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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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Emotionally abusive father, need advice (long) - April 21st 2009, 02:21 AM

My dad has always had a violent temper, I don't live with him anymore but when I was small he use to lash out at me and my mom over minor things. He always had restraint when he hit me so at most it only left a bruise (usually none at all) but I know now it's more the terror he was using to "teach me a lesson". He'd make me knell in the basement while he stood over me and screamed at me, hitting around the head and shoulders once in awhile. This was usually over stuff like homework, often he'd deprive me of sleep until I'd finished the chapters he'd set. What made me most angry at him was the fact that he doesn't punish me on the severity of what I did, but on how moody he was at the time. Once I ate some bits off a chocolate bar he was hiding because he wanted to gift it (this he never told me). I admitted to it and he ended up chasing me through the house beating me with his fists. It all came so fast, he sorta fake laughed then just slammed me out of nowhere, I was only a kid at the time. It wasn't all hitting and screaming though, he'd also taken to destroying my possessions, granted they were his possessions too. It wasn't so bad once I got older cause I learned to hide the most valuable items from him (for the good of all of us, I mean, it was essentially his money), but as an 8 year old it was frightening to see your toys being smashed on walls or ripped apart in front of you. Mind you he did push me down stairs that one time, though it wasn't a far distance to fall and the ground was carpeted, so it only scared the heck out of me. I'll admit I still have a grudge on my dad for all the stuff he did. He's been accusing me of being a chronic lair since primary school and often interrogates me about stealing things from the house, which I didn't. Up until my teens I was still afraid to be alone with him and I'd break into sweat every time I hear his car pull up the driveway. Things did not get better as we got older, he only resorted to death threats and upgraded from ruler to fishing rods, although by this time I'd learned the shut-up-and-just-agree-with-everything-he-says technique. Around the time I was doing my HSC (university entrance exam) he kicked me out of the house cause my presence there was effecting his girlfriend. This was just my side of it, my mother had it a lot worse, but then she got wise and took jobs that would take her away from the house when dad was home. Looking back it was probably the fact that they hardly see each other that kept the marriage going for as long as it did.

That was basically me ranting, my childhood fears seem far away now and in a nutshell, it wasn't all bad. My dad tried to be a good father in some aspects and he does want love and admiration just like any other dad. Deep down he’s probably a very lonely guy since his explosive temper prevents him from having a close relationship with anyone. While we’re supposedly meant to share our most intimate moments with their loved ones, my dad has a need to unload his anger as priority. He can't bottle anything up inside so he hurts the ones he can hurt, the ones he can count on to forgive him. As a result he looks for stimulation elsewhere and my mum's always complaining how he takes the opinions of casual friends more seriously than he does of hers. Sometimes I worry that this aspect of his personality would eventually isolate him. He's engaged now (a second girlfriend, the one he kicked me out for dumped him) and she's seems like a very gentle person. However she's now going through the same things my mum and I did when we were with him. I really wanted things to work out between them so I haven't told her about my problems with him yet. I certainly didn't expect to get along with her so well and I’m afraid something might slip. Lately she’s been telling me of how hurt she was at the things my fathers been saying to her. She’s told me that they are only together cause it was convenient for the both of them although it wasn’t that hard to guess anyway. I just don’t know what she expects me to say. Does she want me to encourage her to leave him? The truth is I wouldn’t stay with someone like my dad, but he’s my dad and I need him to be in a happy, stable relationship. At the same time this woman’s my friend. I’m lost as to what to do. Help?
   
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Re: Emotionally abusive father, need advice (long) - April 21st 2009, 04:08 AM

First, I'd like to say that I admire the great amount of empathy you possess, it's very refreshing. And I'm also very sorry about what you went through as a child
As for your dad and his girlfriend, I think you should be careful about getting involved. IF she leaves him and he finds out you have something to do with it, he might take it out on you. He sounds like a very troubled, violent man and I think more than anything he need help If there's a chance he might physically abuse this woman, I suggest you keep an eye out. There's not much you can do in this situation, it is between your father and his girlfriend. But if she's your friend, I think it's safe to tell her how you feel about this situation. Hope I could help ;D


Lawl.
   
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