Thursday, September 13, 2012

Realizing that I'm not alone...

From a reader who wishes to remain anonymous:

I've been reading your blog and am in tears because I'm realizing that I'm not alone.

I'm in my late twenties and still unemployed, but I hope to be in a situation where I can pull away from financial dependency on my father.  I've been going back into my childhood and realizing that all my sister and I went through was abuse: physical, verbal and emotional.  If we ever did something wrong, my dad (and sometimes, my mom) would beat us.  Unfortunately I live in a country where corporal punishment is still seen as acceptable discipline for children.  At least, it was for my mom.  I remember the first time I realized it was Not Okay when I was eleven: I was watching television, and my dad - without a word - turned it off.  When I protested, he dragged me into his bedroom and beat me with a clothes hanger and all the while I was screaming, I knew I hadn't done anything wrong.  My mom and sister had gone out and to this day I still haven't told them about it.  He didn't stop hitting me until four years ago, when I hit him back for the first time.  He gave the silent treatment and acted like the victim for two whole weeks, until *I* had to be the one to apologize.  Aside from the physical abuse, he's horribly verbally abuse: he shouts and complains about every single thing, calls us 'sloppy,' has told us to our faces that he'd be happier if he could get away from us.  And since he's the source of income for the family, if we argue back with him, he cuts things off: he cuts off food, he cuts off paying the bills.  Worst of all, he's a completely different person to all his friends and business associates.  "Oh, your father is so wonderful! He helped to pay for my son's tuition fees when I was broke! He's done so much for our company!" He acts like such a pleasant person, and then when he's at home, he unleashes his rage at us.

I know my situation, that it's not okay.  I've repeatedly told my mom and sister that as soon as I can take care of myself, I'm breaking off contact with him.  And every time I do, I've been told "But the Bible said..." and "He's your father...." and "Please forgive him."  Reading your blog, I now know that it's all bullshit.  Yes, people deserve a second chance and so does he.  But he doesn't get a second chance with me.  It shouldn't be a tragedy that I'm planning on cutting him out of my life.  The tragedy should be that he is such a horrible father and husband that he's forever ruined any chance of reconciliation between us.  If my mother and sister want to keep a relationship with him, more power to them.  But as for me, I am done and am praying for a job that will eventually let me break free and get away.

Thank you for the blog.  It's really put some things in perspective, and I hope that I can attain some measure of peace in my life, like everyone who's emailed in.


  1. "I know my situation."

    This is my favourite line from this post. The hardest thing for me HAS been truly knowing my situation. Uncovering layer by layer the truth of my experience.

    You sound wise, and you sound ready. I want to give you a million hugs. And I want you and any other person out there living under an abuser's roof that you are welcome in many/most domestic violence shelters, even if your abuser is not a romantic partner. Many shelters support women in finding housing and jobs, as well.

    All my best, and thank you so much for sharing.

  2. I definitely see some similarities here with my own story, right down toother people thinking he is so great and paying someone else's bills (while at the same time being controlling and verbally abusive to my mother about spending too much on groceries for her three kids).

    I haven't had any intact with my father in almost three years and it has been great honestly. It wasn't until afterward that I was ale o be truly honest about the abuse and who he is and what kindof father he was. Unfortunately, at he same time I started confronting my mom's own role in allowing that abuse and not protecting us, and her own abuse (emotional neglect). It has been hard and our relationship is not in a good place right now. She also wants me to forgive my father and have him back in mylife and I just can't do that.

    Anyway, all of that to say you are definitely not alone. I hope you can get out of his house soon.

  3. I've been both the victim and perpetrator in domestic abuse. This post is very powerful to read. So many minimize the abuse that occurred in their life... "yeah that happened but I turned out fine". Then we see the attitudes they bring to children, their own and other people's, and we realize they aren't "fine" at all.

    I had a lot of thoughts reading this but it's probably best if I just offer my support here. I too had to come to terms with how I was treated as a child and teen. This journey should be undertaken in a safe space. I hope you get the support you need. Thank you for writing.

  4. I'm proud of you. Of ALL of you strong, courageous souls who stand up to the stereotypical family systems that are defined by society. Your family was supposed to support you and instead they let you down and worse, made you feel bad for who you are. Do what is right for you. Fuck society and the pressure they place on you to forgive, let go, and forget. Your Father should be BEGGING for your forgiveness, for all the wrongs done to you that no child should ever endure.

    I wish I could give you a job. But I know that you will find your freedom because the spirit in your words is very loud. Continue reaching out and speaking up. You are never alone.

  5. It sounds like you are on the right path towards a better life for yourself. Just because he is your father doesn't mean you NEED to stay in touch with him. He was abusive, and it is amazing that you were able to open your eyes to realize that you do not deserve to be treated like crap, you deserve love and a better life.

    Right now, I'm reading a book called Healing Your Emotional Self by Beverly Engel. There is a excerpt that resinated with me, and I hope it does you:

    While you cannot reverse all the damage caused by abusive or neglectful parents, you can regain much of the sense of goodness, strength, and wisdom that is YOUR BIRTHRIGHT. (This is while using the exercises in her book called mirror therapy, which is "Shattering Your Parental Mirror" and "Creating a New Mirror".)

    The road to independence may be a rocky one, but just remember to keep your head up, your mind in focus, and remember you will see brighter days ahead! Stay strong! You can do it! :)

  6. Nice -- I'm impressed by your solidity. Your dad sounds so much like my dad, it's amazing. Charismatic and social to the public, miserable creature to those who really know him. He probably has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. If that's the case, he won't change. You've gotta protect yourself.