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my dad is so mean


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My dad is completely inconsiderate towards my (or anyone else's) feelings. Let's just take tonight for instance, when I asked him for help with my finances. Rather than helping me, he criticized me, telling me that I should 'pick up a book,' and that the tv show that I watched today is turning my 'brain into jello.' Now, not to sound conceited or anything, I am an intelligent woman with a well-paying job. However, I just got out of college last year, so I'm still learning the ropes in regards to dealing with finances. I just can't believe my dad can be so callous and so critical. I flipped out and let a few f-bombs fly because I was so hurt. I feel like he's just too lazy to help me with anything and he's just criticizing me as an excuse.


I hate my dad! He's always putting me down and I'm sick of it.

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Rather than helping me, he criticized me, telling me that I should 'pick up a book,' and that the tv show that I watched today is turning my 'brain into jello.'

Yeah, that wasn't helpful. Maybe he was covering for feeling like he wasn't up to teaching? I've done a lot of tutoring and family phone "tech support," and it can be pretty trying.


I flipped out and let a few f-bombs fly because I was so hurt.

I know you probably don't want to hear this, but that sounds like an overreaction. I know that I probably wouldn't have any desire to help you in the future if you did something like that to me. I have a hard time with it when someone is merely rude to me when asking for help in a forum, let alone serious swearing in person.

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Godless_Heathen: My dad knows a lot about finance so he could have easily assisted me. However, he just doesn't want to because he never wants to help with anything.


I realize that I shouldn't have cursed. However, I don't deserve to be treated so poorly by my own father. I mean, I am a pretty sensitive person to begin with so OBVIOUSLY his comments were meant to hurt my feelings. The kicker is HE DOESN'T CARE. When he knows he's upset me, he just goes about his business like nothing happened. It's SO FRUSTRATING and CRUEL. It's like he's devoid of a sensitivity chip.

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If this is something your dad does often, then I understand your reaction and I don't think you were overracting. I say this only because I've been there. My dad treated me this way my entire life. And I ended up going through a long phase of depression and low self-esteem because of it. When this kind of pointless criticism comes from someone you love, it can be hard not to believe it sometimes.


I would try just sitting him down and talking to him first. Apologize for yelling and cursing at him, and then explain to him how it makes you feel when he does this to you. He might not even truly realize that he's hurting you.


Sadly, this approach might not work however. When I tried this with my dad, he just kept up his same old actions, telling me that I was "overreacting" and that I was just too "thin-skinned" and "weak." In the end, I just had to stop talking to him for a while.


So if you try this and it fails, you might just need to cut off contact with him for while. I went through countless arguments with my dad trying to get him to understand how things made me feel. In the end, I had to just not talk to him for a while. I was still in college when I did this, which my parents were paying for, so I even went so far as to turn down his money so I would no obligation to keep in contact with him. I took out loans to finish school and I didn't have any contact with him for almost a year. In the end, that's what it took. He realized that if he didn't make a better effort, he might risk not having me in his life at all. We don't have the perfect relationship now, but we're getting there. And in that year away from him, I managed to pick myself back up, get over my depression, and raise my self-esteem because I was finally in a place where I could just be myself without being put down and picked on all the time.


I understand how frustrating it is, and how much it can hurt when someone who is supposed to love and support you is constantly putting you down. What your dad may not realize is that the way he treats you does hurt you. So I would really try talking to him calmly and rationally and seeing where that gets you. You're a grown woman and you shouldn't have to put up with treatment like this from anyone especially your own father.


People who haven't been through this cannot possibly understand how devastating that it can be or how much it can hurt you. Your parents should love and support you and be there for you, not put you down for no reason whatsoever. So for anyone here, telling you that you're overreacting, just ignore them. They can't understand. I used to get that all the time from my friends. They would constantly tell me to let it go or get over it. But they didn't understand how hard it is to move past it.


I swear, it's like I wrote your post myself.

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sleeptodream: Wow, it sounds like your experiences parallel mine. I have thought about how my self-esteem issues/depression might stem from the relationship that I have with my dad. It is hard not to take his comments personally and to believe some things he says.. no matter how hurtful/untrue they may be.


In the past, I have tried explaining to him that his insensitivity towards my feelings hurts. However, it doesn't sink in. It's just a repetitive cycle that continues, no matter what. I've also taken the ' ignore him - don't speak to him ' approach too, but I always end up just forgiving him and then going back to speaking with him. I used to apologize time after time (after convincing myself that I was to blame for everything - which is a bunch of bull). I really do think it's time for me to cut off contact with him at this point.. and possibly move out.


The thing that gets me the most.. and hurts/angers me the most is his ability to just go about his business like he did absolutely NOTHING wrong. His ability to just act as though NOTHING transpired. Literally, moments after the argument ends and I go in my room, I hear him laughing and talking about sports or something else.


I could die tomorrow.. and it probably wouldn't affect him one iota. He honestly NEVER shows any emotion. I really think he is devoid of it...


I agree with you in that your parents should love you and be there for you and be critical of you. I realize that I have made mistakes and acted disrespectful towards my dad on numerous occasions. However, the reason is because it's a REACTION to the disrespect that he dishes out. He doesn't care about my feelings... which hurts.. and so I have lashed out. However, I think my new approach will be to stop talking to him. I really think the only alternative I have at this point is to move out.


Thanks so much sleeptodream for your support. I really needed it.

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My dad knows a lot about finance so he could have easily assisted me.

I wasn't questioning whether he understood the subject. I was wondering how much patience he has for teaching. It can be frustrating, particularly if you're an expert on a subject, and your student is struggling with really basic concepts. The "go read a book" response sounds like a guy who has no patience for teaching at all.


You really have no idea what he's thinking. To take an example at random, he could think you're smart enough to figure this out on your own, but "too lazy" to do so. People who are particularly good in a field sometimes have trouble grasping that it isn't easy for everyone.


If you've had a history of bad interactions, his "go read a book and stop watching that stupid TV show" may be a reaction to your last response to him. It doesn't matter if he started it in the first place, you're in a feedback loop where you are each striking out at each other for the last slight.


I'm operating under the assumption that he's rational and angry at you inside on some level, rather than just irrational and hurtful for no reason. Because in the latter case, there really isn't much you can do about it.


I do understand how very, very frustrating it can be to deal with someone who does you real injury, and doesn't acknowledge that they're doing anything at all wrong. I had an abusive mother. Not at the broken bones level, but bad enough. When I was in my early 20's, we had a talk about it, and she hadn't a clue why I was so angry, or why I didn't want anything to do with her. She was just "being a parent," in her view, and had nothing to apologize for.


So my emotional response depends on whom I use to model your father. If he's normal but maybe a little closed off, a little alienated from you, maybe he's not so bad inside, and the situation can be salvaged. If he's like my mother... eyargh. It upsets me thinking about her even now, and she's been dead for 9 years.

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my dad did the same thing. he would put me down for no reason and then go back to his business. or sometimes, shortly after making me feel like crap he would come up and try to hug me or something and then not understand why i refused to hug him.


the thing is, your dad probably does really love you. he just might not know how to express it. now that my dad and i are talking again, i see that he really does love me. it was just so hard for me to see that in the past. i felt exactly the way you do now--that if i dropped off the face of the earth, he wouldn't care. oddly enough, it took me practically dropping off the face of the earth for him to finally start caring enough to try and make things better.


and what godless_heathen says about her mother applies as well. after my break with my dad, when we finally had a real talk about it, he basically said he didn't understand why i always got so upset with him. that was just his way, and he honestly didn't understand that not everyone was like him. it might be hard for him to understand why you're so upset, because to him, he might think he's just being a parent.



i also understand about going back to him. i did that many times before i was finally able to do it for good. it's a hard thing to do. you feel guilty for wanting to cut him out because he is, after all, your dad. and after a while, you start thinking about all the put downs and start to think that maybe it is all your fault after all, even though it isn't. but it's hard not to think that when it's what you've been told your whole life.


moving out is probably the best option at this point. you said you have a well-paying job, so if you can afford it, i would recommend getting your own place to put some distance between the two of you. that alone might help the situation. and if it doesn't, well, then moving out will make it much easier for you to ignore him and restart your life without him hanging over you all the time.


but definitely, the first thing you need to do is get out of that house. he needs to learn that he cannot continue to treat you this way and expect you to just take it lying down.


i would also recommend, if you can afford it, seeing a therapist. not because there's anything wrong with you (there isn't), but because it might help to have someone to talk to who will really understand what you're going through. i know that therapy helped me immensely. i couldn't really talk to my friends, and therapy was just a way for me to vent my feelings and have someone there to look at my situation objectively.


if you are interested in therapy and can't afford it, some colleges have free counseling programs and so do some churches (it doesn't matter if you follow their religion or not). since you've recently graduated from college, i would check with your school and see what benefits they offer alumni.

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Godless Heathen: The fact that my dad immediately started criticizing me, rather than providing me with any assistance, does demonstrate his lack of patience. I rarely ask him for help because I'm so used to this response. However, it was an important matter, so I thought I'd try. Unfortunately, I got shot down as always.


It could be that as we've had a history of bad interactions, he was belittling me out of hurt. I don't know. One thing I do know is that I've been hurt more than he during these interactions..


I completely understand everything you're saying. I think my father is normal and a little closed off/alienated from me. However, I honestly don't believe our relationship can be salvaged. Someone that ridicules me without remorse, and laughs at my feelings, is not someone I want in my life.


I can't speak to him about how I feel because he doesn't listen. He doesn't understand how he's hurt me, nor will he ever.


Sleeptodream: I do believe that therapy would help. I'm currently looking into it. I just feel like my dad is one of the reasons why I am so self-defacing at times. I'm extremely hard on myself and a perfectionist.. and I know it stems from being belittled by my Dad.


The sad part about this whole situation is that my dad believes that I am to blame for all of this and that I am the one with the problem, not him. He is just so oblivious to how he acts. He's so extremely judgmental and critical and does not realize it.

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metrogirl-- I was asking him to show me the ins and outs of my finances. Not asking for money.


Oh......Ok well that changes my perspective on things. As a parent I assumed you were asking for money and he flipped.


His reaction seemed over the top to me.....Has he been under a lot of stress lately? Do you think that maybe you just caught him at a bad time?

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He's not under any stress. Maybe I caught him at a bad time, considering he was in the middle of watching a hockey game. However, I still didn't deserve the 'you need to get a book on finance and stop watching ---, because your brain is turning into jello'. The last time I checked.. watching a hockey game was no more educational than watching a reality show. Of course, since I flipped out out of anger/hurt, now the tables have turned and my mom and dad think that I need to apologize.


I was just reacting to what was said to me... and out of resentment for those other times that we've had similar interactions. My dad clearly thinks in a male chauvinistic manner.

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