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Help - November 14th 2015, 09:13 AM

My dad scares me. He can be doing anything and then you say one wrong thing and he starts acting differently but you don't notice it a first so you keep talking and then he won't yell, so you keep talking but cautiously now but you sort of get that feeling of being frightened but only a small bit. Then he starts saying things or acting like he will hit you if you don't start shutting up soon so you shut up and its too late and by then he can be doing anything, just not yelling. When people yell you remember it, but when people don't yell and they just give off that feeling of terror then you forget it once its past. But when its there you remember. Once you forget what its like everyone just thinks you're overreacting. See I've never typed like this because I am scared. I don't even like seeing him, but I have no choice in this. After a while of him not doing anything you forget why you were afraid and you start to forgive him for you being scared. And then suddenly he will just do it all over again and you suddenly remember why you were afraid in the first place. I don't know what to do when he is like this. It's all words and sometimes the occasional slap but nothing that can make anyone think is serious. But it makes me scared. Maybe I'm overreacting. It's nothing serious. He just makes me nervous but that's silly. Maybe I should just stop because it isn't important. Sorry.

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Re: Help - November 15th 2015, 04:38 AM

This is most definitely important. Anything that makes you feel unsafe is important. You aren't overreacting, I promise. I know how you can sometimes feel like you are, but you aren't.

You're right; when people yell, you have a lasting impression because you can hear everything. Whereas with body language, you only feel and see it so it seems a little different. Words don't go away after someone yells, but it can be easy to forget how someone makes you feel with their body language. Do you see your dad a lot? Maybe you can avoid him whenever possible. See if you can find things to keep you busy so you don't have to be around him much when you know you're going to see him. I also suggest letting him initiate conversations. Try not to speak to him unless you're spoken to first.

If you start to get uncomfortable, you can leave. You can tell him he's making you uncomfortable or you can make up an excuse to leave the room. You could say you forgot to do a chore, or you need to get schoolwork done, for instance.

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Re: Help - November 19th 2015, 04:00 AM

Cass is right, this is very important and it isn't silly at all. The actions of your dad has made you feel uncomfortable enough to post here (and I'm glad you reached out despite being scared) therefore it must be bothering you a lot at times. So please, no need to apologize because if you are scared then it is serious. If no one else will take it seriously, we will and we're here for you.

When a person yells, the words and experience sticks with you. However, body language is powerful in the moment but then everything goes back to normal once they go back to normal and it's easily forgotten. But it seems like the various times this has happened has left you feeling uncomfortable and nervous around your dad in general.

Have you approached your dad about this issue, and how he makes you feel during conversations like that? I'm not sure if anything would benefit from it, but it's okay to voice how you're feeling and voice what makes you uncomfortable. You can write him a note if you're worried about another tense conversation.

Cass has some great suggestions about avoiding situations that make you feel this way by avoiding as much conversation as possible. And if things become tense then you can take a step back to get some air, such as going for a walk. You can say that you'd like to get some fresh air.
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