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Being your own father

December 16, 2021

I want to get better. How I grew up messed me up. I'm exhausted waiting for my parents to change when they most likely won't. I'm going to have to parent myself. I'm ready to do that but it's hard. I'm bad at explaining, the best way I can is comparing it to a deep physical injury. It hurts a lot at first, but quickly you get numb thanks to adrenaline. It doesn't last forever and once it starts to heal, it hurts real bad. When I was younger it hurt a lot, eventually it got "less painful" in order to survive daily life. Now that I'm temporarily (hopefully forever) out of that situation and don't use drugs anymore I can feel how much it hurts again.

I don't feel I deserve to be happy or get better. I feel I'm a bad person for wanting to be happy and get better, I'm scared I'll be punished. I feel I need permission from my parents to be happy. I don't want to live like this. I'm trying to change it and be nicer to myself. Last night I told myself some of the things I wished a parental figure would say to me. "It wasn't your fault. You didn't deserve it. Someone should've helped you. It's okay to be happy. You're allowed to get better. I'm proud of you." I'm embarrassed to admit it was really hard to do. I did it despite that and I'm proud of myself for that.

It didn't magically change anything. I'm still having a hard time accepting those things. I know it's going to take a long time. While I'm proud I did that & think it was an important first step, I still feel disappointed. I have to be patient with myself, I'm bad at patience.

Is there anyone else here who has gone/going through similar? Any advice on how to be your own father and get better from a bad homelife/family? For context I'm 19 years old, no friends or family members to talk to. I can't take my medications because they make me sick but I can't get them changed because the pandemic made seeing my mental health team rare.

Thank you to this sub, the mods & community. It means a lot there's a place men can seek support without insensitive and victim-blaming responses. I hope you're all having a good day/night.

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Post Information
Title Being your own father
Author 6-leslie
Upvotes 20
Comments 4
Date December 16, 2021 7:29 AM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit /r/MenSupportMen
Archive Link
Original Link

[–]Rolaid-Tommassi 5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Man, I know exactly how you feel. And I think you're on the right track with your attitude. I'm an old man now but was beaten mercilessly by a brutal father who ridiculed me at every opportunity when I was a kid/teenager. It took me many years to throw off that baggage and learn to be a decent human and good parent to my own children. The only thing I ever wanted from him was a kind word or even a nod of approval. But it never came.

Eventually I realised that most fathers love their sons and daughters and I vowed to be loving and supportive to my kids. Just because my dad (and yours) was a shit, didn't mean I had to follow suit.

Good on you for being able to rationalise it at quite a young age. Please keep looking for support from other men; they ARE out there and will definitely be willing to offer you any help they can. Good luck mate, I wish you all the best.

[–]dudeness-aberdeen 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I relate to your post, so much.

My dad is a super selfish, self absorbed, narcissist and my mother was a big enabler. Everything I’ve learned about being a man/who I am, was done despite my parents failed attempts. I began pretty early (like you) in my 20’s to realize that I couldnt model my life after my parents. I started to cherry pick what attributes I thought were wholesome and honorable for a man, and try to emulate them. It made no difference where I got the example from. I’ve admired old supervisors, co workers, media personalities, even fictions heroes. I had to be careful with realistic expectations, though. It’s easy to hold yourself up to a silly high standard when your role models are all so exceptional at what they do.

Bottom line, I knew my parents were poor examples and had to find my own people to look up to. I also learned to be kind to myself. I loved reading that you regularly tell yourself things that a loving parent should. It took me forever to learn that. You are on the right path, my man!

Find some upstanding, honorable, noteworthy examples of masculinity that you value and take notes. I’m sorry your folks weren’t more helpful, but you aren’t alone in that.

Please feel free to reach out, if you have any questions and best of luck to you!

[–]wolfoftheworld 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You have a mental health team right here. It IS okay to be happy. Please don't invalidate yourself. It is also okay to have your feelings acknowledged and justified. We live in a society that wants us to constantly mask our unhappiness behind a constant smile, even when we are in pain.

I'm sorry you feel this way. You can always come here for a word of comfort. You still have a lot of life left and you MUST live it! Don't seek validation from anyone except yourself.

[–]DelRMi05 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

One year as an “adult”. One. None of this is your fault and you’re allowed to get better. I marvel at your strength. You want to overcome these daunting challenges. It’s inspiring.

You may not be able to change your parents, but maybe that shouldn’t be your goal. Find support and solace in what you think a parent should be. And don’t be afraid to continually ask for help, love, and support.

I’m sorry you’re going through this, but you are certainly not alone. Is there anything specific you want to discuss?

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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