*Possible trigger warning*
Post you are about to read is about emotional abuse and a mention of suicide.
~Skip to the last large paragraph if you don't want to read the whole thing~
The first chunk of paragraphs are only backstory for better understanding. The last is what I'm here for.
This post is long but I would appreciate it if you could read it and give me some advice.
I'm almost 17 and I live with my dad. He's a single father as my mother died when I was very young.
My dad has always been a shouty type when he's mad. He tends to call my sister and I names a lot and swears at us. He tends to play the victim a lot. We don't do something for him? We're horrible children. Don't buy him something? We're ungrateful. He loves bringing things like this up when were in trouble.
I can recall a memory where he tried to teach us how to do cartwheels and when we failed to do it countless times he'd scream at us. If we never practised it he'd get annoyed. When we were younger he wanted us to be athletic; neither of us was. To this day he no longer cares or even mentions it - guess he gave up.
Another memory was when i was possibly 7 or 8. I was (and still am) a picky eater. I loved porridge as a child, though, if there were any lumps I'd gag and would refuse to eat it. I told my dad I didn't like it and all I can remember is him screaming at me for not eating it followed by him throwing the full, hot, bowl of porridge at me. He never really throws things at us and if he ever did it was always purposely aimed away from us in order to scare us. But this was one of the few times he actually hit me.
Whenever he tries to quit smoking he also asks us not to piss him off in some way. If we ever accidentally do so, he starts smoking again and blames us as the reason he is smoking.
I always had thought this was normal for parents to do. He never really went over-board all the time like I mentioned previously. In fact I don't remember a time like it since i was 12 maybe. Though this is the case, I still would disagree with things he has said to me and my sister in the past and shouting and name calling was always present. Emotional abuse had never crossed my mind.
Through my teenage years he began working a lot. Currently he works 11am-9pm everyday except Mondays, Tuesdays and sometimes a Friday. So I haven't exactly experienced him screaming at me the way he does as much as I used to.
A quick introduction to my personality: I'm extremely shy, I worry about the smallest things but I also get extremely happy if something good happens, I find it hard to make friends and currently don't have any in real life, however, I do have one online friend and girlfriend.
Whenever my dad comes home I hide in my room and pretend I'm asleep. I also tend to limit what I say to him in case I trigger something. Last year I remember being upset because I didn't have much of a relationship with my dad anymore and told myself it's my fault since I always hide away in my room. (My sister on the other hand always talks and jokes around with him).
Around October last year I was listening to him arguing with his girlfriend (who he is still with) and I remember disagreeing with a lot he said; then it dawned on me. Could this be bad parenting? I did a bit of research on bad parenting and around half the things mentioned were things he did. I remember feeling shaken up a bit. Since that day, if he had something bad to say or was having a go at someone (including myself) I always kept thinking back to the bad parenting and it kind of upset me.
Yesterday I woke up to my dad screaming at me to tidy my room; something I hadn't experienced in quite a while. He began calling me names and how it should've been done weeks ago but the truth is I had been struggling with my own personal problems he has no idea about. I began tidying and when he came back he decided to let me know that I must tidy the entire house in an hour (including more name calling). I began to think about a video I had watched about manipulation and name-calling (or belittling your own child) is a form of manipulation (I may be wrong). I did a quick search to check and had began crying. When he came back to scream and call me names again I accidentally slipped and said: "You always do this. You always belittle us." Worst thing I could've said at that moment. His voice got louder and he demanded I tell him what I meant but I couldn't get myself to speak. I grabbed my phone and just showed him the website:
"What is this sh*t?"
"Belittling? Blah blah blah."
"I couldn't care less about words on a screen"
"How dare you speak to me like that"
He then asked for all my electronics and threw them at a wall.
He then told me if I think of him in that way that I should call the police followed by: "Haha, you can't! You don't have a phone anymore. Walk to the police you lazy sh*t. What are you going to tell them? 'My dad told me to tidy' rubbish."
This whole thing went on for about half hour. He kept telling me I'm full of rubbish and that I couldn't read.
When he came back he shouted some more and told me I'm going too slow. After probably another 15 minutes of screaming he began saying he was sorry. He asked if I think he's like that or if I was wrong. I told him I was wrong and I was sorry (how could I be honest after that?). He then said I can speak to him about anything, even if I question his parenting, and he promised he would never act the way he acted previously. Once he finished, he added: "You can tell me if I'm ever wrong," he then covered his mouth and began whispering, "but I'm never wrong."
I remember it got so bad I started shaking at one point which is something I've never done before. I had really bad thoughts of suicide. I thought I only had two choices: run away or end it. I had nowhere to go so the choice felt obvious. I still have slight thoughts but I also have doubts about certain things that have made me wait. Like, what if I'm the one overreacting? Which is why I don't want to go to anyone because what if I'm being stupid? Or they dismiss it and my dad finds out and hates me.
My sister doesn't know what happened and I believe she believes this is normal behaviour (shes 15).
I don't know whether or not this is actually emotional abuse though. This is just speculation as I have grown up with this my whole life. With a lack of friends I could never tell until recently. It was a complete shock to me.
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
It's absolutely emotional abuse. I'm so sorry this happened to you, and that your growing up has been like this. My older brother is this exact same way and has traumatized me so deeply. I can't imagine if that person were my parent. Are there low cost therapists in your area? His behavior is his responsibility and too big of an undertaking for you to spend energy trying to change him- trying to start healing yourself and re-learning the world through a healthier perspective is the greatest step I think you could take. It was so brave of you to stand up to him, and people who haven't grown up in households like that probably wouldn't be able to understand just how much courage that takes. I don't even know you and I'm proud of you.
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