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Problems with Dad.


WinterSky
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At 48 years old, why would I still have problems with my father? He is an old man of 88 years. But he is not just any 88-year-old man. He is very intelligent, manipulative, EXTREMELY controlling, mean, angry, hostile, gives advice when I do not ask, takes away any good feelings I might have in any given moment, EXTREMELY psychologically abusive, screws with your head, talks to me like I do not have any experience or intelligence of my own, described by others as talking down to me like I am a child... I could go on and on here. I would like to add some colorful metaphors but I am not sure if this editor will allow them.

The signs of aging in him that he says he has are a problem with is balance, his hearing, and problem with a disc in his back causing pain; he's had that eye disease for years that causes blindness, but he has the dry kind not the wet kind; and every time he gets his eyes checked out there is no change (sorry but I do not remember what it is called). A lady at the assisted living facility told me his balance seemed okay when she walked with him but when he is with his family he acts like an old man. She also said that he seemed to be hard of hearing in his right ear. His GP (also my GP) told me he does not have dementia or Alzheimer's and was fully capable of handling his own affairs.

He has a very limited range of emotions. I have seen in him the emotions of anger, rage, happiness, loneliness.. but I do not think it is loneliness per se. I think it is that there is a lack of victims he can attack thus no control. He is different with the family than he is with people outside the family. My mother died in 2004. I have always been the one to be there for my parents. It is worse for me than for the rest of my siblings.

Yesterday I was in an okay mood. I was feeling calm. I woke up around 9:30am and had a good night's sleep the evening before. The medication is straightened out. I was loading a bunch of CDs onto my newly installed iTunes and listening to music. I had to find all my CDs. Some were missing and all but two were found. I organized them. For hours I was doing okay. Then suddenly I no longer felt like doing anything. I needed to eat, did not want to do that; needed to shower, needed to pick up my apartment, ... I sat on the couch just thinking.

Now I do not know if the "do nothing" thing started before or after my conversation with my father. He and I have had problems lately. Actually it all started at the end of July. But in reality our relationship has never been "normal". But I have loved him emotionally at times. I've also hated his guts. He'd fill my heart with hate, causing me to feel suicidal. Luckily I journal so I write myself out of those situations. If I ever killed myself, he would win.

Once, just once I felt homicidal towards him for a split second during an intense argument with him when I was 31. It scared me so bad. But after that experience I realized it only takes a split second. It would have ruined my life. So I started just leaving any time it got that bad. He had a problem any time I just left. Always.

I am tired. To be continued...

Edited by WinterSky
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Does my father sound like a psychopath to you? He really gives me the creeps. I do not want to be alone with him. Lately I've had traumatic situations where 1) I was afraid my dad would kill me, and 2) I did not want to go to my dad's house because I was afraid my brother was going to kill my dad.

My dad is now in an assisted living facility. But he does not need to be spending $3,000/month for an assisted living facility if he can live in the apartments connected to the same community for less. He just does not want to do any domestic chores a woman usually does.

My dad completely controlled my mother. She got an allowance each month. She never felt that the money my dad earned was part hers at all, and they were married for 60 years (she was a housewife and mother). He's never allowed me to pay the check at a restaurant. My mom would always say to me, "don't insult your father that way". During the time that I've known her, she has seemed to be a woman with no backbone and really full of self pity. She had no self respect and was not emotionally available to me. I never knew for myself if it was because of how my dad treated her or not. But one aunt told me once that my mother was a pathetic woman, and another aunt had said years ago that my mother had always worshiped my dad and waited on him hand and foot. And both aunts had known her since she was 19.

And ever since she died it has been like I've taken her place.

A couple of the ladies there at the assisted living place told me that my dad talks to me like I am a child, and I agree. I have experience and intelligence of my own so I wish he would just stay out of my business. I try and reason with him but it does no good. I try and limit contact but that does not work either.

Knowing whether or not he is a psychopath would help me because he has been trying to sabotage my life all this time, and is still succeeding. I could be "normal" for all I know.

My therapist has always said to limit contact with him but that does not work. He helps me financially each month for part of my rent. He thinks anything I buy is from the money he gives me so he has a right to know all about my finances. My therapist says that if I continue to take money from him I do not have a choice. He has the cards. He has control.

I am on a 6 month lease. I am planning on getting my shit together before then so that I might get a job and separate completely from him. But it would not be soon enough.

What do y'all think? Thanks for listening.

Edited by WinterSky
to fix grammar errors
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Winter, stop being so worried about what other people think of your posts. You have every right to make them and benefit from the posting as anyone else here. You rpost isn't boring, but your insecurity about how you post is getting frustrating. :) Just post what you wish/feel you need to and stop worrying about the rest of it.

As far as your dad goes, he sounds a LOT like my mother. A WHOLE lot. Except for the "feeling like he will kill you" part. My Dad made me feel that way quite a bit, but all that changed once I started standing up to him.

My mother is SO manipulative and sneaky. She is COMPLETELY self oriented and guilts people into doing what she wants done. It tok her living with me for four months before I finally got to the point of realizing two things.

1. I had to rearrange my buttons so she wouldn't get the reaction and drama she so disgustingly craves.

2. I had to set personal boundaries.

I stopped reacting the way I did before to her comments, which is rearranging my buttons, and started setting boundaries whenever she said/did something that would typically set me off. When I say set me off, I mean everything from my responding with anger to my responding with worry about her. She's in pretty good shape, but instead of acting her 69 years, she acts 99 when we are around. She wanted EVERYTHING done FOR her, which is what ended up making us seek out a retirement community FOR her.

But what I did was this. When I caught her standing outside my bedroom door listening to mine and my wifes conversation, instead of reacting with anger, I opened the door all the way and said, "Mother, you don't have to stand in the hallway eavesdropping. If you're going to impinge on our privacy like that, you may as well come on in the room without knocking." When she started to reply with one of her patented excuses/guilt trip replies©, I said, "Mom, you don't HAVE to insult my intelligence. We both know what you were doing. So either come on in and sit on down or go mind your own business please."

Other times, I use therapy learned ways of responding to her. When she says a long string of complaints about her health problems, problems which are mostly all in her head, I say, "Well Mom, thankfully your life is no where near as hard as you think it is. If it were, you wouldn't have your son here concerned about you, grandkids that come see you, food in your cupboards or a roof over your head. I think you're focusing too much on the few negative things in life rather than being thankful for the wonderful circumstances you're actually in."

Many times, my mother will make off-handed, snide comments. Like one time when she was living with us, and she "has" COPD. She actually has allergies and has smoked for 50 years which translates into the SLIGHTEST of cases of COPD, but she acts like she's drowning in her own juices all the time, but anyway...she HAD to have the house temp set at 73°. It was 95° outside and here the house is 73 inside. COLD is what it was! But for her COPD, we kept it where she was comfortable. This meant though that everyone else in the house was freezing. So my son and his girlfreind were sitting on the couch watching TV. They had a blanket over their legs and were holding hands under the blanket. I'm very strict about displays of affection between my 14 y/o son and his 13 y/o girlfriend. Anyway, my mother was totally PISSED that the kids were in the living room watching TV, which prevented her from watching what SHE wanted to watch, and she approached me saying, "Every time you walk out of the room, that blanket starts moving all over the place. Those kids are up to no good and a young man shouldn't be doing that to a girl in front of adults, but both of them are too young to be exploring that way."

So I go in and see what she's talking about. The kids are playing thumb wrestling. That was obvious. Just so happens that when I walk in, they usually sit up straighter, but this time they didn't notice me. So I ask them who's winning. My son's girlfriend pulls their hands out from under the blanket and says she is....and she has my son's thumb locked down. I turn around to go back to the kitchen where I was talking with my mother, but she's standing RIGHT behind me. I look her in the face and said, "I don't appreciate your comments or your nasty assumptions about my son. If he's doing something wrong, I need to know about it, but don't you ever make shit up again." She started saying, "Well, I didn't mean to imply that they were doing something sexual...." so I interupted her and asked, "Well Mom, why don't you explain to me EXACTLY how I was supposed to interpret what you said to me? Why don't YOU make ME understand WHY you chose to say those things to me?"

At other times, she will say something like, "That man across the way from me has a daughter that comes over to his place two times a day to cook and clean up for him. She them walks with him around the complex for 30 minutes and talks to him. She does that rain or shine. Don't you think that's very nice of her?" My Mom's body language is saying, "Why don't you do that for me?" So I will say, "Mom, how about you explain to me exactly what you would like to say instead of playing this game with me hoping I will infer your meaning?"

Or I'll say, "Mom, what I HEAR you saying is that you would like for me to be more active in your life lik that lady is for her father."

In that particular situation, I used the second method. I then pointed out to her that she is only 69, is MUCH more mobile, much more mentally "there" and that neither Heidi or I are her slave. She said she wasn't trying to make us her slave, she just wanted us, me in particular, to come around more often. We go by her place three times a week at least. I call her and talk to her almost every day. What I told her though was, "Mother, I am not going to take care of the things you are MORE than capable of doing yourself. We will NOT be guilt tripped into spending time with you. If you want us to bemore interested in spending time with you, you need to figure out a way to stop being so negative and make the time we spend together be more than your two hour long whining and crying sessions. It's very difficult to be around you when we have a lot of issues that take up our time and efforts too. Your insistence on having our attention through "trips to the ER for not feeling well" doesn't tend to amke us want to spend extra time around you.

I guess what I'm saying is that you NEED to set some boundaries and EXPLAIN them. If your father is capable of doing his own cleaning, then show up, don't do it and when he says something, ask him if there's something wrong with his hands. Or ask him, "Do you have an issue that prevents you from understanding how to wash your own dishes?" If he gets angry, tell him, "I'm NOT going to be treated this way. I appreciate your helping me with me rent, but your help doesn't entitle you to treat me the way you are. And I would rather not have your financial assistance if you insist on thinking it gives you the right to treat me this way."

Boundaries. Without them, you lose your self respect and enable him to treat you in a way you can't stand being treated. But you can't just flip the switch and go from passive to verbally aggresive. You will need to "re-train" him slowly.

Hope this helps.:)

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Winter, stop being so worried about what other people think of your posts. You have every right to make them and benefit from the posting as anyone else here. You rpost isn't boring, but your insecurity about how you post is getting frustrating. Just post what you wish/feel you need to and stop worrying about the rest of it.

Well I wrote that question and received no responses, which led me to write the other post which you did answer. So if you are annoyed it is not my problem!! :)

Now I shall get back to reading your post...

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Thank you for your post. I understand boundaries. My dad does not believe in boundaries. Often when he calls he says, "so have you talked to any of your siblings today? What did you talk about? You don't what to talk about it? What is the big secret?" Or like yesterday he calls up and asks, "What is your doctor's name?". I ask, "Why?". He says again, "What is your doctor's name?". And again I say, "Why do you want to know?" He refuses to answer my question and he assumes I will not tell him so he hangs up. Then he calls up again and asks what my therapist's last name is and once again I kept asking why and he eventually hung up.

But I know from experience that he has interfered with my youngest older brother and has made frequent visits with my brother to his doctor. My brother is much more intelligent than anyone gives him credit for. I personally see emotional immaturity and developmental problems. My dad does everything for him. (This brother and my sister are also on SSDI.)

On Tuesday my father had a colonoscopy. On Monday he calls me and tells me that I have two options: 1) I can ride with them from the assisted living place at 9:30am, or 2) meet him at 1:30pm to sign him out of the clinic. I asked why wasn't the assisted living place taking care of that. He said he needed a family member to sign him out. So after we hung up. I called the assisted living place and spoke to the lady in charge and she said yes they can sign him out. Then I called his doctor's office and talked to the nurse there and asked her if the driver can sign him out and she said yes. I mentioned that my dad said that a family member was needed to sign him out. She said that was preferred but not required. So I called my dad back and told him that his information was not accurate. Yes he can be signed out by the driver, that I had talked to both the assisted living place and the nurse at the doctor's office. He got angry and said I had no business doing that. And he hung up. He called me, still angry and he said, "You were right, and I do not understand why the miscommunication ...".

On Tuesday, the day of the test, I was in with my doctor when he called me at 1am. I did not answer. He called me again while I was still with the doctor and I did not answer. As I was walking out of the office he called me AGAIN! This time I answered and he told me I needed to pick him up because the driver was not available until late in the afternoon. I told him I had an emergency of my own and needed to go to the pharmacy. He did not say a word about my own situation. We hung up and I went to where I thought Walgreen's was and it was not there. So I decided to go to Starbucks (did not have coffee that day) and at the same time calling my own Walgreen's trying to find the one there. Long story short some folks at Starbucks tell me that it is across the street. Then in frustration I go to order a drink. They tell me that the expresso machine is down. I ask how long, and they said 20 minutes. They said I could go into Target that there was a Starbucks there. So I went there and I felt impatient.

I called the assisted living place to see if it was true that the driver would take several hours to pick up my dad. The lady in charge said they had many people going to the medical center that day and yes it will be a little while.

I got my drink, went to the pharmacy, and my dad called. He was getting angry and hounding me. I went up to the drive-thru and gave them my script. It would be a 20 minute wait. Went to get some gas and a little something to put in my stomach before taking the new meds. My dad keeps calling me. As I arrive at the pharmacy they tell me that there's a drug interaction and would have to call my doctor. He did not call at the expected time so they asked me if I could do something. So I called and they told me "he's been seeing patients all day..." crap. So the pharmacist I was talking to goes to lunch. I talk to the other pharmacist and ... long story short she approves the meds and I get my meds and head out.

Oh, and somewhere in there I asked my dad if the driver came yet. And he said yes but he sent him away. He said he thought I was on my way. I told him I said no such thing.

... shit happens.

Okay I've picked him up. He tells me to turn left. I tell him I know dad. Then he tells me to turn right. I know dad. I am in the right lane and he is talking to me in anger and then he tells me to turn left so I get in the far left lane. He yells not that lane the left lane! I say well don't I need to be in the right lane anyways. And he said yes but the left lane had less cars. I said dad, I am just trying to get us both back alive. So we are going along and he tells me to go down 1092. I keep telling him I do not need his advice. He gets angry at me and says that I never take advice. I told him I do not need his unwanted advice. And if I need advice I will ask. He is not listening. So I turn on 1092. Then he says after all this construction take an immediate left. I stay in the same lane even though the other lane would have been better. He got really angry then! Then he told me to get into... well you see how things are going here...

Somewhere in there I was going to stop at a drug store to get a pill splitter and he said oh my god not now! He said I could use his pill splitter when we get him home. So I skip that drug store. Then when we get close to home I tell him we first need to go to his room to get the pill splitter before eating and he says there wasn't time. So as we approached the Walgreen's I drove up to it and again he gets angry and say Oh god. I go and get a pill splitter and we are on our way. So then we sit down at the table in the dining room and I am all screwed up in the head and feel physically sick. Then he continues to give me orders and the two women I am sitting with tell me later that he was treating me like a child. I just ignored him during dinner.

I will stop there. What I should have done is just told him to find another ride and block his calls on my cell phone but unfortunately that is not what I did.

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I will stop there. What I should have done is just told him to find another ride and block his calls on my cell phone but unfortunately that is not what I did.

Well, next time, make that decision and tell him why.

"Dad, you treat me like crap and I'm not in the mood to subject myself to your constant verbal barrage of insults and belittling comments. I'll be more inclined to help you when you are more inclined to speak to me like an adult and show me the same respect I show you. Goodbye."

It would help if your "siblings" were in on this with you. There's ZERO reason in my book to be used like that. And like my mother me to do, you're gonna have to put up your "guilt trip" shield. :)

Once you take control of that aspect of your life, you'll be amazed at the strength it brings to other areas. Once you make someone nasty like that show you respect, because by setting boundaries...in that persons mind, you're earning respect. Suddenly, you'll find yourself respecting yourself a lot more.

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Hi the pair of you.

Well, well. You have had your orders the pair of you haven't you!

My mums 69 but rather than take her criticism, I stay away! When I do go to see her she sits there with the TV on full blast! When I ask her to turn it down so I can speak to her, she tells me NO! I'm watching this. I only go up when I have to! When I go up she says that I only visit her when I want something, even though it could of been 4months since I last saw her?

She never ever calls me to see how I am?

I remember not so long ago when she had to go into hospital to have a Hystrectomy because she had cancer down there. After the operation, I went to see her & at first she was fine, then she started feeling cold so I put my coat around her and I called the nurses. They got her into bed and called the doctor. By then my other two sisters arrived. I informed them of the situation.

By the time the doctor arrived we was all worried. Aparantly she had got an infection and the anti-biotics was giving her a reaction. so it got to the stage that they tried every one till they came to the last one which they had to send away for.

Long story short. I had a word with the doctor asking what the problem was? My mother told me to mind my own buisness and told me I was forever poking my nose in where it never concerned me! This was all said in the presence of the doctor, nurses, and family. I tried to explain that I was worried! Again, told to shut up!

I have never felt so humiliated in all my life! Even though I didn't, I felt like bursting into tears.

Anyway enuf said. Now I do what I want to do for her and I no longer feel guilty. That day told me exactly what she though of me!

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Hi All

Sorry if I sounded so abrubt but that is how she makes me feel!

I no longer run around after her like a blue arse fly! I leave that to my other sister's. Only for birthday's and xmas I wouldn't see her at all?

Whats more upseting though is, it was me who did all the running around and I also had a little boy as well. But since my two sisters have grown up and had family of their own, I seem to have had my nose pushed out! I'm not arsed one bit but since all this has happened I have since had another boy. Don't get me wrong they are both in there twenty's now, but the last time my boys seen my mum was when my dad was buried. That was five years ago.

She has never phoned, asked about them once! It's as if they don't exist!

It used to hurt when they was little. Especially when xmas time came! How do you answer two little boys when they ask why their nana hasn't got them any presents? Thats when I felt it! But excuse the language, 'Fuck em, Fuck em all!'

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Hi All

Sorry if I sounded so abrubt but that is how she makes me feel!

I no longer run around after her like a blue arse fly! I leave that to my other sister's. Only for birthday's and xmas I wouldn't see her at all?

Whats more upseting though is, it was me who did all the running around and I also had a little boy as well. But since my two sisters have grown up and had family of their own, I seem to have had my nose pushed out! I'm not arsed one bit but since all this has happened I have since had another boy. Don't get me wrong they are both in there twenty's now, but the last time my boys seen my mum was when my dad was buried. That was five years ago.

She has never phoned, asked about them once! It's as if they don't exist!

It used to hurt when they was little. Especially when xmas time came! How do you answer two little boys when they ask why their nana hasn't got them any presents? Thats when I felt it! But excuse the language, 'Fuck em, Fuck em all!'

There is absolutely nothing to apologize for! Not to worry, you're on my "nice" list (and no I am not Santa :) ). I know exactly how you feel! I've always been there for Mom and Dad ever since I was 10. It's always been me and none of my siblings had been there for them. I was always there for their surgeries, help mom with the housework and stuff (and was never satisfied). Even when I was in my thirties I was still doing the dishes for her and cleaning the silver for thanksgiving. Finally I just quit doing that and she was perfectly capable of doing it herself. I have felt quite used by them.

Now I am trying to get away from my dad. I have power of attorney and he says there is no one else to be there for him. Well, I don't have anyone to be there for me when I get old because I never had children. But I am sure it will work out somehow. I am full up with right now.

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Hi Wintersky

I am not ignoring you, I did write a reply last night and posted it but it seemed to go a stray.

Nevermind! Basically, what I was saying was that you hit the nail right on the head by saying who is going to be there for you as you are childless. Preciselly!

Sorry if this is a bit short but to be honest, I've had enough of this site for a while! will av to have time out to get my berings back! Sorry!

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Hi Wintersky

Sorry if this is a bit short but to be honest, I've had enough of this site for a while! will av to have time out to get my berings back! Sorry!

Hi Paula, I just posted to that thread that was triggering to you. I tried PM'ing you but could not for some reason. Are you sure you are over that issue you posted about there? I know you've been seeing a G.P. but what about a psychiatrist? I am sorry if you have posted this already but my memory is not all that good these days. xxxxx

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Hi Wintersky

Thanks for showing your concern, it's really apreciated!

Yes I'm seeing a Psychiatrist, And he's aware that my past has come back to haunt me aswell! He as put me on some meds temp to try and help me deal with this situation!

I did apologise to Celeste, wasn't her fault or anybody's for that fact. Like I mentioned previously, it just opened a very bad cad of worms for me. A can of worms that I thought that I closed the lid on very tight!

My problem is that I have never been to Councilling over this issue. YEAH! I got offered it, but I wouldn't go as I thought that they wouldn't understand. Still do think this!

It has just knocked me for six really! I was in such a state, my son had to call the emergency doctor out as it was evening time and the doctors was shut. He gave me this little white tablet and it just knocked me out till morning. But soon as I awoke, it all came flooding back!

I just feel like it only happened yesterday if that makes any sense? Even though it happened nearly ten years ago. I suppose I should of gone for councilling to help me cope when times like this re-occure, but I feel that I can't/don't want to talk about it, if you know what I mean, and by seeing a councellor will only make me relive this awefull nightmare.

Again thanks for your concern!

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  • 1 year later...

Heya,

I know this is an old post and all but when I read it I just had to reply. I don't even know if you still log on here. I'm new but your posts about your dad really hit home.

My dad is the same - very controlling, manipulating, emotionally abusive, etc. He's been that way ever since I was born (and probably before that too). As a result, I've had severe depression all my life. My poor mother refers to herself as a doormat - she's the nicest person but she's been trodden on for so long that it's a way of life for her, she doesn't have the strength anymore to fight back. I have a younger brother but, because I had the AUDACITY (!!) to fight back when I was a teenager, I copped it a lot more than mum and my bro. So as a result, I'm more messed up that both of them combined. My dad's problem is he has to be the king of the castle, so to speak, and nobody better challenge him on that or there will be hell to pay. I challenged him and look at me now.... shocking. I can't work, can't shower, can't clean, can't wash my clothes, and most days I can't even get out of bed. I don't have any self image, sexuality, or anything of the sort that you develop naturally as a teen. And I'm 29. Pretty sad hey. Now I'm going to have to pay thousands of dollars for psychotherapy to help get me "normal", which will probably not even work. I've been dead for decades now.. my body just hasn't realised it yet unfortunately.

So I can relate a lot to what you said. These days, I only ever see them (as in mum and dad) maybe once every 6 months or so. Talk on the phone maybe once every 4 months. Ofcourse its my mum calling not my dad. They want to know what's going on in my life and I tell them nothing. They may have the label "family" but to me that means nothing. I don't have anything to do with them on special occasions like christmas. I will accept nothing less than an apology from my dad but, since I have never heard him say the word "sorry" in his life, I doubt that will happen. They are related to me in name only. He will (knowing him) probably write me out of the will when he dies as a form of "punishment". He has always enjoyed inflicting punishments (not physical much... more along the lines of emotional punishment). But we clash in this way because I trained myself to turn off my emotions so his punishments didn't affect me in the least. He became constantly enraged when i started doing this and it gives me a certain satisfaction, looking back. I will not be dominated by anyone any longer.

So yeah. I guess this is cathartic to type this out. Sorry If I'm going overboard. My problem right now is my life is ruined because I can't seem to turn my feelings back on again. I turned them off when I was about 12 and since then... all I can say is life is boring and monotonous as hell when you can't feel. It seems like an uphill battle to get rid of this "survival mechanism" - not to mention all the other things i ended up not having (self image, sexuality, etc). The psychotherapist is trying to get me to go through this stuff now but quite honestly I think it's like kicking a dead dog - my boat has gone out many years ago. But I'll keep plugging on.

I hope you haven't been affected to the extent that I have - but I would suggest definitely go to some sort of therapy (psychotherapy seems to deal quite well with issues such as ours, I find) to deal with all that pain. You may not even know you HAD any pain like me - I didn't have any idea until it all came gushing out in the therapy. And I would suggest that if your dad is getting the care he needs, you need to distance yourself from him. I have a lot of anger issues right now but if I had to see him every day I can assure you that I would be in prison somewhere for murder or some other violent crime. Maybe just call to say hello once in a while, but for me anyway, I needed to get away and be my own person.

I just wanted to say "you are not alone" really. :D

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Oh and just one thing I remembered. The best thing I ever did was show him that i DON'T DEPEND ON HIM. It may benefit you to become financially independent of him - best thing I ever did was get my first full time job and show him that I don't require his financial advise, money, or anything. I made it so that he had no effect on my life at all, other than the fact that we lived in the same house. I would warn you though - if your dad is like mine - he won't take kindly to this. When my dad realised he had nothing to use to manipulate me (ie. had no power over me or my life) he became very angry and bitter. I suppose its like if you had lots of power and then suddenly it's gone and you are powerless... he didn't like it one bit. He would then "change the rules" so that he would once again have power over me. When I was financially independent, he couldn't use the money to have power over me anymore.. so suddenly all his comments changed to "no you can't blah blah blah... not while you're living under MY roof". So i fixed that :D Not sure what the repercussions for that one were because I didn't talk to him for ages after I moved out but I bet he was very angry over it. His power was gone again! Now, he gets my mother to ring me up every now and again and invite me over for dinner or whatever. I go because.. well they did raise me and my mum means a lot to me.

One thing I notice is that even though it's been years since he has had any power over me, when I go there he always makes a comment about quitting smoking. It's like he's clinging on for dear life for a little bit of power - no matter how small it might be. But now that I'm not IN the situation I can see things a lot more clearly and I see him as a sad man, and I just laugh at him. But when I go over there now that I can see a bit more clearly, its really obvious how bad he treats my mother (with the power thing too).. it's a lot more obvious when you're separate to the situation. He always does that stern look to her, you know the one that you'd give to a child that said something out of line? Very patronising.

But yeah I'll shut up now. :)

Take back your power and put him in his place, I say. If your father still has his intelligence, then he deserves to understand that you will not be dominated.

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My poor mother refers to herself as a doormat - she's the nicest person but she's been trodden on for so long that it's a way of life for her, she doesn't have the strength anymore to fight back. I have a younger brother but, because I had the AUDACITY (!!) to fight back when I was a teenager, I copped it a lot more than mum and my bro. So as a result, I'm more messed up that both of them combined.

Not sure about that.

Your mum and brother function in a way that is socially acceptable, but is that really the measure of being messed up?

I mean, isn't somebody who considers herself being a doormat and holds still to derogative treatment more messed up then somebody who stands up against it, declaring "no more for me!"

Isn't the willingness to face the consequence and pain that will ensue in the aftermath much more healthy and courageous and strong?

Didn't you poke the balloon blown up with hot air to see the true size of that ego? Yes, the air blew in your face and hurt you, but wasn't that a necessary and healthy step to get things into the right proportion?

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I found your post very interesting Sardonyx. Made me remember how things were once with my own father, and how it affected my life. My dad was also emotionally cruel to me for years and years because I'm the only one who challenged his overarching power over our family of women. He was a big personality my dad, the type that believed that you had to 'break' the other down if you wanted them to do it your way. He was emotionally cruel and appeared completely detached from the consequences of his meanness. He was a tyrant much of the time and I was his scapegoat, my mother a doormat, and everyone lived in fear of what 'dad' would say. He did not understand psychology in the least ...

He got older and he got softer, and he started understanding more, and he was no longer the dominant male he used to be because he got physically frail and in pain. My Mom ended up so frustrated and tired of keeping it in that they almost changed roles. He got all understanding and patient, and she became agressive and impatient. He did two years ago, and by that time we had settled our differences and I had pretty much ended up his favorite because we were equals.

You may find that he changes as he grows older, and for sure you will change as his influence fades further and further from your life.... he's just a man, although he may see himself as the centre of all things :P It's good that you are starting to see him in a more realistic way. You're mom has got used to his domineering ways and probably does not hear him the way you do. I hope you find a way to elevate yourself beyond his demeaning words and behaviours ...

Edited by Symora
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