I need some feedback oin whether I'm over-reacting to this breach of turst.

I have several major health issues. None of them is lethal, but my quaity of life has been substantially affected. When my wife appealed to the Dope for help earlier this year, it was because the latest shitty diagonosis had so upset me that I’d become withdrawn and uncommunicative. Her concern was … inaccurate, but not unwarranted. If I’d gotten the news, say, ten years ago, I might well have reacted by giving myself a neat lead injection. But I have her now, and the kids; as discouraged as I have been, I want to live a good while longer because I want to witness as much of my kids’ lives as possible.

\I have told only a few persons about my situation: basicially my wife and stepdaughter, my siblings, my father, and my work wife. (My bio kids are too young to understand.) I’m sure my married siblings told their spouseds; i know my work wofe told her actual wife. But otherwise I asked everyone to be discreet, but I see no reason to spread the news. Everyone seems to have honored this except one: my asshole father.

Dad and I don’t get along, as that last sentence implies. I love him, but I don’t like him. He’s a Pentecostal Christian who believes in the myth of miraculous healing,for one thing–but then, so are my sisters. The bigger thing is that he’s convinced that he has a direct line to his fucking imaginary God, who will always guide him to the right path; consequently, anything he wants to do must be right. Like I said: asshole.

Over the weekend I got a phone call from a less assholish PC. Dad’s pastpr. whom I’ll call Bill. Bill’s a nice enough fellow, but in no sense of the word “friend” is he mine. I haven’t seen him since my brother’s funeral last year; I haven’t spoken with him in 30 yesrs. No previous antipathy on my part, just no desire to be around him. So there was no reason he should have my phone number. But he did. Dad had given it to him. Dad had, moreover, told him in great (and somewhat inaccurate) detail about my health issues, hoping that Bill might counsel me and lay his healing hands on me and get me to take Jesus into my heart. I told Bill that I had no more confidence in Jesus than I do in Herakles, and also pointed out that, if he and his congregants actually had any healing mojo, they should have been able to prevent the death of one of the church’s minister’s last summer from extreme idiocy, by which I mean refusal to take his diabetes meds. Bill suggested that I was allowing myself to be “deceived by the Enemy,” at which point I decided my time was better spent doing virtually anything else and hung up.

A while later Dad came by, as always not bothering to call first because, hey, who needs manners. In a conversation conducted via intercom. He’d heard about the conversation. Dad asked me why I refused to have faith; I asked him why he had told Bill all about my business despite promising not to. Dad replied that the Holy Ghost, by which I mean his own fuckking arrogance, had released him from that promise because it was more important to get me right with God. Once upon a time I would have explained to him the logical error of trying to frighten an atheist with the condemnation of the Almighty, but I was out of fucks to give, told him that he wasn’t welcome to visit or to see the grandkids, and broke the connection.

So that should be that. My wife is too nice to say that was long overdue, but I can tell she thinks so. My work wife is less nice. My stepdaughter has conflicting loyalties and is wisely choosing to say nothing, at least to me. My baby sister is concerned that I’m allowing emotion to lead me down a path that I’ll regret later. I don’t think so. I just don’t have patience for Pere Rhymer’s shit right now. I may never again. I don’t know. Anyway, I could luse feedback from people who don’t love me or him–hence you guys.


<bows head>

You’re in my prayers, Skald.
:wink: :smiley:

So many good intentions. Such poor execution.

I’m certain your dad meant well. I’m also certain he did wrong by you. I don’t think you’re overreacting. Normally, I’d say you have to decide whether maintaining a connection with your father is more important than being right. But I think the answer is pretty clear. And your father doesn’t given any indication that he’d respect your choices going forward any more than he does now.

So, carry on, IMHO.

I think if you need a break from your father for the time being there’s nothing wrong with that. And if you find your life is better without him permanently, then so be it. It’s clear to me that your relationship with your father is an area of tension in your life and it sounds like the relationship takes more work than its bounty warrants and there’s no shame in cutting ones losses after throwing too much good love after bad.

I just had a quick chat with God, and he’s cool with it.

He thinks your dad can be a bit of a jerk as well.

Enjoy every day, and try your best to remove any negative or irritating things.

Who is your work wife?

I understand your feeling. My mother and I have a similar relationship - except I decided to stop speaking with her 3 years ago. The only times I’ve seen her since then where at my grandfather’s funeral, and visiting my other grandfather at the hospital.

It was one of the better decisions I’ve made. Just because someone is related to you, doesn’t mean having them in your life is a good idea. It’s hard to do when it’s family (especially because everyone you meet will go “what do you mean you don’t talk to your parent anymore?!? They raised you, don’t they deserve at least that???” No, no they don’t). Cutting someone out of your life sucks, but it is often the least bad option.

I don’t think you overreacted at all. I am a little surprised you haven’t cut your dad off long ago, but I understand why that is not an easy path to follow.

I have many years’ experience with an asshole dad, though mine never tried to weigh me down with his religion. I think you were right in turning your dad away and shutting him off. On the other hand I won’t think badly about you if you later change your mind about letting him go.

At one time, I cut my evil dad out of my life, but I changed my mind. Looking back on it, I think I should have stuck with my first decision.

In my ever so humble opinion, you keep forgiving your father for unforgivable things.

Long overdue, as far as I can tell.

I had a father who had a “higher Power” - bourbon.

I grew up in a tiny Bible-Belt hick town.

Having seen both “Higher Powers”, I will take the ignorant, abusive alcoholic over the Holier-Than-Thou “God’s Messenger” every time.

I came here to learn about a “turst”. Boy, was I mistaken.

Seriously, you’re not wrong.

If you wanted opinions from people who don’t love you, why did you ask on the Dope? :slight_smile:

Maybe you over-reacted. ISTM that you had several good reasons to over-react if you did.

Is it possible for you to say “I am not going to talk about religion” to your father, sisters, or anyone else who asks, and “I am not going to talk about my health issues” to anyone like Pastor Bill? I recognize that this puts most of the burden on you. But it is hard to argue with someone who doesn’t respond.

I am on the opposite side of this - I have relatives who are aggressively atheist. I don’t witness to them, and I don’t respond when they witness to me. It took a while, but we don’t argue.

As a Christian, I apologize on behalf of the jerks on my side, if that makes any sense.


Eh, based on stuff you’ve posted here over the years, your dad has had this coming for a long while. You could have shut him down over lesser or greater stuff that happened in the past. What he did this time was not very unexpected or uncharacteristic of him but you’re physically and emotionally drained and you absolutely do not have the patience to deal with him anymore. It was bound to happen and I’m not surprised that it happened this time.

You shouldn’t divorce him from his grandkids so your siblings should take them to see him once in a while. Otherwise, don’t know how you’ve stood it for so long.

Best wishes Skald. I think the way you acted was fine – your dad obviously crossed the line, many times over, and you laid down consequences that were entirely reasonable.

Your father betrayed your requested confidence with your extremely personal medical information. In the name of his God!

( I would be sorely tempted to tell dear old Dad that you were just softening to the Christian message. Unfortunately his complete betrayal of your privacy and then the minister being totally cool with that betrayal, have made you realize it will never, ever be for you! Thank him deeply for opening your eyes, etc, etc!)

It comes down to how much do you value your health and the time left to you! You got time for this silly conflict? Got room in your life for the drama?

NOW is the moment for you to choose wisely. I think you already have. Well done!

Not happening. I’ve already had to tell the four sisters who live in the city that my wife and I are not kidding about raising the kids are non-believers. We go to some lengths to make Simday mornings the most fun time of the week so they won’t feel neglected by never going to church; I don’t want that undercut, and except for Baby Sis, I don’t trust any of them to honor the rule about Bible stories being treated like THE CHILDREN OF ODIN rule. Hell, I wouldn’t even expect Baby Sis to honor that rule if my wife & I died and she became their guardian, which is half of why my work wife has formally and legally been given that responsibility (the other lbeing that it would be a far less jarring transition, as they see her all the time anyway)

The easiest I could see being on Dad here is to say, "Look, I told you something in confidence. You decided your relationship to God or whatever is more important than your relationship to me, which, cool, that’s your jam. But you made your decision, and now I know about it. I’ll be friendly with you, but I know not to trust you any more, and not only won’t I discuss personal matters with you, but I’ll let it be known to other people that my personal life is not to be discussed with you, because you’re going to prioritize other relationships over ours.

"Now, if you want a relationship with me, we can make that happen. You’ll no longer be welcome unless you call first and I agree you can come over; the door won’t unlock for you otherwise. If you want a relationship with the grandkids, we can make that happen. You’ll need to decide whether a single instance of proselytizing to them is more important to you than a lifetime of visiting them, though, because after one instance of proselytizing, it’s over; I won’t be able to trust you with them any more than I can trust you with details of my personal life.

“You’ve got some decisions to make, dad, and they’re not easy. Take some time to think about it, let me know what you decide, and then I’ll let you know what I decide.”

Your wife agrees, so maybe there is something to your side. Don’t worry about more than you can help.

My only opinion is that when your children are 16 and starting to drive, they are too old to be told to stay away from your Dad. At 18, you only can kisk them out of your house if they see him. They can legally defy you if you have gone that direction.

Explanation as to why you do what you do is different from trying to make him out to be all at fault and you are the saint. snerk

Do you allow calls in to them from him & it is just you who refuses to talk to him? Or do you demand that he no talk to the others either? I did not feel you were clear about that.

Next time he calls or any of his type or friends call, just them them you are now a Catholic and give them an evil smile. They will quit calling or bothering you.

Works for me. Well, I am a born & bred Catholic. So I don’t even have to lie about it. ( keeps me from telling them they are stupid for believing what they do ) because they don’t want to talk to me anymore. Should work for you from the shock factor alone.

Have fun with it. Angry is not the way to spend the rest of your life.


I understand. You’ll still need to do something to make sure you are preventing your kids and their grandfather from seeing each other, and the same for the others. However, it is perfectly reasonable to make rules and expect them to stick to them (for the most part). If they won’t follow the rules you still have to take the high road. I already know that’s almost useless advice, your dad won’t listen, but your kids can’t understand all that.

Anyway, for right now what you are doing is fine as long you don’t throw away the key to the door. You have more important things to worry about and it just sucks that someone is throwing this at you now. It’s just selfish behavior, i’m very familiar with it. Be well my friend.