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Old 12-12-2018, 02:51 PM #1
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Trig Grief after death of abusive parent

I am not sure if this post should belong here or on another thread. I do not want to offend anyone. Has anyone here dealt with the death of an abusive parent?
I am dealing with this currently and it's very confusing and painful. I am further alienated by my dysfunctional family. Over time, they decided to re-write history and speak only of our father as though he were a saint. He was not. He was often cruel; emotionally and verbally abusive of my mother, my siblings, and myself. I lived on the end of his rage (as did my family) until I moved out. I was scared of him until the day he died.
Now that he's gone, I am not sure how to think or feel. I want to respect my family members' own feelings. So when they talk about how much they miss him and what a wonderful man he was, I keep my own thoughts to myself and simply provide messages of comfort. Which seems to be working for them but I feel very alone with my complex reaction. He was not a good father but my family seems to think that abuse only means intense physical or sexual assault. I do not agree. My therapist, back when I was still in therapy, agreed that my father was a very abusive parent and husband.
I do not miss him. But there is a lot of pressure in society to feel obligation to our parents regardless of how they treat(ed) us. And yet, I agree with a person who said "Remember that you do not have a familial obligation to be victimized."
Any thoughts folks?
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:39 PM #2
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Default Re: Grief after death of abusive parent

Perhaps take a break from family while you work through your own grief.

It also might not hurt to get back into therapy as you work through your grief.

It is different for survivors of abuse to process the grief related to the passing of an abusive parent or sibling.

Especially if other family members continue to traumatize the abuse survivor by sticking up for the abuser(s).

My resolution was to go completely no contact, but not everyone is willing or able to take that path.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:35 PM #3
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Default Re: Grief after death of abusive parent

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefullyLost1211 View Post
I am not sure if this post should belong here or on another thread. I do not want to offend anyone. Has anyone here dealt with the death of an abusive parent?
I am dealing with this currently and it's very confusing and painful. I am further alienated by my dysfunctional family. Over time, they decided to re-write history and speak only of our father as though he were a saint. He was not. He was often cruel; emotionally and verbally abusive of my mother, my siblings, and myself. I lived on the end of his rage (as did my family) until I moved out. I was scared of him until the day he died.
Now that he's gone, I am not sure how to think or feel. I want to respect my family members' own feelings. So when they talk about how much they miss him and what a wonderful man he was, I keep my own thoughts to myself and simply provide messages of comfort. Which seems to be working for them but I feel very alone with my complex reaction. He was not a good father but my family seems to think that abuse only means intense physical or sexual assault. I do not agree. My therapist, back when I was still in therapy, agreed that my father was a very abusive parent and husband.
I do not miss him. But there is a lot of pressure in society to feel obligation to our parents regardless of how they treat(ed) us. And yet, I agree with a person who said "Remember that you do not have a familial obligation to be victimized."
Any thoughts folks?
Yes. I lost my mom who was mentally and physically abusive toward me.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:15 PM #4
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Default Re: Grief after death of abusive parent

My condolences to both of you for your losses.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:44 PM #5
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Default Re: Grief after death of abusive parent

Both of my parents emotionally abusive towards me. Both long gone. Of course, I remember, every day. My deepest sympathy.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:55 PM #6
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Unhappy Re: Grief after death of abusive parent

I agree that there's cultural pressure to put parents on a pedestal, that "honor thy mother and father" stuff....Like no matter what they did, they are your parents.

SO? They are or were human like anyone else, meaning they have flaws like anyone else. They are not perfect and should not be touted as so.

I lost my mom about 2 years ago but haven't been able to talk about it much with anyone. Certainly not my emotionally unavailable dad or my brother who isn't even speaking to me. I went to a couple of grief groups which sort of helped, but it's different if you were not close to the person you lost.

I did reach out to a woman in one of the groups who had the same tension with her dad, but she just suddenly stopped texting me after a few messages. That's like rubbing salt into a wound. The other woman did the same thing, who also lost her mom. (The first one lost her grandfather)

My mother could be mean---not physically abusive but she could manipulate emotions or dismiss my emotions. I don't know how to explain it. I can just say I never knew her, had a real relationship with her, knew anything about her personally, or was ever remotely "close" to her.

I don't know if this makes it harder or easier; it's just different from losing someone close. I did lose a close friend about 6 months before her. I've visited his grave many times since then but I haven't visited her once. What do I say? I have nothing to say, and I don't think she'd "listen" anymore now than she did when she was alive.




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