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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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Freakshow Offline
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Unhappy I suspect that my dad might have split personality disorder. - July 21st 2011, 03:39 PM

This is an issue I've always wondered about, but haven't had the guts to ask him (my dad). The way he treats his family (i.e. me, my sister, and my mom) is totally different from the way he treats everyone else... for some weird unknown reason.

When he's in public, he's literally loved by everybody. He's also socially active and gets along extremely well with others. No one I've met so far has anything bad to say about him. I've had a few other girls come up to me and tell me, "I wish your dad was my dad." Sadly... what I wish is the exact opposite of that.

So here's the deal - whenever he comes home, he's very irritable and will shout/yell loudly at us if one of us does or says something he doesn't like. Believe me, when I say "loudly", I mean VERY loudly... to the point where you think you're about to have a heart attack. It doesn't help that he tends to slam doors - also very hard. Once he was angry with us and slammed the door so hard that I was worried that the pictures on the wall would fall down. He is always rushing us to get to places on time, which would not be so bad if this didn't entail screaming at us in the car all the way to the intended destination and telling me and my sister how lousy we are for not being able to follow simple directions and for being lazy and making him late, etc., etc. And whenever this happens, we often are not late at all. In fact, we've always showed up early every time. He just sets these really unreasonable times for us to get ready. Also, don't even let me get started on the double standards he has of his own children and others' children! He is so supportive and encouraging to other kids and offers them awesome incentives if they improve their grades, if they get into their first choice universities... and then for us? He keeps criticizing me and my sister, telling us how we're "bookworms" and "socially inept" and "lazy" and (insert adjective with negative connotation here)...

The most disturbing part about all of this is that he acts like a completely different person when we're outside. He tells other people how proud he is of his kids, and boasts about the fact that my sister and I are multilingual, have musical/artistic talents, and excel in school. (This is probably just my own personal bone to pick with him, but because I'm very gifted with languages, he often tells me to speak to the guests in one of the languages both of us know. I don't have a problem with that, but I do have a problem with the fact that it feels like he's "showing me off" because then everyone around us goes silent and waits to hear how good I am at X or Y language.)

Anyway, other people obviously assume that he must really love and care about me and my sister, when we're actually both frightened of him. We do not consider ourselves close to him in any way. We only obey him out of fear and not out of respect, which I think is very unfortunate.

We're also stuck in a sticky situation because neither of us know how to confront him. We are considered a relatively affluent family thanks to his income, so we don't want to offend him because we still owe him for his financial support. But I know my sister has already made up her mind to study really hard in high school (she's entering this year) so she can get a full scholarship for whichever university she goes to and won't have to depend on him anymore.

This is getting much longer than I expected. Bottom line is, is there a way I (and my sister) can deal with my dad about his behavior? If he really ends up having split personality disorder, what can we do about it? I was just on the Wikipedia page about the disorder and he definitely exhibits some of the symptoms. But this is by no means a proper diagnosis. I just want to know why he's always acted this way

Last edited by Freakshow; July 21st 2011 at 03:44 PM.
   
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Re: I suspect that my dad might have split personality disorder. - July 21st 2011, 06:03 PM

Listen, I really am sorry to tell you this. But split personalities are very rare. It's debatable that the disorder really exsists, and is not just voices in the head caused by a variety of other disorders.

I would assume your father is abusive. Emotionally and verbally abusive. This means he does not respect your emotions, and makes you feel lousy overall. Verbal abuse is saying rude and mean things to you. Emotional abuse is present in most abusive situations, because let's face it, abuse damages you emotionally.

It is not uncommon for abusers to act totatally different in public than in private. It's not uncommon for them to look perfect from the outside. And financially he cannot kick you out until you are 18. You can make it. If you must get a part time job and do college, it can be done. I would recomend contacting child services or a family counsellor to help with your issues. Do not tell your father in advance. It's much better if he is surprised, because he will not have as much time to think of lies and excuses.

It is very unfortunate that you are in this situation, but for the sake of your sister and yourself you must get help.

- Justin



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Re: I suspect that my dad might have split personality disorder. - July 21st 2011, 06:26 PM

Thanks for replying. I think I'm mainly just confused about why he's holding me and my sister to a different standard. I mean, it's kind of weird that he would be so nice to others' kids except his own... with many people, it's usually the opposite case :P

I don't know if it's really abuse, because he HAS complimented me before - but that's usually because whatever I did made him look good as well and gave him bragging rights. But when I mess up, even for something minor... well, let's just say I'd prefer not to talk about it in great detail
   
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Re: I suspect that my dad might have split personality disorder. - July 22nd 2011, 01:29 AM

Abusers must give you some sense of acomplishment for the system to work. If no matter what you did resulted in abuse you would just give up. That is no funfor the abuser. It is not unusual for parents to expect more of their kids, but in this case he is putting up a front for his abuse. If he appears to be a nice man outside of the house, no one will suspect abuse.

- Justin



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