Hi all. I am hoping to get some insight, advice, anything on this. Sorry for the long post, it has helped to get it all down.
My mum had various physical health issues, as well as Bipolar disorder and alcoholism. She struggled for the best part of a decade with this and repeatedly tried to take her own life. The last two or three years she would end up in an alcoholic coma for a week or so at a time and would stay in hospital for months. She would come out of hospital and the cycle would start over again. We got used to her pulling through, and we knew she would never stop drinking. We tried everything to get her to stop but she just had too many demons. On my Mum's last visit to hospital early last year, we were told she was in end stage liver failure and was about to pass away. So despite her long term battle it was a severe shock when my mum passed away just a few days later. I later found out from her hospital notes that she had known for months that her life was coming to an end but had not told us. My mum had already slipped into a semi-conscious state when we got to the hospital, so we didn't really get to say goodbye.
The odd thing about my family is that despite her problems, mum was the centre of our universe. Each of us, my Dad (who was still married to my Mum after around 30 years together) my brothers and sister, still loved Mum. She was an absolute nightmare, our personal adult lives were falling apart. She could be absolutely vile to each of us, but we leaned on one another for support and were mostly very close. It is worth pointing out that Dad actively encouraged this undying loyalty, we were very much lead by example.
Recently, almost a year to the day of my Mum's death, Dad decided to join a dating site. He did not ask me or my brothers and sister our thoughts on this. Rather he decided to call and drop it on each of us, with different reactions all round. I stewed on it for a few days and started a calm discussion which turned into a huge row. He didn't understand what the issue was, and tried to justify it by saying it could take a year for him to actually find anyone he wanted to meet. We didn't talk for days.
Despite the row, two weeks later he called to say he was going on a date. We are now three weeks after this first date and he is spending four nights a week with her and staying over once a week. He has been spending as much time as he can with her since day one. I can't bring myself to call him, he doesn't call me, he sends a text to check in every few days. He knows what the issue is but he is determined to plough on and is clearly smitten with this woman. On the odd occasion I have bumped into him from seeing other family members, it is awkward and I can't look him in the eye and leave devastated each time. I feel so angry and betrayed. He apologised initially for signing up to the dating site without speaking to us but this apology means nothing because after he found out myself and my brother were not ready for it, he was still pursuing dates.
Initially I was upset because this was too soon, to see a woman with my Dad where my Mum used to be. Now it is just as much about my Dad's decision to pursue a relationship knowing it would devastate me and my brother. I realise to many people this will sound incredibly selfish, and you may say he is likely lonely and deserves to move on, especially after what we actually went through with Mum. But I can't help but feel that as a father, he could have managed just a few more months of being a little bit lonely (his whole family are constantly around him) and given his adult children the time they asked for to get their head around the idea of him dating, and avoided the upset.
It's like he is a completely different man and because of the way he has done this, I resent this woman before I have even met her. I am not ready for this, especially not for the pace it is developing at. This is not an easy thing to consider but I am so upset and betrayed by him I have considered cutting off contact completely. I cannot see a way forward with this new Dad who doesn't consider his family's feelings before making huge decisions a year after the death of their mother after the hell we went through. Our relationship feels ruined and I can't see a way back.
If anyone has been through something similar and can offer some advice or guidance I would very much like to hear from you.