Daddy Issues

January 13, 2015

It’s a bit of a cliche. But I can tell you daddy issues are real. Show me a woman who had a bad father and I will show you a woman who struggles with intimacy.

I never really thought about alcoholism until I started dating daughters of alcoholics. I grew up with parents who hardly touched the stuff. My dad can’t even finish a whole beer.

I have since learned that alcoholism is just the tip of the iceberg- a symptom of a much bigger problem.

When a woman tells you that alcoholism has been in her family for generations she might be telling you that her family has a history of personality disorders and self-medication.

When she tells you about family drama, she is telling you that she was conditioned for chaos. And her behavior will reflect that.

Expect her to be a drama queen. Expect her to start a fight at inopportune moments and carry a grudge like you wouldn’t believe.

My father was less than perfect. Moody as hell. But I appreciate the fact that he did not drink. It would have made his mood swings even worse.

So I can only imagine what it is like to live in a household where addiction is ever-present. The instability would cause anyone to fear abandonment.

Some of these women also witnessed infidelity in their families. My parents fought a lot. It was distressing to see my parents scream at each other. Maybe even traumatic.

But as bad as things got, they would find a way to work it out. I was grateful that neither of them cheated on each other. Because I have seen how parental infidelity can create terrible insecurities.

The last woman I dated was obsessed with infidelity. Scarred by it, really. She witnessed it as child and then experienced it in her adulthood. She often accused me of it.

One time, she came over and I was doing my laundry. She suspected that, because I was washing my bed sheets, I must have slept with another woman. Every woman I knew was a suspect. She assumed I slept with everyone.

She claimed she had a sixth sense about these things. But it is more accurate to say that she was traumatized and this made her hyper-sensitive. Delusional at times. Constantly looking for evidence of my infidelity. It got old, quick.

This behavior only made me keep my distance. I ended the relationship many times because it was incessant. Not because I wanted to sleep with other women. I was satisfied in that department. It was the emotional department that made me wonder if I deserved better.

I kept my distance because she was moody and quick-tempered. She could be sweet and loving one minute and then one wrong word would cause her to flip out. It reminded me too much of my last borderline ex.

Every time she shut me out and blocked my number, I withdrew even more. She did that so many times I can’t even count. And then she wonders why I wouldn’t commit and why I kept putting on the brakes.

In an effort to make me feel guilty, she told me she tried so hard to love me. But she is delusional. I told her over and over again she needed to work on her issues first.

She didn’t visit a therapist until after I broke up with her for the last time. And that was only so she could complain about MY issues. Not hers.

I was not shy about telling her about my concerns. But she ignored them. Rarely did she ever apologize for all the horrible fits of rage or passive-aggressive tactics.

Under these circumstance how could she claim that she tried to make it work? How could she expect me to take the relationship seriously?

Every time she would block my number, I’d go out and try to forget about her. I wasn’t going to sit home and feel sorry for myself or wait by the phone until she felt like calling me again.

But according to her, that was evidence that I was unfaithful. Because if I was faithful, I would have continued to call a number that was blocked. I was to sit obediently in the doghouse. No thanks.

Time and time again, I took her back, hoping she would see the error of her ways. But that only served to reinforce her bad habits. It said that no matter how badly she behaved I would always take her back.

I did this because whenever my parents fought, my dad would take my mom back and forget anything that was said. This was my horrible model for relationships.

The fear of rejection is strong in the woman I recently broke up with. She claims I don’t communicate with her properly. But in reality, she doesn’t listen when I say things she doesn’t want to hear. She does not take criticism well.

Every time I would talk about her past or point out her daddy issues, she would accuse me of verbal abuse. And then made the suggestion that anyone capable of verbal abuse was also capable of physical abuse.

That was a huge red flag for me. I knew this relationship was doomed when she started making wild accusations and suppositions.

I had seen this act before and I knew it would not end well. I knew this was a woman addicted to victimhood.

You would think that she would be happy to finally learn why she acts the way she does. But she probably has no
idea. When you grow up dysfunctional,
that is normal for you.

She has serious daddy issues. A daddy who once kicked her out of the house because he didn’t like the guy she was dating. This is where she gets her fear of abandonment/rejection.

But she insists that she and her father have made amends. She was so desperate for his love, she donated a kidney when his failed. In essence, she was always looking for the love she did not get as a child. It took one of her organs to get her heart’s desire.

I suppose that is why I attract women like this. I give them the love and affection they never got as a child.

A child raised by neglectful parents is like a person who hasn’t eaten for days. They are starved for attention. They will call you everyday, text you every hour. Until they block you and tell you to move the fuck on.

When that childhood fear of abandonment creeps up, then look out. You will see the darkside. You will feel the sharp pain of someone stabbing you in the back and then wiping you from existence. This is their form of justice. Abandonment is in their blood.

Fight and flight. These are the two modes of operation for a woman with daddy issues. A woman who uses either tactic as a weapon is a silent abuser.

She is lying if she says she isn’t trying to hurt you. She is in denial because she doesn’t want to acknowledge how much she is hurting you.

She is in too much pain to think about yours. Pain that causes her to over-react and blow things out of proportion.

The truth is part of her IS punishing you for re-awakening feelings she has worked very hard to forget.

Women with unresolved (untreated) daddy issues are reluctant to punish their fathers. So instead, they punish you. You are the surrogate. You are the punching bag. Whatever toxic hatred they have built up over a lifetime is now unleashed upon you.

It’s not just women. I have seen the effects of alcoholic/abusive fathers on men as well. The effects are identical. We can no longer deny the effect that alcoholism and abuse have on children. We must learn to recognize the signs of ACOA and BPD.

We are all reluctant to say we had bad parents. But none of us would be in this situation if that were NOT the case.

I’m not talking about blaming parents for doing a shitty job. I’m talking about acknowledging the harm that has been done and then taking measures to treat the harm.

Because these disorders are both traumatic and contagious. Without aggressive and lengthy treatment, it will spread like a virus ruining one life after another. Until we say enough is enough.

Anybody walking around with an untreated head wound would be considered crazy. But we witness people walking around with emotional trauma and we say nothing. We shrug our shoulders as if we expect such trauma to heal itself.

ACOAs and BPs are not evil. The last woman I dated was a wonderful person. At times, she was very supportive and sensitive to my needs. That’s why I loved her. But she was too sensitive and that made it feel like walking across a minefield.

When you are in love with someone you try to make it work. It’s just terribly frustrating when you realize there is nothing you can do… except cut your losses.

18 Responses to “Daddy Issues”

  1. jhan1969 said

    I relate to all of this. It got to the point where I had to learn:

    1) Why nut-jobs were attracted to me

    2) How to cut my losses with a nut-job

    3) How to recognize and stay away from nut-jobs

    Back in the non-politically-correct-good-old-days, we used simple, clear words to describe things. Nut-Job always fit, and that’s what I use now. I know all about BPD; I know Cluster-B backwards and forwards; I know what attracted Cluster-B’s to me,

    Now it all boils down to this: how do I recognize, and stay away from, f__ing nut-jobs. I can’t heal or get better from the things in my own past until I stop VOLUNTEERING to be with nut-job women. That’s the first step.

    • savorydish said

      The problem is they seem so normal at first. It’s not until months later that you realize how bonkers they are. I hate to write someone off because they had an alcoholic dad but it’s getting to that point.

      • TomBa said

        Hi, it is now 9 weeks since I threw her out. I read Sara Tate’s stages and have read lots of other postings…specifically the 6-8 weeks (honeymoon phase). I have written here before but am still lost. I know I need to look at my past and my codependency issues:
        Her:..she is 19 years younger, beautiful, selfish, full mix of BPD/HPD. Anyway long story short…1.5 years of both physical and mental abuse from her. Honeymoon phase ended and then the push/pull. Naturally this came with various ailments, tired, demanding, lied (never could prove it factually, but her mix of chatter made her stumble with her stories). Lots of I love you, but actions dictated something else. 6 splits, recycle and back to the normal. That said, over the last few months prior to the end her hitting slowed down, but her verbal abuse continued. Felt like I was walking in a mine field, once I figured out where they were…she moved them. Or like playing soccer, you come in for the goal, she moves the goal. Naturally she knew she could get any man if she wanted to. Parents married and divorced multiple times, several siblings etc.
        BUT
        I have no contact with her, but miss her alot, maybe I miss the drama sometimes as long as I was not the target. Other women bore me at times…no am not trying to arrogant. But I truly thought this was heaven in the beginning…the 6-8 weeks. Never felt so good, like a drug (not that I do drugs). Then I read this was an illusion, it was fake etc etc etc. How can I get past the missing her, wanting her back? Am 99.9% sure she is with someone else which kills me inside. But I still maintain NC. I have also listened to she and her friends conspire against some guy…what to respond, how to keep him guessing, play with him…when I listened I was glad I was privy to this and thankful I was not the receiver. But did state that they were wasting good energy and time on playing games.
        Yes I believe she might be emotionally shallow and stunted. Yes I think looks are everything for her. Anyway…need some support I hate to admit, feel like a hit and run victim.

      • savorydish said

        Welcome. You will find support here.

    • savorydish said

      I knew it was time to break it off, when she kept starting the same fight over and over again. Each time she was escalating the fight. A damaged woman keeps poking at you until she gets a rise and then she plays the victim. That’s the fucked up game they play. It was ALWAYS when things were going too well. That is a sign that a woman is reliving her past. It’s a sign that she can not tolerate intimacy. It freaks her out.

      • jhan1969 said

        A Borderline NEEDS to be the victim, or else it just doesn’t work. It’s all part of the M.O. That’s why I look out for eternal-victim narratives early on in a dating situation. And even if an eternal-victim isn’t a borderline, it still sucks to be with an eternal victim. So there you go. My ass is covered regardless πŸ˜‰

      • savorydish said

        That’s how I knew. Once I saw the pattern of self-victimization aka fake victimization, I knew what I had. I always give a person the benefit of the doubt. The thing with Cluster Bs is they are compulsive victims. You can point out their behavior and they will still behave that way because it is hardwired.

  2. jhan1969 said

    True, SD, true. But as we live, we learn how to spot the signs early. #1 for me is a lightning fast desire to jump into bed. #2 is constant attention-seeking behavior. #3 is idealization. # 4 is an eternal-victim narrative. # 5 is a lack of emotional regulation. If we open our eyes and ears, we find that this stuff often manifests early.

    But here’s the problem . . .

    Those of us who get into relationships with Borderlines and other Cluster-B’s are not ABLE to see the tell-tale signs. Why? BECAUSE WE”RE BROKEN.

    I was still very much ACOA when I met my borderline ex. Here’s how it worked:

    ‘I will get into a relationship with this crazy woman who is incapable of real intimacy and partnership. I will fix her, and she will love me. Then all the bad stuff that happened to me when I was a kid will be negated and I’ll be alright.’

    An old therapist of mine called it a ‘corrective experience.’ If I could fix this insane person and make her love me, I could ‘correct’ all the bad stuff that happened to me as a kid and I wouldn’t have emotional problems anymore.

    Untreated borderlines do the same thing when they enter relationships. They are attempting to have a CORRECTIVE EXPERIENCE. They are trying to ‘correct’ what happened to them a long time ago.

    When an emotionally damaged person gets into a relationship with a Borderline, BOTH PEOPLE ARE ESSENTIALLY TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING. They are trying to use another person like a time-capsule so that they can travel back into the past and correct what happened to them.

    But s__t just don’t work that way, brother.

    The ONLY way I could ‘correct’ what happened to me in as a kid was to ACCEPT that it happened, accept the FACT that there was nothing I could do to change it, and feel the pain I had been running from since I was a kid. And I mean REALLY feel it. That sledge-hammer blow to the very core of myself. Feel it, acknowledge it, and get down on my knees and swear to the gods or winds or fates that I would never, EVER volunteer to let anyone treat me that way again.

    That was what gave me the strength to cut loose, AND to turn away other crazies after my borderline ex was gone. I gained a PERSONAL INTEGRITY I had never had before. A self-respect, and a healthy fear of those who would do me harm.

    Borderlines ‘not meaning it’ is beside the point. I don’t think they ‘mean it’ either. But that’s not worth 2 cents when a borderline is pulling their routine. I WAS NOT PUT ON THIS EARTH TO HAVE PEOPLE TAKE THEIR UNRESOLVED EMOTIONAL BS OUT ON ME. I DO NOT EXIST SO THAT SOME CRAZY CAN USE ME TO TRY TO CORRECT HER PSYCHIC TRAUMA.

    That’s my truth. I ask no one’s permission. I don’t care what anyone says. I meet all detractors with calm defiance. Those who would convince me to share unnecessarily in the pain of others are my sworn enemies. Rationalizers and excuse-makers can feel the door hit them in the ass on the way out.

    • savorydish said

      Unfortunately I can’t say that I’m in the clear. I still have lapses in good judgement. But I can say I’m getting better at catching early signs. And the women seem to be less crazy than before. Or maybe better at hiding their pathology.

      • jhan1969 said

        We’re never really in the clear, are we? We always have to be careful. What good things in life don’t require constant vigilance? If I want to be a good musician, I need to keep practicing. If I want to NOT get into relationships with life-destroyers, I have to keep my senses up and put what I’ve learned into action. It’s a hard task, but the task makes us stronger and wiser.

        I want to slip into easy ways. I want to go for the crazy chick because she’s hot and really sexual. I want to escape to that place where I don’t have to think about myself anymore and I can abandon responsibility to the truth. It’s as easy as walking down the street where I live. Or I can turn into a player and just hump-and-dump the crazies, if I feel like mucking about in another person’s emotional torture. I really want to take the wrong path sometimes . . .

        But honestly, what keeps me from doing that is the memory of what I went through with a borderline. The vortex of emotional chaos; the brutal subordination of self to another person’s illness; the plain BAD MOJO when the darker aspects of the illness manifest; it fills me with a visceral kind of dread that I can feel to the ends of my fingertips.

        That’s what keeps me from doing it again. Good old fashioned PAIN. I’ll have plenty of pain in my life; it’s unavoidable. But I won’t have THAT pain again if I can help it.

        But what are we to do with the detractors – the people of the lie, as one famous author called them? The ones who benefit by convincing us that everything we know is ‘false.’ The ones who, for some nefarious or self-serving end, would try and lure us away from our own truths? THAT is the real question.

        What are we to do with the politically correct, bullshit-co-signing therapists? The family members in denial? The rationalizers? The enablers? The flat-out d___bags who would see us in pain so that there own world-views wouldn’t be threatened?

        We fight smart.

        We choose our battles. We engage when WE choose to engage. We hold on to the truth, and we keep the ball in our own court. We inform one another. We compare notes. We learn how to look bullshit in the eye and tell it to take a f___ing hike. No debates. No thank you. Tail-lights fading in the distance.

        And if a guy’s not there yet, he hasn’t felt enough pain. Plain and simple. We have to face what’s broken in us. We have to feel that pain. We have to sit there with it until we know what it is and how it got there. I broke down in tears on a NYC subway on the way to my therapist’s office when it finally happened to me. I’m a pretty tough guy, but I’ll tell you . . . I thought it was gonna take me out. I thought it was the end. I seriously felt like I wasn’t gonna survive it. But I did. I got through it, and I swear, there was this voice later on that told me I was gonna be OK.

        It’s the chasm, man. The deep, dark well. We gotta face it. That’s where the answers are.

        Then and only then – at least for me – was I able to say ‘F__k this’ and start learning.

  3. jhan1969 said

    I should also say, SD, that the women seem less crazy because they ARE less crazy.

    And why is that?

    Because you’re not wearing an ‘I’m a sicko too!” sign anymore. Borderlines, especially, have a 6th sense at sniffing out those who would put up with their crap. Their ability is UNCANNY. They will go to a party with 500 people and sniff out the guy with serious ACOA issues, guy who just went through a bad divorce or breakup, the guy who just had a parent die on them . . . they are predators who prey on the weak. If they happen to make a mistake and scope in on someone who won’t up with their crazy, they chalk it up and move along. I can go to social events now and watch them do it.

    You don’t have that weak-spot anymore. You’re getting stronger. You’re a f___ing warrior now, man.

    • savorydish said

      Another positive change I can report is recovery time. No longer devastated after a break up. That’s another sign I’m getting stronger.

      • jhan1969 said

        I’ll tell a brief story here.

        I was about three months into the relationship with my borderline ex. We were in a fairly ritzy store in Manhattan. A saleswoman who worked at the store was trying to help us. She was very nice, and it was clear she was doing her best.

        My borderline ex, however, was in an emotional meltdown about something. She was incredibly rude to the saleswoman, who had the audacity not to understand the incoherent babble she had been sprouting. I was embarrassed, and found an excuse to leave the store and wait outside.

        This had started to become routine, and I was already getting sick of it.

        Later on that day, I POLITELY AND CALMLY confronted my ex about it. I told her that I was embarrassed at how rude she was to the saleswoman, how troubling it was for me to be around that kind of behavior, and how troubling it was that this stuff tended to happen all the time. I remember SPECIFICALLY saying something to the effect that she would need to learn some emotional control, or else I would have to scale back my involvement in the relationship.

        (What I had started to recognize at that point was a LACK OF EMOTIONAL REGULATION; a typical trait of borderlines. I didn’t know exactly what it was then, but my normal, everyday human instincts had started to sense that there was something rotten in Denmark.)

        I got what I NOW know is a typical BULLSHIT borderline response. I’ll describe this response the best I can, so that the new guys here can start learning how to recognize BULLSHIT when they hear it.

        Her response:

        – ‘I’m tired of people telling me how I should be!’
        – ‘Why can’t I just be myself?!’
        – ‘Everyone thinks they can control me!’
        – ‘I like being an emotional person!’
        – ‘You’re just like everybody else who gets down on me!’

        ALL BULLSHIT.

        This is how the borderline operates.

        When OUR normal instincts kick in and we point out unacceptable behaviors in a reasonable fashion, the borderline launches into a bullshit spiel in an attempt to PULL US INTO THE FOG of their illness so that we doubt ourselves. They turn the tables and portray THEMSELVES as the victims, to the point where we can no longer see the forest for the trees.

        And so we stick around.

        WHY does the borderline do this? Well . . . the first answer can be, ‘WHO GIVES A SHIT, JUST DUMP HER!’ The second answer could be that in her terror of being abandoned, the borderline attempts to pull us into her FOG so that we can’t see which way is up. In this FOG, we are much more susceptible to our OWN emotional bullshit taking over and squashing our CORRECT instincts . . .

        . . . which, in the case of my story, is that the woman behaves in an UNACCEPTABLE FASHION towards others and lacks basic emotional control.

        It’s the borderlines way of saying, ‘I’m not the problem, YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE ARE THE PROBLEM!’

        Again . . . complete bullshit. And boy, are borderlines good at it!!

        It helps to look at things in terms of metaphors. (I’m an artsy-fartsy type, so this is natural for me.)

        – FOG: what the borderline pulls me into so I can’t see the truth.
        – HOOVERING: a borderline’s attempts to try and suck me back into her life.
        – CHAOS: the borderline’s unregulated emotional chasm.
        – RECYCLING: the make-up/break-up cycle one inevitably falls into with a borderline.

        When I look at things in terms of metaphors, it’s easier for me to ‘see’ them. It’s almost like I have a PHYSICAL sense of being pulled into the FOG. I have a clear, mental picture of my borderline ex firing up a vacuum to try and HOOVER me back into the relationship. I have a vivid image of standing on the edge of a dark chasm that represents the borderline’s unregulated emotional chaos. And I have a Technicolor picture of me falling into that CHAOS to be consumed by illness.

        But . . . I had to get RIGHT WITH MYSELF first. I had to learn how to trust and respect my instincts. I had to learn how to stand by my own truth and REFUSE to be pulled into the fog. And finally . . . I had to learn how to RUN, NOT WALK, when I confronted with a person who cannot accept the truth.

      • OC said

        I just wanted to say I’ve noticed the same thing. Just got split black by my second potentially-BPD partner and it was far less devastating, even though it still feels like someone has carved a hole in my chest and taken a part out.

        As an aside, SD, is your email address listed anywhere? I’d like a safe and less public space to explain things, vent, bounce ideas off someone else who has been there. I think I emailed you and we talked for a bit about five years ago, but here I am, back again.

      • savorydish said

        Sorry, I got rid of the email account. It was too much to juggle.

      • OC said

        No worries, friend. I’ve posted my story other places and have been leaving bits and pieces around your comments section πŸ˜‰

        Be well.

    • Love it. Borderlines do indeed seem to have uncanny abilities of sniffing out those with compromised boundaries. Being in a mutual, reciprocal and healthy relationship, by contrast, makes borderlines and their behaviors that much more repugnant and apparent.

      jhan1969, I can tell, has been in the trenches — great posts!

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