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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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unknownrose Offline
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Am I being... verbally/emotionally abused? - August 18th 2016, 01:52 AM

Hello, and thanks for clicking on my post. Sorry if it's long, I appreciate it if you did read it through. ^^

I have low self-esteem. This may be why.

I don't know if I'm dumb or something for being unable to notice if I'm being verbally/emotionally abused. The main question I have is-- am I?

My family is rather, well, lucky/ordinary, and I'm very grateful for that. My parents get along fine, there are hardly any drastic disagreements between any of us (save for the sibling rivalry, of course), and we all have our bad/good days. I'm old enough now (although I should've noticed this before...) to realise that my dad could be potentially verbally abusing my sister and I. I think this has been going on since I can remember (maybe around the time my sister was 3 or 4?). It usually only happens when he's mad at us or my mother (keep in mind that he just verbally attacks my sister and I).

According to another site I read about, it provided these bits of examples.

- Calling names and making negative comparisons to others
- Constantly telling someone he or she is no good,” “worthless,” “bad,” or “a mistake”
- Yelling, threatening, or bullying –Ignoring or rejecting someone, giving him or her the silent treatment
- Witnessing acts that cause a feeling of helplessness and horror, such as domestic violence or watching another sibling or pet be abused

Unfortunately, my dad does indeed call us names, sometimes, and makes negative comparisons. When he's mad or upset at us, he'll say, 'Oh, my co-worker's son is able to take university math courses. It's useless if you can't do the same.' For the second example, he will, in fact, call us 'worthless' or 'not good' (the insults(?) are only related to intellectual level and/or worth). He'll tell us both that we'll be 'homeless' and 'unemployed' and 'unwanted by employers/society' if we don't do well. I do not think that ignoring someone is that bad, but he does do so too. The last one, he does not do. He does not beat any of us, and that is another reason why I can love him. I am quite relieved about that, and like I said before; I am grateful for and love my family.

I'm a really good student, so there's no reason for him to make such comparisons. In fact, the reason why I commit myself to getting good grades is because I'm afraid of getting put down like that every day. If it's temporary or lasts an hour, I would rather that than have it daily. I'm sorry if that's a stupid motive to work hard in school, but it's the truth. Belittle me if that's necessary, but I don't really have another motivation to keep me going academically.

And I know that my dad MUST love us, because he takes really good care of us. The only other reason I can think of is that he wants us to get better and keep improving. But it still hurts, and yes, I have spoken with him about all of this. My mom doesn't do much about it because, I think, she is scared. Not of him, but if he'll leave her. She comforts us later, but I hate seeing my mom upset over my dad insulting her children.

I don't understand why he does all this. Is it just a result of his temporary anger? Or is it deeper than that (as far as I know, he has not been a victim of any sort of verbal/emotional abuse. My grandparents are v. kind and sweet. They love my sister and I like we were THEIR actual children)?

My problem isn't as bad as many others on this site, but it hurts. I feel like it's slowly eating away at my family on the inside.

Thanks for reading. I doubt that this is interesting, but thanks for your attention. Just having a view means that someone knows about this.
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cynefin Offline
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Re: Am I being... verbally/emotionally abused? - August 18th 2016, 02:29 PM

What you're going through does matter. I know it's hard, but try not to compare your problems to other people's. That will only leave you feeling bad. Try to remember that everyone is very individual and unique and everyone copes with things differently. Everyone's problems are valid and significant.

From what you've said, this does look like verbal abuse. Since you said your dad mostly acts like this when he is angry, it could be that he is taking his anger out on you in an abusive way and doesn't realize what he's doing. His own anger and other issues are no excuse to mistreat you and your sister, though. You're not dumb for not realizing it. A lot of people don't realize they're being abused, especially when they've been abused from a young age because growing up with abuse becomes their normal.

Do you have a place where you can go and be by yourself when your dad is angry? Maybe you can go into your bedroom, your front yard, or maybe you can take a walk. I usually go into my bedroom or outside for a while to only be with my thoughts for a few minutes. I think it's important for you to have a safe place or a little way of "escaping" even if it's only for a few minutes.

I'm not sure if it's easy for you to tell what kind of mood your father's in, but if you can tell that he's in a bad mood, maybe consider staying around him for the least amount of time possible. Since he's likely to hurt your feelings it might be better not to initiate conversation with him. Not speaking to him unless he speaks to you first might help you a little bit, because he'll have less chances to put you down that way.

I think it might help to tell yourself that this is the way your dad is, and he's unlikely to change unless he gets help. Doing this will lower your expectations of him and you might not feel as disappointed by his behavior. He will probably still have anger outbursts, and I think the best thing to do is avoid them while you can and cope with them in a healthy way.

You can be grateful for your family while you're struggling with the people in it. Keep in mind that you are not any less grateful for your family because you feel bad about your dad's behavior.

Feel free to PM me.

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Last edited by cynefin; August 18th 2016 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Adding information.
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