Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Called, Again?

My dad called me this morning and left me the following message on my voicemail,

"Hey LSV, it's dad.  Um it's been awhile. Just wanted to give ya a call to say hi. Uh i hope everybodys doing good, [wife} I hope she's ok, I hope that uh [daughter] and [son] are doing good, they're getting bigger now. Um I hope things with you are doing good too, um things over here are good.  (garbled) works three jobs now instead of (laughs, garbled). Uh all the kids went and bought a boat now they're restoring it, sort of like a kid family project kinda thing, hoping to have that in by the end of the boating season, so they're all excited about that.  Umm gimme a call back LSV, umm I love you, and I hope things are going great, alright, call me back, alright bye."
And that was it.
No mention of the letter.
No mention that he's going to do anything about the letter.
No mention of anything wrong at all in fact.
Additionally, he called me on my cell phone while I was at work. Granted I've not told him not to call me, and I have picked up whilst at work before. I guess common sense on his part is lacking.
I am now playing with the idea of sending him something in writing, probably an email saying something like, "If you want to communicate with me and my wife further, you will have to do so in writing." I'm not sure if it's worth it though. I've not responded to his request to send my response to his letter via email so "he can better read it". I've not returned any of his phone calls since either.
I just had a thought: it wasn't too long ago that my mother sent her form letter, in what appeared to be a last ditch attempt to reach out. Could be that his phone call had something to do with that, but I doubt I'll ever know for sure.
What strikes me, is the fact that his son poured his heart out in a lenghty response to his letter, and all he could muster was a measly, "I'm sorry you feel that way, about everything". He didn't even try to respond in writing, just wanted me to make it easier for him. Hogwash! Again, I wonder what, if anything, will happen should I send that email to him. Worth it?
Not sure. But, I feel like if I do something like that, it would at least be setting a boundary, something solid, that I can see, that I have a firm grasp of. At least I think so anyway.


  1. I told my NPs I would only communicate in writing and it felt like an amazing weight was lifted. With my NF, I figured at least he can't shout via a letter!!!

    IMO you should send a letter to the silly bugger via courier. You can track it, confirm he received it and impress upon him that the letter is important, all in one fell swoop! In it, you might want to add that until he sends a genuine response to your other letter there is nothing to discuss.

    On the other hand, you have to wonder if it's worth the trouble!

  2. A good article from Baggage Reclaim:

    This was one of my favorite parts:

    " Here’s the thing: Boundaries aren’t complicated – it’s the fear of having and enforcing them that people use to complicate them. They’re natural to many people and a necessary part of life and yet when people become au fait with the existence and necessities of boundaries, it then becomes “So how can I communicate my boundaries? What can I say? How do I make them respect my boundaries?”

    This is where I have to lay it down in simple terms – Stop the frickin’ talking!

    Questions like these are asked because:

    1) They want to communicate the boundaries to someone that doesn’t respect boundaries. Pointless.

    2) They don’t want to do anything they just want say something. Also pointless.

    3) They want to ‘make’ people respect boundaries and they’re likely to be the types of people that they’d want to make love them and make them see their point of view. Pointless – it’s like throwing your energy into the abyss or peeing into the wind."

    In other words, don't bother communicating your boundaries to someone who has already proven he won't respect them.

  3. "In other words, don't bother communicating your boundaries to someone who has already proven he won't respect them."

    Yep, that pretty well sums it up, Jonsi!!

  4. The "let's pretend nothing happened to make it all go away" approach is so frustrating. There is that feeling of having not been heard and understood. I once complained to my counselor that with some people I didn't have to explain my boundaries, and it was great. He gave me that look I hate, the "duh" look, and said, "That's because they're healthy. Healthy people understand and respect boundaries. Setting boundaries are for dealing with unhealthy people."

  5. This is such a personal, painful journey and we're all in different places/spaces. I'd just like to respectfully suggest you ask yourself one question: "Why NOW?"

    Typically, if I sat back and reflected, there was an "agenda." Reacting kept me "in the loop" and off-balance. "Training"-a lifetime of experience, lack of self-confidence initially taught me "I must respond now" which never allowed me the time and distance to truly see the pattern/agenda in which I was unwittingly caught up.

    Sometimes, the best response is none...especially when THEIR response to your heart-felt "putting it out there" resulted in no substantive response from them. Let me clarify this last observation: This is NOT about "tit-for-tat, you did this so I'm gonna do THIS back." Uh, no. Nothing of the sort. About as far from it as you could imagine.

    The reality is, if you're NOT being heard-in writing, you're not being heard. Back away from the drama. Ask the question above and take your time-all the time you need to answer that question to YOURSELF.

    If this is a "Time Limited Offer" (conditional) you'll hear about it, believe the meantime, it isn't all about "them." It's about us too; our lifetime of experience with them informs our thinking/feelings. We just need some time to collect them, wait and watch...

  6. My experience with this pattern is you have some genuine concerns. You expressed them in a letter. You received a one line general apology. They waited and now they want to act as if nothing happened. Consider this... How many times has this scene played out? Is this pattern getting you where you want to be? These are questions I am asking myself so I really don't know the answers. I am just very aware of the question. Good luck.

  7. Ruth - Fantastic questions, I think. I asked some similar ones. "How long do you want this to continue?" Sort of stuff.

    It won't end until someone puts a stop to it, and the man who keeps sweeping everything under the rug and ignoring the real issues is NOT going to end it. It takes a lot of strength to end the cycle of abuse - DH's EF doesn't have it. He also doesn't have the desire or the knowledge to do so.

    It's up to you, LSV.

    Anon - great points as well. "Sometimes, the best response is none...especially when THEIR response to your heart-felt "putting it out there" resulted in no substantive response from them." YES!

    The boundaries have ALREADY been set. Don't break your own boundaries by going back and reiterating them again. You've already made yourself very, very clear.

  8. I'm trying the "respond don't react" tactic with my FOO but, I agree, there does come a time when the "do nothing" option is pretty well all you're left with.

  9. Upsi's imagined letter from LSV to Dad, via email:


    I sent you a letter in the mail a while back, and since you haven't acknowledged that you got it, I'm left wondering if you're ignoring it or truly didn't get it?

    If you didn't, I'll gladly resend. If you did, I'd appreciate your addressing the issues I've raised. I hope we can have dialogue about some of these troubling issues to grow closer, but that can't happen if you ignore what I've said.


    And then one wonders, is it worth it?


  10. you don't need to go out of your way to do something pointless for them. like natalie said, it's true. your boundaries are already there, your self-worth. if they're too stupid that they need you to go over there and s-l-o-w-l-y spell it out for them boundaries, here, b-o-u-n-d-a-r-i-e-s, they're retarded and not your problem. just throw up your hands, call them retarded, and be done with it. it's true. they're hopelessly incapable of comprehending. at this point, i'd be all, i give up! you guys really are retarded! bye!
    (not recommended for actual teaching, kids aren't retarded).

  11. Upsi - Such a tough call. That would be an interesting thing for LSV to say to his EF. Hmm. Hmm. Tough call.

    I'm still leaning towards, "EFIL got it, he's just ignoring it." I think he's being cryptic about it on purpose, actually. If he doesn't just come out and say, "I got your letter" then it makes things a lot more confusing for DH.

    Crap!'s not just the letter that EFIL has to respond to. How about the phone call when I addressed him directly and told him it was inappropriate to be trying to get my husband alone with him and purposely excluding me (like, shady dude). For reference, that was the mess of a dialog (if you can even call it that) when L told me I needed to "grow up" and when EFIL hung up on us after saying, "I'm DONE with you, Jonsi!"

    How about if he grows some balls and deals with THAT?

  12. All very good points indeed.

    I'm sure my father recieved the letter given his "I'm sorry that you feel the way you do, about everything," comment. I think he, as Jonsi said, is being very shady and confusing about the whole thing as a way to make it more confusing for me. He's always had his family there, and it's never included me, no matter how much he tried to say it did. Add to that, his priority list in which I was fourth. Maybe fifth. He's to be a good servant to God first, then husband, then stepfather, then real father. Although, the real father part flip flops with friends, I'm pretty sure.

    I will not be sending my father anything in writing. If he's got any sense to him at all, he'll get that I'm not picking up to talk and he'll attempt to put something in writing. I hesitate to give him that much sense though.

    Fact: my father has "pocket called" me more times than he has actually intentionally picked up the phone and dialed my number.

    Thanks for all the comments everyone, I very much appreciate it.