How do I deal with my dad's temper at my age

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
My family is african and I understand how strict african parents are due to cultural issues. Now to start off, my dad wants the best for me and tells me a lot that he is proud of me and loves me and gives me a lot of support(academically/financially).

However, when I screw up, he tends to yell(I mean yell/shout) at me pretty strongly and berates me(saying I don't care about anything, which isn't true as i do well in uni and etc) as he is kind of a perfectionist. When I was a teenager, I left my room unclean a lot and he would yell at me to clean it and on two occasions, he's called me useless/worthless due to it. No, I don't think he means it, his anger gets the better of him and times, he's told me he doesn't like yelling to make me feel bad or something but that doesn't make it hurt less and sometimes, thinking about it makes me on the edge of tearing up as it really hurts emotionally.
Last year we were going to meet the president of my country(niger) and we had to wear these long arab styled robes to appear formal. I was wearing shorts underneath and when my dad saw that, he got super angry and nearly swore and screamed at me to change(he probably thought I was being disrespectful but I only go to my home country for vacation and didn't know you could not wear shorts underneath/did not mean to show I don't care but i couldn't explain myself) and he asked if I'm stupid or something. Or like the other day, we have ACS in our house and we can turn them off using remote controls or buttons underneath but for some reason, my dad just tells me to use the remote. I forget the other day when I was going to and he sternly said something like if I don't use the remote again, he'll hit me or something like I'm a little kid. Or even today, my brother's shoelaces started becoming untied when we got home from an internship and my dad was there and started yelling at him and demanded he show him how he ties his shoes and he loosened them and started yelling more at how he can't tie his shoes when he didn't even let him finish doing it. My brother pointed this out but he just dismissed it and said not to argue. So I'm 21 and I'm sick of my dad using his anger to intimidate me to just shut up and take his yelling but if I can't say anything cuz he'll just get mad and I'm just don't know what to do
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,754
Unfortunately, your dad may be unable to control this behavior. Sounds sort of like anxiety. Small things making him this aggressive usually comes from someone who doesn't have a lot of personal control. That means there may not be much you can do outside of trying to set boundaries. If you're relying on him for a lot you might only be able to try to talk about it with him and see what happens. You need to work on getting your independence so he can't have any power over you.
 
Oct 25, 2017
613
Option 1: Move away and never talk to your father again.

Option 2: You put the fear of God in that if he ever tries shit with you then he will regret living. Because the only thing that fathers like that respect is the thing they put out the most.
 
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DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
I'd also like to bring up that I've never had an emotional open up with my dad at all really . Like I got bullied in H.S, never told him. I have anxiety, and haven't told him either.
 

Doober

The Fallen
Jun 10, 2018
1,785
My mother has had a hell of a temper and unresolved anger issues my whole life. Dealing with it is a big part of the reason why I'm super introverted and conflict-averse today.

For the first time in my life last year, she snapped at me and I snapped back even harder. She wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the night, but the next morning she came the closest she's ever come to apologizing to me in my entire life.

She told my dad that she saw something in my eyes that night that she never wants to see again. I think she saw herself, a bit of that anger that she's shown me so much in life.

We're on good terms now, but I honestly wish I had clapped back at her a LOT sooner in life. I love and respect my parents, but there was a lot of times when my mother acted like a cruel, angry bully to me. Maybe if I had more fire in me, I could have stopped it then.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that some people only respect power. I'm not telling you to fight your father, but it may be time to give him a taste of the shit he gives you.
 
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DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
My mother has had a hell of a temper and unresolved anger issues my whole life. Dealing with it is a big part of the reason why I'm super introverted and conflict-averse today.

For the first time in my life last year, she snapped at me and I snapped back even harder. She wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the night, but the next morning she came the closest she's ever come to apologizing to me in my entire life.

She told my dad that she saw something in my eyes that night that she never wants to see again. I think she saw herself, a bit of that anger that she's shown me so much in life.

We're on good terms now, but I honestly wish I had clapped back at her a LOT sooner in life. I love and respect my parents, but there was a lot of times when my mother acted like a cruel, angry bully to me. Maybe if I had more fire in me, I could have stopped it then.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that some people only respect power. I'm not telling you to fight your father, but it may be time to give him a taste of the shit he gives you.
I literally can't do that. He'll just get really angry if I do and I'm worried what he'll do next. He's bigger and stronger than me and I'm pretty thin
 

Finale Fireworker

Love each other or die trying.
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
5,771
ResetEra
I wish I had better advice for you, but I will give what advice I can. This is something I've also dealt with and not perfectly. My father has always had rage and anger issues, something everyone around him has always tolerated. He has massive thunderous outbursts where he will scream and berate people, especially family, and will occasionally smash and break things around him. These episodes were always frightening, dangerous, and unpredictable.

When I was 21, during a particularly awful rampage, he told me that I was the reason he hates his life. He told me I am why he can't be the father he wants to be, and that I ruined his marriage, and I've made it easy for him to walk away from the family because he doesn't care about any of us. I remember thinking in that moment that I hoped he would leave. That I wouldn't have to live with him, or see him, or talk to him ever again. But he never went anywhere. We went back to acting like it never happened. I moved out of the house permanently a couple of years later. He and I haven't spoken since November 2016.

It's a little funny to see you mention shorts. My father had a big thing with shorts too, but the other way around. There were certain months of the year where he felt it was completely unacceptable to wear pants. If he saw me in jeans in the summer or something I always got in big trouble. I can relate to how even these seemingly minor things can cause major problems.



So given that, there are a few things I want to make sure you know.

1. It is not your fault that these outbursts happen. Even if something you say or do is the stimulus for these outbursts, you are not causing them and you do not deserve them. No matter what, responsibility and blame for this abuse rests squarely on your father's shoulders.

2. His anger does not come from a logical or rational place. Therefore it probably cannot be reasoned with. It is unlikely you will be able to defend yourself without making him more angry. It is unlikely you will be able to convince him he is wrong or reacting inappropriately.

3. If you do ever try to talk to him, which is difficult, it will have to be when he is not angry. This is risky because you stand to possibly make him angry by asking to talk about it. When my father was pissed off, I knew it would be unproductive and make things worse if I tried to address his behavior. But I did have some minor success talking to him when he was in a better mood and not mad about something. It was hard to bring it up, and I was afraid because I thought he would blow up at me, but it ended up going okay. He didn't apologize or ever do anything different, but at least I was able to say I tried to talk to him about it before I gave up.

4. The best thing for you, if possible, might be to just stop talking to him. Stop seeing him. This is easier said than done and this may not be an option for you. But if you are able to stop interacting with him, you should. The reason for this is because when you cannot control somebody who is affecting you this way, you need to make decisions and take action to help yourself. It is the only way to stay safe, and healthy, and comfortable. Even if it comes with the discomfort of breaking a family bond, the family bond you have now is destructive, and it's a better position than what you're in.

Since I have stopped talking to my father, I have had some indication from my mother that he has reflected on some things and wants to talk. I don't know if I want to, or will be able to, but it does seem that sometimes picking up and leaving is the only way to make people like our fathers realize how much they hurt people around them. The only way to do this is to take action they can't ignore. The only thing that does this is leaving.



I don't know if this is good advice. This is something I am still struggling with and don't have a solution to. I have no suggestions how to make your relationship with your father better. I don't know if it can be done. But I know from my own experience that the sooner you remove yourself from the equation the happier you will be. Stay strong, my friend.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,754
Yeah, I think there's way too much of a power imbalance here. My wife has similar problems with her father. When she or her brother is around him, they become completely different people because they're so afraid to upset him. Mostly because he just becomes nasty the minute anything he doesn't approve of goes down.

Work on getting on your own two feet and talk to him about it if you can. Set boundaries and tell him how you feel about all this and see his reaction. You may have to accept he won't change and either deal with it when he's around or just distance him out of your life as much as possible. It's a tough situation, I know, but it's pretty much abusive behavior, especially to you as an adult. Some parents just can't ever accept that their children grow up to be their own person with their own way of doing things.
 
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DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
I wish I had better advice for you, but I will give what advice I can. This is something I've also dealt with and not perfectly. My father has always had rage and anger issues, something everyone around him has always tolerated. He has massive thunderous outbursts where he will scream and berate people, especially family, and will occasionally smash and break things around him. These episodes were always frightening, dangerous, and unpredictable.

When I was 21, during a particularly awful rampage, he told me that I was the reason he hates his life. He told me I am why he can't be the father he wants to be, and that I ruined his marriage, and I've made it easy for him to walk away from the family because he doesn't care about any of us. I remember thinking in that moment that I hoped he would leave. That I wouldn't have to live with him, or see him, or talk to him ever again. But he never went anywhere. We went back to acting like it never happened. I moved out of the house permanently a couple of years later. He and I haven't spoken since November 2016.

It's a little funny to see you mention shorts. My father had a big thing with shorts too, but the other way around. There were certain months of the year where he felt it was completely unacceptable to wear pants. If he saw me in jeans in the summer or something I always got in big trouble. I can relate to how even these seemingly minor things can cause major problems.



So given that, there are a few things I want to make sure you know.

1. It is not your fault that these outbursts happen. Even if something you say or do is the stimulus for these outbursts, you are not causing them and you do not deserve them. No matter what, responsibility and blame for this abuse rests squarely on your father's shoulders.

2. His anger does not come from a logical or rational place. Therefore it probably cannot be reasoned with. It is unlikely you will be able to defend yourself without making him more angry. It is unlikely you will be able to convince him he is wrong or reacting inappropriately.

3. If you do ever try to talk to him, which is difficult, it will have to be when he is not angry. This is risky because you stand to possibly make him angry by asking to talk about it. When my father was pissed off, I knew it would be unproductive and make things worse if I tried to address his behavior. But I did have some minor success talking to him when he was in a better mood and not mad about something. It was hard to bring it up, and I was afraid because I thought he would blow up at me, but it ended up going okay. He didn't apologize or ever do anything different, but at least I was able to say I tried to talk to him about it before I gave up.

4. The best thing for you, if possible, might be to just stop talking to him. Stop seeing him. This is easier said than done and this may not be an option for you. But if you are able to stop interacting with him, you should. The reason for this is because when you cannot control somebody who is affecting you this way, you need to make decisions and take action to help yourself. It is the only way to stay safe, and healthy, and comfortable. Even if it comes with the discomfort of breaking a family bond, the family bond you have now is destructive, and it's a better position than what you're in.

Since I have stopped talking to my father, I have had some indication from my mother that he has reflected on some things and wants to talk. I don't know if I want to, or will be able to, but it does seem that sometimes picking up and leaving is the only way to make people like our fathers realize how much they hurt people around them. The only way to do this is to take action they can't ignore. The only thing that does this is leaving.



I don't know if this is good advice. This is something I am still struggling with and don't have a solution to. I have no suggestions how to make your relationship with your father better. I don't know if it can be done. But I know from my own experience that the sooner you remove yourself from the equation the happier you will be. Stay strong, my friend.
I'm sorry you're going through this worse than me. And I don't think I want to cut him off entirely as I know I might regret it down the line and I am dependent on him entirely. I guess talking is an option but I'll wait and see. With the shoelaces, I think he's concerned about our appearance and how we present ourselves but the way he does it is a gross overreaction
 

Finale Fireworker

Love each other or die trying.
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
5,771
ResetEra
I'm sorry you're going through this worse than me. And I don't think I want to cut him off entirely as I know I might regret it down the line and I am dependent on him entirely. I guess talking is an option but I'll wait and see.
Don't be sorry at all. I like to think we're going through something like this together. You, me, and all the other sons who have issues with their dads. Figuring out the right thing to do for you is hard. There is no easy answer. For me, I had to leave. But we might still talk and reconcile someday. There is no world where I would rather never speak to my dad again, you know? I wish it wasn't like this.

Lots of luck and love, my friend. It's tough.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
12,783
Your dad sounds like a good caring parent with some detail and control issues. The shorts and remote examples make me think you might have a lack of open communication about rational stuff.

The shorts - tell him in a quiet moment that you didn't realize that you were being disrespectful and that had you known you'd never have done that.

On the remote? It's a version of "why do you fuckers keep leaving the lights on?" That I inherited from adults (no dad growing up so other people's dad's) and unless using the buttons gets the system or timer out of whack then he's being irrational (wasting batteries and encouraging sloth if you think about it) so reason won't help - instead just let him have that. It is part of his routine that likely helps him feel in control.

TBH it sounds like you already know all this and unless he's open to therapy - maybe shared therapy with you like couples counseling - you're going to have to hope he mellows with age which happens a lot with men. Older ladies with tempers tend to get worse though in my experience. Especially if the behavior is post menopause. Or maybe that's a Scottish cultural outlier. Science Source : "can I have my ball back missus miggins?"
 

Doober

The Fallen
Jun 10, 2018
1,785
I literally can't do that. He'll just get really angry if I do and I'm worried what he'll do next. He's bigger and stronger than me and I'm pretty thin
If you're legitimately worried that he'll strike you, then that's a bigger issue. I'd recommend doing anything you can to expedite moving out of that house. Then, you'll at least have the power to walk away when he's being a prick.

Like I said, it's about power with these types of people.
 
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DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
Don't be sorry at all. I like to think we're going through something like this together. You, me, and all the other sons who have issues with their dads. Figuring out the right thing to do for you is hard. There is no easy answer. For me, I had to leave. But we might still talk and reconcile someday. There is no world where I would rather never speak to my dad again, you know? I wish it wasn't like this.

Lots of luck and love, my friend. It's tough.
Best of luck to you as well
 
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DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
Your dad sounds like a good caring parent with some detail and control issues. The shorts and remote examples make me think you might have a lack of open communication about rational stuff.

The shorts - tell him in a quiet moment that you didn't realize that you were being disrespectful and that had you known you'd never have done that.

On the remote? It's a version of "why do you fuckers keep leaving the lights on?" That I inherited from adults (no dad growing up so other people's dad's) and unless using the buttons gets the system or timer out of whack then he's being irrational (wasting batteries and encouraging sloth if you think about it) so reason won't help - instead just let him have that. It is part of his routine that likely helps him feel in control.

TBH it sounds like you already know all this and unless he's open to therapy - maybe shared therapy with you like couples counseling - you're going to have to hope he mellows with age which happens a lot with men. Older ladies with tempers tend to get worse though in my experience. Especially if the behavior is post menopause. Or maybe that's a Scottish cultural outlier. Science Source : "can I have my ball back missus miggins?"
Yeah, the shoelaces sound like he's concerned about our appearance or how we present ourselves but what he did was a gross overreaction
 
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DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
If you're legitimately worried that he'll strike you, then that's a bigger issue. I'd recommend doing anything you can to expedite moving out of that house. Then, you'll at least have the power to walk away when he's being a prick.

Like I said, it's about power with these types of people.
It's just for the summer. I'm visiting here, which is all. And yeah i am worried as sometimes when he gets really angry, he'll step forward and that just shuts me up.
 
Dec 11, 2018
545
You're a grown ass man. Don't take that shit. He won't respect you if you continue to take it (not that you need or should value the respect of a person who thinks it's OK to berate and belittle you).
 

Ehoavash

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,605
Yeah my dad is similar..it got so bad that one time I kicked him in the nuts to protect myself

I regretted that felt bad.....
 

NHarmonic.

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
4,433
My mother has had a hell of a temper and unresolved anger issues my whole life. Dealing with it is a big part of the reason why I'm super introverted and conflict-averse today.

For the first time in my life last year, she snapped at me and I snapped back even harder. She wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the night, but the next morning she came the closest she's ever come to apologizing to me in my entire life.

She told my dad that she saw something in my eyes that night that she never wants to see again. I think she saw herself, a bit of that anger that she's shown me so much in life.

We're on good terms now, but I honestly wish I had clapped back at her a LOT sooner in life. I love and respect my parents, but there was a lot of times when my mother acted like a cruel, angry bully to me. Maybe if I had more fire in me, I could have stopped it then.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that some people only respect power. I'm not telling you to fight your father, but it may be time to give him a taste of the shit he gives you.
This is kind of my story but with multiple snap events. Doesn’t help my dad is useless and doesn’t even live here.

The amount of stress i cope with has had such a huge burden on my health, both physical and psychological...
 
Oct 25, 2017
613
If I try to talk back, he'll just intimidate me with his anger. It's useless to do anything
That’s the thing though, and the mentality behind a lot of African men and men in general ( My country is south of yours ao probably a bit similar) he’s doing this because there’s no pushback. It is eventually going to get to the point where you’ve had enough and snapback.
 

Hycran

The Fallen
Oct 30, 2017
1,121
If I try to talk back, he'll just intimidate me with his anger. It's useless to do anything
I’ll say what is actually going on then. Your dad is a bully. It’s obvious from what you’re describing that he cares more about himself than you, otherwise he wouldn’t be treating you that way.

Ultimately, if you do not stand up to a bully, they will continue to bully you. If you are financially dependent on your dad (which doesn’t appear to be the case but just in case) you will need to become physically intimidating and begin to throw your weight around.

Obviously I think everybody appreciates that being diplomatic and respectful should be the path forward, but it is plainly obvious to me that if you do not begin to fight back both on your own behalf and on behalf of your family, nothing will change.
 

Kyrios

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,055
Your dad sounds like mine in certain ways, wants the best for you, but lookout when he erupts and says stuff that he wouldn't normally say. Could never really connect with the guy on an emotional level other than he's my father.

Eventually as I got older I just started calmly talking back to him whenever he did one of his outbursts, even flatout called him baby and how everything bothers him and get help. Now I know you said your dad is bigger than you, so I don't blame you for being a bit hesitant on talking back., but I see a lot of my own father in yours and maybe a bit of conversation may help if you feel comfortable. Helped a bit with mine, but he's just an old grump now lol

Wish you the best.
 
Dec 11, 2018
545
If I try to talk back, he'll just intimidate me with his anger. It's useless to do anything
Intimidate him with yours. Or with a big stick. Seriously though, don't take that shit. Or just leave and never come back and when he asks why you never visit, tell him the truth. "Dad, you're an angry asshole. When you work through your issues, I'll consider letting you be a part of my life. Until then, eat shit." Some of the worst people are the ones that dole out a little praise to make you think they're on your side, and then use it as an opportunity to keep you close so they can abuse you.
 

Boiled Goose

Member
Nov 2, 2017
7,245
The only thing you can do is try to talk. Sometimes writing a letter is a good way to express everything without being interrupted and it gives people time to think and digest before responding
 
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DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
I’ll say what is actually going on then. Your dad is a bully. It’s obvious from what you’re describing that he cares more about himself than you, otherwise he wouldn’t be treating you that way.

Ultimately, if you do not stand up to a bully, they will continue to bully you. If you are financially dependent on your dad (which doesn’t appear to be the case but just in case) you will need to become physically intimidating and begin to throw your weight around.

Obviously I think everybody appreciates that being diplomatic and respectful should be the path forward, but it is plainly obvious to me that if you do not begin to fight back both on your own behalf and on behalf of your family, nothing will change.
I am financially dependent. Like I said, I think he's getting mad out of concern but displaying it in a bad way
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,319
My therapist recommended me to change subject or just flat out ignore my dad when he starts with his act. It’s a pretty similar case, I’ve been out of dad’s for 15 years now. I’m married, working, living in a pretty good house, car and a puppy. Yet every time I come to visit parents from time to time, it’s always the same bullshit, he talks like I’m still living there and never left. He nags me about stuff that happened 20 years ago like it was yesterday and I haven’t changed or achieved anything since then.

So your mileage may vary, but you can try the completely changing the subject thing, he’s not gonna change so don’t waste your energy on keeping up with his rants.
 

Glasfrut

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
628
Okay, so I think the African context here is very important. Did you grow up in Niger, or abroad? Or did you go through international schools while in Niger.

For a lot of African parents, dads especially, the way he's communicating is the best way he knows how (and probably learned it from his own father).

Part of the hurdle you have here is you're still dependent and still in uni. So in many regards, culturally, you're still a child. Painting with broad strokes here, but it would mean "following instruction" rather than "pushing back". One option, which many people I know do take, is sitting through it until the relationship balance shifts (often with the first job or when you move out completely). But I would suggest just have a gentle conversation with him.

Taking the shorts situation: Hey, I'm sorry about the shorts thing, I didn't realise it was a bad thing to do. I understand now, but it did scare me/bother me the way you shouted at me for it.

You don't need to talk back. I think the two of you (especially him) need to understand the cultural gap at play here. That you don't respond well to his approach (that again, he probably picked up from his own father/culture).

If you don't mind my asking, where is your mum? Can you broach the topic with her first?
 

Hycran

The Fallen
Oct 30, 2017
1,121
I am financially dependent. Like I said, I think he's getting mad out of concern but displaying it in a bad way
With all due respect, this is not a healthy way to show concern. People who exhibit anger behaviours desire control. In this case, it is fair to say that he does care, but the fact that everything must be his way or the highway belies the true reason for his concern: he wants to control everything for what he ultimately perceives will be his own benefit. The fact that caring for someone else also occurs is a ancillary matter.

It’s tempting to over generalize in complex cultural situations, but it is similarly tempting to over analyze and make things more complex than they need to be. If he is going to control your finances, you will always be under his thumb. You need a counterbalance to that. If you can’t leave, you need some fucking leverage. Obviously it’s painful, but if you cannot confront him with appeals to his emotion or logic, I’d suggest you get ready for some physicality because otherwise nothing will change.

Edit: If you have other leverage mechanisms like community support, counselling, or even public shaming, by all means leverage those as well. You know far more about what tools are available within your cultural context than I do.
 
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DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
Okay, so I think the African context here is very important. Did you grow up in Niger, or abroad? Or did you go through international schools while in Niger.

For a lot of African parents, dads especially, the way he's communicating is the best way he knows how (and probably learned it from his own father).

Part of the hurdle you have here is you're still dependent and still in uni. So in many regards, culturally, you're still a child. Painting with broad strokes here, but it would mean "following instruction" rather than "pushing back". One option, which many people I know do take, is sitting through it until the relationship balance shifts (often with the first job or when you move out completely). But I would suggest just have a gentle conversation with him.

Taking the shorts situation: Hey, I'm sorry about the shorts thing, I didn't realise it was a bad thing to do. I understand now, but it did scare me/bother me the way you shouted at me for it.

You don't need to talk back. I think the two of you (especially him) need to understand the cultural gap at play here. That you don't respond well to his approach (that again, he probably picked up from his own father/culture).

If you don't mind my asking, where is your mum? Can you broach the topic with her first?
I grew up in the states, Tunis and South Africa, international schools in both
I am Uni now, just visiting for the summer
My mom is here now and she said she doesn't like it when he yells and I can open up more with her
 

JB1981

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
7,710
Sounds like he has an untreated mood disorder. I feel for you. Horrible to be subjected to behavior like that
 

Matthew23

Member
Oct 31, 2017
423
I would use the negative feelings as motivation to become independent asap. My relationship with my father didn't improve until I moved out of state. The first time I yelled back at him (in my 20s) marked a change in how he treated me but putting the miles in between us made all the difference.
 
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Gakidou

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,251
pip pip cheerio fish & chips
Unfortunately it sounds like someone who is not good to be around and can't be trusted with your feelings and vulnerability. Being untrustworthy isn't just about someone who lies or goes behind your back, it can be someone who you always feel you are "walking on eggshells around" because you cant TRUST them not to hurt you or themselves, emotionally or otherwise.

I think the truth is adulthood is more about means than maturity. You can only set boundaries if you can actually enforce them. So measure what level of independence you have. Do you have a home you can go to away from your dad? Can you be in control of deciding when you visit? Can you survive if he cuts you off financially? Do you have access to authorities you can defer to if anything gets out of hand? If you have the power to distance yourself from him, you can use that to set boundaries. For example "If you yell at me, I'm going home" or "last year you were very rude to me and made me miserable, so im not visiting this year until you promise to treat me with respect"

You don't owe your family unconditional love no matter how they treat you. You can explain his behaviour as being a product of his time/place but ultimately it does not mean you should have to put up with it. Consider finding someone else (eg: a therapist) to open up to instead of your dad? I don't think you can hope to fix their behaviour and make them into the ideal father figure you might need but you can at least make them aware that you're not going to keep coming back if all they serve you up is misery and guilt.
 

Glasfrut

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
628
I grew up in the states, Tunis and South Africa, international schools in both
I am Uni now, just visiting for the summer
My mom is here now and she said she doesn't like it when he yells and I can open up more with her
Without knowing much about him, and my being (very) generous here, I think it's a lot to do with how he has learned to show that he cares, and how he expresses concerns/worries.

It's a conversation you should have in some form, I feel. But I see a lot of the cultural differences I've seen with myself and my uncles (my own dad was hyper aware that his children were growing up in a very different context to his, so he adjusted accordingly (and mellowed out a lot the older we got)). You should, one day (in your own time) sit down with him and talk (maybe even ask about how he grew up to get an idea of where the anger/shouting approach comes from.

I do believe that the relationship will rebalance with time (when you become independent and he feels he has managed to get you over the threshold (graduation/first job/financial freedom/etc).

---
For the unfavourable read: some, if not most, of this seems to be his concern with how the family (mainly he) looks in front of others. Meeting with the president especially. Situations could probably be defused before they blow by asking him: Hey, I'm about to do X, would that work out?

...But I don't think you should live that way.

Don't challenge him. That will make things worse. If his anger is stemming from perception in the community, then having his son challenge him won't help that.

I think if you do find a solution/approach here, it will probably improve your relationship for the better. Just don't go into it as a fight or zero sum situation. He just needs to realise that you aren't growing up in the same context he did (and needs to approach matters differently).

Is your dad a worrier?
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,052
Option 1: Move away and never talk to your father again.

Option 2: You put the fear of God in that if he ever tries shit with you then he will regret living. Because the only thing that fathers like that respect is the thing they put out the most.
Ignore this.

Christ. Only on the internet does "salt the Earth and burn all connecting bridges" get presented as a viable solution to something. And before even trying anything else!
 
OP
OP
DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
Without knowing much about him, and my being (very) generous here, I think it's a lot to do with how he has learned to show that he cares, and how he expresses concerns/worries.

It's a conversation you should have in some form, I feel. But I see a lot of the cultural differences I've seen with myself and my uncles (my own dad was hyper aware that his children were growing up in a very different context to his, so he adjusted accordingly (and mellowed out a lot the older we got)). You should, one day (in your own time) sit down with him and talk (maybe even ask about how he grew up to get an idea of where the anger/shouting approach comes from.

I do believe that the relationship will rebalance with time (when you become independent and he feels he has managed to get you over the threshold (graduation/first job/financial freedom/etc).

---
For the unfavourable read: some, if not most, of this seems to be his concern with how the family (mainly he) looks in front of others. Meeting with the president especially. Situations could probably be defused before they blow by asking him: Hey, I'm about to do X, would that work out?

...But I don't think you should live that way.

Don't challenge him. That will make things worse. If his anger is stemming from perception in the community, then having his son challenge him won't help that.

I think if you do find a solution/approach here, it will probably improve your relationship for the better. Just don't go into it as a fight or zero sum situation. He just needs to realise that you aren't growing up in the same context he did (and needs to approach matters differently).

Is your dad a worrier?
I just think he's a perfectionist
 
OP
OP
DragonSJG

DragonSJG

Member
Mar 4, 2019
1,266
Unfortunately it sounds like someone who is not good to be around and can't be trusted with your feelings and vulnerability. Being untrustworthy isn't just about someone who lies or goes behind your back, it can be someone who you always feel you are "walking on eggshells around" because you cant TRUST them not to hurt you or themselves, emotionally or otherwise.

I think the truth is adulthood is more about means than maturity. You can only set boundaries if you can actually enforce them. So measure what level of independence you have. Do you have a home you can go to away from your dad? Can you be in control of deciding when you visit? Can you survive if he cuts you off financially? Do you have access to authorities you can defer to if anything gets out of hand? If you have the power to distance yourself from him, you can use that to set boundaries. For example "If you yell at me, I'm going home" or "last year you were very rude to me and made me miserable, so im not visiting this year until you promise to treat me with respect"

You don't owe your family unconditional love no matter how they treat you. You can explain his behaviour as being a product of his time/place but ultimately it does not mean you should have to put up with it. Consider finding someone else (eg: a therapist) to open up to instead of your dad? I don't think you can hope to fix their behaviour and make them into the ideal father figure you might need but you can at least make them aware that you're not going to keep coming back if all they serve you up is misery and guilt.
I'm just visiting for the summer and i wouldn't say he just gives misery as I did mention in the above he says he loves me and am proud
 

Chixdiggit

Member
Oct 31, 2017
620
My mother has had a hell of a temper and unresolved anger issues my whole life. Dealing with it is a big part of the reason why I'm super introverted and conflict-averse today.

For the first time in my life last year, she snapped at me and I snapped back even harder. She wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the night, but the next morning she came the closest she's ever come to apologizing to me in my entire life.

She told my dad that she saw something in my eyes that night that she never wants to see again. I think she saw herself, a bit of that anger that she's shown me so much in life.

We're on good terms now, but I honestly wish I had clapped back at her a LOT sooner in life. I love and respect my parents, but there was a lot of times when my mother acted like a cruel, angry bully to me. Maybe if I had more fire in me, I could have stopped it then.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that some people only respect power. I'm not telling you to fight your father, but it may be time to give him a taste of the shit he gives you.
This is similar to my story as well except with my Father. After many years I finally had enough and just gave it to him right back with no fear. When you take years of verbal abuse you learn a thing or two about giving it back and I let him have it making it perfectly clear that I was not afraid of him and no longer gave a fuck what he thinks. It was the last time he ever yelled at me and we get along now like any father and adult son should.
 

Gakidou

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,251
pip pip cheerio fish & chips
I'm just visiting for the summer and i wouldn't say he just gives misery as I did mention in the above he says he loves me and am proud
That's fair, I figured that might be the case which is why I didn't just suggest cutting him off entirely. The fact that loved ones often give a mixture of love and fun and bad behaviour is the main reason many people find these types of situations to hard to remedy.
All the more reason to practice and get good at setting boundaries. Having a plan for when you need to say "ok im not putting up with the bad parts of this relationship anymore" and remembering to stick to your principles and think long term, as well as talk to lots of people to get perspective and confidence that you deserve to demand respectful treatment. I guess talking about it online was a good move ;) I hope it's given you a good sense of perspective and assurance.
 

Doober

The Fallen
Jun 10, 2018
1,785
This is similar to my story as well except with my Father. After many years I finally had enough and just gave it to him right back with no fear. When you take years of verbal abuse you learn a thing or two about giving it back and I let him have it making it perfectly clear that I was not afraid of him and no longer gave a fuck what he thinks. It was the last time he ever yelled at me and we get along now like any father and adult son should.
Yeah, my situation is unusual in that my father is mega cool and collected and my mother was the rage fiend. She's a lot better now that I'm grown and especially after I clapped back at her, but I'm sure a lifetime of her shit has fucked me up in ways I don't even realize.