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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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Wren Offline
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Is this normal.. - July 8th 2011, 12:08 PM

I feel kind of guilty for being troubled by this, because I know alot of people go through much worse things with parents, compared to which, this is a minor complaint. Simply put though, I'm scared of my father.

I spent alot of my childhood being hyper aware of what sort of mood he was in and trying to avoid being yelled at/picked on. Basically, he was a bully. When he WAS in a mood, my younger sister and I would be shouted at for the smallest things, particuarly bad were the car rides to school in the morning. If he was running late, or one of us was in the kitchen when he wanted to use it, or we weren't quite ready when he wanted to go, then the car trip would be spent being called names (I remember stuff like "lazy useless b*tch") or listening to him complain about mum.

He never really physically hurt us, but there was a stage (I was about ten or so) where he would give me a couple of sharp (but not too hard) hits to the side of the head (which I eventually learnt to make an internal 'game' of dodging- if I cried in front of him then he 'won'- needless to say, I 'lost' alot) along with his tall, angry, intimidating routine. Even though he was never physically abusive, I was afraid sometimes that he WOULD do something to hurt mum or I- although looking back now I know it would never have happened. Mum, my sister and I did move out for a while because the way he behaved towards my sister and I, but had to come back for financial reasons. I'm still eighteen so I'll be living at home for a couple more years, I'm looking forward to the day I'll have my own place and won't have to worry anymore...

I still feel sick to my stomach when I hear loud voices or banging doors downstairs, even though dad hasn't behaved the way I described above for about three years now. I still feel the need to hide up in my room when I suspect he might be in a bad mood, and I still feel 'unsafe' watching TV or listening to music downstairs when he's home (I used to get yelled at for it being too loud- or too low- or just for not doing something more productive).

Thing is, I don't quite understand why it still affects me. Am I just being overly sensitive? What do I call this situation anyway? Is it normal for parents/kids relationships to be this way, and I'm making a big deal out of nothing?... this whole thing confuses me...

Thanks,
~Wren

Last edited by Wren; July 9th 2011 at 12:49 AM.
   
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Re: Is this normal.. - July 11th 2011, 06:48 AM

Hello, Wren. Welcome to TeenHelp! =)

My dad tends to get on my case a lot of the time - for reasons I can't quite comprehend. I guess you could say he likes to have things done a certain way and at a certain time, and if you don't jump up and immediately do what he wants, he gets upset. I don't always feel like I have a sense of privacy when I'm around him, because I never know when he'll tell me to do something.

Perhaps you're feeling a bit like me, because even though your dad has mellowed out over the years, he's still unpredictable. Or at least, you feel he is. It may help to talk to him - if he has really changed, then expressing your concerns shouldn't make him revert back to his old bullying tactics. You may feel more at ease after realizing that he's not going to attack you at any given moment. Hearing him actually say that he's sorry and he wants to do what's right could finally give you the closure you're looking for... or maybe he'll say something else that will give you peace of mind.

Whatever you decide to do (or not do), I wish you all the best. =)





   
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