Dealing with my Dad.
Hey guys, it's me again.
I have honestly never written down about this before, but I think it would do me well to do so, I guess... I am sorry if this gets a little long.
Most people can't really understand my life, they think that because I have a house of my own and material belongings I should be happy nonetheless.
The past couple years have been the worst in my life, everything's just been getting worse, I think.
My Mother is the most calm person you'll ever see, she barely answers when you talk to her, she never gets involved in anything that happens or tries to do something to prevent them.
My Father is a normal person who works and all, he's really nervous all the time and gets stressed a lot at work. He takes his anger out at us, everyday.
I have a brother who is 25 years old and was the main target of his anger during most of his life, but he's gotten a good job recently, and he's not at home mostly during the day, so now there's someone else who has to deal with things.
Me, I am not your average 18 year old girl, I suffered bullying for 9 years, which stopped 2 years ago. I do not go out, I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I don't go have sex with strangers, I find it very difficult to make friends and socialize, I feel like ever since the school bullying stopped 2 years ago (I changed schools), the bullying started at home.
During the past two years I lost the two closest friends I've ever had in my life, long story short, one of them got brainwashed by her boyfriend and moved on from me, the other one just didn't get along with me because I was too weird for her, got rid of me quickly.
One of the problems I have at home is that, my family (at least my mom) is very, extremelly organized. So when you leave something out of place, you better put it back where it goes, and quick. If I don't do this with my stuff, it will lead to my dad breaking it or throwing it somewhere.
This one time I left my art class wood board against the wall in bedroom hall upstairs, I was in the middle of a League game so I couldn't go and put it back in place, while my dad was yelling at me angrily to go pick it up, it ended up in him just throwing the case with the board and all my art supplies in it, down the stairs.
He has choked my brother before because of him mumbling things, or straight came into his room and snapped his big headset into two.
He's always threatening me of throwing my laptop (which I bought with my own money) out the window if I don't stop using it so much.
Fights with him can start as easily as me waking up for lunch on a normal day and forgetting to say hello to him.
He also yells at me because he thinks my hair looks ugly, or because I have a bump in my face some other time, or because I peel the skin from my fingers and lips (out of stress), or because I spend time at home in my pajamas.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a bad child... I barely failed one subject in my life, I never dropped out of school, I am about to finish high school and I am heading to art college. (we have free education in my country)
My father starts yelling out of nowhere because he gets the thought we're mocking him with some face expression we did not use. As usual we try to prove him wrong, leading to him yelling at the top if his lungs "DO YOU THINK I'M STUPID? EVERYONE HERE THINKS I'M STUPID. YOU'RE BOTH A COUPLE OF SNEAKY UNGRATEFUL BRATS, I'M NOT STUPID."
Whenever my mom tries to calm him down, she gets yelled at too, until he finally cools down.
Just today, we had a fight at home because he was complaining about my mom listening to the radio downstairs very early at morning, not letting him sleep. My mother claimed she waken up at 3 by him yelling at her to SHUT UP in his sleep, and mumbling other complaints. My mother is a very light sleeper, so she had no choice but to get up. He denied all of this and went crazy once again screaming "I DIDN'T DO THAT, YOU'RE CRAZY, YOU SHOULD GET YOURSELFED CHECKED AT. YOU THINK I'M STUPID?"
Ever since I lost my friends I've had no one to talk about this to but my aunt, who helps me a lot, but I've recently stopped talking to her about my problems. Why? Because she tells my dad about it. And he gets even angrier, and treats me badly for looking for comfort.
I am a very sensitive person, I must say I cry very easily when treated badly. Although, my parents, specially my dad, think I always over react things. Whenever I am upset about something, they get mad at me, my father always comes up with the "You know what? You deserve everything bad that happens to you" thing.
He yells at me because I don't dress like a pretty girly girl, because I don't go out, because I play games all day, because I don't get out of my room.
Honestly, I don't get out of my room because I want to avoid my family as much as I can.
I really... don't know how to explain all of this anymore. I must be over reacting maybe, I know things could be worse. But I think I've received enough verbal bullying over the past 9 years, to start dealing with it at home.
Maybe things aren't as bad as I think they are, I've started practicing self harm this year because of this and other many things, but I am trying to stop.
I cannot fight back my father, he just gets louder and more agressive, it gets to the point where he threatens to hit me, or slaps me really hard, grabs my arm really hard or hits me, or pushes me. That's why I don't fight back anymore.
He tells me I have to shut the hell up and respect him, but how can I respect him when he treats me so poorly lately? Either way I have to pretend to, or else bad things could happen.
I am just tired of the constant yelling and complaining every day, it always puts me in a bad mood and I start my days in a bad way, I am tired of the whole situation. Sometimes my dad is just happy and proud of me, then later that day he's yelling at me and telling me how I am a retarded child, he claims we use this house as a hotel, or even regret having children sometimes.
Did I mention how he does most of the things he yells at me about? He leaves his stuff all over the place, eats and doesn't pick up anything. But you can't tell him this.
I just don't know how to deal with this all, it's starting to affect me greatly, and I don't really know what to do...
I would recommend family therapy and something for himself, but he seems way too stubborn to accept it and would probably start questioning if someone tries to see a specialist >_>
He needs some anger management.
Perhaps make a recording of his outbursts and show him one day.
You can't do anything about him.
Just do your best in school and whatnot and hope that you'll be able to move out soon.
Thank you all so much for replying to me, and yeah, I don't think he would agree to visit any kind of teraphy, he's never wrong and we are.
I am planning on moving out during the middle of my university time, hopefully. I am just looking for a way to cope with all the emotional damage I've been getting lately.
Use college to your advantage. You will be able to find a few "weird" friends. They should give you a reason to spend time out of the house. Also join a club or two there. If you really have issues socializing put on a brave face and expect the worst.
Maybe even take some initiative to improve your relationship. Find an interest in one of his hobbies or do something fun every week or two. Try and take him out of the house.
But yeah he seems a bit nasty I am not sure how to make him accept who you are.
Also I find if a parent wants you to do something (like study extra hard) and they constantly chastise you about it... Your stubborn instinct kicks in.
But continue to be yourself, it should come naturally. :)
Insanely long post, but I think it's necessary. Since nobody really seemed to know what to say or how to respond.
It's too confrontational IMO, it would go badly for everyone involved. Your dad doesn't seem like the person who can accept criticism lightly or even the notion of being secretly filmed.
As for therapy...that only works when a person acknowledges that they have a problem and is willing and committed to change.
I'm sorry to say this....but I don't think you can rely on your mother. She seems to be a very passive person or very intimidated by your dad (and can you blame her?). She seems to have accepted this unacceptable situation and is instead working around it. Nobody's perfect, I'm sure she's doing the best she can to cope. Such as not giving your father an excuse to get angry by being a neat freak? Even though ideally as a parent and mother she should be stepping in and defending you and your brother, even if it's coming from another parent... So yeah, don't wait for your mother to take action. Be realistic, if she was going to, she would've done it by now.
If you bite back/blow up at him the situation may escalate, become hostile and even more unbearable.
Don't try to defend yourself, you'll just fuel the argument. No matter what, you won't win.
You can't reason with a mentally unstable, stubbornly irrational person who refuses to see reason. It'd just be a exercise in futility.
Abusers (your dad) will often try to belittle their victims into believing they are simply being over-emotional, too sensitive, or are cry babies.
In other words, the abuser is trying to convince the victim that they ARE the problem and there is NO abuse going on here. But think about it, this is not normal behaviour.
You have to learn to not let your father's harmful words and actions affect you. This involves changing the way you think and react.
Don't let him convince you that he is in the right. What he's is doing is Verbal and emotional abuse.
Verbal Abuse can be just as harmful or even more so than physical abuse.
It damages self-esteem, makes the victim feel stressed, small and worthless.
There are degrees of severity, but it is, what it is. Abuse!
Try to imagine his words are like water, and they just slide off you. Like water off a duck's back.
You hear his words but you do not accept them. They're just noise.
That is assault, a punishable offence by law. Doesn't matter what country you live in.
If it gets really bad, to the point you fear for your safety. Please, call the police, I beg you!!! This is not acceptable behaviour, coming from anyone! You might be afraid of the repercussions from calling the police, but I think I'd be worth it. If you do happen to do that, tell them that you need an alternate place to stay because he might try to retaliate.
Also, if he grabs you, slaps you, hurts you in any way and it leaves a welt, red mark or bruise. TAKE PHOTOS.
Your best option is to move out. ASAP. I don't say this lightly btw, and I know it waaaaay easier said than done. But I think you seriously need to do it, the sooner the better.
Being constantly subjected to verbal and emotional abuse and the threat of physical violence hanging in the air...?
That's no way to live happily or grow up to be an emotionally well-adjusted person. You must be incredibly stressed and miserable as well, having to tip-toe around this person at home all the time. The one place where you should be able to be relaxed and comfortable.
You and your brother need to formulate an escape plan. There may come a time when your dad boils over and living with him becomes even more unbearable. Although I think you should have moved out yesterday.
Ask yourself, "Do the cons outweigh the pros? Do I benefit more by staying or going?" They feed, clothe and provide a roof over your head, etc. But in the long run, is this situation going to help or hinder you? What with your dad chipping away at your self-esteem with his verbal pick-axe, slapping you around when you get "out of line".
Perhaps it is time to move out. It's easier if you guys stick together, it helps that your brother already has a well paying job?
Most schools have counsellors, which are usually obligated to keep what you say confidential. Unless they believe your life is in danger.
Make an appointment, explain the situation; how you're being subjected to emotional and verbal abuse by your father at home. To the point where it is so bad, you employ self-harm as a coping mechanism. Also the part about your dad choking your brother... Yume's suggestion of video taping your dad in a tirade would help here. That'd be undeniable physical evidence.
They should be able to advise you on the avenues and options available to you. In terms of financial support and housing.
There must be programs in place for young people who can't live at home. I don't know what country you live in, but in Australia for example they have Housing commission (where the Government gives you a place to live), Rent assistance for low-income earners, Youth Allowance, financial assistance for young people who study. etc~ There must be something for you!
At the end of the day, it boils down to you summoning up the courage to take charge and help yourself. I know it's incredibly hard but you need to do it, for yourself. You shouldn't have to live this way, your brother too.
If you do nothing, then the situation will never change
Keep in mind; We cannot change others unless they want to change. We can only change ourselves.
Oh, Michiko, I really do feel your pain. I really do. My dad has tendencies like yours as well (though they aren't as bad).
I've actually coped with it over the years by locking myself in my room similarly to you. Although, it doesn't do much (seeing as you know that already). I suggest what you could do is get a job. It might make him stop complaining about you being in your room, as well as get out of the house more. I find that leaving the house actually calms me down because I can get away from everything. Plus, you can earn some extra money~
Or, if you don't want a job / don't have time, or whatever, just try getting out more. I don't mean like go to parties or try to hang out with people. Just get up and walk out the door. Go for a stroll somewhere. If you can drive, go drive around. Volunteer to do groceries. 'Cause really, getting out of the house makes you really think about what's happening and your choices. Also, you could melt and weep and cry all you want in a car without anyone questioning you. Crying actually helps a bit, as you can let your emotions come out freely. Of course, please don't do any self-harm. I've seen it done, I've thought of doing it, and I've done it before. Even if you think you feel better from it, nothing gets better. You're just doing more harm to yourself and you aren't making the problem any simpler, either.
I agree with Esperetta in that you should move out as soon as you can. Get away from that house every single fudging moment you can. The less you hear your dad yelling, the better for you. I also agree that you shouldn't take to heart what your dad tells you, because really, verbal abuse is just that. It's verbal. There's no proof to anything unless he has physical proof of it (is how I always thought of it). But don't tune him out; do that, and things get messy. Fighting back and/or crying won't help either, so just bear with it. Don't look at him, focus on something else near him, so that he doesn't yell at you for not paying attention or anything stupidly irrational like that.
Lastly, I beg of you for this, do not argue back. As you've said, when saying something to disprove your father, he seems to get even angrier. Please, just let him blow out his original anger and then leave. Just that. Do not say a word unless spoken to, that's my rule of thumb. Don't say anything.
I don't have much more advice to say before it starts rambling, but I will say this: Work just a bit longer, and soon, you'll be out of that place. At age 18, I'm sure you can move out / have some sort of freedom.
Oh my goodness, thank you all so much for taking the time to answer this. ;x;
Don't get me wrong, when I mentioned about my father being physically agressive, I didn't mean as it being abuse that occurs frecuently, more like when a parent hits a child when they're bad (that's what he's always done), except for the fact that his child is not a child, I am 18 now. I just now that if I keep fighting back during these situations it can get physical, because it has happened before, slapping, grabbing, hair pulling, etc, so I just try to avoid it.
About moving out and college, there are some things I didn't mention, I live in South America and things are a little too different here ;x; dorms do not exist, college is just like any regular school, and moving out and living on your own is REALLY expensive.
I am starting university next year, and for now I am planning to move out in the middle of my career, kind of 3-4 years from now, even my Mom once suggested it herself.
My brother does not move out because honestly he has no sense of the real world, he has a job, yes, but the rest of the time he's not working he's drown in his little loli-anime world. He does not do laundry, does not buy food, does not do dishes, doesn't clean his room, doesn't even know how to take care of his own body or cutting his toe nails without the help of Mom. He's turning 26 this year.
All of your advice has been really helpful, I am going to try my best in not letting his anger get to me and avoid it even more so than I've been trying already, and try to cope with my own emotional scars. I thank you all so much again for responding and helping me. <3 Now, it's really late and I should head to bed!
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