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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Average Joe
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Name: Jamie
Age: 28
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Join Date: August 10th 2009

I can't respect him, and it messes everything else up. - December 28th 2009, 02:20 AM

So... I've never gotten along with my father, but ever since I was about 12, my household has been a sort of living nightmare. It's not that he's a terrible person, or that he does anything brutal, but I just cannot respect him as anything more than an average person, even though he's my dad. He drives me completely mad as he constantly nags and pesters me to do anything he can think of, steals food off of my plate while I'm still eating, completely disrespects my privacy and bursts into my room when I clearly tell him to hold on, etc.

And it's not just the "small" things either. He's hard of hearing, but absolutely refuses to get examined by a doctor, so no matter what I say (or what anyone else says), I have to repeat it 20 times before he hears me, and then he gets mad because I'm yelling at him. Additionally, he has attention issues, and if he asks me a question, he never waits to hear the answer, but instead jabbers on about something else, completely ignoring my response.

He's also extremely self-centered. And when I say self-centered, I mean self-obsessed. No matter what anyone in the house is doing, if he wants something from us, he expects us to drop whatever we're doing right then and there and do whatever he wants us to do. If we don't, he verbally assaults any given object or topic that the "offender" might enjoy, and his tangents often drive me to tears. I think it's pretty obvious why he drives me crazy at this point, is it not? I might be extra critical of my father, but hey, he's my father, and I suppose that happens between teenagers and their parents all the time.

Now, I don't really think this in itself is a problem that I need to contend with, since I've tried to change things before, with my efforts resulting in naught. Eventually, I'll grow old enough to move out sooner or later and I won't have to deal with him... well, basically at all if I so choose, but there are related problems that I'm not sure how to deal with. Firstly, somehow, when my father and I spat, it always gets my mother involved. I have a good relationship with my mom, but generally, when my father and I go at it, she sides with him, choosing the "safe route" in order to avoid spatting with him. I hate when she does this, and I feel like it strains our relations. I don't want that to happen, but I don't know what to do about it.

I think, though, the biggest problem related to this is the part of me that tells me I'm really messed up for hating on my father. As I said before, he's not a bad man. He goes to work, feeds us, makes sure we have what we need (though nothing more than that), and has never physically harmed me in my life. But I just can't help myself. I really do try to care about him. My mother always tries to tell me how much he cares about me, etc, but I can't see it. Does that make me a bad person? Should I be ashamed that I can't tolerate my own father?

Generally, I'd really like to hear what anyone else has to say about this.
Sorry this is long. I had a lot to rant about.
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Re: I can't respect him, and it messes everything else up. - December 28th 2009, 02:31 AM

I live under very similar situations, and to me it sounds like (for whatever its worth to you) that your father is emotionally abusive. And it's so hard, so hard to deal with someone who is abusive and your father, because on one had he is your father and oyu feel like you have to love him and are so indebted to him, but on the other hand he can be really mean to you... how can he be mean and loving.. at the same time?? That was the story of my childhood.

I think what makes me deal with it better (aside from moving out and going to college... oh how that helps, minus the tuition he's paying) is to realize that there is something wrong with dad--he has a lot of problems and, you know, he probably doesn't really understand that his behavior is hurtful and terrible because he probably has really distorted thinking and in his mind, he's going to find ways to justify himself so he can try to feel "right". Sometimes you have to understand that he is just like that because of a lot of situational factors and, maybe unlike you he doesn't really understand (it seems like you have a lot of understanding, to me, about how you feel about dad) and he's just not acting right. And you can't do much but try to return his wrongs with rights and stand calmly in your truth. You can't change him, you cant change the marriage, you can't change your mom's agreeing with him (how can she side with him when he's so mean... and still love me?). It's not your job.

No one says you have to love your father if you think that it makes you hurt to love him. Sometimes its easier to emotionally distance yourself, you can still be compassionate and respect his efforts to raise you, but if you don't love him, you don't. And there's nothing wrong with it.

I am waylaid by Beauty. Who will walk
Between me and the crying of the frogs?

(My PM box is always open.. if I can't help you, I'll find someone who can)
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Re: I can't respect him, and it messes everything else up. - December 28th 2009, 04:03 AM

Look for something to love. My father died recently, and it's tragic as shit. Love what you have, live each day to the fullest. You know the insparitional speech, now live it.
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Re: I can't respect him, and it messes everything else up. - December 28th 2009, 12:10 PM

Edna-- Wow, that response helped a lot. I definitely don't think he knows how hurtful he is when he acts like he usually does, because, you're right, his thinking is twisted. I'm "glad" (a term I use loosely, since I wouldn't want anyone to go through this!) someone out there understands my problem on such a high level. I'm going to keep all of what you've said in mind, and thank you!

Amp-- This is the response I get from just about everyone else, and that's why I sometimes feel like a bad person for disliking my father. I can understand why you're so bitter, though I've tried to "live it" and it didn't work out. I'm sorry you lost your father.
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Re: I can't respect him, and it messes everything else up. - December 28th 2009, 05:08 PM

Hello there Jamie. Well as Edna suggested, your father is emotionally abusive, so for such you just go on with your life. His thinking may be spoilt, so don't let what he says get to you. Since he is hard of hearing write it down. If he goes on talking ignore him. But try not to hate him and respect him but when he begins to emotionally abuse you, leave him be and go. Live your life and don't let his pestering make your life unlivable.
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