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Toxic Parent

My dad is best described in this excerpt from "Stop Walking On Eggshells" by Randi Kreger.

"If you object to the criticism or try to defend yourself, your loved one may accuse you of being defensive, too sensitive, or unable to accept constructive criticism. Since their very survival seems to be at stake, they may defend themselves with the ferociousness of a mother bear protecting her cubs. When the crisis has passed and the person with Borderline Personality Disorder seems to have won, they may act surprised that you’re still upset…You, of course, feel worse. Only now, you also feel baffled because the person with BPD doesn’t seem to understand the impact of what they’ve done. You may also feel frustrated because they never seem to accept responsibility for their own behavior. This cycle happens again and again."

My dad used fear, guilt, intimidation, blaming, and manipulation to control my whole family. He's poisonous--the kind of person who has you doubting your own perceptions and beliefs. Life with him was a rollercoaster--up and down, for years and years. He'd rage and snarl one minute, and then apologize the next, and expect you to forget all about it. The constant instability and insecurity eventually rendered me completely numb.

I'm recovering now, but I am still pretty screwed up. I have no healthy way to handle negative emotions. I'm sensitive, fearful, and insecure. All of these things are reflected in my relationship with my new husband, whom I love dearly, and for whose sake I am trying my best to understand and overcome my difficulties.

In the meantime, I refuse to talk to my father. He has no respect for boundaries--never has--and although I've asked him not to contact me, I still get emails and phone calls. When that happens, I get a sick feeling in my gut, and start shaking and crying. Any kind of contact with him brings up overpowering feelings of anger, pain, and confusion. He refuses to take responsibility for his behaviour, and acts like any rift in our relationship is my fault.

I am trying to forgive him. I've read a good bit about Borderline Personality Disorder, and I have come to see that his childhood experiences left him horribly empty and insecure. He feels an insatiable need for control, and in his desperation to hide his flaws he forces other people to accept blame for his actions. Fine, whatever, I get it. But that doesn't mean I have to live with it. He's had plenty of chances to change--to take the time to really understand what it is that he does to hurt other people, and how he can stop it. But he always chooses himself over his family, every time. Betrayal after betrayal.

I can forgive him, if only for my own sanity, so that I'm not eaten up with bitterness. But I will never forget what he did, and I will never allow him back into my life.
BookNerd BookNerd 22-25, F 83 Responses Nov 14, 2007

Your Response


Reading your stories has made me feel so much less alone.<br />
My father began acting like a bipolar child when my mother left him a year and a half ago.<br />
She left because of the way he treated her behind closed doors, which is now what I go through. As I'm the only girl left in the house I suppose it has become my 'role' in the household.<br />
As many of you have written of your father's traits, mine is also manipulative, cruel and critical.<br />
The man demands respect, but never EVER gives it. If you challenge his view he will attack yours and your credibility.<br />
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This may just be me being petty, but I have always wanted to dye my hair black. He told me that if I dyed my hair black he would sell my dog, my cat and all of my possessions.<br />
I am not so vain and superficial to sacrifice my two best friends to simply dye my hair, but I believe this example says something about his character.<br />
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He will twist events and things I have said out of context and out of logic or their intended meaning all together to make himself out to be the victim. He will guilt me for the things he has bought me, such as school books and basic necessities, and spent quite a few months telling me what a horrible person I am. Once even going as far as to say he wanted to put me into foster care.<br />
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I have spent the last year of my life battling an extreme lack of self confidence and self worth, mild depression, anxiety and imaging problems.<br />
All because of his criticisms.<br />
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I have all of these self doubts through sheer force of will, and have now become numb to him.<br />
He is not my father. I rejected him as kin long ago, and as soon as I leave this house I will have nothing to do with him.<br />
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Anyone going through something similar now, here's how I got though it all.<br />
I focused on the things I *liked* about me. <br />
How if someone asked me for help at school, I would be right there to talk them through it.<br />
If there was a fight, I would jump in the middle. <br />
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Anyway, I just felt the need to vent a little bit. If you actually took the time to read this, thank you.<br />
If you were just skimming, oh well.<br />
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yep! sounds like mine, I'm, how do you say it... "f**ked" now because of him. I can't figure out how he can totally destroy his own daughter and not realise, and still carry on. Uses guilt, I've never asked for anything, everything he has done has been to control me... If I don't do something, or I spend my money on something, I'm throwing it in his face. If something happens, it's my fault, no matter what, which escalates, then I'm even worse for talking back (at 24 years old), most of the time I get kicked out or he reaches out at me (I don't know whether it is to hit me, I'm quite fast but he likes to grab hair and drag), if I try and make some sort of awkward attempt at speaking it either turns into a horrible argument or he yells at me to shut up because hes watching telly/on phone/ reading something/watching a funny video/thinking. I'd never do that! He expects the upmost respect but treats me like a piece of ****. I can't wait to have a decent enough job that I can go away and get a place and not mess up enough that I prove him right and that I can do well without him, I don't want to ever have to come back here once I go. Got too much to say on the subject so I stop here :)

Just stay away from him for your health. Wish you the best.

Just stay away from him for your health. Wish you the best.

I agree with everyone. I think my dad has Schizoid Personality disorder. He goes off for little to no reason randomly. He is cold, and it seems the only time he can talk to me is when he has something insulting, caustic, or something logistical to talk about.<br />
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He is emotionally abusive, and I can't stand his presence. I don't know why my mom tolerates his abusive ways to my brother and I. I truly hate him.<br />
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A part of me wonders if I should even let him walk me down the aisle when I get married....probably not.<br />
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I don't want to pretend when I get enough money to move away and start my new life. I appreciate the basic things he did: contribute monetary funds for my existence. That is the extent. I will probably break even with all the therapy I will need to undo the damage he has caused, making his "contributions to my existence" null and void!<br />
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I am thankful to the experience project for letting me know I am not alone.

i hATE MY DAD FOR BEING UNREASONABLE of everything..........WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate him so much............

**** a PD. Do not forgive him. If you are able, and you are both age appropriate, kick his ***! I'm serious. I didn't when I had the chance and I ( at 55 years of age ) woefully regret that I didn't take action when I could have. If you can't/won't do it correctly, don't have children. Bad parents beget bad parents. I fathered no children on purpose.

i know how you dad conrols my family with fear. I cant even talk to him. If my mum says anything that upsets her, he'll just start shouting and swearing and somtimes starts smashing and throwing things. I dont know what to do and i really dislike him

I understand how you feel my father sound just like that. Its also hard to forgive my father on the things he have down to my family. I think you are doing the right thing on making no contract from him. I hope you hang in there with you problems. :)

My dad sure had this disease of the Head..a real abnormal guy..Borderline..or Border cross..he would verbally,psychologically,physically abuse my sweet simple Mum, and me n my younger sister too.He is so darn manipulative,I cant even begin to describe.He would forbid us to visit our family or freinds,or go out with mum..and whenever he was unhappy,which he was with us practically all the time, he would have fits of rage..would throw things around..from food to clocks..and disches galore..hurl the most profane abuses at Mum n us 2 sisters..we were just school kids..small girls, and we saw all this.My younger sister,who is no longer in this world,became so silent and reclusive.I on the other hand started to show him my anger.I really dont know how to forgive such a pathetic loser..who unfortunately became my dad..He spoilt my entire childhood..and my sisters..we separated from him when i was in class 9..but he continues to haunt us..even now.He remarried..abused his second wife..she went away..he wanted to come back to us..and to top it all..he blamed the divorce between mum n him on ME..!!huh????I really dont know what we did in our darned past lives to deserve such pathetic Fathers..and Guys..he was a Gay too..can u believe that.I hate him so much more now..cuz I lost my only sister,recently in a car accident..and she..who was so young..could have lived a happy life..if he was a better dad..I had begun to frgive him ..but now its really difficult.Im no angel..he's outtta my life for good..i aint contacting him ever..He has done enough damage to mum my younger sis n more..he just dosent exist for me anymore..PEACE!!!!

My father isn't manipulative but he makes me live a life of fear. He throws fits whenever me or my brother don't do what he says exactly. He is completely unreasonable,he doesn't know what love is. I wish i could love him but the fear that he shows makes me want to take a couple feet back. Ive completely broken down in tears just because when i thought about him i did not know what he was going to do next. I feel like I'm trapped and no where to go. I'm 16 I have friends i can go to when he goes on his temper tantrums. Sometime when i come back from my friends he gets even angrier. I want to completely depart from him when I'm 18 and go to college without support and never talk to him again. He has caused me to lose all emotions when I get angry. I hope i do not turn out like him and abuse them like he did me. He says he isnt a bad father but he isnt the one to judge. I just wish he could realize so we could have a relationship. I am always willing to forgive just as long as he gets rids of his anger problems. <br />
I wish i could get some advice

This is not advice, but when it comes to my Dad, I tell him that if he would just apologize that maybe we could have a relationship. But he refuses to admit he's done anything.
I hope you can take some advice by reading some of these stories. Some people have turned out successful through leaving and making their own life. I hope this gives you some encouragement.

I will kill my dads that's all you guys need to know<br />
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I was a top kid then my dad made us move from a French place in Canada to an English place in Canada. He always hated me and yells and make those bigs eyes like he gonna rip your neck off... But I will do to him the worst things in the world even if it cost my life

Please do not do this. You have your whole life ahead of you. He's not worth it. In time you will become an adult and leave him. Then it's your choice whether or not you want to cut him out of your life. He would be gone for you and you would not be in jail.

I understand your rageful anger. It is quite appropriate and normal.

I will kill my dads that's all you guys need to know<br />
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I was a top kid then my dad made us move from a French place in Canada to an English place in Canada. He always hated me and yells and make those bigs eyes like he gonna rip your neck off... But I will do to him the worst things in the world even if it cost my life

I do feel your pain. However, I trust myself and the people I love, the decisions we make, our feelings and so on. But, in front of him, we have to control anything that comes as natural to other people.<br />
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Call me a harsh f**king b*tch(and I'll admit that I'm indeed one), but once I grow up, I'm getting the hell away from him, and taking my loved ones along with me, and cutting off every form of contact I could possibly have with him. Deed poll, optional. Emigration, NECESSARY. The world doesn't revolve around him and his ego. I really at this point, don't give a flying f*** about him, or what he thinks of me, now and even then.<br />
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Thank you so much for your story, I think I now know a little more about what problem he is likely to have.<br />
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"He", by the way, is my father.<br />
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I have faith in the future, I simply hope that it doesn't get any worse.

i have a father who never take responsability of his actions, he left us,a nd never auspport his kids, never assumed or felt love feelings towards his kids, i despise him for all the damage he caused me, and i blame him for everything in my life , he's the reason of all my personal issues.

Same here.

Damn i thought i was alone with my anger...I always considered myself strong...i dont care if someone insult me....but when my dad insult hurts a LOT...I need time to recover...

oh my god!! what u wrote it what i would say if i were more articulate. <br />
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oh myy god.. and the fact that all these other ppl feel the same way.. id on't know.. i ask u, what are father so .. just so... AHHHHHHHHH!!! <br />
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but again. i totally relate. i really do. i really do! can someone help? who?

Wow, I can so relate to these stories, and they are written so very well! <br />
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I'm 51, and the only way that I know my dad loves me, is I hear it through other people! He wanted to be respected, and thought that the only way to insure that, was for us (my brother and I) to be afraid of him. We were the good kids in the restaurant....only because we were too afraid not to be. I still remember sitting in a restaurant waiting "forever" for our food to come, and having absolutely nothing to do. Can't play with your spoon, just "sit still and be quiet." And so I'm feeling rotten, and look up to see an elderly lady coming over to our table smiling...and I just knew what she was going to say: My, but your kids are just being so good! (*sigh) <br />
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Booknerd, yes, my dad did not allow us to express anger towards him, so I was pretty stifled for a long while, too! I remember once that I couldn't keep a "blank face" anymore, so I made a mockingly sad face while he "chewed me out,"...... and he never even caught on to what I was doing! My brother and I couldn't ask questions or explain, he was in charge, and that was it! And he also used fear, guilt, intimidation...... etc. Absolutely!! Nothing like humiliation to make your kid do what you want them to do! <br />
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And he is still Jekyll/Hyde.... I called him one day last week, and just happened to say that I had meant to call him the week before, and he went into a kind of tirade: since you're unemployed, why DIDN'T you call me last week? Are you just too busy being unemployed? Blah, blah blah blah.... Alright, so what do you want?! By the way, I was riding my bike....why would you call me when I was riding my bike? Can't you call me at another time of the day?! OK, so what are you calling about?! >>> And then today, he tries to "make up" for what he said before, and actually makes a small joke....!<br />
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He has no emotions except anger, and is as mean as he can be, as often as he can be. He never thinks about how what he's saying is going to make me feel...he just "spouts off." And if he actually thinks he made a mistake, he just goes around it, and moves on. He has no ability to analyze himself or consider how he makes me feel when he talks.<br />
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Thanks very much for writing this, BookNerd! Very powerful!

BPD or NO BPD. I will never accept that as an excuse for my father's behaviour. He's just selfish and he makes me sick.

Go baby!

This is my father too. Growing up the whole family walked on eggshells around him. During dinner he would tell everyone what he thought and the way it was. He would tell us what kids were taking advantage of their parents through weddings, college, etc. and that we should not take advantage of him. He would say he was going to spend all of his money before he died. He was always pissed off and most of the time we didn't know what about. "Is dad mad"? "Yes you left your comb on the sink". "Watch out, Dad's on a cleaning rampage". He would do disgusting things like chase you around the house with a bug or something he picked out of his face. He's old as dirt now and still acts like he's really special and intelligent, and talks about his opinions on everything which is usually wrong. Still talking about his money at every chance "I have money coming out of my eyes", "I'm donating my money when I die", "Look, I just bought this _____ for $$$$$$$$$$$". I have nightmares about him at least once a month. This week I had 2 nightmares including last night when I woke up shouting: "Get me out of here!!!" I can't stand anything about him.

Yep, this is my father too. He has fibromyalgia, which would be hard to live with but it's no excuse for him to not be a father to us. I've grown up learning how to act around him to avoid him getting mad, walking on egg shells around him at all times, having to keep everything inside because I had to always be happy around him, even when he was miserable. He isolated me from my friends, hardly ever let me leave the house other than for school, and has shut out the rest of my extended family and make it all seem like he's the victim. I hate him. I want out. I'm 20 years old, going to school and the only reason I'm still coming back is because of money. He's judgemental and treats my brothers like **** too. Hopefully this coming year I will move out and be done with this. <br />
I am so sorry to everyone out there who is suffering with a parent who is like this. It's hard and scarring :(

I relate to this also. My dad is pretty much as you described, and he acts pretty much creepy. He says unusually bizzare things to himself in a whisper or will say it while walking away. It's usually a creepy comment directed towards me or another family memeber or just a creepy comment in general. He also screams out loud "oh god it hurts" in the mornings to wake everyone up. And weird things like that. He also acts like an idiot and talks in a demeaning baby talk type way. He's a creep and an *******.<br />
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Many of you are saying to "get away" but what he does is sits in a chair all day infront of the window watching people come in and out. He sits there on the weekends and plays solitare and if you come down the stairs he will say something negative to you or keep you around or make you feel guilty or scream or nit pick a problem. <br />
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What I do, is don't listen to his threats, I'm physically bigger than him now, so he doesn't mess with me physically anymore - he knows I could beat him up. So basically, I turned the switch on him and stop responding to his threats for the most part. It's a constant battle and a constant fight with him. He threatens to call the cops, kick me out, and stop giving me money, I always say do it then, but he never does, it would reflect poorly on his "image" I think. I've gotten him to change somewhat, but he is the same guy on the inside, he knows im willing to scream and fight back. He controls my financial funds right now, but I'm hoping to get enough financial aid to move out into my appartment soon thank god. Also, when I was getting close to moving out by getting another part time job he'll say stuff like "slow down" and he's all said things to me like "you can stay here as long as you want". It was a trick, everything he does/says is basically a lie and a trick.<br />
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He is a ******* *****, ****, creepy. I don't care that much about emotional scars, I want him to die, if he was dead, I'd be happy. Once I'm out, I'm cutting all ties with him, I will never be around him again and will be able to breathe for once in my life.

My dad ids about 82 yo and falling apart after 2 partial strokes. Walks holding onto walls. I recently reconnected with him after several years of no communication. What lead to that was we were at dinner and he asked me if I would do CPR on him- he hugged his chest and kissed the back of his hand. When I said that's disgusting, he said to me, my husband and 2 adult children: "I have something to say to you" - "Go to Hell". So we didn't talk for several years. Just recently we reconciled and my parents want to get together again here and there. I have had nightmares about my dad at least once a month since I was 10 years old. This week I had 2 nightmares about him and woke up yelling "GET ME OUT OF HERE". My mom ignores all the bullshit he says and is happy we are seeing each other again. Because he is so old, I feel we should have a "fragile" relationship rather than nothing at all. Believe me, if he dies I will have to wear dark sunglasses because I will NOT BE CRYING.

My mother has BPD and she is a wonderful, kind person, and a damn good mother. She would have mood swings and things, but I could forgive her because she was a good parent and did her best.<br />
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I think having a terrible personality ontop of BPD is what makes a person a bad parent. <br />
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Meanwhile, my mother is not mentally ill in the slightest, and yet he's a complete jerk. He pretty much ignored me my whole life while verbally abusing my mother, then he gets mad when I don't listen to him or want to take his advice. In my head I'm thinking "What? So now I exist?" <br />
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And you know the worst part? He's not even sorry. He think he's right and that I'm somehow wrong. Um. Who ignored and neglected who here? <br />
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At least my mother is sorry for her BPD incidents. My father will never apologize, let alone admit he's wrong. <br />
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You don't have to be mentally ill to be a bad parent.

I have been out of the army for about a year. My wife takes care of me I'm an injured vet and i love her but no matter what I do it's good enough for my father It's almost to the point I wish I would of died. I can't seem to please my father. A very interesting person. I was army and he throws marine corps in my face. Just thank god for my wife. Been told should of died three times and my dads gets mad at me when I tell him becouse he says I'm pulling down the famliy.

Your Father sound somewhat like my mother. I guarantee, if you gave him a million dollars, he would still not be pleased with you! Just let him suffer and die. That's my answer.

I don't hate my father, I just resent him. I'm 36 years of age and due to a few bad choices I have ended up living back at home. In theory I could afford to move out. I have a good job with responsibility and wonderful friends but my father does not keep well and there are two big dogs which need constant care and attention which I am sure he got to keep me here. My father can be a great guy but he manipulates me and gives me guilt trips should I even try to go and do something out with the old sleep/work/caring for him/sleep cycle. For instance I recently started seeing a lovely man (after not dating for 5 years) and you would have thought the sky was falling in. After a couple of dates he had me moving out and getting married and him going into care. I cannot even take the dogs out for longer than an hour without a comment - where were you, you were out for longer than normal?? If I want to go out on my motorbike he goes on about me having stuff to do and I end up guilty, frustrated and even more full of resentment.<br />
Don't get me wrong, I love him dearly deep down, but I really can't stand it anymore. I am living a life I don't want. I am naturally adventurous and love to travel but he always puts this and hence me down. I sometimes wonder if he is really my real father - we seem so different in attitude. He makes every excuse not to do things and then moans about not being able to do things after. AAAAARRGGHHH!!! <br />
But I worry that now the manipulation has started to succeed in it's aim and is beginning to break my spirit. I want to go, I look at apartments for rent, I amke plans to go and see them and then I wimp out. When does this end? Do I really have to wait until he dies? Sometimes I wish I could just not be here and it would all be over but then I think that it cannot always be like this. There will be a time when I can have my life back. I only wish it was sooner rather than later.............

That's my mom. She pretends she can't do anything. She won't do anything, won't take care of her own dogs, fish, etc, she won't bathe or brush her teeth, she hasn't shopped for clothes in probably a decade. Then she sits there like a lump and all she does is sleeps and watch tv. As soon as I see her she is demanding in a manipulative way for me to do things for her that she could have easily done herself. I used to be afraid when she'd tell me she was going to use the car bc she shakes when she drives. But then after many years, I figured, I should just let her get in a wreck and die. Who cares anymore.

My dad is exactly.... and i mean EXACTLY like that!

Can totally relate.<br />
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It's amazing how many people can be feeling exactly what you are, but in the moment, you feel like you're the only piece of **** in the world who has the extreme misfortune of being raised by a PATHETIC *******. <br />
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I was always a mama's girl until I had to live with my dad, because my mom couldn't prioritize her kids and her new boyfriend. After that, I became nobodies girl. There's always been awkward tensions between me and my dad. I just feel so stressed out when I'm around him, my body will literally turn into knots. This is due to years of reprimanding, verbal and physical abuse. I have ******* had ENOUGH. He likes to refer to himself as a "functioning alcoholic", however, we've never been able to communicate for more than maybe an hour without arguing. Some functioning relationship that is.<br />
Maybe that's a lie, It's actually a complete lie. My dad definitely has his days when he's cool! It's like wtf.. is this really my dad :D??! i lovee him, he's not a ******* PSYCHO. so when I have to deal with the few days, or hours, etc. Of the "cool" dad it really makes me hate him even more when he goes back to his usual fuckhead ways. <br />
I seriously can't take it anymore. <br />
If he's in an argument with someone else it gets taken out on me every time. Even if I havent done anything wrong for weeks. It somehow gets re brought up, and that turns into another fight. And I honestly don't know how to take it anymore.<br />
He's ruined ******* friendships, granted maybe they weren't great ones if we're not still friends, But the fact that he thinks he can put My friends down too?? Really baffles me. He hates all of them because "they do whatever they want" or "They walk all over their parents." **** you. They can have civilized conversations with their parents without having to worry about being bashed as a person. I ******* hate this guy, I can't wait to graduate it will honestly be the best thing for our relationship. I feel bad for my 5 year old brother who has t oconstantly watch us fight, it doesnt make him want to come over, he already ******* hates it here.

my father is exactly the same as your dad. if we made a small mistake, he'll automatically scream at us and curse us. then after a while he'll apologize to's a cycle that left so many holes in our hearts. once we told him what he's doing to us emotionally but he just turned it around and told us that it was our fault that he got mad. part of me want to rip his head off but part of me still wants to cling to him, he's my dad after all. but i'm so it really my fault? i lost all my confidence..before i was so confident with myself..i have dreams, goals, but now i just want to stay in my room. I'm so afraid that if I make another mistake he'll yell at me and curse me. am i a bad daughter? is that why he's yelling at me? I'm so lost..

my dad is like that. im sixteen. for years i have hoped and needed his approval, but i have given up hope. i live with him, and my mom. no matter how much we wish we can change our parents, we cant. my dad is very insecure with himself, and that is why he acts like he does. i hope you recover. i hope i will too

Reading these stories makes me so sad for everyone posting but also gives me some relief because it is comforting to know i'm not the only one who has had to deal with a father with mental health issues. I don't know anything about BPD really but the kind of behaviour associated with it sounds JUST like my Dad. <br />
When I was 1 and my Mum was pregnant with my brother, my Dad was cheating on her with his now wife- she is the most evil person I could imagine btw, its like she's out of a film or something, but that's not the point...he left my Mum when I was 1 1/2 and she was 7 months pregnant with my brother, he took all of her stuff and locked her out of their shared house. His mistress had a miscarriage shortly after this and he blamed my Mum for her miscarrying, even though my Mum had done absolutely nothing and was dealing with being left by her husband whilst being pregnant and also her Dad had just died too. I only go into this much detail to show the extent to which he is crazy and will go to insane lengths to blame people for stupid things to try to deflect attention from what he has done. <br />
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I am now 23 and although I have managed by some miracle to find an amazing boyfriend who couldn't be more different to my Dad, I am still haunted every day by everything that's happened over my life with him. I have had on and off contact with him throughout my life, less as i've got older as every time I have been around him or been in touch in some way I always go into a downwards spiral, he is unfailingly stubborn, selfish, manipulative, uncaring and like a lot of you have said, he loves playing the victim. But point any of this out to him and he either ignores you completely or will turn it round somehow to say i'm 'playing the victim', even though this is exactly what he does. <br />
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He's never accepted any responsibility for anything he's done, he has alienated his entire family and doesn't speak to me or my brother. I want to stop trying to get in touch but I think its an underlying bond you have as Father and daughter that makes you keep revisiting it- why is he like he is? why doesn't he care? does he know what i'm like now? Does he feel guilty? Does he love me? etc.....these questions will probably never be answered since he is more desperate to appear in control and right than to get to know 2 of his children. <br />
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I just wonder if you guys know if this sounds like BPD as you have experience with men who are suffering from it. Like you said I have only recently realised how abnormal he actually is as a Father, I just used to think he was mean and weak but now (and i'm studying psychology) I am starting to realise there were/are mental health issues there. <br />
My Mum is the best Mum I could imagine, she has taken all the crap in her stride, she never puts my Dad down, has sacrificed so much to raise us by herself with NO financial support from my Dad at all and she is always consoling me when things with him go wrong (which they always do). I don't understand why he could be so nasty to and about someone who doesn't have a bad bone in her body. Over my life he's claimed that my Mum is 'poisoning' me and my brother against him and it makes me so angry because he's done that himself and he also knows that she isn't like that. <br />
Everything he says seems to be thought up to intentionally cause maximum self doubt and maximum pain, and he is just squeaky clean....yeah right!!

My dad is the same as yours. Amazes me to realize I'm not alone. His crazy attitude was so powerful and messed up that almost all three of his kids (including me) have it. I managed to break free am working to better myself. My brother and sister are the same as him, and in fact put me down and terrorize me like him. Lately their new style is to talk **** non<x>stop about me...while one of the siblings reports to me about what's going on, even when I tell them not to. I'm at the verge of cutting all of them off for good. I have stuck around this long mainly for my mother.

It is a breath of fresh air to read some of the stories here, I am in England and have had the near exact experience of many of you. My dad is a complete & utter bastard. He has lived his life with control over my mother and myself & my brother by using fear, violence & mental cruelty. I myself am waiting for the day he dies & I really will rejoice. The Sad part is my mum is still married and still with him, she will never be free until he dies, he had a heart attack last year & alas they operated a triple heart bypass so no doubt he will outlive my mum which makes me so bitter. As kids we were petrified of him, we both had good hidings & he beat my mum, they are now both 67 & just the other week he pushed my mum so hard she fell over. He wanted us both to be barristers, solicitors & neither of us were clever enough to do it, my brother went to uni but he has always put us down, made us feel like we were underachievers, in the town he lives in eveyone hates him, it is a small town & he has managed successfully at some point to fall out with just about every single resident, they know what he is & have over the years said they pity my mother, she has given up & now just puts up with him because she is afraid of being alone in her 60's, I would just love to see her live out her years a happy woman free of him. For years I found it so difficult to make anyone understand what it is like to hate & deteste your own dad, and as of yet have not met anyone in person who feels the same way! I myself have had problems, I had my daughter with a man which beat me & belittled me in the very same way my dad did, i had the courage to up & leave him, my own mother tried to convince me I was doing the wrong thing by leaving, probably because she did the opposite & stayed with that animal called my father. I now just feel let down by men & have been single for 4 years, it's so much easier! There is now increased strain on my relationship with my mum as I now live & support myself & my daughter & want to keep a relationship with my mum but I resent my dad so much & he is now trying to dictate how I should bring my daughter up of course which I retaliate to, I think eventually, sad as it will be, will have to cut them out of my life altogether which will hurt my mum, but what can I do? He was an alcoholic for years & years & he gave up the booze 3 years ago & since ten he is even worse with mum he wants to know her every movement & she is terrified if we go out for the day what he will be like when she gets back. My brother got out, he is in brazil with his family but I still live near them, I just want to get on with my life but it seems so impossible, I commend those of you who have succeeded in moving on, hopefully my day will come.

Ha ha, how typical to want his kids to be a solicitor/barrisor (and a doctor in my case). I hate him, unfortunately I have only come to understand him in the last year or so and finally admit/realise just how toxic and damaging he has been/is.

My dad and my sister teases me all the time . And lately they have been getting really hurtful . I run into my room slam the door and cry . I can't take it anymore . I told my mom she does nothing . I've thought about running away and living with my friend or with my grandma . I even tried to hurt myself where I pass out and thinking the pain will go away . But it doesn't . I was on my sisters phone and<br />
Saw messages and they were about me . She was telling lies about me to here friends . My dad calls me retarded and means it . And my sister beats me but my mom does nothing .

This is so comforting to know I'm not the only one having to deal with this. My dad is almost exactly what you depict in your story. I feel as though I am slowly starting to think like him, and I really don't want to, because that will affect the ones I love. I can't deal with that. So yeah, I understand how much you hate your dad, because I have the same hostility towards him as you do.

Thank you. I am going through this right now. My "relationship" with my father can only be described as that a young woman would have with an on again off again narcissistic ex boyfriend. My mother, who was my best friend and wonderful parent, just passed away. I feel lonely and crave the parent relationship with my father however I've learned now, at 26 years old and dealing with his selfish tendencies, that any father is not better than no father.

Good lord, I think you might me be from 5 years ago (2010)! I too lost my my mum (who was my life and soul) at the age of 26. At the time I had a boyfriend of 7-8 years who was hands down a narcissist, and who had already sucked much life out of me. The one thing he couldn't break (not for lack of trying!) was my devotion to my mother.

My dad: where to begin?? I don't think he's a narcissist. I've been reading about borderline personality disorder recently and I think it explains a lot of his behaviour. But there is much I don't know of his background from before he met my mum, so naturally I can't say for sure. Maybe he's some other brand of *******.
When my mum passed away, I hadn't spoken to him for over 3 months. He was displeased at me for some minor slight (I think I didn't accompany my cousin to the airport to greet my aunt...they lived in a different city from me) and so unleashed his anger on my mum. I cut off all contact with him. Having watched his treatment of her over the years lowered my threshold for tolerance. His selfishness and lies were the least of it. I'm only just appreciating how much of his toxicity my mum shielded me from. That was the only reason I was and am able to stand up to him.
Anyway, our relationship was fine for a few years. I was living in another country so he managed to keep his crazy in check for the most part. In return, I turned a blind eye to his treatment of his live-in girlfriend (who he hooked up with 28 days after my mum died). As you say, I was craving the parent relationship that I had lost. It didn't feel natural opening up to him, but at the time I didn't feel I had a choice. The facade slipped last year. Every doubt, insecurity and failure that I had confessed to him in the past has been hurled as weapon right back at me 5x more exaggerated. He tries to pit me against friends of mine who appear to be more successful than me - he doesn't even know these people!! The intensity of the attacks has gone up since I moved back into my mother's house (where he lives).

Writing this has been hugely cathartic for me. I have been feeling a bit off balance the last few days, due to his behaviour. I notice that you wrote your post some years ago and I hope you have found some solace since. Just remember how lucky you and I have been in having a mother who we could call our best friend and for everything she has done for us. As for our ******* dads: just remember that the words he's saying are just designed to hurt you: to knock you off your perch/bring you down a peg or two etc. There is no truth to them. They are a tool to gain power in the relationship dynamic. They are not personal. Make sure you don't accept them as such, for your own mental well being and for the power dynamic. Although I stay in the same house as my dad, I don't speak to him unless its necessary. He's in his mid-70s, but healthy. I have zero loyalty towards him and won't shed a tear (even out of joy) when he dies. He ruined my mother's life, my sister's and his girlfriend's. I won't give him the same pleasure.

Congratulations first of all. It is so very difficult to experience a living loss that comes with separating from toxic parents. I have separated from toxic father, who was abusive both physically and mentally and continues to be such towards my child and myself (I am 35 y/o now). His abuse to my young son, was the final straw. My mother, she blames and guilt me into staying, so separating from this toxic mother/daughter relationship has proven a tad more difficult because she will show up and blame and guilt and use her poor health as a means of guilt"ing" me. I have, just this week made the stand to her and told her either her criticism, blame and guilt has got to stop or she is voted off my island. Her response was more guilt and it is a matter of standing my ground for my son and myself. My point is that you are not alone and your strength and courage is admirable. Best wishes for you.

I sympathise with all of you. It's good to know that I'm not the only one. My dad has used fear, intimidation and manipulation all his life to get what he wants. My mother divorced him as she had had enough. One sister became an alcoholic and then when she hit rock bottom, she pulled herself up and is doing very well career wise. I had a big argument with my dad and his new wife long time ago when my sister was alcoholic, as they literally said 'she's going to die anyway!' Now that this sister is doing well, she wants to rule the family. Now my dad caters to her only. We only have one hour together (the 3 sisters and my dad) for lunch on Saturdays and she only talks about herself now and never lets anyone else talk. If you tell her this, you get a barrage of verbal abuse back from her. My dad now ignores me and my other sister in favour of her, hypocritically (after what he said about her which I never told her). He always puts me down since I became a financial adviser, the other sister says the nastiest things to me as she was in private banking before and lost her job a few years ago. When I ask my dad to chair the one hour lunches so we can all catch up with each other, he says I'm jealous of the little sister and to grow up. He spent the last lunch just fixing his mobile phone with my little sister as if the us 2 were not even there. He was also so insensitive when my cat died in the summer.

I've been reacting with anger for the past few months, as it took me along time to realise what was going on here. Now the family (apart from my mum) blames me because I'm angry that they each ridicule my choices and me. I used to write my dad text messages to tell him why I'm so upset with his insensitive behaviour. But instead of responding to me, he goes and complains to my mum. She tries to reason with him but does not really do anything. I therefore think life is far too short to be spending precious moments of your life with people who are not supportive, loving and kind. I've decided to cut off from them. I won't be going to their farcical lunches on Saturdays anymore. Funnily enough, ever since I have, I am much happier: I have very kind, supportive friends, a great loving boyfriend (whom both my mum and the ex-alcoholic sister made fun of when they saw his picture. What do they know: they're doomed to be single forever) and although I resigned from my previous job, I have job opportunities coming through every day. My mum also bought me a little kitten for my birthday.

My best advice: either accept or reject the behaviour. You do not need to tolerate anything. Tolerating just means half accepting, half rejecting. Walk away and live your own life and funnily enough, the best revenge against toxic members of family is when they see you happily getting on with your own life.

I can really relate to you. I am a 54 year old never married female living with my elderly father, and I have post traumatic stress, among other things, like I have one more year till I am a survivor of breast cancer, I had a partial mastectomy, 27 rounds of radiation and several bouts of chemo, and about 5 surgeries. But like most of you say, Its all about "THEM" You go to talk to my father, and he talks in cliches, and today was really bad, and i had my best friend over, who he uses. I asked him to please give me so money for the family shopping, he went berserk! Mind you he was eating my friends pizza she got yesterday! He called me every name in the book. Oh by the way, he sits on the phone for hours every night with some mysterious 59 year old woman, who keeps him up to all hours. and then he drives to excercise classes.
He lives upstairs, but prepared all his meals in my kitchen several hours a day! He called me a looney tune, that i should be in a straight jacket, I hear this many times when he goes in his jekkl hyde personality. I finally went berserk on him and said dont take your late night conversations out on me. He said you have no idea, and your stupid. I said get that pizza out of your mouth. he said your friend gave it me, and you dont even pay rent, mind you the house has been paid, and i do so much work in this house and pay for so much, he has a lot of nerve! He finally said go take a nerve pill.
I dont take them for that really. But my dr knows how my father is, and said yes that is why you are on Antivan, cause you can not be stressed you have a much higher risk of getting cancer again. I have one more year. My father tells me you wont get a thing. Mind you a have a will, and I am the executor and poa. I am at my wits end at 3am, and now my friend is here and we have to go shopping tomorrow. I dont want to be tired, so i have to go. I am so glad to find a place to listen to others and also get advice. Peace is hard with these type of individuals, harder i believe cause they are our parents. We thought they loved us, and that we could trust them. I should of known better, he cheated on my mom in this house 47 years ago and burned down this house with another tramp. and rebuilt it. My mother remarried and lives in FL with my step dad, and my half sister and her four kids. I am the only child of my mom and dad.

I'm sorry you've had to go through all that, it must have been horrible. I can relate to a lot of what you talked about, and I was wondering if we could connect over email and perhaps share some thoughts and experiences. I would really appreciate it, and I think venting about it could be good for both of us.

I think we have the same father. As much as he can try to win your forgiveness or you can try to forgive, it cannot change the ripple affect of what he did. I know how you feel, I am getting treated and it is the best decision I have made. I am no where near ready to forgive. But I am taking care of myself and my marriage because that is my life and priority. Hopefully you find joy in your life and are never a victim again.

Are you talking about my dad because I think we have the exact same one. Nothing I do has ever been good enough for him and everything I've ever done has always been to try to make him and his wife happy. My mother would never stand up for me either and I'm just so pained by the fact that no matter what anybody else says about me, they will always stand against me. My dad has pushed me into a course I truly despise that I never wanted to do in the first place. I've given my everything and I've still failed. Just moments ago he came into my room shouting and said that if I listened to anyone instead of assuming to know everything, we wouldn't be in this problem. I've never been good enough for either of them. Then they try to use money and material things to make everything better. Instead of always putting me down, I wish they would have just opened their ears and heard what I was trying to say. Indifferrence is the opposite of love, hate isn't. They are my parents and I love them, but I deeply hate them. So though I hate them I still care. And that's my biggest flaw.

This sounds a lot like my dad who I have recently had to cut out of my life in order to continue rebuilding my life as an adult. The lack of his ability to admit any responsibility for the things that happened in the past that may have affected my life, and his blame and judgement of his own daughter make me sick. I have decided that he is toxic to my life, and even thought its hard to forget all the hurtful things he has said, I have to keep doing what is best for me.

<p>Dear Toxic Parent,<br />
Your story relates to my story but the only difference is with all that my father was abusive. He would beat the hell out of us for silly things like bad grades. He would humilate us and punish us, and say bad words. When I was in college I was late to come home and he beat me up and threw alcohol in my face. The problem is in Arab countries we have to see and visit our parents. There is no escape. He has shoowed some changes recently but I cant accept him. He is still very greedy although he is a rich man. All the way through my school years I have been left with no money. I used to take money from friends, men, other relatives. He even took some money that was meant for me. When i got married he gave me some money to buy stuff and than asked for it back. He is a greedy old bastard, who thinks only of himself but claims that when he dies we will get too much money. Does that mean we should wait till he dies. I dont wish death for anyone.</p>

my dad is the EXACT same way!, and as soon as I snap im the bad guy, same with my little sister, she is the same $%^&ing way and my mother will throw me under the bus just so she can avoid conflict. i hate my family, sure we have it good but holy **** money means nothing when you get sick every time you hear the door open and close.

I'm in the middle of the process of disengaging and letting go of my 'father''s not my fault for all the horrible things that happen in your life, perhaps you should take some responsibility....and not laugh and joke about how your son will end up in a pine box--you disgusting toxic liar

I'd like to know how that is going for you, I am currently doing the same and have been doing so for about 9 months now. I find the more I understand him and accept what he is and that what he has done is abuse the easier it is to let go. It is such a lengthy process and so draining.

My father died nearly eight years ago. I've never shed a tear over him since that day and I have never missed him.

Still waiting for mine to go. Since my mother died it has become easier for me to hate him and see him for what he is. I can't see me crying either, it just makes me sad that I now feel that I understand him so well but I also feel that I am now becoming him and I am too weak to fight it.

After all of the pain that I have endured from my father, I look forward to the day when I can say the same.

My can I begin to explain him. I can't. No one can. No one can understand him or why he does the things he does.

He has always put me down, no matter how hard I try, nothing has ever been good enough. Or any interests, dreams or goals I've set for myself in life, he has shot down. "Why do you want to do that? No one with a right mind would do that. Why do you want to participate in that pageant, sport, class, field of study, job? Your too short to be a leader. " Then once he's beaten down to a pulp, he throws money or materials things at me to pick me back up. Then uses those same things later to say, "see how good I've been to you and you disrespect me?" Cycle after cycle after cycle, with never an apology, even when he's wrong. Never learning from previous fights or estrangements.

Plus, no man has ever been good enough for me, and in fact, he's blatantly destroyed the last two relationships I had, and tried to undermine all the ones before that. He uses religion to destroy me and the relationship.

Once, I walked outside to see a "separated" man's (a friend) car, didn't sit down in the vehicle, didn't hug or touch the man in any kind of way, and I was told I was acting like " a giddy school girl" and later was called "a *****" for it because the man was "still married." I did nothing wrong. I was told that I was embarrassing him and my family, and that in foreign countries the fathers and brothers would commit an "honor killing" of the daughters/sisters who acted the way I was. I spent 10 mins, in broad daylight looking at someone's new car!?

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is an endocrine disorder caused by genetics. I told my dad I thought I was suffering from this, and he told me that I must have contracted it from having sex with a past boyfriend is not an STD. He made me feel so dirty, for something I genetically inherited and through his ignorance.

Then once he told a man I was seeing that they were going to have a problem.....because they were both "in love with the same girl," and if he wanted to marry me, we could have my grandmother's home to share, but that I would have to still live with him (my father). " Then he laughed it off as a joke. My dad has also told me before that maybe he & I should be married "in name only" so that I could inherit some additional benefits after he dies one day. WTF???!

Then, my dad asked me one day if I was having sex with this man, I said, "Dad, I'm 42 years old and now that's not really any of your business now is it?" He immediately blew up at me and told me my bf was not welcome there anymore! That was the end of that relationship.

Several years later, I began dating another man. My dad said if I ever married this man, that he would burn down our family home, so I couldn't inherit it or any money from the sale of it. Then about a year later, my dad came to my house, never meeting him (same man), banged on the front door and asked if he was there. When my boyfriend came outside, my dad told him that he had his tag number off his vehicle, that this was HIS property, and he better never step foot on it again or he would have him arrested for trespassing. Needless to say, this relationship is now circling the drain.

I'm almost 45 yrs old, my dad is almost 73 and is sharp as a tack, mentally. I have never been married or had children, two things I desperately wanted out of life. Both are probably out of my reach now, mostly because of my father.

My mother is deceased, for almost 20yrs now. My dad has never remarried or had a girlfriend. He went on a few dates, but quickly ended the relationships because "someone would always want something more, and I'm a christian and I have no intentions of getting remarried, but premarital sex is forbidden and is a sin." So, if he can't have sex, then I'm not going to have sex, and I'm just "a *****" if I do.

At the moment, my dad and I are not speaking. Don't know if we ever will again. My brother never wants to get involved. He's married with children and dad treats him like an "adult" because he has his own family. Though he still puts him down too at every turn.

I have seriously thought of committing suicide to escape my dad because he is choking the life out of me and my life anyway. The very few friends I have have helped me, been to therapy, too, but my dad's constant toxicity keeps me in depression and makes me feel so trapped. He keeps me isolated from people with his judgements. I never feel good enough for anyone and it seems as long as I just have a relationship with him, and he's happy, he thinks that's all I need.

Good luck to everyone here, I know how you feel.

Ok, so the identical aspects of your story to mine are unbelievable, I was merely skimming through the story but then the part about your dad being '73 and sharp as tack' stopped me in my tracks( he is also in his seventies), this is mine exactly whilst the minds of his children and wife were messed up. The last few times I saw my mother when she was alive I noticed how confused she was and now I understand that it was the depression and isolation caused by him.
The hampering/destruction of every bit of a life of your own you try to create, the putting down and the overpraise, saying you agreed to something when you have no recollection of doing so. I am 40 now and have spent most of my life wondering when things will get better and I now realise that all that time spent wondering rather than doing something was because I had my independent spirit choked out of me ages ago. Good luck to us eh?

Your dad reminds me of my dad. He is the worse with my middle sister and has decimated her self esteem. He is a narcissist and only cares about his sister and family. Do whatever you can so you don't have to depend on him at all. Once you are ready to move if you can don't tell him your address. Use a po box. I feel your pain. Hang in there.

After reading your story I feel like your dad is exactly like mine. I used to think that no one else had that. I'm miserable living with him. I'm still dependent on him which is my biggest problem so I'm constantly distressed. With his very presence. And I just hate him. My mom seems to be OK with it though. If I tell her about it she always tells me that its just his habit so tolerate it. I've been doing that all my life but its gotten worse for me and I'm so very disturbed and filled with negetiveness that I'm feeling lost and trapped. His behavior is untollerable. What should I do? I've become unsocial and my mind is disturbed all the time. He males me feel bad about myself and everything that I do. My academics are ruined and I'm still struggling with my thesis which I just can't seem to concentrate on anymore. How do I become healthy and mentally strong so that I can lead a independent and happy life? Can u recommend me any helpful insights. I would really appreciate it. Thanks

Same dad as me. The mess he made still effects me 25 years later, and realise now that my most recent relationship was with a woman exactly like him. I am feel so set back (again) that I dare not involve myself with anyone for fear of repeating the same mistakes yet again.

My dad was the funniest , fun and outgoing person in the World, he still is but I can say our relationship is sad! I use to be just like him if not better, I remember being the center of attention in school cuz everyone loved me I had all the girls nd was an all around athlete played team sports since the 2nd grade I could do everything n anything I put my mind to my confidence was maxed out yu can tell by my baby pictures! But I remember the problem from the start! I was a star bball player nd he refused to put me n aau that Summer I was only in the 7th grade nd I never gt back in summer aau ball nd it killed me I played for the school til high school then he stops getting my haircut nd had me in counterfit clothes nd cheap **** so I'm all nappy nd dirty my first year in high school, I only had 1 gf that entire year n dat was after I started selling drugs to provide for myself! I was way off track nd insecure, nd every little mistake I made he came down hard as hell! My highschool years I jus watched my dream fade I never played ball n college instead I gt a drug charge nd guess who bonds me out! Dad nd guess who til this very day reminds me of how much $$ he spent on me nd how I dnt do nothing to help him nd how if I wanna b successful I gotta humble myself nd follow every little blueprint of MY LIFE that he made? I'm 22 years old nd I've had two houses, I've made my own business that he also saw interested in nd didn't support, I have a 13 RT charger, I've finished 2 years college nd I've been locked up in 3 different states I've been put on 3 years probation nd I jus completed that last monday, but wen I hear my dad speak to me It sounds like he talking to a 17 year old who never been through nothing or accomplished anything in the real world, although there Isnt anyone I knw 22 years old who has their Lifes together and stable I knw for a fact I'm not that ****** lost in this world! I knw People my age who still stAY wit dey folks driving 2012 impala that they mom bought them riden round smoking cush feeling like a man and gt no bills but they parents talk to them with so much respect and comfort like their on the same level! I'm ashamed to bring my friends round my dad once they hear how he talks to me they will start jugding and probably think I'm irresponsible and imature! One thing I learned from my dad is if yu wanna be a man yu gotta have money to do wat yu want nd need nd never depend on nobody (maybe just him). Can't be a man wen someone pays your phonebill and yu wanna get out for the night but the blackmale u saying cut my grass nd wax my car before yu leave nd it's already dark nd ur already dressed! Can't be a man wen ya phone gets cut off cuz u don't go to church with the family who looks down on yu. But yu can be a man wen yu pay your way nd do Watever yu want cuz nobody can take nothing from yu! I'm jus a man tryna earn my manhood ! I despise my dad cuz I feel he doesn't want me to be a man cuz if he did he would accept me rather than challenge me nd blackmale me like I'm a kid! I feel so angry at times nd incomplete nd lost, I think too much nd my personally is affected I dnt have many friends like i use too, and for as long as I can remember Ive been trying to find away to save myself from being this weirdo who hates his life nd gets treated like a kid! I admire fathers who make their sons into confident strong willed leading winners sure about every breath they take! I doubt myself n so many ways I can notice it being noticeable to others but I cnt stop it! I was raised like this Damn!

i feel you. i was in the same boat as you. if i get his call i'd start shaking. normally i wouldn't answer. he blames me for everything when in my opinion it is his fault that his life is going that way. i'm a victim of physical and verbal abuse too. it gives me relief and strength when i knew i wasnt all alone living in a hell with my father, that someone somewhere is fighting the same battle as i do. At least someone out there would understand my point of view and why i feel this way towards my father. thank you for sharing your story it does means a lot to me

My dad is the main root of my depression. I tell myself I should forget about it but I cant. Like you, my dad gets mad and beats me then apologises like nothing happened. People say to just ditch him once I'm 18 but it is not that easy. He wants to control my life and use me to keep him financially stable. There are so many things I want to do when I grow up, but because of him, I have to give up on all my dreams. I don't have a mother and the rest of my family is in a different country, so you can see the problem there. He makes it so clear I am nothing but a burden to him and it just makes me want to die and cease to exist. He has a bunch of girlfriends all the time and just forgets about me. He always ends up breaking their hearts and this makes me very negative about the concept of "love". Every promise he has ever made to me has been broken. He always uses guilt on me. Sorry for the rant, just want you to understand I know how it feels

My parents got divorced when I was 5 and ever since then they have hated eachother. My dad tells me all the time and my mom don't bring it up cause I asked her not too.. My dad says how I can talk to him about anything but he gets angry.. When I was in 9th grade my mom moved and I was with her over the summer, when I asked to see her more he flipped out and called me a trader. Now I'm a senior and I'm homeschooled and living with my dad after he moved 5 hours away and I'm visiting mom for the summer and seeing my friends when it hit me.. I won't have a graduation, I won't see my friends.. And I want to have 1 normal year of highschool. I'm an A and B student in school, and I wanna come back and graduate like everyone else in my family did. I wanna be able to talk to my dad about this but idk how too.. He don't know how I feel cause he was popular, played sports and graduated but didn't go to college.. I wanna go to college still because I'll be the first girl to go.. But I need advice