the close one. When I was about eight years old some of the girls in the class had their hair done by lightening hair strands. I asked my mother to do the same for me, so she took one strand and made it lighter. It was nice and I was so happy and proud to have that strand, but my father called me a slut, although I was only eight. That happened in front of my mother so I asked what does that mean and she started an argue. If you ask me that was a mild reaction of my mother since it ended soon and affected my father 0%. Later on I learned the meaning of the word so I can call this my first unfair defeat.
When I was about 12 he got home drunk and beaten me up with a cable for no reason. He broke my glasses. I told that to my mother and then again she made an argue about it. So when he got sober he made one quiet apologize to me and continued to whistle. Basically, nothing happened to me in a physical manner, although it looks a bit dramatic, but I felt jeopardized inside. I learnt that he can do that just because he want to and it is ok, and it will pass, but I can’t feel free in my own home. Again I lacked mother’s support.
When I was 15 he took my dog away from me because he wanted to. It was a big one, Dalmatiner. The dog was sad and melancholic in our home because no one would walk him. I wanted but he was too strong so I needed help. Besides, he wasn’t vaccinated. Whenever I asked for money for vaccine he’d answer ironically: “well pay it with your own money”. The dog was always locked in his fenced place in the back yard. He was howling and that bothered neighbors. Twice, he managed to get away. Both times we found him, but my father wouldn’t let go of his idea of how the dog should be kept so he put him in a trailer and drove him to countryside and let him go. I was so depressed. He never listened to me and he never wanted us to take care about the dog although he brought him… Month and a half after that the dogcathers found him. They called father first because he’s a vet. They asked if he’d maybe like to take the dog back since it is a quality breed etc. He told them to kill the dog… This makes me sad even today for various reasons. Not only that he didn’t care about my emotions at all but he didn’t care for that dog either, so he just killed him. If he thought he’d never manage to take care of him, he shouldn’t has bought him at first place.
At 21 we shopped together by chance in a local drug market, when he molested a female marketeer in front of me. I was sad and humiliated and felt bad in front of all the people who heard it and saw it. I tried to ask him what was he doing, what is wrong with him when we got out but he just laughed. Later, he made fun of it, of myself and my reaction when we got home…
At the age of 24 I’ve met a boy who I liked at first. But at some point of dating he called me a “gold digger“. I didn’t take it to my heart because I believe you must be quite of an idiot if you call a person you date like that. Soon after that ended I took my Swedish course that autumn, because I wanted to convince myself, beside I liked the language, that I also have a purpose, that I’m progressing and that I’m good and hard working and that I have a merit. My father’s comment was: ” You’re throwing our money away, it won’t use you, why are you doing it?”. Never mind. I continued doing it for almost two years. At some point in the autumn I was about to go on a friend’s birthday party. It wasn’t that cold although it was October so I wore jeans and jacket and heels. When my father saw me like that he called me “a gold digger”. I’m not sure did he know what that means actually, but again I felt bad. It is the second time that someone calls me like that, no more no less, but a person who brought me up, who should be my protector and who should teach me how to deal with all those rude comments made by other unknown men, but no, he stepped on their side to call me less worthy, a slut, a person who f***s for money… I felt bad. I was sad and unprotected. My mother drove me to my friend’s house from where we should be heading to a local bar or something like that. I was crying in the front seat. But her reaction again, was indefinite, even awkward. She asked me why am I crying when he meant nothing bad, it’s nothing, he wasn’t serious, those words weren’t as they sound… That wasn’t the only time he called me like that. He did it before. And my other parent never actually acknowledged that and protected me, but she silently accepted it as true…
I’m full of bad experiences in relationships with other men. I’ve never been pretty to anyone, attractive, accepted or smart. Maybe it is true that we seek for our fathers in other men we date. We seek for those characteristics of others that broke us into pieces when we were younger; we want to prove that we are different, that they are wrong, that we are not as they perceive us, that we are good and worthy, we want to heal.
I can’t compensate my bad relationship experiences at home. At home those bad experiences get confirmed and by that mean I get defeated. I am bad, worthless, shameful. Relationship experiences, same as all the other experiences. But why I highlight relationships is because it is the sphere of my life which I somehow can’t conquer, which is unclear to me and full of bad and painful emotions which I can’t explain. People are social animals. We always seek acceptance in each other. It is normal and it is in our nature. We need other people’s support. Those who are close to us. We just need them.
The same thing repeated when I started with my Hungarian language lessons. The father said: “it’s pointless, you’re not smart enough to learn it. I can’t actually see that you’re progressing…”
But I do. I will leave once because my inner self is suffering. I need to protect the kid in me. She’s crying because she’s at her best and again called shameful, offending names by others especially, those who should be on her side. I keep comforting her that she is pretty and smart and good; that she has a big heart and that she is better than all those people who tend to trip her. But still, she can’t be fixed completely. There are things that she’ll bring with herself wherever she goes.
What’s interesting was one dream I’ve been dreaming a lot while I was about 4 or 5. It repeated for years and that’s how I remembered it so well. Beside, it was unpleasant. It kept tormenting me and I couldn’t understand it quite right until recently. It was about my dad and I, we were driving in a car. He parked the car in front of a health center in my town, where there was a small parking lot. We got outside the car when he told me: “Wait for me, I’ll come back for you”. Then he came back in the car and left. I saw him leaving, but it was foggy around me. So I got scared and tried to look up for him and come back home. I was wandering that foggy street. There was no one, it was all cloudy and grey, all the doors and windows were closed, as if it was abandoned. I was still wandering. The scenes kept repeating. There was no one and I was going round and round. And then I’d wake up. It was one of the most unpleasant dreams I’ve ever had and I kept dreaming it over and over again for some time. I would be sad every time I’d wake up. That feeling of being abandoned scared me a lot. Once I told him about the dream, but he laughed at it: “I’d never leave you like that.” So my adult self must laugh to this, in return.
Speaking again about the idea of girls seeking father figures in other men they date scares me. I don’t want someone to disrespects me. I have emotions and I can say or do lot of things. I’m not just someone. At least I wouldn’t like to spend my life beside a person who treats me just as “someone”or even worse. Knowing that this pattern could transfer to my partner life with someone scares me. I don’t want to live life that way. It is awful and sad. I don’t need that kind of relationship neither that kind of person.