I don't know if I'm being unreasonable or he's being unreasonable or what's going on. Help please?

I am a 16 year old girl, going into my senior year of high school. I'm having a little trouble with my father and I don't really know if I'm just being a bratty teenager or if he just has unreasonable expectations for me.

So since I was about 9 years old my job has been to clean the house. Not just my room, not just doing the dishes, but clean the entire house. That's vacuuming and dusting and polishing and everything. My dad is a "stay at home dad" with me. Two or three summers ago we invested a WHOLE lot of time in a HUGE project, tearing out about 11 large trees from a section of our backyard, leveling the ground, digging two enormous ponds, and just generally turning our backyard into a lovely garden.

For a kid, this has been a lot of work. There has been quite a bit of hard physical labor and a lot of hours dedicated to different projects. And mostly, I've grown accustomed to this. I'm usually okay with the cleaning and everything. My mom makes a lot of money at what she does and we live very comfortably. I used to get a 30 dollar per week allowance, but I really feel like I worked for that money.

This summer, however, everything seems to have changed. During the school year I had some problems that, at the time, I was all wrapped up in. I became very very depressed and began to self injure. Part of this was because of my dad's expectations for me.

Now, up until this point in my question, I haven't said a lot about my dad really, just that he has made me work. Well, he is a very very tough man. He doesn't see himself as my father, he sees himself as my 'coach.' Every time I make a little mistake he will scream at me and fight with me and my self esteem just plummets. For example, he once said to me: "You can't even do a job that a retarded person can do!" And it just continues on and on and it hurts me deeply. Now I can see that at least part of his temper is just that; HIS temper, and his problem. However, I take every word he says very seriously and I can't help but believe him.

So I had sort of a mental breakdown last year that involved self injury and an incident in which I dyed my hair purple, which was honestly an effort to stop the cutting that I had become used to. I just wanted something to finally change.

Well, it changed. Dad now sees me as completely irresponsible. Though he trusts me with some things, he has completely changed the way he treats me and how he expects me to work. He is trying to force total responsibility upon me, forcing me to buy my own clothes, food, and pay for gas for the truck (almost $70 per fill). Instead of paying me 30 dollars a week, he wants me to work hourly and earn $2 per hour, and average about 4 hours per day. I go to summer school from 8:30-12:30 on weekdays due to a poor math grade (not an F, but a D) and they require me to spend at least an extra hour on the subject every day. I don't get home from summer school until about 1:00, and after lunch it's usually 1:15 before I actually start working. If I do the bare minimum he asks, I'm still not done until 6:15, leaving me no time to spend with my friends or my significant other.

On top of all this he requires me to diet and exercise due to a problem I have with my weight. He constantly puts me down about my weight, and even after I lost 40 pounds last year he continued to torment me so much that I just said **** it and gained the weight back. I don't way 200 pounds or anything, it's just a weight that he's not happy with.

So anyways, I guess what I'm really trying to ask through all that is if I'm being unreasonable for being angry at my father for requiring so much of me. I know it will probably help me in my future life, but right now it's stressful and driving me insane. If this pressure lasts much longer I might slip back into my old depression, I feel so helpless now. Any suggestions or anything?

Update:

My mother is on board wth everything he says and decides. She barely ever sticks up for herself or me, at least when it comes to him. She works from 8:00am-6:30pm and doesn't see my side of things, really. I truly love my mother, but she isn't much help in this matter.

3 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think he feels guilty for being at home and not working (that earns money) and pawning off on you. That sounds like abuse. That is way too much for even an adult on every day basis. I know, as I love gardening, and know that yardwork is hard.

    You definitely need to let your mother know what's going on. You are too young for all that. Your education should be the priority. Tell your mother you need more time for study and yourself. You will need a good education to get yourself outta there in a few years.

    You are only young once, and your father is making it miserable. He has issues with being home and he is taking out on you. It is so unfair.

    You are not being unreasonable at all. I was always a hard worker, and would never have asked my child to do that much labor inside and out of the home. In some sick way, it sounds like you are a substitute wife. Why does your mother allow this? She has to have some idea.

    If your mother doesn't listen, I'd seriously go to an authority.

  • 1 decade ago

    girl, you have a lot of willpower. i would've told my father off by now. you're not being unreasonable. he's expecting too much from you. since you are living under his roof still, tough it out for another two years and then you'll be legal and can do what you wantt

  • 1 decade ago

    If I were you i would definitely talk to your dad about it, and if you're not comfortable with that (and i would understand if you weren't) then you should talk to your mom so she can tell your dad. Also, tell them that if you worked less you would be able to bring your grades up since they seem very concerned with your grades.

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