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I don't want anything to do with my father, is this normal for my situation? what do you think I should do?



Aug 17, 2012
I don't want anything to do with my father, is this normal for my situation? what do you think I should do?

Hello, I'm 16 and male, I'm the oldest and I have one little brother who is currently 10, I used to have a sister but unfortunately she died at two months due to a heart defect and my brother also nearly died of a brain aneurysm and heart defect. I am perfectly healthy. I want absolutely nothing to do with my father. He's never sexually assaulted me or abused me in any way, nor has he abused my mother or anything like that, we are a normal family and my Dad has done nothing that bad. He's the main provider but my mom works too, I look like him, talk like him sometimes, we apparently share the same views on things, but we never talk and I do not want to talk. There has always been a rift between my father and I, he was always strict with me as a child, I agree with what he used to say, many of the things I did were wrong, but he went too far. If I tried to help him and messed up the slightest thing, he'd yell at me, sometimes he'd get angry. Nothing I did was ever good enough for him, even though we shared the same base interests, I went into computers and technology, he went into mechanical stuff, cars, and the early 20th Century. As soon as I was old enough to, I didn't want anything to do with my father, I avoided him as much as possible (even though my mom's and his room is right across the hall).

My Mother has tried to work as a kind of mediator between us, telling my father in private if he'd gone too far, telling me in private that because my dad was physically abused by his father who was an alcoholic as a child and grew up rather poor but made a middle-class life for us, but that he didn't understand how to express himself. I always feel like there will be this rift between us, we've tried to mend it in the past and nothing. No matter how good my grades, no matter what I did, no matter what praise I received from whom, nothing impressed him, I was greeted by a "hmm" a shuffling of feet, and a change in the television station. Also, any time it seems like we've come to a truce, he'll dash out and make some snide remark or something that will make me go on the defensive again and peel back.

I've only cried five times in the past 2 years or so, three of those times it was provoked by my father yelling at me and threatening that if I did that again that he would spank me, he did it when I was really little but stopped around when I turned 6 or 7 but still gives verbal threats if he thinks I've really stepped out of line. One occaison was in Hawaii, we had went to Pearl Harbour and my brother was being a brat, he was walking on the grass not following the path, talking all the time when he was supposed to be quite, being very disrespectful, I got super angry at this, people had died there and he was making a joke of it, he knew what had happened yet he continued to disrespect the place, he was so bad that when we got back to our hotel room he start kicking and screaming, we had a fight over the remote (he wanted to watch Nickolodean, I wanted to watch Discovery) and he ended up kicking me several times in the stomach with his shoes on to which I hit him on the butt very hard because he has knocked the wind out of me. I know I stepped out of line, but what was I supposed to do? let him keep on kicking my ribs in? and without even asking about what happened my dad told me that if I did that again that he would turn me around and spank me harder than I hit my brother (I was 15 at the time).

Bottom line is that he has pushed me to contemplating suicide at least three times (the time in Hawaii were justified, the other two times were not), to the point when I've actually thought about downing 20 ibuprofen (the pills sitting in my hand), slitting my wrist (the X-acto knife in my hand), or in the case of Hawaii, jumping off the Balcony. I am no longer suicidal. I know that if I commit suicide I'd go to Hell, I calm down within the week. Now things aren't nearly as bad, it's just usually snide remarks or just yelling at me and my brother to keep quiet because he was tired of hearing us.

I started driving and so far I've only driven with my instructor and with my mother. Though last night my mother tried to convince me to drive with my father, it really bothers her that I want absolutely nothing to do with my father, she thinks he is a good man, she is probably right, she also says that my father loved me a lot when I was younger and tells me all these stories of me when I was 2-3 with my dad. Though I told her that he hasn't changed, and that I wouldn't ask him to change because I don't know what about him I'd change to have a relationship with him. I do not like sports, he is a sports person, I feel like he loves my younger brother a lot more than he loves me, my brother is the sports kid, tried every sport in the book, while I reserve myself to computers and academics. My father really wants to teach me how to drive, my Mom says he is a good teacher, but I don't want to, I'm afraid if I mess up then he is going to yell at me, and if he yells at me then I am going to get sad and mad and I might start to tear up, that would mess up my eyes and my contacts, I'd be distracted, I could get in an accident because I was distracted. The thing is though that I kinda think that it would be bad if my father were to pass away and for me to have to tell my children when they ask about my father, that I didn't know all that much about him. I don't know what to do, I told my mom maybe when I am older but she is really upset about it, she says that teaching your child how to drive is something every parent wants to do and participate in and my father being the car and mechanic person would love to teach me how to drive, but I don't want to. I'd help him when my Mom and him are both old, check up on them, bring them groceries, drop off my future kids for the day every once and a while, drive them places they need to be driven and stuff like that. It seems like in all the movies there is a father-son bond and stuff like that, All my friends have bonds with their fathers and I speak to mine more or less on a monthly basis (and my parents are happily married and we live in the same house) I don't know what to do or think? Can someone help me or offer me their advice or thoughts please?


Dec 14, 2011

your father obviously has his issues, and it does seem that he's worked hard to give his own children a better life. That doesn't mean you can't be affected by his behaviour. Emotional bonds with your parents are important (in my opinion far more important than how much money your parents earn). Nastiness hurts, especially when it's from your parents. We have this natural instinct to love parents and we expect nurturing from them. When they hurt us it can be really upsetting. I've always found I can brush comments from other people off easily enough, but if they come from my mum, even though I no longer 'feel' that emotional bond with her, it hurts a lot.

I don't think it's unusual to not want a relationship with your Dad over this. I have somewhat similar problems with my own parents. I've heard from other people that when you move out and start living your own life things tend to improve. Perhaps it's just a case of having to grin and bear it for a while?


Maybe, since your father is taking an interest with you regarding driving, this will be the thing that forms a bond between you. You never know until you try.


I had issues wiith both my parents, and I alternated with not wanting to see them to feeling guilty about it. Other people would always tell me to forgive and forget and it always seemed as if I should make the effort to be reconciled. However, while learning to forgive and let go over time can be good, I do not now think its wise to open up to someone who has had a detrimental effect on you without first seeking psychological support or counselling - and also to find out how you can be more assertive in the relationship and have safer boundaries otherwise you could be just opening yourself up to more hurt or harmful behaviour.

I continued to see both my parents against my deepest wishes to break contact with them, and looking back I think that this meant that some issues have never been honestly worked out and its prolonged the internal conflict that I've had. Having safe and protective emotional or psychological boundaries are really important. Sometimes that may mean withdrawing physically for a while.

It may also be possible to have some kind of family therapy in the future at which you could sit down with your dad and talk to him about the relationship you've had, and maybe your mum too.

Someone told me today that 'you are only responsible for your happiness and wellbeing' - I wonder if reflecting on this message might be helpful in your situation.
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