Author Topic: Anyone have a SPIR father?  (Read 2157 times)

stratozyck

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Anyone have a SPIR father?
« on: March 08, 2017, 08:49:21 AM »
I am unsure of what to do about my smartest person in the room (SPIR) father. He is near retirement and I am 33, married, and have his only grandchild.

Since I was a child I knew something wasn't quite right with my father. People simply could not stand him. When I was 21 and visiting a local (to where he lived) career fair a stranger saw my name tag - I have a unique last name - and came up to me and shouted "You are BLANK's son? Tell your dad I said F- you"

I actually told the guy I understood and no hard feelings. Trust me - by the time I was 21 I began to realize that the way he treated us wasn't personal - it was how he treated everyone. He wasn't a bad father, but he was not aware how much he put those around him down.

People with SPIR syndrome ruin their relationships very fast. They will try to dominate every conversation and insist they know what they are talking about. For example, I am a PhD economist and my father is very definitely not. His views and opinions on economics were disproved with Adam Smith well over 200 years ago. Yet still, my father will "debate" by saying "you are too young to know any better."

He does this to everyone - like I said over the years I have learned it was not personal. I can only imagine the things he said to his coworkers. I heard some versions of his work stories from his point of view and often was thinking "yikes I am a teen and even I know that is a pretty messed up way to treat co workers." I had a teacher in high school that used to work with him and he told me to tell her she was a "crappy scientist." The next day I went to school and apologized to my teacher and assured her I was not like him.

Oh yeah my dad is a rocket scientist and in his mind people should worship him. I learned he is racist - against the human race. He treats every interaction with anyone he meets as an opportunity to prove that he is smarter than them. If he says something obviously wrong and you call him out on it he cannot handle it and resorts to personal insults.

For instance, when I was 10 and he offhand mentioned the population of Japan was 76 million people. Being a social studies nerd I knew it was much higher than that (he was probably going off what he vaguely remembered as a kid). I countered that it was 126 million (I forget what it was when I was ten) and showed him an reference. His response was that I didn't know what I was talking about and the book was obviously wrong.

So yeah, the point of all that was to illustrate what we are dealing with here. He is getting older and his children are kindof slinking away from him - myself included. He has no friends and is obviously very lonely and depressed. He has a mail order Chinese bride (my mother died a while back) because he was angry that American women "wouldn't accept him" (i.e. won't allow him to be a general douche to them).

He's become incredibly racist. I don't mean to bring politics in it but yes, he is now circulating fake news stories and has been for at least 2-3 years. Several years ago he picked a debate on econ with me (I try so hard to avoid this but he says stuff that is so obviously wrong) and I referenced several Nobel winning economists. His retort was that they were wrong because they were Jewish. He then went into a tirade about how they are part of some Jewish conspiracy to destroy the west.

I told him after that if he ever wanted to talk to me again, he needed to stop that immediately. I told him that I was offended that he went to Catholic mass to worship a Jewish guy but was saying crap like this. Time passed and he basically stopped talking about much with me (which was great) but he was trash talking me to my brothers. I don't know why he would think they wouldn't tell me.

I am about to the point of saying "you know what? forget this guy." I don't want to limit access to his granddaugther and I don't mean to sound like I am cutting off contact. But since a convo we had a few weeks ago I have not called. I won't get into it but he said things that very definitely crossed a line. He insulted my deceased brother (his son).

I forgive him for all that - I see him as a truly lonely and desperate man that sees people fleeing him in his life and his only recourse is to double down on what he thinks gets people to like him - by trying to show how "smart" and politically incorrect he is.

My question is (finally, I know), should I confront him about this? I want to say something like, "Look dad, I am worried about you. I don't want you to end up old and alone because this is the path you are on."

He will retire soon and I fully see him being 100% loud racist old man. The times we go out to dinner at restaurants he says racist things in public in such a way that people near us can hear. I won't repeat them here but it breaks my heart nonetheless.

Any thoughts? I don't know what to say but I do also know that it won't work as I plan. I've cornered him before on things (like racism) and he always acts like a beat puppy initially and then will deny he ever was racist or ever said things. He lies like crazy to protect his ego.

Kris

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2017, 09:05:53 AM »
I think you should say to him what you quoted.

Look at it this way: there is absolutely nothing to lose.

And there might be the tiniest bit of something to gain.

(I'm always so surprised that people like this manage to procreate. Your poor mom... ugh.)
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MandalayVA

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2017, 09:15:18 AM »
This was my dad.  I didn't speak to him for the last three years of his life.  I felt much better for it. 

How is he around your daughter?
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Chris22

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2017, 09:30:51 AM »
Not father, but father in law, and not quite to the extent of your dad, but still pretty bad.  He was a successful business executive, now retired, and thinks that makes him smarter than everyone else in all facets of life.  He has obnoxious habits like if you're ordering, say, a sandwich, and he's nearby, he'll interrupt you to clarify the order with the guy behind the counter ("yeah, turkey and cheese sandwich with- " "he means cheddar cheese"). 

And because he had an administrative assistant and staff for most of his career, he thinks people around him exist to serve him, and what he has going on is always the most important thing.  He'll frequently offer "help" that isn't help and then act offended and childish if you turn it down; let's say you said you were going to go buy a computer on Saturday, he'd say "well, I'm busy Saturday, but if you go Friday I'll come with you and help you pick it out" and then you'd say "no thanks, I'm busy Friday, don't worry about it" and he'd get all upset about you turning down his help that you didn't want or ask for in the first place, and by the way would be inconvenient for you to take: "Well okay fine if you don't want my help I guess I won't go!"  WTF?

He also assumes everyone around him is incompetent; when we bought our first house I had to install the mailbox since it was new construction.  I dug a hole, filled it with concrete, and put a 4x4 in the ground.  Later he offered to come over and help me with it, I said I had already done it.  His response?  "Well, when it falls over let me know and I'll show you how to do it the right way."  Hey, fuck you, how about that?

Mostly I deal with it by avoiding the old fucker.  I think he's starting to get the hint, since I haven't seen or heard from him in a while.  My wife and I married young, and I think he still sees us as people he has to raise and nurture, not as people who have lived basically on their own for nearly 20 years (I'm 35, moved out of my parents to go to college at 18) and don't need his "guidance". 
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FIFoFum

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2017, 09:45:28 AM »
Why do you want your daughter to have to engage with someone who is so unpleasant?

You do not "owe" it to your father to let him have relationship with his grandchild, and you can choose to engage/not engage. If he says something bad about Jews, say "I can't talk to you when you are disparaging Jews. Goodbye!" Hang up the phone, leave the space.

You are not doing your daughter any favors by making her engage with someone who is awful to be around.

You control the interactions here. Set boundaries. Realize you will not convince him he is wrong, so don't even try to debate/discuss facts.

I highly recommend you read Captain Awkward for dealing with difficult family members.
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golden1

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2017, 10:00:01 AM »
Sounds like a textbook narcissist.  My step father was one - diagnosed with bi-polar and narcissistic personality disorder.  Like your dad, he eventually alienated everyone around him.  He is always right, always the victim, and is just extremely belligerent and anti-social.  He was also highly intelligent and a successful attorney for many years.  Eventually, after years of verbal abuse, my mom saw the light and divorced him.  His own biological son severed contact.  Last I heard he had found (suckered) another woman to marry him and is in Florida. 

You can't change someone who is incapable of admitting they are wrong about anything.   I understand not wanting to cut him off from his granddaughter, so maybe just keep it to structured limited contact.  If he says something racist, just say "I am not going to have this conversation.  Call me when you are done."   In order to change (and this is very unlikely) he has to hit bottom and be rejected by everyone. 


stratozyck

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2017, 10:33:48 AM »
Wow thanks for the replies! I will check out that book. I won't cut off contact in a dramatic way because I don't think that is right. The strange thing about his racism is if you actually corner him and say, "hey I mean, really? do you really believe that?" he will walk it back. I don't think he knows what he is doing. He also has a very big ego that is stretched so thin that it might break at any moment and I don't want to be the cause of that.

I am so glad my dad never had an executive assistant! The story about the cheddar reminds me of what my dad does when someone orders diet coke at a restaurant. He overrules you and goes "he means Coke." Ordering a diet soda is an affront to him.

The rest of the story is a lot worse. I did not share it because I do not want to vilify my father but it might shed light on what brought this on. Again, I am not trying to make this political and everyone has every right to vote however they please and believe in what they please and you won't get judgement by me.

My brother died 15+ years ago and was a part time worker and student, living with my dad. He had some mental health issues but I think in the long run he would have been ok. In short, he got sick slowly over about 9 months and died. He had no health insurance and my dad never took him to the doctor. It was a benign brain tumor that could have been removed and he wouldn't have even needed chemo. It was my first year away from home and for a while I blamed myself because I knew he couldn't be trusted to take care of a goldfish.

The breaking point for me was when a few weeks ago he was doing a victory dance about Obamacare being replaced. Again, for the record - if you are for repealing it, keeping it, whatever - I am ok with that. But what I asked him point blank was, "don't you know that if it had been in place in 2002, he would have had insurance under your plan because he was 25?"

He responded by saying it was his damn fault he didn't have insurance. That really irked me because as I said, he was mentally ill enough that in hindsight, he needed some help even if he wasn't physically sick. I can't diagnose someone, especially someone that has died, but I believe he was mildly schizophrenic. When he got physically sick my dad told him to wait to see a doctor until he got insurance for him. It never happened.

Now all that, I know, its infuriating. Especially to me more now, as a parent. I couldn't imagine going to  bed and waking up every day for 9 months knowing she is sick and not doing anything about it. Even if she were 25 or 4 or 97. But to me the kick in the crotch was he decided to add in a lie. He said his boss at work offered him insurance 6 months before he died but he declined it.

That was one of those whoppers he loves to tell to protect his ego. Its like someone haphazardly tossing chairs in front of someone pursuing them. Why is it such a whopper? Because my brother was paid in cash. His employer was a small mom and pop shop that he worked at since high school and they did not do social security or any of that mess. It was all off the books. The idea that they would suddenly offer him health insurance is laughable. Also, he was sick 9 months before he died, they would have denied him as a pre existing condition in all likelihood even if somehow he did have some mom and pop style insurance plan.

He's fine with my daughter. He's not that into kids to be honest and I think the idea of her appeals to him more than actually her. They live 3.5 hours away and visit sporadically.

debbie does duncan

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2017, 10:33:58 AM »
Your father is a narcissist. He bullies others to get his way b/c this is what he grew up with.
 Narcs never change, they will always bully you , it is all they know and it works for them.
 You need to learn to protect yourself and kids around this person.
 You need to learn to say NO.
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I no longer speak to my father.
 While everone around me thinks it  is harsh, my life is so much better not having nasty people in it. Just b/c he is your dad does not give him the right to abuse you or your kids. LC is good.

MandalayVA

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2017, 11:03:04 AM »
He's fine with my daughter. He's not that into kids to be honest and I think the idea of her appeals to him more than actually her. They live 3.5 hours away and visit sporadically.

I was also unfortunate in having a SPIR as a father-in-law, and the thing about liking the idea of grandchildren rather than the grandchildren themselves was very true with both my father and him.  My response when I was asked why I didn't want to give either of our fathers more grandchildren was "between the two of them they've got nine they're ignoring now." 

Your father isn't going to change, and to be honest he's probably going to get worse as he gets older.  If he's not that close to your daughter now, he never will be.  Our society is steeped in "family above everything" and therefore excuse horrific behavior with "but it's my (whichever family member)!"  If he wants to stay in people's lives, he's going to have to do the work himself.  You're not responsible for his actions or his happiness. 
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Lis

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2017, 11:08:56 AM »
One of your concerns is you don't want to cut him off from his granddaughter. Is that for his benefit or hers? I'm going to make the assumption that it's a bit of both and offer you the perspective of a granddaughter who grew up with a not so wonderful grandparent (grandmother, in this perspective).

When I say grew up, I mean that my grandparents lived about 30 minutes from us, so we saw them pretty regularly. My grandmother was many things... withholding, emotionally controlling and abusive, unkind. She drove away many family members (her eldest son and his children, her own sister, who we briefly reconnected with years later). I have a vague memory of how 9 year old me would never be as smart as my 4 year old cousin. My dad (middle child) was the dutiful son and would drop whatever he was doing to help her out (lots of emotional abuse and withholding as a kid, came out many years later). I remember thinking, at a very young age, that I didn't like this woman. She disowned and "reaccepted" us so many times through out my childhood that I've lost count - the longest stretch of time was when my dad's younger brother (who was far worse than she was... verbally abusive, physically threw things at his nurses, kicked my father once). We didn't speak to her for a long time, and I was actually relieved (I was a youngish teen at the time). Sometime during my teen years, I admitted to my mother that I didn't like grandma and I felt horrible about it, and it was a grown up conversation between the two of us (my mom didn't like my grandmother either).

By the time I was 18 and in college, I put my foot down and refused to visit. My dad played a major guilt trip on me... partly because "duty" runs deep and I "should" want to visit my grandmother, and partly because I think he wanted to do the same, but again, "duty." She passed away a few years ago, I didn't visit her in the hospital and I don't regret that. I attended her funeral to support my dad (who was feeling all sorts of things), but that was it.

I tell you this because I get the sense that the "duty" to have a relationship with your father, and that your father and daughter should also have a relationship. You don't mention how old your daughter is, but even at a really young age she'll be able to tell that your father is a negative person to be around. At best, she just won't want to be around him and will just be annoyed, but being around someone like that can really negatively impact her self esteem, her ability to communicate what she wants, her self confidence. She'll be able to pick up on your reactions too - if you cringe when you have to talk to him, or are in a bad mood afterwards. Kids are really intuitive - she'll figure out one way or another that being around grandpa = not happy times.

As far as your father not wanting to end up alone... you can try talking to him, but this was a lifelong habit of his that he's not going to just break in his 60s. A wake up call (like limited access to your daughter) could help, but even then... I'm sorry, I'm not convinced it'll help. My grandmother died alone and it was the happiest she could be, because she could lament to whatever spirits that her family was awful and abandoned her and woe was she... Good luck!!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 12:59:56 PM by Lis »

golden1

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2017, 11:21:44 AM »
I totally understand not wanting to sever contact totally, and unless you have been there, it is hard to understand.  You will know if and when you are ready to do that.  I am horrified about what happened to your brother though.  That is nothing short of monstrous. 

Maybe visit r/raisedbynarcissists - it can be therapeutic to realize that you aren't alone. 

stratozyck

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2017, 11:30:10 AM »
Wow - these stories are really helpful. I do not think my dad is full on narcissist - I think he truly wants people to like him and in his mind the way to do it is to show up and try to make everyone know how smart he is. He is smart about physics of course.

I maintain contact  because most of the time it isn't this bad. Most of the time we talk about once a week and I can tell he tries to avoid the things that push my buttons but eventually cannot help himself.

And also, this is how I look back on it - I am thankful for this experience. Early on I was subjected to one of the most difficult people I have ever met in my life. Years ago one of our neighbors came at me while I was walking the dog and was wildly accusing me of stealing his cats. Ten minutes later he was inviting me in his house for a beer.

While I didn't strike up a long term friendship with that guy (that was pretty nuts), having dealt with my father for so long gave me an extra tool set in dealing with people that I do not think I would otherwise have had. I wouldn't trade it in because I can say at 33 I am who I am today in large part because of that. Because of him, I take extra careful effort to not be like that. I make it a priority to listen to others' opinions and show respect for others regardless of my knee jerk reaction. I take extra caution to tell the people in my life (the lady behind the register I see daily or a coworker) that I respect them, either directly or through actions.

Dicey

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2017, 11:32:49 AM »
Not my dad, but my brother. I used to really enjoy his company. He's in the wine business and has slowly become a functioning alcoholic who is the classic SPIR, with only occasional flashes of the sweet kid he once was. It makes me sad just to put this into words. I'd avoid him completely, but I like his wife and daughter. And hell yes, I feel empathy for them. Now, at family gatherings, which he often hosts due to central geography, I try to keep as much physical distance between us as possible and do not engage him.

He is heading toward your Dad's path with fierce determination.

Remember the Serenity Prayer? Make it your mantra and keep a safe distance from his toxicity at all times. He will not change, but he also will not break. Your job is to accept that he is who he is and to protect yourself and your family, using any means necessary. Sad, but not a situation you are responsible for, nor is it in your control. It is also beyond your scope to try to "fix" him. Your highest responsibility is to your child, your spouse and your self.
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hoping2retire35

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2017, 11:38:27 AM »
Your first duty is to your daughter. Be a dad and ignore yours.

Seems like these threads come up everyone once and a while and I always wonder, especially my own situation, if once they have been put in their place can some time with an occasional visit take place? Is there some way to break them so they can at least be civil for a few hours once a year or whatever?

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2017, 01:32:04 PM »
I'm so sorry for this. The story of your brother is heartbreaking.

I'll echo what others have said. Your obligation is to yourself and daughter first. You do not have an obligation to participate in a relationship that has abusive elements. The comments at the end of your initial post about lying remind me of gaslighting (look it up if you are not familiar with the term).

It is acceptable to set firm boundaries with people and let them know what will happen if they are not respected... and it is okay to follow through on that. That has its own set of difficulties, but if a person has so little respect for you that they cannot respect your boundaries, then you don't really have a reasonable relationship with them to begin with. Be willing to extend an olive branch if they show willingness to change, but you are not fundamentally responsible for his happiness or how he leads his life. It sounds like he has his own issues, but absent demonstration of willingness to change, you shouldn't allow yourself to be dragged into that more than you want to be.

Lis

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2017, 01:40:27 PM »
It is acceptable to set firm boundaries with people and let them know what will happen if they are not respected... and it is okay to follow through on that.

Amen to that! Jumping back in - if you're looking for ideas on how to set boundaries and how to convince yourself that it's okay to set boundaries, check out Captain Awkward's blog (captainawkward.com). Lots of good scripts on what to say... to him, to others, and to yourself.

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2017, 06:28:37 PM »
Seems like these threads come up everyone once and a while and I always wonder, especially my own situation, if once they have been put in their place can some time with an occasional visit take place? Is there some way to break them so they can at least be civil for a few hours once a year or whatever?

Some of my siblings claim to have 'broken' (using your term) our awful, abusive parent. They say this parent can now manage not to engage in abusive behaviour for a few hours at a time, a few times a year, sufficient for the occasional pleasant visit.

It doesn't matter to me - I have no interest in any level of contact. But it suggests that it may be possible.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2017, 07:12:46 PM »
He sounds like an ideal candidate for the comments section of Yahoo Finance.

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2017, 03:06:52 AM »
My FIL is...difficult.

We had no contact with the family for many years as my husband and his father had a falling out. After about 10 years my MIL got in touch and invited us for the holidays. FIL had given his permission that we could be there. We'd had three children in those 10 years. We learned over a few visits that we needed to teach our children coping strategies to manage visiting my FIL. We also need to run interference and ensure we are nearby to protect them from some of the worse parts of his personality. And we need to make sure they have a chance to debrief following visits.

HTH.


MayDay

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2017, 04:30:58 AM »
He's fine with my daughter. He's not that into kids to be honest and I think the idea of her appeals to him more than actually her. They live 3.5 hours away and visit sporadically.

I was also unfortunate in having a SPIR as a father-in-law, and the thing about liking the idea of grandchildren rather than the grandchildren themselves was very true with both my father and him.  My response when I was asked why I didn't want to give either of our fathers more grandchildren was "between the two of them they've got nine they're ignoring now." 

Your father isn't going to change, and to be honest he's probably going to get worse as he gets older.  If he's not that close to your daughter now, he never will be.  Our society is steeped in "family above everything" and therefore excuse horrific behavior with "but it's my (whichever family member)!"  If he wants to stay in people's lives, he's going to have to do the work himself.  You're not responsible for his actions or his happiness.

IMG, this so spot on for my FIL. I never thought of him.as a narcissist, but he's definitely selfish in general.

But the if fake interest in the grandchildren followed by ignoring them if we actually get together is maddening.  I think he thinks they'll be fun once they aren't little kids, but I'm already seeing that they aren't interested in him as much anymore since he isn't interested in them.
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Tasty Pinecones

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2017, 11:43:06 AM »
My FIL is...difficult.

We had no contact with the family for many years as my husband and his father had a falling out. After about 10 years my MIL got in touch and invited us for the holidays. FIL had given his permission that we could be there. We'd had three children in those 10 years. We learned over a few visits that we needed to teach our children coping strategies to manage visiting my FIL. We also need to run interference and ensure we are nearby to protect them from some of the worse parts of his personality. And we need to make sure they have a chance to debrief following visits.

That is what we've tried to do. We taught our kids to be more perceptive of the family around them while trying to maintain their ability to trust another person. It was important to us to help our kids avoid self-doubt b/c it is too easy for an adult to criticize a child too often, fail to effectively encourage a child or misuse a child's trust and adoration to bolster the adult's ego.

Its important not to be naive around people just b/c they are family. People have quirks to be sure. Took me well into adulthood to see my family's problems objectively. Once I did I was much more satisfied with myself. My stress went down and I was less manipulated by other people close to me. I put certain people at arm's length and had a better relationship with them for it. DW and I also resisted the guilt and "duty" that other people tried to lay on us for not allowing those other people to manipulate us.

I finally had a couple of family members spontaneously reveal that their perception of certain family members to be the same as mine which is a big thing with a family that is as secretive as mine. I don't know why family can't reliably treat other family better than they do. 

MayDay - its like the the grandparents want the adoration but not do the work to build the relationship. My kids are on spring break this week. Think either set of grandparents picked up the phone to invite them for a few days of fun? Nope. Not in several years in fact. When our kids did go the grandparents complained that our kids are bored and criticize the things our kids do to entertain themselves like watch too much TV. Time is running out to build much of a relationship. My kids are happier to sit in their own house and waste time, more variety of activities at our house.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 11:50:05 AM by Tasty Pinecones »

hoping2retire35

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2017, 11:54:28 AM »
What is 'SPIR' by the way. never could find it. Google just thought I was misspelling spirit.

golden1

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2017, 12:09:36 PM »
Quote
He sounds like an ideal candidate for the comments section of Yahoo Finance.

OMG.  What is up with the people on that site?  I had an article pop up in my feed, and I made the mistake of reading the comments and...yikes.  There is a LOT of anger in those waters. 

MandalayVA

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2017, 12:14:25 PM »
What is 'SPIR' by the way. never could find it. Google just thought I was misspelling spirit.

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hoping2retire35

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2017, 12:18:12 PM »
What is 'SPIR' by the way. never could find it. Google just thought I was misspelling spirit.

Smartest Person In the Room.

oh, definitely have some of the those around.

Scandium

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2017, 10:52:23 AM »
So is your name Eric, Barron, or Don Jr?!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump#Family


...sorry.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2017, 11:03:28 AM »
So is your name Eric, Barron, or Don Jr?!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump#Family


...sorry.


Ivanka is that you? Or maybe Donald Jr. ;-)
..

Sorry Scandium, Spartana beat you to it :-)

rocketpj

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2017, 11:16:06 AM »
So is your name Eric, Barron, or Don Jr?!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump#Family


...sorry.

Or Ivanka.  I have to admit I was thinking the same thing.

More seriously, I have some experience with utterly dysfunctional people (I work in behaviour management).  Assuming you want to maintain a relationship of some kind - family is what it is after all - then I can make a few recommendations.

1.  Put some time into preparing and defining some very clear, simple, boundaries and expectations.  Also define what will happen when he crosses them.  E.g.  When he insults you or your brother the conversation is over and will not resume for 2 weeks, no exceptions.

2.  Pick a time to have that conversation with him.  'Brace yourself, but I want to have a relationship with you and this is what that will take.'  If he escalates end the conversation and tell him that you will talk again in 2 weeks (or months, whatever). 

3.  IMPORTANT.  Do not let it become an airing of grievances.  Make it solely about what the conditions are to build and maintain a healthy relationship with him.  The past is the past, and he will likely try to take your conditions and reinterpret them as accusations.  If he starts turning it into a fight or trying to redirect it onto you, cut it off.  This is not about airing grievances, this is about care and love in the future, full stop.

4.  Be consistent, and be prepared.  If you tell him that a racist rant means the end of a visit, then that is what it means.  Even if it is Christmas day and the turkey is on the table, you have a backup plan and a place to stay (or whatever).  Or a place for him to stay if he is visiting. 

I work with extremely difficult people all the time.  Experience has taught me that only consistent, caring and clear expectations will work, if anything.  Caring is the key element - not starting big fights or revisiting old grievances, rather just being open and honest about what you expect and will accept.

Good luck, it isn't easy.

golden1

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2017, 11:40:19 AM »
Honestly, I really don't think any of that will work if you want to maintain a relationship with this type of person.  He is going to insist on absolute control and authority in all aspects, because he likely can't tolerate a relationship where he doesn't dominate in some way.  He will likely just get angry when you try to have the conversation, but be unable to apologize or reconcile because in his eyes, that means losing face and status, which is unacceptable. 

It is excellent advice for most other people however.

Scandium

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2017, 02:25:36 PM »
So is your name Eric, Barron, or Don Jr?!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump#Family


...sorry.


Ivanka is that you? Or maybe Donald Jr. ;-)
..

Sorry Scandium, Spartana beat you to it :-)

Ah crap. I skimmed but didn't see it.. I does sound alot like POTUS. Maybe OP's father should run in 2020. There's apparently a market for SPIR spewing bullshit..

Louisville

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2017, 02:34:57 PM »
Your dad is mentally ill. Flat out delusional. So, treat him as such. What would you do/how would you treat him if, instead of the racism, SPIR, etc, he was insisting there were talking blue unicorns in his house? 

rocketpj

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Re: Anyone have a SPIR father?
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2017, 03:36:25 PM »
Honestly, I really don't think any of that will work if you want to maintain a relationship with this type of person.  He is going to insist on absolute control and authority in all aspects, because he likely can't tolerate a relationship where he doesn't dominate in some way.  He will likely just get angry when you try to have the conversation, but be unable to apologize or reconcile because in his eyes, that means losing face and status, which is unacceptable. 

It is excellent advice for most other people however.

It presupposes that he wants to maintain the relationship as well.  If not, then there isn't much to be done.

The key is for him to believe the boundaries are real and impactful.  Which probably means following through a few times.