Feeling responsible for unhappy parents

A section on how we were parented and how we parent our own children (where relevant). It is likely that much of the origins of our Limerence start in childhood, this is an important sub-forum.
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selkie354
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:17 pm
Canada

Feeling responsible for unhappy parents

Post by selkie354 »

I think this is a big thing for me. My mom is the obviously troubled parent: total narcissist, but my Dad has his issues too. Just got off the phone, he is always so miserable and always blaming others (mostly politicians) for his problems. When really he does nothing to take control of his life. I feel like when I lived closer I did more to encourage him and keep him on a better track. I also think he did better when he felt responsible for supporting me.
Now that I have moved away and am fully independent he is lonely and miserable and I feel so guilty about it. Both of my parents (divorced) are just so miserable, they have made poor life choices and are dealing with the consequences, but they never do anything to fix them. I know I shouldn't feel responsible but I do. I dread going home for xmas and being exposed to all the misery (covid has been a strange blessing with this).

The other thing about my Dad is I always get the sense he somewhat unsatisfied with me. Always thinks I could do better. I get approval but it is infrequent and is always mixed in with judgement. I now realize this is a theme with my current LO. At times he dissaproves of my behavior, other times he is impressed. Just like Dad. I do stupid things to try to impress him, sometimes they hit and sometimes they don't.
AMA210
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Re: Feeling responsible for unhappy parents

Post by AMA210 »

I think generally speaking, the male LO's bring in a lot of the dad-daughter issues. This applied to me and I was always in the middle between him and my mom, always either as referee or to choose sides, which is an awful position to put a child into.

As a child, I couldn't "save" my dad from my mom's belittlement and control, so as an adult, I tried to "save" LO from it with his SO.
I was always afraid to stand up to my mom, but oddly enough, was never afraid to stand up to his SO. I would get right in her face sometimes and I never felt threatened by her at all. This was like a replay with her as a replacement for my mom.

Now I feel that I needed to do that because it pushed me out of my comfort zone and to stand up for myself.
Never give up! Keep moving forward, no matter what.
Aysheal
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Re: Feeling responsible for unhappy parents

Post by Aysheal »

selkie354 wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:44 pm I know I shouldn't feel responsible but I do.
Hello selkie,

Me too, there are things that I understand intellectually but I react emotionally in the opposite way. For example, my mother has always criticized me a lot and I have internalized her criticism as my “little inner voice”. Often the criticism or demands on myself are very harsh and unfair. I try to repeat to myself that these thoughts don't come from me, that if I had been raised differently my inner voice would be different. It helps me to think about a colleague of mine who was pampered and even worshiped by his parents and who still thinks he's a perfect employee even though he makes a lot of mistakes.
It allows me to distance myself from my thoughts, although the feeling remains the same. I see them as thoughts and not as truths. I feel like it shortens the time I spend thinking about it (but the emotions are still strong).

Sometimes I wonder if my obsession with LO isn't protecting me from these kinds of intrusive and perhaps more painful thoughts (because at least LO fantasies are pleasant, it's not 100% negative)
I’ve been L several times. It didn’t last long bc I got all flustered in front of my LO: it was so unpleasant I quickly got over it. This time, my LO is an actor, I’ve no chance to be in contact with him and the LE has been going on for almost 2 years.
selkie354
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:17 pm
Canada

Re: Feeling responsible for unhappy parents

Post by selkie354 »

AMA - for sure I think we kind of look to replay our relationship with our Dads with our LOs a lot of the time. Starting to realize how much I looked to "LO" for purpose - I wanted to fix him make him happy. Do what I was never able to do for Dad. I always knew this wasn't a smart idea, but now I am really starting to wake up and believe it.

Aysheal - Definitely also struggle with that kind of negative inner voice as well. Both of my parents were very critical. As a child I was always told I was smart and beautiful (two things I couldn't control) but that I screwed it up by getting bad(not actually bad just not stellar) grades and gaining weight (not tons of weight but enough that I wasn't thin). Thing is I was never given the tools like discipline to get on top of both of these, had to figure these out on my own later. While I have done reasonably well at life, I never feel good enough, and still really struggle with self hatred as well.

Interestingly my LO is also kind of critical, he thinks I could be better and gets frustrated at some of my actions. Repeating the cycle again I guess.
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