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*Trigger* Really not sure what to do about a parent *long post*



Well-known member
Oct 5, 2014
Ok, this is something thats been keeping me up at night again these last few days, and I really need some help. Before I start, there's some basic things to cover on the situation.

1. I am still living with and financially dependant on my family, for which my father is the biggest source of income in the house. I am currently jobless, and lack the finances to both move out and complete my masters degree.
2. This has been ongoing for some time, and the situation has failed to improove despite endless attempts at talking.
3. I am not met with advice or support from my other family members.

Ok here goes.

For a long time, I've been at odds with my family, for a number of reasons. My Dad always had really high expectations on me to succeed: Studying a subject at school? I had to be achieving high grades. In a race back in my athletics days? Coming away with less than a medal was not an option. I guess it was his competative side from when he was younger, pro football player till he had an injury that took him out of the sport for life. Thing is, this extended into other aspects of my life, and it actually prooved to be extremely unhelpful.

When I was about 15, my older brother started to notice girls, and he'd often try to date in an 'all or nothing' manner which caused him a lot of grief, but hed often get twisted around other peoples fingers, easily, thinking every girl was true love, and this carried on for years. Of course, if there were problems, since he wouldnt deal with them in the relationship, he'd come home and take it out on us: Screaming, being rude, lying to us, picking fights, and this even extended into some physical attacks, but more on that later.

Anyway, my mum spent a lot of time crying over this, and my dad would often tell me that ' I had no right to be angry at my brother because he is struggling, and all that I have to do is keep my mother happy, thats all that mattered.' Even if I just said I wasnt happy about something, he would tell me off, call me names, make me feel bad about myself for feeling upset or angry with the situation. Pretty soon I spiralled into self loathing, and he ignorantly continued to call me a bad person for having what he deemed 'unacceptable feelings.'

Anyway, when I get to about 16, Im about to sit my GCSEs, and my brothr drops out of uni, comes home. His current gf is in my school, the year above, and has claimed someone at school attempted to rape her. Thing is, this relationship had bee turbulent for a long time. When we were on a holida in scotland she messaged him when we were an hour from her house and said if he wasnt at hers in 15 minutes it was over. He threw a fit and almost crashed the car. I told my brother before he kicked off that he just needs to explain thats impossible and see her soon, and my dad turns around, scowls at and shoves his finger in my face, nearly crashing the car on the motorway. I didnt appreciate that, so once we are home, I get in and there's screaming already. My brother i addressing my parents as ****s and all names under the sun. My mother slaps him for a particularly rude remark. Theres property destruction and all sorts.

My Dad then comes upstairs to tell me that I have to accept his apology for him scowling and acting like I was in the wrong, but Im really upset so i ask to be alone, and he has the nerve to scoff and tell me that I'm 'just as horrible as my brother.' I go ballistic and run away, he tries to trap me in the house so I shove him off me to go away. I spent till nightfall looking for somewhere to stay, but no luck so Im forced to go back home. I never recieved an apology from him for that comment and my mother denies he ever said it.

It turns out at some point in that year, the girlfriend told people I knew that I was the alleged rapist, and that I had also tried to stab her on school grounds. This caused me a lot of abuse and eventually I had to study from home to get away from how I was being treated. My brother, being the whipped idiot he is, sided with her, and carried on accusations, violence, name calling. My Dad continued with his attitude that if I get angry, Im in the wrong. I hated myself.

A few weeks later, my GCSE's are the next day. My brother is in the other room, on the phone to his girlfriend at 2 am, hollow walls so I hear all of it. I go around to ask him to keep it down since Im trying to sleep, and he just throws himself at me, trying to strangle me. My dad hears the commotion, and comes in the room.

He doesnt help get my brother, who is significantly bigger and stronger off me, he just watches, doing nothing.

I dont know what happened next, but I think all my stress came out in an adrenaline rush, because the next thing I remember, Ive locked myself in the bathroom, theres police at the house talking to my parents and my dad trying to explain to them that my brother 'didnt mean it.' He's in the corner, crying. Turns out, I wailed on him and caused him some pretty nasty, deep scratches and bruising. Anyway, Im crying uncontrollably. The police talk to me a while later, and assess what happens, thinking its better to seperate us and put my brother in the cells for the night to make sure Im safe, but my parents protest. I couldnt believe they did that. I was clearly in danger of being attacked and yet they wanted to keep the guy who just did that in the same house as me. He goes to the cells anyway, but my Dad is fuming over having his son in that situation, rather than care about me.

My GCSE's start. I dont score anywhere near as high as predicted. My teachers call it 'a dissappointing effort.' Despite them knowing of what has happened.

I dropped out of that school to try something else. My parents are fuming and the screaming matches between my parents and brother continue, for years, but now its about 'reputation' and crap that doesnt matter, and how I wasnt at that school anymore because of him, completely missing the fact that I left to get away from stress and they were just adding to it. Nothing changed.

I go away to uni, struggling with my feelings, and other issues I have, such as questioning my gender identity. I spend time living in halls trying to be away from it all, but after some breakdowns in second and third year and almost dropping out, I end up having to be home because my mother helped me feel a bit better.

My family are patching up, but my Dad on the other hand, stays stuck in that mindset.

Whenever I get upset he tells me to 'ignore it and itll go away, whats done is done.' He goes on about 'youre studyinga degree, you have no reason to be upset.' He keeps going on about how far Im going to go, how much money I'll make, etc etc missing the emotional and psychological aspects of my wellbeing and life. When I eventually am diagnozed with severe depression and anxiety he gets in my face telling me im 'not trying hard enough' and putting all my issues down to 'coursework deadlines stressing me out'.

He's a narcissist I swear. After all his 'anger is inappropriate, your job is to make your mum happy and nothing else' (which he shoved on me, a teenager' because he couldnt do it, and effectively removed me of the ability to like myself or express myself) he doesnt think of anything but himself. I tried to talk to him about this and his response was shouting this:

'Well Im only human and i dont get it right all the time, but how dare you question me, Im older so I know better and thats that!" He then proceeded to slam doors in the house all day.I'm sorry, what? How dare I question that after all that pressure he puts on me, and then rights off any attempt at a rational discussion about boundaries and closure with shouting and tantrums.

He wont even let me go for a walk when Im stressed without following me in the car. If he upsets me, I HAVE to take the apology when it suits him, if not, he drives off at way over the speed limit, giving me a panic attack because Ill worry if he has an accident.

He hasnt learnt anything, he acts like my depression is just me not wanting to be happy. He only evr goes on about how I 'HAVE' to be strong but he wont push himself anywhere near as hard to be a model person as much as he has pushed me. Im worn out, bitter and honestly, theres an underlying level of anger I have towards him. I feel if he had tried to support my emotional needs then I wouldnt be having as many problems as I have now, and he has failed to provide for me by placing endlessly increasing expectations on me. He even goes off on one at me over tiny things: light switches, what we're having for breakfast, how I grieve the loss of my dog recently. He actually looked me in the eye when Im crying and asks me how i am, but when I kep crying he goes 'your fine then' and walks off, leaving me alone.

Worst case was last night, Im in the bath and someone turns the lights in the room off, I call out to ask if whoever it was can put them back on. I get out, dry off and come down stairs. Nobody else is up, so I ask him, and he starts giving me the 'how dare you, pointing at me, talking over me.' I hold my hand up (like he always does when he goes high and mighty on me) and tell him 'we're not having this discussion when you use that tone, I asked a question, I didnt attack you.' He scowls, points at me threateningly, storms off and then tells my mother I was 'rude' to him, which upsets her and makes me feel even worse.

To be honest, I dont see my relationship with my dad improoving. Ive tried so hard since I got to uni to sort things out. ive tried getting him interested in what I do with my life, I try showing him everything Ive been doing freelance for my job as an animator, but he doesnt show any real enthusiasm, and his attitude towards me hasnt changed. Meanwhile, my brother can just ask for money, do as he pleases and theyre super lax on him. Everything he does he can do whenever, I have to fit to expectations, and I honestly have started to resent them. I feel they will never try to respect my boundaries, they will never try to understand my depression or my gender issues.

The depression one is even harder to wrap my head around. Both my parents pull the 'we dont know what to do we feel helpless' card but when I was 7 and diagnosed with dyspraxia, they went out looking for every resource they could to help me, theyve got all the books, guides and everything for that, but have done nothing in the years since my diagnosis to help me. They dont even try. They dont know Im trans, but I have repeatedly asked not to be addressed in certain ways 'young man' 'lad' but do they listen? No, they use them MORE.

I feel Im out of options with them, because Im that upset with them, I honestly feel every time my Dad oversteps the mark I dont know if I can tolerate him pointing his finger at me again without going to bend it back. I think when uni is over, Im going to move and look elsewhere for a new life in Manchester or something.


Well-known member
May 4, 2009
Sorry for all that you have been through. All I can say is, you're right they should be treating you better. Try to be a little more compassionate towards your brother. He has done wrong, but he is in the same situation as you, and that's why he was clinging on to those girls hoping to receive love because he wasn't getting it at home. You might think that their 'lax' attitude towards his behaviour shows he is receiving love, but my brother is similar in some ways but not as extreme. He used to trash the house - still trashes things sometimes - and my parents do nothing about that kind of behaviour, but if I show even a hint of anger or frustration, or if I'm upset about something, there's 'something wrong with me' and why can't I just pretend to be happy so that I don't ruin everyone else's day? But the reason my brother is railing is because he feels unloved.

If you want to understand more about this dynamic, take a look at the narcissistic family dynamic. Your father sounds like he has a personality disorder - not necessarily NPD, possibly one of the more erratic ones like BPD - and your mother is probably enabling him. In my family, Dad is a narcissist, but not as bad as NPD, and my Mam had BPD when I was younger. I got a lot of 'my feelings come first' from her (rolling her eyes at me if I was upset over something but then going absolutely mental herself over similar things and expecting me to sit there and be her therapist, even if I'm not allowed to have feelings).

It gets better. Get yourself out of the house asap and get into therapy. Have you been offered therapy? I had schema therapy and it was really good for this kind of thing.


Well-known member
Jan 25, 2012
Hi biggerdandy. That's a horrible way to be treated by your family, I'm sorry you are in this situation. I agree with notrealname, that your father does seem to be displaying narcissistic behaviour. I would look into this and learn more about this sort of family dynamic. In particular you could google 'narcissism golden child' as there are several useful resources on what it is like to be the child of a narcissistic parent. There is this idea that one child will be the golden child, and one will be the scapegoat child. It rings true for me, my father was similar to yours, and I was in the role of scapegoat. It does enormous damage to be treated this way, but with understanding what has happened and the effect it has had on you, it is possible to move on from the damage that has been done. It's a huge and complex area, and I'm sorry I can't be fuller in my answer, but I hope you can find help with dealing with all this (for me, it's been therapy), and work out a way to improve your situation. I think moving yourself out of the situation will be very important. Sadly, as you've found, these sort of behaviours (in your father), do not easily change.


Well-known member
Oct 5, 2014
It has, as of yesterday, become clear to me how this dynamic is functioning. I explained to my mother how hes been acting and her response is 'you're sure you're not misinterperating his behaviour? After all you have that depression stuff so you're probably just being too sensitive, and he doesn't act like that around me.'

I even told her it went like this:

1. I ask a question about the lights in the bathroom
2. He escalates with the dont you question me stuff
3. I tell him we wont talk when hes like this

Mum's response is to say 'well he doesnt always hear me but I dont see why you believe he'd talk to you like this, I know him.

FFS I really find this is getting to me. I want to run away


Well-known member
Jan 25, 2012
Sounds like your mum is minimising his behaviour, and invalidating your feelings and perceptions of it. I have to say, I recognise that pattern too.
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