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Abusive, Unhealthy and destructive relationship with Father. Please Help


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I'm new to this forum/site. I have read a couple of old threads on the same topic but I would still like some insight. Thank you for reading =)


My father has always been abusive, when I was little it was only directed at my mother. As I grew up his verbal and sometimes physical abuse, began to shift towards me, although the verbal abusive on my mother never stopped. He always complained about us to his family, claiming we were dirty and messy or disrespected him and talked back. When I became a teenager I started to defend my mother, and I guess this made him turn against me, he once told me I would still be ugly no matter how hard I looked in the mirror (I was trying to decide how to pluck my eyebrows).


I didn't know I had become abusive and had some anger problems until I went away to college and started dating. However, being away made me realise I had to change and I slowly but surely changed my old habits. I became aware of my actions and how everything I say has consequences and can hurt people. I take pride in knowing I have improved although I can do much more.


I decided to move back home after college, for financial reasons. The relationship with my father has deteriorated so much. He is always putting people down, when we're out driving he is always complaining about people like "Come on, walk faster you fat lard", "come on you crocodile (someone who is black) move!". When we're at the store and someone asks "would you like to donate for so and so" his response is "NO! Why would I donate to this?! NO ONE gives ME any money!" its embarrassing. He is always putting me down, saying "How can you not get it? Did they give you your diploma as a gift of what?" He says things to me in order to hurt me, and it does. He has threaten to hit me and slams chairs and doors, to scare me.


I guess the worst part is how he refuses to help me. It has always been like that. When I was a teenager, my mom paid for my clothes, my lunch money, magazines, shoes, school supplies, trips with the school. I realise I am an adult now and have a degree in economics but I haven't found a job yet. When we go out to a restaurant or even Burger King, he only pays for his food. If I need money, for the train for an interview, he refuses to help me and says he doesn't have money, even though he does and earns a lot more than my mother. He is always throwing our things away. He had an argument with my mother the other day and when we come back, our favorite candle was gone.


My graduation ceremony is next month, my mom paid for her flight ticket and mine. I really wanted him to be there but when I asked him today to help my mom, with half of the hotel expenses he threw a fit. He got so angry at me, called me a piece of * * * * and how he would never help me (he signed my student loans). He insulted me very badly and called me a "son of a * * * * * " or "mother * * * * er" even though I'm a girl. I want to cut ties with him because he doesn't deserve to see me graduate, but at the same time I want him to be there to realise I made it even with his abuse.


I don't know what to do..

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If he's been this way for many years chances are you're probably beating a dead horse unfortunately; it's deeply saddening to have your own parent to be so abusive. If there's one last chance you can let him know how much it will mean for him to be at your graduation. It's very apparent he's not happy with himself and taking all frustration and anger towards everyone in the family and even strangers. He can really only help himself but there's always hope. Stay strong.

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I feel for you chic1. I feel as though I have been through similar circumstances.


Firstly, it sounds as though you've made it through the worst of the difficult years with your father. Be very proud of what you've achieved! Especially noticing that your own actions are abusive, and working to correct them and improve yourself - that takes humility, and I give you my respect.


It sounds as though your father has got some serious issues. Realise and accept that this has nothing to do with you. Shouting back at him will never get you heard. It puts the other person's defenses up, and often they'll just fight to defend themselves.


Is he like this ALL of the time? How does he treat other people outside of your family, such as colleagues? How does your mother cope with it?


Either way, you'll have to trust your intuition on the best actions to take. My advice is to find a job as soon as possible, and then leave as soon as you can. Take your mother with you if you can, but if she won't budge, don't let that stop you. The bottom-line is you're charged with your own safety, and you can't help your mother if you're still in danger. After that, I think you should consider discontinuing the relationship. If you decide to do so, I'd recommend you write him a letter - an honest, assertive letter, detailing how you feel about him, and why you're leaving. Be kind and supportive of him, and focus on the positives in your relationship, and give him options (that if he should change, you might reconsider), but make it clear where your boundaries are and that ultimately until his actions towards others change, you're deciding to end your relationship with him. He is likely to take offense to such a letter - even a very diplomatic one - so it's very important you're in a safe place when he receives it. Don't forget to be especially aware of your mother's safety during this time too.


You can do this in person as opposed to writing a letter, but I'd strongly caution against it unless you're very confident of your speaking ability and your skill in handling delicate situations. You're not any weaker by giving someone a letter in a situation like this as opposed to telling them in person, as these situations can easily evolve into crises.


A lot of people belittle the status of verbal/emotional abuse, but it is very, very damaging, and many survivors say the effects stay with you much longer than physical abuse. These issues can be so confusing, too, because we may love the person hurting us a great deal, and they likely don't act that way all the time. Either way, a correction is in order.


Google image search 'power and control wheel' and the companion 'equality wheel' and take a look. I'd also recommend you look up support services in your area such as Women's Refuge, and speak to them about your situation, and get ideas on what to do next. Even just having someone listen who has an idea of what you're going through helps a great deal!

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