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Emotionally Abusive Father
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Emotionally Abusive Father

Should I feel guilty for not liking my father?  He is so emotionally abusive that I can't stand talking to him for more than a few minutes at a time, although I'm not sure if he understands this.

I guess I should start by going through what makes him such a difficult person to get along with. As long as I can remember he has been putting me down constantly. If I'm enjoying something he looks angry and insults me. For example he hates that I enjoy cooking and yells at me when I'm looking at a cookbook or searching for recipes on the internet. If I cook something he refuses to eat it, or he'll take a bite and throw the rest away. He hates that I'm a music student as well, and demands that I stop playing or listening to music that I enjoy when I visit his place.

I have back problems that prevent me from lifting heavy objects or performing any strenuous tasks, and he makes fun of me for that as well!

These are just a few problems. He's also very racist, and is always trying to find me and say horrible things about other races to me when he knows that I don't like it. He's also sexist, and bigoted towards homosexuals. He also smells very bad because he only bathes once a week.  When I visit his place, he'll try to spy on me when I'm talking on the phone, or search through the guestroom where I stay at when I visit.

I just don't understand why he keeps trying to talk to me after I made it clear that I really don't appreciate his comments. There are other things too.. some really hurtful things he's said, but I won't get into it.

How do I let this go? And how can I avoid him without appearing rude?
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13 Comments Post a Comment
1325032 tn?1274801606
I have a father thats exactly the same. He acts like the world and everyone in it should bow down to him and his opinions.
Hes always negative, jealous at anyones accomplishments, and will drag you down any way he can if he sees you happy.

The only way I was able to deal with it was to avoid him....COMPLETELY!

I was getting nothing positive by being around him. He wasnt supportive in anyway, didnt make me feel good about anything and generally was just mean. What way can you benefit by being around someone like that?

You dont deserve to be pulled down along with him because he has issues.

You said that you dont understand why he keeps talking to you, when you made it clear you dont appreciate his comments?  Thats great for him, he likes seeing that he's affecting you and getting a response. So the more you show you dislike it the more he will do it. Its sick though thats how some people get their thrills in life.

Parents are meant to be supportive and loving, NOT what you have stated above.

I recommend avoiding him, and not worrying at all about being rude......hes not concerned about being rude to you is he?

Good Luck, and I know how hard it is. Honestly its better being without someone like that around, they cause way to much emotional and mental stress and thats not healthy.

Look after you first! :o)
1280188 tn?1313082063
  He's got personal problems. And you will not be the one to solve them. It sounds like a classic example of taking out his own frustrations on someone close to him. Significant relationships, like parent-child, are never all positive nor all negative. You've made it clear that you don't appreciate his comments; he knows that what he is doing is not good. I believe that at this point the only thing you can do is search for the good qualities in him and communicate that. It may well take a Herculean effort, but it is worth it.
  I have had similar issues with my mother. I was realizing all kinds of things she had done that negatively effected me in the 18 years I was at home. It was (and still is) so hard, but I have made a point of thanking my parents for the good things, counting my blessings. They visited for a week not too long ago and it was the first time we didn't argue and the first time I wished they would stay. It's taken several years to get to this point.
  In addition, I made sure to always have a legitimate excuse for escaping when I felt my patience deplete. I might start every conversation with some variation of "I only have a minute to talk." I have to keep the conversations positive, and man is it hard sometimes.
  I like food. I'll try what you cook.
535822 tn?1443980380
Because he is a relative doesnt mean you have to be part o0f listening to his nasty words , so avoid seeing him much if he asks why be honest tell him you dont like the way he speaks , his racism , he is the one with the problem but you are the one who is enabling him to speak like that by being around him.Tell him you wont be seeing him until he stopped this demeaning behavior and mean it ...good luck
757137 tn?1347200053
There is no law that says you have to like your parent.
1332471 tn?1275516487
Just because he's your father doesn't mean you have too put up with it, i read that a person had wrote about not seeing him till he changes his behavoir... Well i agree with this, why should you worry about seeming rude! He doesn't care about being rude! so if i were you in that situation i would say that if they cant be decent enough too me then they wont be seeing me untill they change there attitude... But thats just what i would say :(.. You dont deserve too be treat or spoken too like that... No bodys does really i wish you the best of luck in what ever you decided too do :) and rember its not you with the problem its him.
13167 tn?1327197724
I think you need to realize that your dad isn't a positive force in your life.  Move on.  

I think often adult children are stuck in the whirlpool cycle of But I WANT a good dad,  (or a good mom) and they just refuse to believe that they don't have one.  

I think you should say out loud,  several times,  I don't have a good father.  My guess is this will be very difficult for you to say forcefully.

Best wishes.  You don't have to give him one more moment of your time.
1633478 tn?1300384269
My dad is an emotionally abusive control freak with a short temper and very little patience, if any at all. I'm 43 years old, and because I am developmentally disabled, autistic, and live at home with my parents because I require living assistance, my dad thinks he can do all the thinking for me, limit my freedom, and punish me/threaten me with punishment if I do or say anything that he doesn't like or if I say no to anything that he wants me to do. And if he sees me enjoying a hobby that I love but he simply refuses to understand or support, he will ridicule me for it and do everything he can to try to limit what I can do with it. For an example, ever since I was a kid, and for as long as I can remember, I've never lost my passion for baby dolls. Now, when I was a kid, of course my dad supported me playing with dolls because he knew and understood that it was something most little girls did, so he was fine with it at the time. But now that I'm an adult, collecting and playing with lifelike newborn baby dolls has become a hobby that I enjoy and am very passionate about. I started this hobby back in the fall of 2007, and I do not want to stop doing it just because my dad thinks it's ridicules and a waste of money. Well, since I'm an adult now, he thinks I shouldn't be doing this (even though he seems to have no problem with treating me like a kid and limiting my freedom), so even though he says he doesn't care if I have dolls, if he saw me holding them or doing anything with them, anything at all, he will ridicule me about it to himself (without actually confronting me about it, but I can hear him ridiculing me nonetheless). So, to the person whose father yells at them for taking an interest in cooking, I can relate to you in a way, because my dad doesn't want me doing anything that makes me happy, either, unless I'm involved in an activity that he likes to do, too, like watch NASCAR on TV (which I am a very big fan of, and he totally supports my love of Dale Earnhardt Jr because I also support Kevin Harvick, who is my dad's favorite driver). So, in other words, emotionally abusive fathers, especially those who are control freaks, are supportive of you, I guess, only as long as you do what they want you to do, are supportive of what they like, and you make every effort you can to try to be that so-called "perfect kid" that they want you to be (meaning, you give up trying to be yourself and try to conform to what your dad wants you to be, while hiding everything you enjoy from him that he hates so as not to set him off). But if you are a non-conformist like I am, and you really don't care what your dad thinks of you because you know you do not deserve his treatment of you, then he will make your life a living Hell for you until you finally move out to be free and on your own. I am currently working on leaving, so if everything works out for me (and I believe it will), then I can't wait to get out of here!

P.S. My dad used to sexually molest me, too, but that ended many years ago. He hasn't touched me like that since. He is still a jerk and scum of the earth, and I hope he burns in Hell for all of eternity for his treatment of me. I HATE HIM!!!
1634952 tn?1302243973
Hi, I don't like my dad either....It's been an uphill fight for me all my life...UNTIL I DECIDED THE HILL STOPPED GETTING HIGHER. I have chosen to change that uphill walk and make better choices for myself emotionally & physically. Here's where I started....and sadly enough-My dad's been at a loss for words (too bad for him) BUT KNOW, the silence is so much more PLEASANT than his biting-cold words. I'll never hear them again b/c I DECIDED ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH. Good luck to you, and do what works for you, what's best for you, AND WHAT MAKES YOU feel better & good about you. Love yourself BEST and FIRST. Anna

Dear Dad,
      If I cry over you now, It has to be for a REASON I decided was worth crying over....You are NO LONGER permitted to DEGRADE ME, DISRESPECT ME, OR TALK DOWN TO ME- NOR SHAKE A FIST IN ANGER at me. I've had enough, I've spent far to many years, trying to figure out "What the hell was wrong with  me."
     One day I was talking to you about problems with my own daughter, you looked at me so angry and pissed and said this to me and, I quote you word for word., "Anna,what makes you think you can control her any better than I controlled you?" Dad, that stumped me and left me pretty damned speechless. It hurt me to see such raw anger in your blood shot eyes.And for the first time in YEARS I saw some REAL EMOTION from you. I sat in silence and wondered to myself....Just how the hell does he think you MUST CONTROL another person?
   You can NOT control me anymore. It stops here. When you said that to me, about my very own daughter. I thought about that for 3 days and truly couldn't see, how I was supposed to  have CONTROL over one my own that way, teaching her to fear me instead of "showing her a better way". And that is when it dawned on me Dad, that you still had control over me. I still bawl and hurt and carry this anger.I have no respect for you, or the way that you think. I CAN NOT NOR I WILL EVER, teach my kids that kind of love.You have nearly ruined a once blind love,with all the malice and anger-the spent tears from me crying  over you hasleft me empty and an emotional disaster!
   I can still hear your voice, I SEE that look in your eyes. I remember your hands, all balled and fisted. Isn't that lame? I can't even recall what it's like to be hugged by you. I surely can't remember being soothed after a whipping! But you know what I remember MOST OF ALL? Those hateful -cold,  hurtful words.
     I will always hear them Dad, as if it were yesterday.The bruises healed up and they are gone away. A few scares remain-not that you know that, it's an emotional pain. They are wound tightly around an innocent child's heart, permanently rooted...in my 35 year old heart, From so long ago. It is still hurting and pounding, I'm not sure it will ever stop...
    I hope you take this with you Daddy, Now and forever like I did AND STILL DO, EVERY ONE OF those mean nasty words. Try to remember how you never heard me scream back! And PLEASE.....STOP ASSUMING I'M ASHAMED OF ME  and MYSELF! You were the very one who taught me,to never, no matter how much I hurt.  SAY ANYTHING YOU CAN'T TAKE BACK! sorry doesn't fix it-not that you've ever tried (at least I don't recall seeing you cry- like me). I'm not GUILTY, I NEVER WAS.
   Never once did I turn your malice around on you. I stood before you-too little and afraid. When I got older I did that  the very same way. Well maybe by then, there was 1 slight difference...I KNEW I NEVER WANTED TO YOU HURT YOU THAT WAY. So instead I hung my head and took it all in. Up until 6 months ago, I even blamed myself dad. Strange don't you think....I'd never think it was okay, to talk to my kids and hurt them that way. But it was always okay for you to do this, it was the only way I knew.The way for me.I learned it all from being controlled by the best. How to hang my head down, accepting this mess. I will no longer be controlled,feeling  guilty as hell! It's a little funny that when I was child, how could I ever have made you this angry.........NEVER not once did I back hand you,or speak out of anger and leave my mark on you.
   I won't do this anymore, allowing you such control. It has to stop, there's not very many reasons to continue this fight! I have an urge controlling me, telling me to to walk away from this mess! To continue on with my life, for once being IN CONTROL of the way you impact me and affect my life.
   Dad it's important to me that you know where I stand now.I still love you and need you, because you are my dad.. I will always miss you and want you to be part of my life. But I can't let you hurt me any more. I never want to see those "Mad As Hell Fire Red Eyes" turn on me-because STILL I am not good enough or you don't agree with me. There WILL NEVER be another emotionally charged thing come from your mouth that will ever REACH MY EARS AGAIN. Remember Dad, I'm in control of me.
   I am afraid of really "feeling" and having to figure out, how to sort out this mess..
   But I know where I have to start! I learned how to love me and nourish this heart that you nearly broke,and maybe just maybe, sometime-when you no longer have desires, to cuss me and degrade me, or raise your angry fists at me, we can start over again and make a new start.      

    And who knows Dad, maybe Next time around, I can teach you how to be a little ... MORE LIKE ME! Forgiving and loving...leading by example.

                                       With all my love and prayers,
                                                             Your Daughter,
Avatar m tn
Okay.  I've had abuse and family dysfunction too. Before you get too hast and end up hurting yourself, please listen.  You can't force anybody to change if they don't want to.  You can't fix them either.  All you can do is better yourself and your own situation.  The best way to do that is to stop engaging in useless confrontations with your father.  They only cause you stress.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results.  So in order to break the cycle, you have to do something different.  Go to a therapist and talk.  You'll be surprised how much talking to someone who actually listens and offers advice can help.  And don't be frustrated if progress is slow at first or the therapist isn't for you.  Look for a better therapist if that's the case.  It's all up to you.  You can make it better if you want.  Take Care.  
Avatar f tn
I totally agree with this response. I cant believe that such warm loving people can actually have a parent that is nothing but emotionally abusive their whole lives. My father terrorized my mother and grandparents and one of his ex wives committed suicide due to his abuse. He is now married a fourth time and his wife is a wingnut also. We are taught that we should honour and respect our parents, but that is extremely damaging, when some parents have NOTHING that is remotely honourable. We desperately WANT a loving parent, so we acquiese to their needs to our detriment. I have suffered low self esteem and depressions due to my one parent. Now that Im an adult, I have severed the tie and it was the best thing I ever did.
Like Dr. Phil says, "you have to RISE above your raisin'"........you owe that to yourself.
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