I'm not a minor anymore and I now have my own place away from my parents and I am financially independent but whenever I go home on holiday, I need to face these issues with my father.
My family has always been very patriarchal, as my mother doesn't work so my dad gets a lot of leverage solely on deciding on how our household's money is spent. Moreover my mother is a very passive person and fully believes in traditional gender roles. I might add that we are not religious nor are we from a religious culture.
My father is overly sensitive and does not tolerate any opinions different from his own. When I try to voice such opinions, even on matters that are trivial and don't involve me or my family at all, my father easily gets irritated. He is incapable of having a discussion, he immediately becomes emotional, starts shouting and either calls my mother and I stupid, says things among the lines of us not entitled to contradict him or not knowing what we are talking about (to put it nicely). Then he might smash his fist onto something and storm out of the room.
This has gone to the point that I am now afraid of saying anything that might disturb him.
I am afraid of asking him to drive me somewhere, as the last time I did this, instead of just saying no, he threw a tantrum. We live in a secluded area so driving was a necessity. I have a driving license, but I am never allowed to drive our family' i.e. his car.
I looked up what it means to have an abusive father to make sure I am not exaggerating and I came across this list, taken from http://outofthefog.net/Relationships...hildAbuse.html
'Examples of Paternal Child Abuse
Did your Father:
Discount your thoughts, opinions and contributions?
Perceive his wife/children as his personal property, to command as he wished?
Disrespect family members
Treat your mother as less than an equal partner?
Avoid participation in family /school functions?
Usually put work and his own interests ahead of those of the family?
Make promises, only to routinely disappoint?
Was he aggressive or abusive toward family members?
Need to be right / in control at all times?
Were you ever “disowned” by your father for disappointing him?
Shame you privately or in front of others?
Was he there for his family and friends when they needed him?
Embarrass you, humiliate you or ignore you?
Ever abuse you - psychologically, verbally, physically or sexually?
Blame his failures on others or make excuses for his bad behavior? '
My father has done almost all - if not all - of these.
Especially discounting my opinions, not treating me and my mother as equals, rage episodes and putting other interests or other family that he has before my mother and I (even though I am his only child). Also blaming me and my mother for asking too much of him and for making his life difficult.
Granted, he's not been physically abusive but when I see him becoming agitated and screaming and throwing stuff around or hitting stuff with his fists, I do have an instinctive fear that things will escalate, even if they haven't so far.
He also has a problem with alcohol, though he's violent when he's sober anyway. When he gets drunk he will usually fall asleep on the dinner table and then I don't know how to act towards him to wake him up to of fear of how he will react. Will he feel insulted or ashamed of himself and take it out on me? Will he think I am judging him and start shouting? I need to wake him up because it has happened for him to fall from the chair like this so I'm afraid that he might hurt himself badly, as the floor is really rigid and if someone were to hit their head on it from that height it could get really nasty.
And that brings me to another aspect of it.
I am painfully aware that my father is ageing and that his behaviour is destructive and extremely dangerous for his health, considering his age. I am also saddened by the fact that maybe I am not spending enough time with him and I don't want to even think of the time when I will regret this. I want to take care of him and I want him to be in good health for as long as possible but it is impossible because he takes any suggestion as an offense.
He seems to think that any difference in opinion equates a personal insult to his judgement, and audacity on my part to think I know better than him.
Obviously the solution of communicating is not applicable here, as he refuses to communicate. I don't really know what sort of advice I am seeking out here, perhaps someone else sharing a similar experience might be useful and/or make me feel better.
It is calming to have written this down.
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Verbally abusive father watch
- Thread Starter
- 08-01-2015 03:12
- 14-01-2015 15:25
That is typical of people with depression. Very difficult to handle.
Unless he is helped by a psychiatrist or therapist, I'm of the opinion that you should come to the realization that no matter how hard you try, he will nullify your efforts.
Stay emotionally detached from the situation. Stay physically away. Keep in touch via greeting cards, words of encouragement & care, but stay emotionally detached.
If he asks for help, give it but don't expect much gratitude.
This way, you stay honourable as an offspring and helps you to feel good about yourself. Your father has no grounds for complain, so it does not worsen the situation, and your self esteem stays intact.