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Old 09-21-2009, 04:26 PM   #1
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I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

Just a minor backstory for those who do not know my previous threads about the subject. I had a really strange childhood and adolescence, i was constantly teased, and i eventually suffered from depression, self esteem issues, and rage problems. I am trying to overcome these problems to this day (i am 21), and i have made tons of progress, but so much more to go. I never had anyone to talk to, my parents have really strict hardcore views about everything. Its either the way they like it, otherwise, its stupid, wrong, immoral, or something else. So i always had to follow by their rules, and i am 21, still living at home, and i STILL go by this, but i make far more decisions than i ever have. The only two people who have ever stayed by my side were my mom and my dad, despite their hardcore conservative views. I love them both, they are the most important people in my life. But we never shared common interests or hobbies, especially in recent years (some with my mom, next to none with my dad).

Well my previous threads said that i dont even speak to them as much as i used to, because whenever i try to bring up anything of interest to me (whether its movies, TV shows, sports, videogames, music, cars, technology, anything), its literally a 10-30 second conversation before it changes to politics, or before it ends. My dad is literally obsessed with politics, and even my mom noticed that he is going crazy with it now. In the morning before he goes to work, he watches the news, listens to the news in his work van all day long, comes home and watches the news until the moment he goes to sleep. On weekends, news in the morning on TV, then read politics-related books during the day, then more news on TV, sit on the computer and look at politics related things, and then eventually go to sleep at the end of the day.

I cannot talk to him about anything. Whenever i try to bring up anything, like i said its either a brief 10-30 second conversation, or he changes it into something politics related. My mom has been telling him that its a good interest and hobby, but he needs to stop because he is always instilling a negative atmosphere in the house, because he talks about all the negative things about politics. That and there is literally NOTHING that is spoken of in my house that is not politics, work, or school.

I just tried to tell him that its annoying how its impossible to talk to him about anything anymore. How its always politics. I was never too close to them, but basically i am extremely distant from them now. I come home, close the door and put music on while i do my homework (to cover up the loud politics on the TV downstairs), or play videogames. If i dont do either of those things, i typically just leave the house to do something else. Its impossible to speak to him.

And i hate it, because they are the only two people who have ALWAYS been there. My girlfriend as well, but thats a different connection. I am losing my dad particularly, and its frustrating being in my home. Politics and news are fine by me, but i have been hearing it non-stop in my house for 6 months now, and i cannot take it anymore. I want my parents back.

 
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:23 AM   #2
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

Hi Lazer, I know how miserable it is being ignored. I went through pretty much the same thing, and am now watching my daughter go through it with her dad. The only thing I can come up with...is you need to talk politics with your dad, and throw in something that intrest you, and go back to politics, ect...

My husband is the same way, and I am miserable too. I really get tired of having political debates at our dinner table every night too, but it's the only time we are spoken to. You maybe just need to learn how to use politics to your advantage. It's hard no boubt, but it can work. Prayers

 
Old 09-22-2009, 08:37 AM   #3
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

This may be a little out of the box...but it's worth a try.

Make yourself a poster that you can bring out and hold up anytime you want to talk. Have it read, "I need to talk", or "I need attention". Since you are not being heard verbally, perhaps use another sense to get your message across...visually! Just like the political supporters do.

I am a mom with two sons, one 25 and one 15. It really hurts me to hear your story, it is inexcusable to me. If my child came out of his room with a big sign around his neck that said "I need your attention", I would stop the world, and be there.

Keep it in your closet, so you can always ask for some time to talk.

 
Old 09-22-2009, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

I see where you are coming from. I also lost my family and in particular my father through lack of interaction. You are luck that your father is still alive, so you can do something about it. In my opinion, and this may sound too difficult or unfair for you to hear, you should reach out to him rather than expecting him to reach out for you. I think that you have to be patient with him. He probably won't change at his age, so you are left with the option of adapting to the circumstances. Come down from your ivory tower, lol, and set aside half an hour - every day - to talk to him about politics or whatever. This should become a rule for you. I don't think this is too great a sacrifice for you. And why limit your conversation to politics? You say he turns everything into politics, so why don't you try asking him questions about his life and youth or asking him for advice, too? Or asking him out for a coffee or something? He may not be a wise man, but I am sure that he will be "flattered" to talk about what he has gone through to his (only?) son. Hold on and don't give up if he defeats you again.

Last edited by pendulum; 09-22-2009 at 09:58 AM.

 
Old 09-22-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

I have tried to talk to him about politics, but the thing is it doesnt interest me that much. That and i think discussing politics is dumb to begin with, because you never change anyone elses' opinions on anything, the first thing you believe and makes logical sense to YOU will typically be the only thing you believe in terms of politics.

I love them, and i respect him very much. He is always working extremely hard, and we are immigrants, and he used to work around 90 hours a week with 2 jobs when i was a little kid to get us where we are today. But even a year ago, we could enjoy a movie together, talk about something else, and so forth. Now, if its not about politics or school, it doesnt exist. We used to go out to eat at restaurants time and time again, i was promised by him to go to a restaurant a little bit after my birthday because they were busy those weekends, that was May 30th, i even bring it to his attention now in case maybe he decides to do it, but all he responds with is "Times are hard, you have to save your money now".

Here is how yesterday went. I woke up really early (around 7am) to go to the bathroom, i could hear him watching the news downstairs. I went back to sleep, and i am 100% positive he was listening to the news in his work van because he always does that. I was home when he came home around 4:30, he immediately checked the mail, and put on the news. Then he went upstairs to check the email and read some politics related things, and then called me over to help him because the computer didnt work right. He went back downstairs and watched the news until about 8:00, and i came downstairs to grab something quick to eat while he was watching the news, and he barely said anything. Then i mentioned something about how he is obsessive about the news and he barely talks about anything but the news anymore, and i hate the way it is in our house now, he just said "well its my business, my free time, i can do what i want with it", i said thats true but he never talks about anything else. So i took my food upstairs. I left the house around 8:30, and he was reading a politics related book.

That is a typical day. Its really unlike him. I am an only child, 21, still living at home, and i am completely sick of news and politics alike.

 
Old 09-22-2009, 07:08 PM   #6
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

Even more of a reason to get your degree, a good job, and move out on your own. It's the only way to get away from it - you can't change him.

 
Old 09-23-2009, 02:44 AM   #7
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

I see. Yes, something has changed, and - on second thoughts - it is difficult to find a way of bringing it back. Maybe Belly Kelly is right: when you move out to live on your own, your relationship with him is likely to improve. Maybe it is only a question of time. Maybe he has recently found out what his real calling was: to become a politician. Do you think it is too late for him?

 
Old 09-23-2009, 06:41 AM   #8
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

I dont think its that, i think its that we came from a country that was controlled by the Soviet Union back in the day, and he doesnt like what the president seems to be turning our country in to, because i guess it makes him feel like we fled there for no reason.

Which eventually turned into a pathological obsession.

Here is a quick rundown of yesterday. He comes home around 4:30, he puts on the news and watches a bit. Comes upstairs to check email/internet news, says "Is everything ok?", i just responded with yeah why are you asking? So he walks off, does his thing on the computer, goes downstairs and watches the news and eats dinner to the news until about 8:00. Then he goes to his room, puts on the news there but makes it quiet, and then reads a politics book.

The only interaction i had with him yesterday was "Are you ok?"

He walked by me a few times but he is in such a lousy mood all the time because he is filling his head with all this negative politics garbage.

NOTE: Please do not turn this into a political debate. I am just stating the background, and i know people today are insane over politics so i dont want this to turn into a debate or argument.

 
Old 09-24-2009, 05:13 AM   #9
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

Lazer, you are right, there are people insane over politics and sometimes it can even be quite scary. It does sound like your father could be turning into one of those people - obsessed with it. But perhaps watching the news and listening to politics takes him back to his childhood and country at the same time? I do find it odd that he has become so obsessed with the news. It does seem to be consuming his life.

 
Old 09-24-2009, 05:25 AM   #10
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

Hmm, yes, but I should say that there are people insane over anything, from politics to soccer... Maybe your father could try and turn his "obsession" into superior studies, if you see what I mean. I am not kidding. He would read History in a Faculty. He would gain a different perspective and possibly his "obsession" would decline. Do you think he would be willing to go back to school?

 
Old 09-24-2009, 06:02 AM   #11
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

I dont think so, he is very hard working at his job, and that basically takes up all of his time on weekdays. Let alone, with the way i was raised, i know how he is. And he very rarely, if ever, changes his opinion on anything. He has a strict conservative view on everything, and all my life i have followed it. And if i even mention i want to go against it, its terrible.

So basically all my life i have sat quiet following all of his rules, even the ones i find extremely ridiculous. I am not very happy with my life either, and along with many other things, this helped develop my depression issues that i have today, as well as my extremely low self esteem.

 
Old 09-24-2009, 06:43 AM   #12
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

If I may ask you, could you please tell us one or two of his rules that you find extremely ridiculous?

 
Old 09-24-2009, 06:58 AM   #13
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

My family also came from a formerly soviet occupied country, and I grew up going to school on Saturdays and summer camp learning all about the history of what our family had to endure during the occupation. I can certainly understand the perspective, having my own family members (my grandmother's father and uncle) taken in the middle of the night from their homes and shipped off to Siberia for no reason. I think you need to learn as much as you can about the history of where your family came from to appreciate what they really went through and then maybe you'll understand why your dad feels this way. He is certainly entitled after what all of those people who suffered during the occupation had to go through.

Have you ever looked into the history of where your family came from and learned why this perspective exists? I really, really believe that if you truly looked into what actually happened, you would at least understand why your dad is so hardcore about it. He has every reason to be. That was a very, very dark time in history for the people who had to live through it. I think if you want to understand why your dad is the way he is, then you really have to learn the reason why. And the only way you'll do that is if you read up on the history of your family's country. I'm grateful to my parents for sending me to school and to summer camp to learn about it and for teaching me the language and everything. Knowing so much about my heritage has really helped me throughout my life.

My parents are very conservative and very opinionated about it. I don't have a problem with it because I did spend all that time learning all about WHY they feel that way. My dad is now retired and he spends his days either listening to conservative talk radio or watching Fox News. He calls in to most of the shows and talks on the air with them, too, which is his new hobby. My sister and I have started joking that now he's retired, he's started doing the Talk Show Circuit. My sister, by the way, is a hardcore liberal, which causes some major disagreements whenever she comes to town to visit, but it's all in the spirit of debate. None of us takes it personally, we just like to debate. We are a very educated family, all 5 of us (including my brother) have a Bachelor's Degree. Not bad for a family that started out not speaking any English when they first arrived here in the US.

Anyway, instead of taking it so personally, since his political feelings have everything to do with what happened before you were even born, you should try to understand why he feels that way. Then even if you don't agree with him, at least you will understand why he is so adamant about it. And then also you might have something else to talk about with him, namely the history of your family's origins. It could open up a whole new world of topics to discuss with him.

But most of all, quit taking it so personally. You're an adult now, you should have your own life and your own interests. At your age you should be making your own money and getting to the point of moving on your own. You should be concentrating more on what you need to do for yourself to propel your own life forward and stop worrying so much about what your dad is doing. It's his hobby so let him have his hobby. You've got your own interests that keep you occupied so have at it. But most of all, instead of judging him so harshly, do your best to understand why he holds this opinion so strongly, because at least then you will understand why he is this way. I can certainly understand it and I've never even met the guy.

 
Old 09-24-2009, 01:51 PM   #14
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

Some are rules and some are just standards. I am 21, and until maybe this past Winter, i basically had to be home by 10:00, because its not responsible to be out that late. I also want a small tattoo, and when i brought it up once, they criticized me to no end because of it, called me trashy, a redneck, a thug, and so forth for wanting one. Even when i am up in my room playing games at like 10pm, and my dad happens to walk by, he says "go to bed, its late", and he is dead serious about it, though he knows i stopped listening to that. If i listen to music they do not approve of, they just say its stupid, its not even music, how i am ignorant for liking things like that. Its really they have high standards. They dont have unconditional love, they have CONditional love, and sadly i follow it just to get their love.

I know the history of my family and where we came from, and i speak the language fluently. Its not that my political views differ from his, i agree with about 85% of the things he says, just i am not die hard passionate about it like he is. He is really conservative and old fashioned too, and you will never be able to break that habit out of him.

Basically i have been controlled by them my whole life that i truly do not know who i am today. I know a lot of true traits, but i am upset, or depressed, or furious for absolutely no reason so often that i forget who i am and why i act like this.

I guess its just that i never had very many friends, and most of the ones i did werent really good friends. The only friends i have today are friends i have had for 5-10 or more years, i rarely meet new friends and like them. My parents were the only people who ever loved me or showed any interest in me, so i follow their strict conservative rules to this day, just to get that love. I really want a tattoo, but i have accepted that even as a 21 year old, i will have no choice but to follow by their rules and standards the rest of my life.

 
Old 09-24-2009, 04:43 PM   #15
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Re: I am losing my father to the television (update from previous threads)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazer 77 View Post
... i will have no choice but to follow by their rules and standards the rest of my life. I disagree: not the rest of your life, but only as long as you live with them...

As far as I can see, they didn't forbid you to have your tattoo, they just criticized you for wanting to have it, as most conservative parents from their own generation would do. I think that if you really wanted to have your tattoo, you should have got it. They wouldn't drive you away from the house, would they?

As for the other rules, well, they may appear to be strict, but that's their house after all, and I am sorry to say that while you are living there you will have to comply. When you have your own family, you may choose to have no rules at all, but probably you will have your own set of rules, and then you will remember your father.

He is really distant, and I am afraid there is not much for you to do about this, but apparently he is not cruel and he doesn't make you work for him as/like a servant. Usually it is unrealistic for you to expect and hope that your parents will be your best friends and that they will be able to see all your inner talents and will make life very easy for you. I am afraid that is not their role. If anything, you need to find other mentors (older men) in your life and be thankful for whatever your family gave you, even if it seems very little in terms of affection.

I don't know how well your father interacts with your mother, but I would say that fortunately they didn't separate or divorce. You are a lucky guy, for most young people at your age no longer have their parents living together.

Last edited by pendulum; 09-24-2009 at 04:45 PM.

 
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