I've Held This In A Long TimeMy earliest memory of my dad is him screaming in my face for hours. I was three years old and had screamed in fright at a cockroach on my bed. All my explanations, which I shouldn't have needed, were met with "WHY DID YOU SCREAM!!!?!??!" Over and over. No concern for a scared kid, just angry that I had made a noise.
Constant fault-finding. I was stupid if I brought home anything less than an A on my report card. Shut the car door too hard? Get choked in the garage.
I forgot to put my bicycle away one day in December. He came home from a late shift at work and dragged me out of bed to put it away. Then he didn't speak to me or my mom for over a week. And no Christmas presents for me that year.
I had a little dog when I was about 8. He beat it to death one day when it had the audacity to beg for table scraps. I was not allowed to cry.
I got older and he mostly just ignored me. I was grateful, but there were times.... I only had to mow the yard once. I was too stupid to make the lines straight.
The Christmas I "broke" a zipper on a jacket. I was slammed up against a wall and choked for it. The zipper wasn't broken and I ended up wearing the jacket for years.
When I was in high school we hosted an exchange student. He made it very clear that she was his new favorite and everything I wasn't.
This is just what stands out the most. I spent 18 years walking on eggshells and staying in my room just to avoid an outburst from him. Sometimes he yelled because I stayed in my room all the time. I was his punching bag and someone for him to take his bad mood out on, especially if my mom wasn't home (he didn't touch her, he knew she'd leave if he did). Then he wondered why my attitude was bad.
I'm 35. I have no self-confidence and have a hard time taking any initiative without being afraid of getting yelled at.