I’ve had a really difficult relationship with my dad ever since I can remember (I’m currently 25 woman).
He would have rage bursts and act it out on my brother and I. He would also berate everyone (my mum was ‘stupid’, and cursed at using extreme profanities when she got into car accidents, I was told I was ‘stupid’ bc I couldn’t memorise my timestables quickly enough as a kid).
My brother and I needed to excel at school, otherwise we were invisible. Whenever we didn’t do exceptionally well, my dad would tell us we were failures etc. When my brother got a prestigious wide award in primary school, I was told that I was a disappointment because I wasn’t like my brother.
Whenever as a really young child, I would raise how I was unhappy with the abuse, I would be told that I wasn’t his child, I should be evicted from the house, and I was being ungrateful because who else would pay for my school fees or the clothes on my back.
Despite his behaviour, I had an okay relationship with my dad until I was about 12.
That all changed when I found evidence that he was cheating on my mum. My mum was the one who sacrificed day and night for my brother and I (she worked so hard on her small business… & loved us unconditionally). He also essentially blamed my mum for him cheating on her instead of taking accountability for it.
Our relationship deteriorated, but up until the age of 18, it was almost like I needed his approval, so I would occasionally talk to him about my studies.
Once I hit maybe 19-20, I finally stopped needing his approval & realised just how traumatised I was, how these experiences weren’t normal, and how he really wasn’t changing (continued rage bursts, deflection of blame, and displaying entitlement). Around that age, I ceased all interaction with him.
Today I get a letter from my dad, saying that for *my* sake, the family’s sake, and the sake of *my* career, we should rebuild our relationship, and how sorry he is.
The thing is, I don’t think his apology really shows proper awareness of his actions – he doesn’t really mention any of the abuse, he minimizes a lot of what happened as ‘cultural differences’ but he does express that if he could, he would do things differently. My dad, however, has never changed out of a desire to better himself or due to remorse for his actions, and I strongly believe that my dad only sent this letter of apology to get something *he* wants (the relationship with me).
He also does not acknowledge his infidelity which he says was a simple misunderstanding between my mum and him (once I saw his FB account with all these 20 yo underdressed girls as his friends and he said I was imagining things – before deleting the acc…?)