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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Horrible argument with my dad, now I feel like shit. - September 7th 2012, 07:29 AM

Earlier this evening I was out driving around with my dad and talking to him, and the discussion turned to politics. My political views do differ significantly from my dad's, but I was expecting this and just assumed we could have a civil discussion. I was calm and respectful. But then I made some statement that set him off. Now, I've had my fair share of heated arguments with my parents over the years and sometimes voices were raised, but this was by far the absolute worst. My dad literally began snarling at me like an angry dog, and spit his words through clenched teeth with the unmistakable tone of "Holy fuck you are so goddamn stupid." I tried to calm him down and tried to reword my statement in a way that he wouldn't construe it as disrespectful, but it was no use. He then screamed (yes, screamed) "Oh my fucking GOD. GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY CAR NOW!" I tried pleading with him to listen to what I was trying to say but he screamed "OUT! GO! NOW!" I opened the door and put my feet on the ground, but stayed on the edge of the seat. Again, pleading and on the verge of tears, I was begging him to calm down and listen. It took a few minutes for him to calm down and finish his rant, but he finally lowered his voice and I guess it hit him how angry he was. He suddenly laughed an embarrassed laugh and and held out his hand in a gesture of apology, and said "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get so mad." I was really unable to say anything at that point, except to mumble a quiet "it's okay."

I then noticed a friend of mine getting out of his car in the next parking lot over, and got out to say hi. We then decided to hang out so I let my dad know and he said goodbye, and "I'm sorry again, I love you Lewis." I managed an uneasy goodbye and then he left.

I still feel like absolute shit. I know he apologised but I can't get that ugly and hateful screaming out of my head. My nerves were already frayed from the stress of college and now this has left me weak and with a horrible knot in my stomach. It wasn't that I'm angry that he disagreed with me, but rather that hateful tone. It really hurt and upset me and I'm afraid I've lost all respect for him. It was the absolute angriest I've ever seen him, and it wasn't even over anything truly serious.

Thanks for reading.


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Re: Horrible argument with my dad, now I feel like shit. - September 8th 2012, 11:26 PM

It seems like politics and religion are two "forbidden fruits", if you will. Was the point you were making very (very) liberal or conservative? I can imagine it was controversial if it set him off like that.

I think that when parents try to "kick" their child out of the car, it's because the argument has turned into a moot point, and it's an effort to assert dominance. I'm not sure if you were looking for advice, but I did take the time to read your post and feel sorry that the debate got that far.



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Re: Horrible argument with my dad, now I feel like shit. - September 9th 2012, 04:09 AM

That pretty much sounds like my dad.. If someone disagrees about politics he may go overboard with his views. My dad does get mad sometimes over small political stuff like that, so I know how you feel when you get yelled at because of someone's political choice you agree or disagree with. Its annoying I know that respecting someone like that is hard sometimes just know that you didn't so anything wrong and you didn't argue with him or fight with him. That is a plus point for you.. I don't know if I could tell you anything else except i think what happened was only a one time thing.




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Re: Horrible argument with my dad, now I feel like shit. - September 9th 2012, 07:15 AM

Thanks for the responses guys. c:

I've been thinking about it more and more over the past couple of days since this happened, and now I'm suspicious that he might have a drinking problem that he is hiding from us. The very sudden and extreme outburst he had is a textbook example of alcoholic behaviour, and it would make sense as alcoholism does run in his family. His dad and brother both died of liver failure in 1987 and 2002, respectively. My dad is facing an upheaval and major changes at his job, one that he has had since 1985, and it wouldn't surprise me if the stress of that, financial worries and the possibility of moving to another state has triggered him to drink as a way to cope.

Ugh.


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Re: Horrible argument with my dad, now I feel like shit. - September 9th 2012, 08:33 AM

Oh darn.

Well, considering what could have been the implications of that outburst had he not calmed down, I think it might be an idea to confide to your mother first about your suspicion.

Be careful, but - and remember that it's not your responsibility - but if you can try to help him give up drinking excessively, then that's good.


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Re: Horrible argument with my dad, now I feel like shit. - September 9th 2012, 02:10 PM

It definitely sounds like he's got a lot on his plate, between losing family and weaving through jobs. It's unfortunate how families can be affected by this (a reason why I wish everybody would just pursue their dream job). You could always try to just tell him you're sorry for what happened a few days ago; he will probably reciprocate. With all that stress, I can't imagine how some people cope (I mean, I don't condone drinking, but wow, life can be terribly overwhelming).



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