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sarahinprogress

I was Duckiegirl, now I'm SarahinProgress; my dad still doesn't get it.

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hello all!

almost a decade ago I found this site and it literally saved my life. 

 

Some of you may remember me as Duckiegirl. Here's the link to the thread with all my crazy past as an out ex-christian living with my Calvinist parents: My Father Is Becoming a Pastor

 

the past 5 or 6 years have been downright blissful comparatively.  I met a wonderful, supportive man who I married in 2017, and i RARELY, RARELY have contact with my father.

 

 However, recently i began posting about my trauma, especially those caused by religion and my father. Specifically this and this.

Today he texted me something of substance for the first time in....years, id say.

 

I responded, and im quite proud of myself/sick inside, and i wanted to share it here to get your thoughts on my response, and his. 

 

Linking to imgur because its too much data to embed.

 

yours in apostasy and self-confidence,

sarahinprogress

 

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2 hours ago, sarahinprogress said:

i RARELY, RARELY have contact with my father.

Perhaps this is best. From what he writes, it doesn't sound like he's going to get it. You have no obligation to respond.

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9 minutes ago, older said:

Perhaps this is best. From what he writes, it doesn't sound like he's going to get it. You have no obligation to respond.

 Yeah, i haven’t responded since the last he sent, except to listen to his voicemail when my spouse creature came home, but it was just more “this is so painful for me, i just want to be forgiven, what am i supposed to do here if you dont trust me, ‘it’ll be the rest of your life’ what does that mean?”

 

it’s just heartbreaking how oblivious he is. it is so so so sad that he thinks i dont trust him because he’s a christian and not because of the way he has treated me. 

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You should be proud of yourself. You called him out in a really mature way. I was struck by the juxtaposition of the gross "I will always love christ first" next to "I hope I dont get measles...", a perfectly fine dad text. A shining example of religion infecting what could be normal relationships. im sorry for what he put you through. I wouldn't fault you if you had no interest in reconciling. I will say that my in laws, to our shock, lost all interest in trying to control and manipulate my husband once he moved out and we married. It was pretty bad at the time, but we actually enjoy their company now. So it's not impossible for things to change and you seem able to set healthy boundaries but judge for yourself whether it's worth the risk.

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15 hours ago, Eowynesque said:

You should be proud of yourself. You called him out in a really mature way. I was struck by the juxtaposition of the gross "I will always love christ first" next to "I hope I dont get measles...", a perfectly fine dad text. A shining example of religion infecting what could be normal relationships. im sorry for what he put you through. I wouldn't fault you if you had no interest in reconciling. I will say that my in laws, to our shock, lost all interest in trying to control and manipulate my husband once he moved out and we married. It was pretty bad at the time, but we actually enjoy their company now. So it's not impossible for things to change and you seem able to set healthy boundaries but judge for yourself whether it's worth the risk.

 

That is essentially what happened when i moved out. The attempts to fearmonger and regain or reassert control continued for a little while, but then tapered off to just....nothing essentially. We occasionally talk about movies or television, but since i have un-enmeshed myself (somewhat) my tastes are diverging from his, greatly, and we have less and less to talk about.

I don’t even think he sees or understands how emotionally manipulative he is, that’s just how he functions.

 

and thank you! im amazed at how i responded, because even a year ago i would have been a wreck knowing that i was causing him pain. that would have *mattered more* to me than my own health and sanity and so its almost shocking to have had this exchange and go on with my day, totally fine. His emotions aren’t my responsibility and i know that, and live that now. 

 

there is hope, fellow ex-fundie co-dependant kids!

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1 hour ago, sarahinprogress said:

His emotions aren’t my responsibility and i know that, and live that now.

YES!

 

 

2 hours ago, sarahinprogress said:

it’s just heartbreaking how oblivious he is. it is so so so sad that he thinks i dont trust him because he’s a christian and not because of the way he has treated me.

I've been thinking about this since my first response to you. The things he said to you, which you linked to, were horrible. Is he aware of what he said? Has he addressed those statements specifically? Do you even want to pursue that?

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3 hours ago, older said:

YES!

 

 

I've been thinking about this since my first response to you. The things he said to you, which you linked to, were horrible. Is he aware of what he said? Has he addressed those statements specifically? Do you even want to pursue that?

 He has not, and he won’t. I only get a very surface apology if i ever get one and he immediately expects me to accept it. I was literally taught “if someone asks you for forgiveness you must forgive them.” 

 

Im including his voicemail as well, which i started to transcribe because i wanted an actual copy, which turned out to be good because i accidentally deleted it before i got to the last 30 or so seconds. Bold is mine. 

Quote

so um i just wanna say you said its good im trying and i feel like a heel.

i feel like i can't say anything.

you've already said you can't trust anything i say (not what i said) because ive damaged you so much so it’s like really hard to know what to say or what not to say cause it seems like no matter what i say or try to say, in really reaching out to you, sincerely  you can't believe it because i've hurt you so badly.

i've oppressed you for so many years.

i've tried to control you (tone indicating im being a bit over dramatic).

and, you know, i can be who i am and i can try to say i'm sorry for what i've done.

i don't expect that you forgiving me is me “coding” you... or i understand how you feel about the code but, i- you know that’s-...

i learned  and believe that in order to be sincere i need to seek forgiveness when i've done wrong and that’s what i'm trying to do (wounded voice).

This hurts, Sarah. I'm sure you know that (?? like i'm doing it on purpose to hurt him?).

but by me saying “im gonna stop” and then you saying “you passive aggressive...” see i'm trying to do the right thing by stopping and saying i just won't say anything else (he  actually said: “ill just stop as it seems i am unable to say anything acceptable.”)

because it seems like you're just getting angrier (i wasn't, but it was over text, so tone difficulties hilarious to me because i told him i wasnt angry via text as he was leaving this voicemail).

you know you’re “1, 2, 3” ing me with your points of what im doing wrong (affronted voice. yes? that was the whole point of the conversation? he seems to think he should just say ‘im sorry’ and move on, which was EXACTLY my point about “forgive me” being code) and so you know, what- how am i supposed to learn whats right? who do i go to?

you gonna put that back on me and say “i don’t know you have to figure that out” (incredulous, scoffing tone, like this course of reasonable adult action is preposterous) or, as you said in the message ‘im just gonna continue for the rest of my life to be supportive and there when you need me’. (yes? like a normal, good parent?)

Im not really sure what that means(heartbreaking).

I was there for your wedding.  i tried to be supportive of that.

didn’t make a scene.

only shared love.

now, maybe you were pretending and it was really painful for you because you weren’t able to address whatever pain i had caused you and it seemed like a farce to you. well, im sorry if that’s the case because it didnt seem like a farce to me.

 

As i said i accidentally deleted the voicemail (oh well!), but this is very typical of what i got as a child-teen-young adult-adult while living with him if i ever dared to speak up about the damage he was doing. 

 

I mean...*shrug* im not his fucking therapist, right? And im not his subject anymore, and never again. I dont think he can handle that.

but we’ll see.

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 quoting father's voicemail:

12 hours ago, sarahinprogress said:

how am i supposed to learn whats right? who do i go to?

you gonna put that back on me and say “i don’t know you have to figure that out”

 

 

He's clueless. Well, there isn't much you can do. Some things are broken and cannot be fixed. This looks like one of those.

 

You closed the above with "but we'll see". Are you planning on continuing a dialog with him on this?

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"I love Christ first [before my daughter]"

 

Messed up priorities.

 

 

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3 hours ago, older said:

 are you planning on continuing a dialog with him on this?

I'm not sure, yet.

I was thinking of maybe writing an open letter dealing with the contents of both voicemail and texts, because I don't think he's going to be able to understand without some in-depth explanations and I refuse to talk with him on the phone, because he can be extremely emotionally manipulative; "this is hurting me," etc., when he knows that's it is (/WAS) very upsetting for me to hurt other people by my word or actions.

then again, I remember when I first came out, sitting at the top of the stairs listening as my mother told him he was hurting me and it was going to break our relationship and him responding by whisper-scream-crying, "*she's* hurting *me!*"

uhm, so honestly, I don't know that it's worth the effort.

ESPECIALLY since he still seems to think just saying "forgive me," (NEVER "I'm sorry." because "sorrow means regret, and do you regret what you did?" he probably doesn't even remember saying that to me, or how telling it is.) will just magically fix things. 

it's tough, you know? but I spent the last four years or so actively grieving for that relationship: the one we *never* had. So, I don't know. I mean...is he *trying?* I think so. But...I don't trust him, either. Because I have seen the honeymoon phase happen WAY too many times in the household, with both me and my mother. 

AND his statement that he's worried I'm never going to trust him cause Jesus is just SO TELLING of how his trust and mind work and, like, I can't compete with that addiction. I shouldn't have to. 

🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️

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34 minutes ago, midniterider said:

"I love Christ first [before my daughter]"

 

Messed up priorities.

 

 

I agree! But he never will. At least, he never has and I don't see that changing anytime soon. 🤷🏽‍♀️

AND he doesn't seem to even begin to comprehend the amount of harm that has done to me, even though HE told me the story about how when I was FIVE YEARS OLD he asked me if I thought I deserved his love, and my response was "no." 

I just...he's my father and he's still married to my mother. I want there to be at least a comfortableness between us. But more and more I think that's going to be impossible unless *I* compromise, and I refuse to any longer and I think that scares him. I don't even think he's aware of it. 

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Hi Sarah

 

Welcome back! Good to meet long time members.

 

We share something in common - that being we are children of fundie pastors.

 

Whishing you all the best for the future.

 

LF

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12 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

 

We share something in common - that being we are children of fundie pastors

 

 

Hi!!

 

also, here's a fun side story: he's *still* not officially a pastor. he's been in seminary since about 2013 but he has gotten seriously ill for the last few years when it comes time to take his examinations. Hospitalized or needing surgery. 

 

if *I* was still a Christian I would be of the mind that it's a sign from god that he shouldn't be a pastor. of course, I have heard him call other's misfortunes such signs, but never for himself. 🤷🏽‍♀️ weird how that works. and now the church up there is closing. ( RCUS for those interested. very small. very Calvinist.)

 

otherwise, yes I was essentially raised by a pastor since I suffered most if not all of the things fundie PKs suffer. 

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Welcome back! 

Wow, he's controlling, manipulative, passive-aggressive, crazy-making, gas-lighting, blame-shifting, and you are so very much better off without him or anyone like that in your life. 

 

I only had to deal with a housemate like that. He used to go through my stuff, looking for porn I think, and justified it by being "my brother's keeper" when he really just wanted wanking material and didn't want to pay for it. I once set up booby-traps in my room when I went on vacation, he set them off but never mentioned it. He had actually gone so far as to remove the insulation from the walls trying to see if I had hidden anything (I didn't have any to hide). He stored junk mail that came to me for months and demanded that I come get it. I told him it was junk mail and to toss it. He whined about it not being his responsibility to manage my mail (I'd already put in a change of address and all my actual mail was changed, but not junk mail). He would threaten violence with a smile, like he was something to be reckoned with, but was sickly, went around in a bathrobe all day unless a woman he was manipulating happened to come over. He scammed businesses out of money by selling them outdated computer hardware he picked up for pennies and billed them for thousands. 

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11 minutes ago, Fuego said:

Welcome back! 

Wow, he's controlling, manipulative, passive-aggressive, crazy-making, gas-lighting, blame-shifting, and you are so very much better off without him or anyone like that in your life. 

 

I only had to deal with a housemate like that. 

un/luckily my dad's cluster B traits are now limited to me and religion. 

 

although he did used to tell stories about what a good liar he used to be and how he tricked tons of people into whatever the story is, all with a proud smile and of course with the aim of showing how bad lying is and how horrible he was before he "found" Christianity. 

 

also thank you for saying all of that because it exactly what I was thinking and it's good to have that validation. 

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3 hours ago, Fuego said:

Wow, he's controlling, manipulative, passive-aggressive, crazy-making, gas-lighting, blame-shifting, and you are so very much better off without him or anyone like that in your life.

 

Fuego, you really know how to sum things up.

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I’m really struggling tonight, apostates.
As you know if you’ve read this thread I have recently begun coming to terms with the fact that my father emotionally abused and manipulated me, both under the guise of religion and just because, *my whole life.* I have only recently begun to unpack that baggage and it’s hitting me so hard tonight. My spouse creature tries to be and is wonderfully supportive, but he grew up in a very different environment.

I’ve been reading articles about narcissim due to some interactions between us recently, and so many memories are coming up about the abuse I suffered; Mocking, baiting, gaslighting.

Im crying as i write this because Im just so angry and hurt for that poor child stuck in that covert abuse, trying so hard to keep her dignity and spirit and hope and goodness. 

I just needed to tell this to some people who might understand.

I *hurt* but I also feel so good claiming my abuse. Abuse. I was abused. 

 

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Hang in there! No one deserves that kind of treatment, certainly not a child. Big hugs!

 

I've only recently realized how human my parents were. No abuse, but sometimes their faults and behaviors are startling in retrospect. Kids expect their parents to really have a handle on life, but then we (or other basic humans we know) become parents and we see how they stumble through it all. That's normal parenting.

 

What you had was and remains a very messed-up human who isn't a good parent or human, and caused a lot of trauma to you. I hope you can keep processing all the crap, and find comfort for yourself. You are on a great path of life now, discovering your real self and self-worth. 

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24 minutes ago, Fuego said:

I hope you can keep processing all the crap, and find comfort for yourself. You are on a great path of life now, discovering your real self and self-worth. 

thank you @Fuego, I'm really trying to work through it instead of shut down and it's honestly been so rewarding. I'm amazed at how different I am now compared to then, when I was trapped. 

Now I'm free. Not just physically, but mentally, or getting there. 

It’s been so hard thinking about whether the abuse was intentional or if my father just...really doesn’t get it. Is he playing clever games or is he really oblivious? bit of both? Ultimately, it doesnt matter because the damage was done, regardless or intent.

I feel better after my cry, but still so angry. but...I'm learning that, though my father taught me anger was selfish and wrong...it is so cleansing. 

💙💙💙

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20 hours ago, sarahinprogress said:

I *hurt* but I also feel so good claiming my abuse.

Sorry it hurts so bad, but glad that you are taking charge.

 

Have you looked at any of the "assertive rights" concepts? It sounds like you have adopted some of them. Here's are links to a couple of them. There are a few differences between them that are worth finding:

https://www.mhankyswoh.org/Uploads/files/pdfs/Assertiveness-AssertiveRights_20130813.pdf

https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/articles/a-bill-of-assertive-rights

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@older, WOW! it's incredible both, 1. how common fucking sense these are, and 2. how many of them I used to believe the opposite about.

the ones that really hit me were 
Quote
You have the right to feel all of your emotions (including anger) and express them appropriately.


Quote
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO, WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY!
Quote
You have the right to say, "That is unacceptable to me."
I've only recently begun understand that the boundaries I had with my father were not boundaries. We had no boundaries.
Or that I could refuse to answer and question or say it made me uncomfortable.
that I could say something wasn't acceptable, without explanation.
It's also shocking (well, not really) to realize how many of these my father subverted.


I recently told my spouse creature, "now, when I think of setting boundaries, no matter what they are, I just think of that scene in Captain Marvel where she tells him: 'I have nothing to prove to you,' and remind myself that I am enough without his approval or acceptance. And that I don't have anything to prove. 


 

 

Thank you for these. I'm going to bookmark them to look at when I need reminding that I am the only one responsible for my emotions, and that my emotions are the only ones responsible for. And to remind me that I have worth

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On May 11, 2019 at 12:49 AM, sarahinprogress said:

I’m really struggling tonight, apostates.

....

I *hurt* but I also feel so good claiming my abuse. Abuse. I was abused. 

 

Right there with you. I have been out of the church for 30 + years, and I still have my bad days. I still feel anger at my parents for the brainwashing, bible-thumping behaviour that they claimed was "raising a child the correct, christian way". Chin up, girl...you are on the right track. :)

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On 5/11/2019 at 7:19 PM, sarahinprogress said:

I recently told my spouse creature, "now, when I think of setting boundaries, no matter what they are, I just think of that scene in Captain Marvel where she tells him: 'I have nothing to prove to you,' and remind myself that I am enough without his approval or acceptance. And that I don't have anything to prove. 

You are one strong woman. 

 

And remember, after the rain, the sun always shines.

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On 5/8/2019 at 9:03 AM, sarahinprogress said:

hello all!

almost a decade ago I found this site and it literally saved my life. 

 

Some of you may remember me as Duckiegirl. Here's the link to the thread with all my crazy past as an out ex-christian living with my Calvinist parents: My Father Is Becoming a Pastor

 

the past 5 or 6 years have been downright blissful comparatively.  I met a wonderful, supportive man who I married in 2017, and i RARELY, RARELY have contact with my father.

 

 However, recently i began posting about my trauma, especially those caused by religion and my father. Specifically this and this.

Today he texted me something of substance for the first time in....years, id say.

 

I responded, and im quite proud of myself/sick inside, and i wanted to share it here to get your thoughts on my response, and his. 

 

Linking to imgur because its too much data to embed.

 

yours in apostasy and self-confidence,

sarahinprogress

 

It's pretty fucked how so many people are robbed from having equilibrium in their families because of one (I have no words to describe what slime Jesus was) I literally want to invent a time machine for the sole purpose of going back to his time, and throwing that prick off a cliff just before he got started.

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34 minutes ago, hyperferion said:

It's pretty fucked how so many people are robbed from having equilibrium in their families because of one (I have no words to describe what slime Jesus was) I literally want to invent a time machine for the sole purpose of going back to his time, and throwing that prick off a cliff just before he got started.

 

If you had a time machine, you'd probably be shafted from ever finding jesus at all. You'd probably find a slew of various jesus's around that time, none of which fit the model of the gospel character in full, only different jesus's fitting different parts of the story, and from different timelines. 

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