Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsFamily · 2 months ago

How to deal with an emotionally abusive parent?

I'm too young to move out and I don't have any money of my own or any family that can take me in. My dad has always been very distant, he always criticizes me despite the fact that I go far out of my way to help him with everything and make him happy. He puts me down and makes me feel like I'm dumb and useless. I don't know what to do about it, I can't talk to him because it results in a far worse situation. How do you deal with a parent whos mood fluctuates and who you constantly feel like you're walking on eggshells around?

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  • 2 months ago
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    If you think there's a possibility that he would discuss this with you - along the lines of "Dad, you seem like you're in a bad mood a lot and it makes me really sad to see you like that" or "when you talk to me like that, I feel dumb and useless" - you could try it. He might try to change, or he might just get angry and be a bigger jerk, I don't know what he's like. 

    You might just have to avoid him as much as possible. It sounds like you are trying really hard to please him and/or win him over, but you might need to accept that he is who he is. Try not to take it personally and try to understand that he has problems, probably a lot of problems, that have nothing to do with you. His parents probably talked to him the way he talks to you. Maybe he has undiagnosed depression or alcoholism or chronic pain or something that you don't even know about. 

    You can't "make" someone else happy who doesn't already want to be happy. Focus your energy on yourself - school, friends, pets, hobbies, part-time job, etc - and create a plan for how you are going to get out of the house, eventually. I'm sorry he puts you down and makes you feel dumb and useless. But really, don't waste time and emotion on him if he is a horrible parent and refuses to change. 

    My dad was abusive - physically and emotionally - and I spent years trying to make him happy, to make him love me, and nothing I did ever made any difference. He would just go on putting me down and being a terrible person. I ended up cutting off all ties with him when I was 25 and he didn't care. He went to his grave not caring. It's really sad but some people are just that way. 

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