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Anybody else's siblings not really sad about parent's diagnosis?

theniceone
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

My dad was diagnosed with colorectal cancer last week. We don't yet know how bad it is, but he has had symptoms for about a year. He's lost a lot of weight.

I am the second of 4 girls. My dad changed a lot around the time I was in high school, sort of a mid-life crisis that he never got out of. He checked out of life. He stopped being a dad to my younger sister, and never was a dad to my baby sister. He ignored her. She hates him.

There is quite a variety in our feelings toward him. We all have different temperaments. I am a softer nature. I acknowledge my dad's many many shortcomings and the fact that he is a very selfish and difficult person. But I also have a TON of compassion and sympathy for him, just for the life he has had and now his diagnosis. I love him so much and I have been crying every day imagining him actually dying.

It is very weird to have this experience and feel so isolated from the rest of my family. We are not talking about it. I don't want to talk to any of them because they are not very sad. My older sister says her feelings are "conflicted" and admits to feeling a sense of "hope and relief" because he's a burden to everyone. My mom's anger toward him pours out even as she talks about his cancer. I can't handle it! My anger toward them for not forgiving him or having compassion is overwhelming.

Just wondering if anybody's been through this. I feel very alone.

Alv4969's picture
Alv4969
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 2012

We can't always understand why people deal with cancer the way they do....but from what I know of feelings towards cancer I would say their feelings toward anger and hate are pretty normal. I understand that they feel betrayed by him and maybe they are hiding behind that so they won't have to face the truth. I would say let them be...there is no reason you guys should draw these lines because at the moment you all need each other. They may never forgive your father for what he did but it doesn't change the fact that he is their father and regardless of what he is done there is always hope for people to change. It is your choice to be there and it is theirs to not be....and regardless how it turns out you will know you did everything possible for your family. You will make the best choice for you and they will make the best choice for them...accept it and things will work themselves out.

Cancer makes everyone feel hopeless at some point but it also can bring people together. I personally have never been through this but I hope you realize you are not alone. We are here. I will keep everyone in your family in my thoughts. Amanda

Alv4969's picture
Alv4969
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 2012

We can't always understand why people deal with cancer the way they do....but from what I know of feelings towards cancer I would say their feelings toward anger and hate are pretty normal. I understand that they feel betrayed by him and maybe they are hiding behind that so they won't have to face the truth. I would say let them be...there is no reason you guys should draw these lines because at the moment you all need each other. They may never forgive your father for what he did but it doesn't change the fact that he is their father and regardless of what he is done there is always hope for people to change. It is your choice to be there and it is theirs to not be....and regardless how it turns out you will know you did everything possible for your family. You will make the best choice for you and they will make the best choice for them...accept it and things will work themselves out.

Cancer makes everyone feel hopeless at some point but it also can bring people together. I personally have never been through this but I hope you realize you are not alone. We are here. I will keep everyone in your family in my thoughts. Amanda

Alv4969's picture
Alv4969
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 2012

We can't always understand why people deal with cancer the way they do....but from what I know of feelings towards cancer I would say their feelings toward anger and hate are pretty normal. I understand that they feel betrayed by him and maybe they are hiding behind that so they won't have to face the truth. I would say let them be...there is no reason you guys should draw these lines because at the moment you all need each other. They may never forgive your father for what he did but it doesn't change the fact that he is their father and regardless of what he is done there is always hope for people to change. It is your choice to be there and it is theirs to not be....and regardless how it turns out you will know you did everything possible for your family. You will make the best choice for you and they will make the best choice for them...accept it and things will work themselves out.

Cancer makes everyone feel hopeless at some point but it also can bring people together. I personally have never been through this but I hope you realize you are not alone. We are here. I will keep everyone in your family in my thoughts. Amanda

ketziah35
Posts: 1151
Joined: Jun 2010

I don't know about thst, but my mom went to surgery. My sister and I went to the waotong room and my brother went to Janaica.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I am a 23 year cancer survivor and I have had contact with this type of problem myself actually from my children in slightly different ways but still the essence is the same basically - I feel very abandoned by them and no doubt that is how your father probably feels in his private moments. However, like I said in the title of this post everyone handles the diagnosis of cancer differently and your siblings have had a rocky relationship with your Dad and each is trying to come to terms with this new situation of cancer as they try to navigate through their emotions.

Even if they had a bad experience with their father in their younger years he is still their Dad and whether they know it or not he is still important to them but they need to get over their anger and learn how to work through the anger and pain because in the end they will be hurting themselves if they live with that hate and anger for too long.

I would really hope that they might see the need for intervention at this point and perhaps you could help them see that in offering to maybe go with them to see a good counsellor who specializes in cancer support and healing for the family. I really think that all would benefit because cancer touches everyone in the family regardless of the type of relationship people have with each other and with proper counselling all can come out better than when they went in by experiencing forgiveness and compassion. It sounds like you have a good sense of forgiveness and compassion so perhaps you could lead the way in helping your family to heal together.

Keep us posted.

Blessings,
Bluerose

cindysuetoyou's picture
cindysuetoyou
Posts: 508
Joined: Dec 2009

I don't know what to tell you about your siblings but I really feel bad for your situation. It's bad enough to have to deal with such a terrible situation---cancer---but then to have dissension and discord among your family members...it's like gas on a fire. Your grief must be so amplified. One of the things that brings me so much comfort is the support of my family, and the fact that they are just as heartsick and broken about my son David's cancer as I am.

I do think that the other posters both had good suggestions....to see a counselor that specializes in families dealing with cancer, and also to just let your siblings be. You are ultimately only responsible for your choices and behavior. You just can't make people perform the way you think they should. And you have a full plate already, dealing with your father and his situation.

My heart breaks for you. I hope that you and your family can mend some hurts and come together and help your father. It may seem impossible but I've had God touch my heart and help me get over some issues that I thought would never be healed in my life. And I've seen others have victory over grievous hurts too.

Love and blessings and peace to you,
Cindy in Salem, OR

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