My Father Is Emotionally Abusive - What Should I Do?

Ok, this is weird. But let's go.
In my house, it's just me, my mom, my sister and my father. My father, for as long as I can remember, has always been a really "tough" person to deal with. At least that's how my mom said he was, and how me and my sister used to see it. I remember being a really sad, shy kid, that was known for "crying over nothing". He used to say harsh things to me (at least harsh to say to a kid), everytime complaining about something, never satisfied, yelling for foolish reasons, calling me selfish and disobedient for simply having a different opinion, and he also did basically the same thing to my sister and my mom. Everytime I would cry for the things he said, he would just say "stop crying already, it was no big deal". That still happens to this day.

He is really mean to my mom. She cooks his meal before he goes to work every single day, and he treats it as just her obligation. He always complains about the food, says "it's not too good", "it's salty", things like that, and when she says he should stop the criticism, he compliments like "it's much better now! of course, when we do things with LOVE, it works" with a nasty smile. My mom has to almost BEG him for money for a lot of stuff, because he's the only one working right now and he controls all the money, and if he refuses, that's it, or you insist on it, or you don't have it (or not, depends on his mood).

My mom works really hard to take care of our apartment, and she is actually working too hard. She has had some problems on the wrist, and sometimes she feels dizzy. We help her in what we can, but it's not enough. Everytime we asked him to hire someone to help us, he said "i'm not going to waste money on a maid, none of them do the job right". He completely ignores my mom's necessities, treats her like a maid, and when she talks about looking for a job, he's all like "how? you can't even handle taking care of the apartment".

And i won't even tell everything he's already said and done to my sister, but he's always accused her (he accuses all of us, but he was really heavy on her on this last few years). She decided to date a guy he didn't want her to, so he started to go into her room when no one was around just to tell her how evil she was, how she was ruining our family. I started to get angrier and angrier over all this, and started to confront him. He went to tell her that he knew she was making my mind against him.

Then i had a really serious conversation with him. Told him everything he was doing was wrong and that it was hurting us. When he didn't deny it or told a completely distorted version of the story, he just laughed and said "you three get offended over every little thing I say". So I prayed to God to show me some way to help my family, 'cause i was confused.

Then, i found all this websites talking about emotional abuse and how to identify it, including this one.

But the thing is - what should I do now? My mom thinks she can't divorce, that there's nohing we can do about it, that we depend on my father's money. Both her and my older sister are still too weak emotionally to do anything more concrete about it. I'm going to a psychologist (my father wanted me to go to the one HE chose, but I insisted on a christian one, he got a little scared, i think), I'm talking about it with some people, but i feel alone. I want him to stay away from us, i know he'll just get worse. My sister says that if we start making money he will lose power, but i know this is a false hope. What should I do??
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3 Responses May 9, 2012

My father is the same exact way. And the worst part is his mind games. This is abuse you know? Something that needs to be documented. Speak with a professional. If he's in the military or any reputible company they will intervene. And once it's documented speak with a Devore attorney. Start tape recording his nonsense so that when the time is right you might even be able to press charges. Good luck and God bless. I hope and pray that you all can salvage a relationship

I don't know what to do. I'm in the same boat. I just avoid the situation. Unfortunately you can't divorce a parent. And even if you could, it would make you look like the bad guy. I hate this abuse and I wonder if there was anything I did to deserve it which makes it hurt even more!

I'm afraid there is not much you can do about the situation in your family (which sadly reminds me very much of the family I grew up in). Your mother is an adult and she is the one to decide if she can/want to divorce or not. So the best thing YOU can do is try to leave the house and be independent of them. It's the only way for you to start the healing process. It's very good that you are seeing a psychologist. Try to find a job, anything that can make you more independent. You owe it to yourself to do that.