#41 Sever ties only with abusive father

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#41 Sever ties only with abusive father

Postby Gabby » Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:03 am

Dear Ann Landers: My father and I have never had a good relationship. He was abusive to me as a child but I forgave him. I thought he had changed and we were finally on our way to trusting each other. I was even beginning to like him.

I adopted a son last year, and my parents offered to baby-sit while I work. My son was fond of his grandparents, and it was a lot cheaper than day-care, so I agreed. This worked well for several months, but last week there was a problem. Dad and I had a disagreement, he grabbed me by the throat and pushed me into the wall. I was shocked and surprised by his behavior.

I have no intention of giving my father another chance. Unfortunately my parents are a package deal. If I cut off contact with my father, my mother will also be out of my life, which would hurt me beyond measure. Also, I do not want to deprive Mom of the pleasure of her only grandchild.


Dear Ohio: There is no reason why you have to cut off both parents to keep your father from harming you or your son. Tell your mother she is welcome to visit in your home anytime, without Dad, but you no longer feel comfortable going to her house. She may not like it, but maybe she will understand. Your father has some serious anger management problems and could benefit from some counseling. If he values his relationship with you, he will follow through. Encourage it. —Ann

Gabby's Response:

Hi Ohio: Although you say you have forgiven your father it's clear that the first and subsequent incidents of childhood abuse are not complete. There's a whole bunch of conversations that need to take place.

Notice that you're telling the baby-sitting incident from blame. Related responsibly it would go something like, [I started an argument with my father and goaded him into a physical fight so that I could make him wrong for life.]

Your story is covert abusive badmouthing. Who taught you to blame others for the fights you now get yourself into as an adult? I'd be extremely concerned if I were your spouse.

What needs to be addressed is the far more subtle abuse taking place in your family. Whenever you see two people fighting always look for the third party pretending to be an ally who benefits from the friction. Part of what's incomplete with your childhood abuse is that you have yet to realize that your mother is the enabler. Abuse could not have taken place, or persisted, except that she attracted, married, and rewarded an abuser. Notice how she comes out smelling like a rose yet she is the one who still refuses to insist that he get therapy. It's not only that she's made her survival more important than your safety she has somehow or other very cleverly caused you to like/love her more than him. This is manipulation at its worst. Once she gets therapy she will discover that she has been as abusive as your father and that she has been conning you all these years into thinking he was the more abusive. She'll acknowledge to you that she co-conspired in his abuse of you, pretending all the while to be the understanding consoling parent, the "good-German."

Now, here's the kicker. You have picked up the addiction to abuse from your parents and you will pass it on to your son unless you get therapy, alone, by yourself. That you were not in communication with your father and could not sense his mounting collection of resentments and upsets which grew and manifested into physical anger suggests that you will do the same with your son. You need to learn how to detect and acknowledge (get) another's non-verbal communications before you are the space for more angry outbursts. For example: "Dad I get you're having an upset, would you like to talk about it?" I say, "mounting" because what you believe the argument was about is not at all what it was about. With coaching you could locate the very first incomplete communication, the remnants of which you've both been dragging into each and every interaction with everyone since then.

Without your father in your life to feed your addiction to abuse, giving you anger (adrenalin) fixes from time to time, you'll be needing another source to blame for your upsets. Without a doubt you will soon be lashing out at your wife. It begins with condescending verbal abuse, which will increase in frequency to the point where you will eventually stop feeling badly and for which you will "forget" to acknowledge (clean up) through to lovey-dovey before going to sleep. You'll find yourself blaming her for your upsets.

I would not trust my child with either of your parents until both have completed six-months of weekly therapy/counseling sessions. To submit your child to your mother's machinations (the one whose leadership communication skills empowers abuse) is not a gift of love. Within a few conversations (yes, a few is all it takes to imprint a child) she will train your child to blame and communicate abusively, that's how powerful she is in this matrix.

Your wife needs counseling because she also unconsciously attracted, married, and now rewards someone dragging around unresolved childhood anger. She is as unconscious as you and your mother and, cannot see that she also is addicted to abusing and to being abused, that she enabled the abuse between you and your father—extremely powerful. It could be said that she unconsciously set you up to be given a humility lesson by your father for the arrogant condescension (abuse) you inflict upon her (remember, she's also addicted to blame).

It's a never-ending story, passed on from generation to generation. You alone have the power to stop this legend.

Abuse is an addiction as debilitating as any drug. —Gabby

PS: Please show these replies to your wife.

To comment on this letter press "post reply."


Re: #41 Sever ties only with abusive father

Postby IcedWater » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:50 pm

Are you for real? Where do you get that the poster goaded his or her father on to a fight? And how do you this is a MARRIED man whose wife is also addicted to abuse?


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Re: #41 Sever ties only with abusive father

Postby Gabby » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:24 pm

Hi IcedWater

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

I get your upset. Gabby's reply is primarily for the person who wrote the letter, or, for someone ready and willing to look at the results they produce in life (arguments, fights, broken agreements, etc.) from the point of view of cause. Your upset reveals a communication of yours that did not end mutually satisfyingly for which you are still blaming someone.

It’s virtually impossible for a person addicted to abuse to attract and marry someone who is not also equally (yes, equally) addicted to abuse, to abusing and being abused. Partners always always mirror each other’s communication model, their way of relating and communicating; such partners are also addicted to blame. There are no exceptions to this phenomenon. 90% of all abuse is delivered unconsciously and non-verbally. A person who is whole and complete, a truly peaceful loving person simply wouldn’t hang out socially with an abuse addict. A person addicted to abusing and being abused wears his/her anger on their face—it’s an aura thing.

You might get value from reading the Spouse Abuse Tutorial—About the Tutorial.

With aloha,


PS: There is a way to disagree with someone without insulting them. Your reply is abusive.

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Re: #41 Sever ties only with abusive father

Postby Gabby » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:10 pm

The following was emailed to Gabby by Pan. Our policy is no private communications so I'm posting the email and my reply here for all to read.

    i saw your comment by chance:

    have you ever been abused by your immediate family members?
    i don't think you know what you are talking about.
    so please refrain from giving people 'advices'
    when you don't have a heart.
    this is disgusting.


Hi Lute,

Clearly my reply triggered upset. You don't say what sentence upset you. It's hard for me to reply appropriately without knowing exactly what triggered your anger (the very first sentence that upset you). The ideal being, to be able to read/hear any point of view without it triggering an upset. Those subjects that trigger upsets are referred to as incompletes; incompletes serve as barriers to the experience of communication. Communication can't take place in a space occupied by a solid position.

It's been my experience that when someone gets upset about the topics of responsibility and cause and intention it reveals that they have one or more incidents in their life for which they have yet to accept responsibility. Most often their upset is based upon a misunderstanding about the word responsibility. Typically, most people have those things for which they are willing to have caused and those things for which they are unwilling to have caused. Each of us are on his/her own path. Some get value from manufacturing a reality, another point of view, in which they cause what others say and do to them. This point of view modifies ones addiction to blaming. It's only a point of view and it only works for some people.

As mentioned in the Instructions, Dear Gabby is primarily reference material for our tutorial participants. The replies are designed solely for someone intent on being supported in communicating responsibly.

There is a way to express disagreement without invalidating another's experience.

Thank you for your willingness to share your thoughts.


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