I feel so helpless. I was diagnosed with C-PTSD due to childhood neglect and abuse and even after experiencing all that I have experienced, I still crave my dad’s approval. I am grown and married, but my dad calls me every week to berate me and talk down to me.
And I always answer his call because there is a part of me that believes that he might be calling to say he loves me and that he is proud of me. I feel as if I have been ‘led on’ by my dad. How do I mourn the father I never had?
I’m so sorry to hear that, but I want you to know that you are not alone. I was diagnosed with C-PTSD not too long ago, so I am very familiar with how you feel and your journey to healing, as well as the path to forgiveness. And when I say forgiveness, I mean forgiving yourself. Forgiving yourself for the hatred and loathing you feel towards yourself every time you get your hopes up that maybe your dad will love and accept you. I know exactly how you feel and how you beat yourself up over something that is outside of your control. We cannot make others love us, accept us or be there for us, we just can’t.
And why are you killing yourself trying to forge a healthy, unconditionally loving relationship with you dad? Every time you pick up that phone and allow your dad to belittle you, your heart breaks more and more each time. You are literally killing yourself every time you hope and wait and your wishes do not come to fruition.
Honey bunny, you are not being led on by your dad. Your dad is the same person he has always been. You are leading yourself on or rather the inner child inside of you is leading you on. That inner child wants to be seen, heard, loved, hugged and accepted for the beautiful, spiritual being that he or she is. And I can just tell that on the inside you are raging because you are not receiving what you know you deserve, an unconditionally loving dad and an unconditionally loving relationship with your dad.
But you have to accept that it will never happen. Your dad will never tell you that you are doing a good job or how amazing you are or that he loves you and that he really means it. You truly have to get to a place to where you believe and know for a fact that your dad will never give you what you desire, need, and are deserving of. Now comes the mourning. You will not mourn the loss of your dad, because you never really had him to begin with, but instead, you will be mourning the unconditionally loving dad that you deserved and were always worthy of.
And have you considered going no contact with your dad? That would mean cutting off all communication with your dad, especially the belittling phones calls, because I honestly don’t believe you can heal until you make peace with your reality. The reality that your dad is toxic and so is your relationship with him. You have to say no to the demands your dad is placing on you, the demands that you must accept him as he is. You can accept your father in the sense that his actions are his actions, and you accept that he will never change, but you have to say no to the demands he is placing upon you and choose to love yourself and walk away.
Of course, you could stay and try to have a relationship with him, but I honestly feel that it would be a harder situation for you to heal and mourn in. But, it is your life and I want you to do what you believe will enhance your happiness. And I wish you so much luck on your journey and your path to healing, from one C-PTSD diagnosee to another.