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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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Father with mental issues (triggering) - October 20th 2009, 03:41 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

First, a bit of history about me. My mother is severely bi polar and my grandmother has become very senile. It was better for my sanity that I stopped loving them, so I did so. Meanwhile, I became incredibly close to my father. I've been this way with him for as long as I can remember; I love him with all my heart. He, too, was diagnosed with depression a while back, but it has gotten better now. He still has depressive episodes, however.

Now. This father, who is one of the few people left that I love, has started to bring me much more pain than happiness. He throws tantrums sometimes, where in some of them, he starts literally jumping up and down (and he's a large man) screaming about how terrible everything is, and how terrible I am. It has happened before that he's told me I'm "not human," I'm a "selfish bitch," I'm an "immature fucktard." He's also told me my emotions are stupid, and nearly anything I care about is immediately refered to as "bullshit." Every time I've been in a relationship, he's told me the guy was going to cheat on me, or didn't care about me as much as he said he did; even with one guy who I actually fell in love with (and who loved me too), he said "his dick loves you, but I guarantee you he doesn't." He gets completely angry at me for the smallest things; just tonight he flipped out because some cheese from my pizza fell on the carpet, and then later because the mirror is starting to fall off of my door, which he thinks is my fault because when we get in arguments I tend to slam the door. I can't talk to him at all about most subjects, because he gets upset. He claims to accept my bisexuality but then gets incredibly angry whenever I mention something which even SLIGHTLY hints at me being attracted to the same gender. He is also angry because I don't love my senile grandmother and I don't want to spend EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND with his girlfriend tagging along.

Things between us used to be absolutely amazing... I loved him above everything else in the world, and knew he felt the same. We'd go out, just the two of us, and have a blast. (I know it sounds lame, but I enjoyed it.) We'd talk on every subject in existence, and I knew he'd accept me, no matter what. Then nine months ago, things started changing. Back then, there were a lot of other things going on in my life... to escape the pain, I tried self-injury. I was really ashamed afterwards... thinking he'd understand, I confided in him. His reaction was to begin screaming at me; he yelled, "You think that's pain? I'LL SHOW YOU PAIN!" then he ran into the kitchen. I thought he was going to grab a knife and stab me, so I ran out the front door and refused to come back inside until he put the knife away. When I came back in, he assured me he wasn't going to stab me; he was going to stab himself.

I forgave him for this episode. In the household I grew up in, it seemed perfectly normal at the time. Then things like this started happening more often... he kept throwing tantrums. I wasn't able to talk to him like I used to. I realized his actions were becoming the greatest stressor in my life. I tried to fix things between us, but he kept insisting that the decline of our relationship was entirely my fault. In June, I came out of the closet to him. He acted very accepting at the time and said he already sort of suspected... but since then, whenever I mention it, he gets upset and asks me why I can't just be content with a guy. When his girlfriend moved out here, things got a LOT worse. Sometimes he stays out until 3 AM on weekdays and even later on weekends; I always stay up to be there when he gets home even though it means I only get 3 1/2 hours of sleep for school, and I only get to see him for five minutes anyway. My weekends are filled with his girlfriend; he keeps either dragging me to her house or bringing her to ours. Oh, she also usually comes to our house on the weekdays. Without calling first. So I have the exquisite joy of walking out in my bra and panties, and then discovering she was in the living room. He talks about my failures much more often than my successes, and whenever I'm sad he says, "Oh, it's your turn today." You see, he has this strange idea that me, my grandma and his girlfriend take turns "breaking his balls," as he so loves to put it. Oh, and by the way, if I'm crying, he decides clearly screaming at me to "stop my bullshit" is the way to comfort me. According to him, his "life is filled with crying women."

But he switches between acting like a terrible, cruel person and treating me like I'm a goddess. There are times when he praises me greater than anyone else ever has, buys me anything I desire, takes me to places like the Renaissance Faire or midnight movies (I like that sort of thing), kisses me and says he loves me more than anything else in the world. And I believe him. I believe he loves me as much as he says he does... I just don't know why he acts so cruel. However, if I dare to disobey him, or get the slightest bit upset about absolutely anything, this good mood will immediately fall back to the cruelty.

For a while, I tried training myself to stop caring about him like I did for my mother and grandmother. I worked on just watching him as he jumped up and down screaming and tried to block out all feelings of compassion. And I tried to hug him without feeling the emotional bond. And it even started to work... but then he went back into the "nice guy" phase again, and I started wondering if things could be the way they were again.

So I decided a few days ago that I'd give him one last chance. We were going to go out together. If it went well, I'd stop training myself to not care about him. If it didn't go well, I would know for sure that I needed to stop loving him.

We went out and had a good time. Not an absolutely amazing, magical time like before, but it was pleasant.

Then for a while afterwards, he acted kind... and now he's back to being cruel again. Pointing out my flaws. Getting angry for small reasons. Everything.

I don't know what I should do. I want to keep loving him, but I'm not sure if it's good for my health.

And here's the truly awful part... if he's going through withdrawl, he's much worse. When he tried to quit smoking, he brought me to a hysterical, near-suicidal state. So I'm at the mercy of his cigarettes. And I tell him he should quit because it's good for him... but I don't want him to. I know how he acts then. I know they're slowly killing him, but the way he acts while going through withdrawl is too terrible for me to handle.

Should I train myself to stop caring about him, like I did with the rest of my family? Or should I keep loving him, even if it (quite literally) drives me insane?
   
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Re: Father with mental issues (triggering) - October 21st 2009, 05:08 AM

You need to tell someone. This is not safe emotionally or physically. And you need to explain to someone what is going on and get him help. He'll be happier for it in the end.

I'll try and elaborate more later. It's late xD
Stay safe!
Maria.



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Re: Father with mental issues (triggering) - October 22nd 2009, 08:04 AM

Hey there

I'd first like to say that I'm proud of you for coming on here and asking for advice. Sometimes it can be very difficult talking about our problems or issues that we face.

I'm sorry to hear what is happening to your dad. He is obviously going through some tough emotional difficulties right mow and it isn't fair on you to be the 'victim' of them if you like. There are a variety of different issues that your father could be suffering from, but nobody on here is a doctor and we can't diagnose anybody with anything!

I definitely think it would be worth talking to your dad, and trying to persuade him to speak to a doctor. Hopefully he will listen to you as you are his daughter, and you obviously care about him a lot. I do think it is important though, to try and get him some help.

Good luck

Adam.



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