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OT- new job and my Dad

DarkStar's picture

I've blogged before about my Dad.  No filter, getting worse as he gets older.  My brother is about 2 years younger than me, we are in our mid-40s.  My brother has always been the protected golden child with both my parents even though he is the one that got in the most trouble, never finished school, never got a real job, etc.......basically he gets rewarded for breathing and my achievements are just not quite ever good enough.  Dad and I live in the same town.  I help Dad out when he needs it, do the occasional lunch/movie thing, watch his pets when he goes out of town, etc.

Bro lives in Colorado 12 hours away from us, he has his own trailer home (bought with inheritance from Mom), washes dishes at a local restaurant, and smokes copious amounts of weed.  He used to be the nicest guy, give the shirt off his back type of person, but years of being alone and stoned has worn away his social skills and whatever niceness he used to have.  So he's a jerk.  Calls me a "flatlander" that sold my soul "to the man" because I have a job and a mortgage and live in a suburb.  A couple of years ago bro was in my town visiting for Thanksgiving and he had brought some pot cookies with him, you know, heaven forbid he goes without weed for a few days.  He left his bag open on the floor and FDH's dog got into it and ate them.  She was OK, puked most of it up.  To this day, bro blames the DOG for getting into his cookies.  This past winter when I went to visit him to go skiing ended up in a horrible fight.  He called me the "C word" twice among other choices names.  It got ugly, I thought he might hit me for a minute.  I told him I was never visiting him again and he was not welcome at my home for a while.  We didn't talk for a while and now we just send the occasional generic text.

Dad is unhappy with the situation, of course, siding with stoner-bro and I'm just a big meanie.  Dad asks if I think bro is happy.  I say no, because happy people don't usually spend half of their time ripping apart other people and how they live their lives.  So Dad asks if I know this, why don't I have some sympathy or empathy for him.  Um, because he CHOSE THIS LIFESTYLE AND HE'S 44 YEARS OLD.  He wasted oodles of opportunities to do other things and if he doesn't have the insight or ability to face up to that fact, and would prefer to be an ass to everyone as a result, then he can stew in his own juices.  To paraphrase Dr. can call me the C word, but you're going to do it from afar.

So, present day.  I have been without a job since October.  I'm in IT.  Long story short, my boss HATED me and I was outspoken.  There was a lot of political two-stepping at this job and I was a horrible dancer.  I was careless and gave him a reason to fire me.  He was a jerk, but it was my fault in the end.  I didn't tell Dad for a couple of months about it and my contact with him in these past few months has been sparse because, well.....I feel bad enough already and didn't need the constant reminder from Dad how much I screwed up my life.  Many interviews, 2nd interviews, and as UE benefits are running out, I'm panicking and feeling pretty down.  I just got hired at a well-known large international company as a contractor.  At least one year, probably more.  This company has almost all of their IT staff as contractors, some people have been there as contractors for 10+ years, they joke that there's more stability in being a contractor than an FTE.  So, very happy, and proud of myself, I go to pick Dad up for lunch and share the good news.  His first reaction, "Are you sure this is what you want to do? (contracting)".  Um yes, yes, it's fine and perfectly acceptable in the field that I am in.  The little girl in me that still craves daddy's approval said, "Dad, I'm making XX$$ an hour!!!!!!"  Dad says, "Oh, well that's good."  Then in the next breath says, "You probably shouldn't tell your brother that, it would make him feel bad."  Wow.  Really?????  REALLY???????  The convo decompensated from there and we didn't make it to lunch.

That's my Dad.  He doesn't so much as kick you when you are down as much as he kicks you when you are UP.



Gimlet's picture

I'm pretty sure my parents would take my organs to help my younger brother.  We're about the same ages as your siblings and a similar situation.

I'm also in IT.  Congrats on landing the contracting gig!  It can teach you a lot and you'll make good money. 

Luckily for me, my dad is just straight up mean so I stopped giving a shit what he thought a long time ago.  It's harder for people who have ambiguously crappy people in their lives I think. 


DarkStar's picture

But the hits just keep on coming!  I was so mad......I had JUST driven my Dad to and from his colonoscopy appointment at the butt crack of dawn that day!  It's about the 3rd or 4th one I've provided a ride for dear old Dad.  AND called to make sure he was OK later that day.  Did my bro call?  No, he didn't even know about it because, as Dad said, "No need to have him worry." FFS!!!!!

theoldredhen's picture

Aw, Sweetie!

Far from being the 'DarkStar', you are more likely to have been the shining light in your family. At the risk of offering cold comfort, I suggest that your father has taken you for granted for many years; the child who had seldom been troublesome. Whereas your brother, the prodigal son, has/had urgent needs that needed to be addressed. 

Most families tend to pigeonhole siblings into categories, i.e. the smart one, the pretty one, the sensitive one. Your brother, through years of dependent behavior on his part and enabling on the part of his family has nurtured and encouraged a dysfunctional symbiosis that benefits no one.

Don’t be too quick to assume that your brother is the ‘golden one’. I’ll bet the farm that your father is prouder of you, his undemanding, successful daughter, than you suppose. You're the child that any parent would or should value, DarkStar! Don't you dare forget it!


SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Your father (he doesn’t deserve “Dad”) is a narcissist and so is your moron brother.

Cut them out of your life. They will not change.

You are under no obligation to serve your father and his needs any longer. 

Cover1W's picture

See, this is why I don't give my parents details about ANYTHING.  I'm in my late 40s, always been the black sheep, my sister is/was the golden child. Well, my sister is feeling the effects of now saying NO to my parents, finally, in her mid-40s.  Since they cannot take it out on me, she's the focus.  And she's only really turned it around in a year and things are coming to a head now.

I actually stuck up for my sis and BIL with my dad the other day, and he's sent an email response (it's always in writing, never a convo and all about my mother and how horrible other people are to them, blah, blah, blah - never seeing who is actually the common denominator...).  I still haven't read it.  I was super careful to not give info about me, to not place blame, to ask questions, to relate personal experience, and to stick up for my niece (yes, a 15 yo has been drug into the stupidness).  I'll read it later this evening after a glass of wine because, as my BIL said, you might become the focus of the nastiness you know.  Yeah, but I have more practice at ignoring them....

I think with your situation so similar to mine (but with a nice sis and BIL) that I just don't talk with them about much.  They know I'm considering a job change, the weather, maybe what we had for dinner, a movie we saw, but that's it. Know that it's not you!

somethingwicked's picture

Congratulation on your new job!

And your father..*sigh*.

I got no words except once a misogynist always one especially the longer  one is entrenched in that mindset.

 And start getting the sainted brother to shift some of this  load of caring for pater. 

'Vagina" is not a good reason it should all fall to you.



still learning's picture

I feel for you. It's hard being the "lesser" child in the family.  The golden child in my family is my younger brother who could do no wrong and looked just like my stepfather. Long story short little (half) bro has been in and out of prison for about 2 decades.  It's sad and the only thing my mother ever wants to talk about.  Like Gimlet, my mother without hesitation would cut my heart out to save my younger brother.  I gave her several grandkids but she doesn't even care about them and hasn't met the two younger ones, it's all about him and will be until the day she dies.  

Cooooookies's picture

I'm so sorry DarkStar.  I have the same set up.  My brother and his husband have declared bankruptcy twice, did gawd knows what to son while he lived with them, they mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically abuse my own mother and aunt - but I'm the a-hole.  I haven't talked to my brother in 2.5 years and my mother said she didn't have time to call me on Christmas, even though they stayed home.  Haven't heard her voice in a year and a half.

I'm 43 years old.  I know what they are, who they are, etc.  It hurts.  Always has, always will.  You always wish you'd have a normal, loving family that actually loves and cares for each other.  Instead you get mentally ill, selfish a-holes who abuse everyone and then blame it on you.

My point is I am so so sorry.  I can relate, it sucks but there is nothing wrong with you.  You are a wonderful person and their b.s. is not your fault.  Big hugs for you and I hope you find peace <3

DPW's picture

I had the same issue with my mother. I always got decent grades in school. I then went on to become successful in corporate consulting. My mother never once said she was proud of me - for working my way up in the world, despite growing up dirt poor.  When she died, her best friend gave an eulogy. During the eulogy she said how proud my mother was of me. What? Why couldn't my mother ever say that to me? I chalk it up to my mother being jealous of me. She never amounted to anything, cheated the welfare system most of her life. So to all of you - maybe your parents have their own issues that they can't get passed and we shouldn't, as the children, take it all to heart? That's the way I try and look at it, otherwise I feel destroyed. 

Siemprematahari's picture

Seems like you have to create some strong boundaries when it comes to your Father and Brother. They come across as toxic and although you may forever seek dads approval you will have to accept some day that you may never get it. This is something that you have to work on and the fact that your brother treats you like sh!t is unacceptable. You can love them from afar and protect yourself in the process. Your brothers shortcomings are not yours and although your father may never say it I'm sure he's very disappointed at the lifestyle he has chosen.

Live your best life and always take care of you.