(Closed) Half Dysfunctional Family

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 3
709 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

You were ALLOWED to leave after your last argument? Then he said he and your mother were going to talk to you about your behavior and becoming a better child?! I’m mad, sad, hurt and feel disrespected for you. They should have already been scared of losing you due to your father’s behavior. It shouldn’t have to come down to an ultimatum. Honey, I’m really sorry. Do you still live with them?

Post # 4
41 posts

Add a little more of the physical to that when I was a child, and this is the type of relationship I have with my mother. I know how frustrating it can be (and that’s an understatement) but congrats on escaping!! Just 2 days ago I was about to leave the house and was told “I wasn’t going anywhere until the house was spotless.” I’m 23 and just not financially stable enough with still being in school and SO still lives at home too….so here I am pretty much regretting it every day. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought “screw school I don’t care where I end up as long as its not here” and started looking for apartments…. But here I still am. I understand feeling like you need to invite him to the wedding for that reason, but I don’t think it’s asking too much to ask him to go into therapy. Family is family but sometimes you need to protect your own health and wellbeing first. Im sure it will get easier with you leaving (nothing to hold over your head like kicking you out etc, I’m so envious with the FREEDOM you will have!), but having someone unhealthy in your life is not worth it despite who it is, especially if they refuse to help the situation. 

Post # 8
198 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

People don’t change unless they acknowledge “something is wrong”. I get the impression that your father is not open to any help. My advice would be to keep your head down till you leave in a few months and release the need to help your father with his issues and focus on yourself. Once you do leave, you will have the opportunity to heal from the abuse. Your experience will hopefully make you a wonderful parent in the future. All the work is to be done on the self.

Post # 10
280 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@LemonyItch:  I’m SO sorry for what you’re going through. I actually read this post yesterday and didn’t respond but then was thinking about it all night and couldn’t sleep so decided to respond.

I too had a very dysfunctional family and eventually moved across the country in my mid-20s. In fact, I’m now a forensic psychologist (they say that most screwed up people become psychologists, so I laughed when I read that you were studying psychology).

Moving was THE best thing I’ve ever done for myself, and my guess is that you will feel much better once you move as well. But in the meantime, you still have to deal with the family. But this is an opportunity for you as well. Eleanor Roosevelt said (and Ann Landers repeated often) that no one can take advantage of you without your permission. I strongly encourage you to ask your therapist about assertiveness training, which includes role modeling and practicing. If s/he can’t provide that, ask for a recommendation for someone who can. This is going to be your most important tool for your life because this is going to stay with you in every relationship and network you have, and your future children will learn from you. It’s going to be very, very difficult, but the only thing that you can do in this situation is look your father (and every single person in your future) squarely in the eye and say very calmly and very firmly something like, “I’m an adult and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. I’m happy to talk with you about this issue like an adult, but I refuse to be treated with anything less than the respect I deserve.” This will take a LONG LONG LONG time to get across, but you have to be consistent and you have to not let it go. And most importantly, you have to stay calm and firm. Unfortunately, your father seems to have never ever had a role model that taught respect for others, and your mother seems to have been taught to be completely passive. There’s nothing you can do about that. In fact, you can’t control what they say or do at all. The only thing you can control–and you should control–is your reaction to it. Only you can control how you will be affected by people who simply don’t know any better. So it’s completely up to you how you allow yourself to be treated.

For me, I will not allow myself to be treated with anything less than the respect I deserve as an adult and, frankly, as a human being. I can’t control if people want to yell or scream or throw a tantrum or invite drama into their lives, but I can control whether I want to be around it or if I’m going to tolerate it. Again, for someone like your father, it’s going to be really hard and take a really long time because he’s not used to people standing up for themselves against him. Just stay firm! It’s not up to you to tell him to go to therapy or anything else. After so many decades of dealing with people who he could bully, he’s not going to change. And if he is going to change, it’s going to be because he sees a need to, not because you gave him an ultimatum. The only person you are responsible for is you. You are responsible for how you allow yourself to be treated and you are responsible for how you react to other people’s behaviors and words.

I also hate to break this to you, but once you move, assuming that you are in an environment that encourages you to stand up for yourself, you won’t want to have anything to do with your family anymore. As far as your wedding: it’s your (and your fiance’s) day. If you feel that disconnected from and disrespected by your father, you shouldn’t invite him. And if your mother–who has not only allowed herself to be treated poorly for x number of years but has allowed her children to be treated poorly–holds it against you, so be it. Eventually they will figure out that you are an independent, responsible adult who is going to stand up for herself and not allow herself to be treated poorly. They’ll either accept that or they won’t.You can’t control that because you can’t control how anyone else behaves or thinks, and other people’s behavior and thoughts aren’t your responsibility.

So follow all that up with “I’m a grown-ass woman, bitches” while you snap your fingers in front of your face (at least in your mind’s eye), and you’ll be OK. 🙂

Post # 11
280 posts
Helper bee

I hate reading things like this. They break my heart because I can relate very closely. Basically my sister is just like my mom, so dad would pick on her. And I am more like my dad so mom would pick on me (despite the fact that i make concious efforts not to fall to the same vices as he did). When my mom threw my dad out she met someone (who is now my stepdad) and they acted like two kids in love. My mom began drinking and would take angers out on me. Pushing me down the stairs, kicking me out in the middle of the night not letting me come home for weeks then filing a missing persons report saying i “ran away” and attempting to get anyone who helped me or let me stay with them in legal trouble. When i got to college she decided she wanted a new car so she used my college fund (from my grandma, each kid in the family had one). But she didn’t tell me so they dropped me from my courses and contacted a collection agency. With no money I had no choice but to beg her to let me stay there, where I became a live in maid. She would leave me lists of things to do while she was at work and take essential things for those chores. Unplug the washing machine when she told me to do laundry and just leave a wash board take the mop with her to work so i had to scrub on my hands and knees.


Needless to say we had a very awful relationship and then my SO asked me to move in with him. I had no job, he didn’t care he couldn’t see me live like that any more. So we moved in together not far from my mom. well that apartment didn’t work out and we were only there for a couple months. When we moved 6 hours away from my mom. The relationship with my mother began to get better when i moved out of her house and wasn’t her slave anymore. But it didn’t really change until SO and I went over there for dinner on wednesday and I said we are moving 6 hrs away tomorrow. And I pointed out that we needed space from one another. 6 months after we moved up here and mom did lots of therapy she called me and we talked for hours. Two years after the move north things are still a bit rocky betwen us but i think for us it boils down to the fact that she hates my dad and i remind her of him so we can’t be in the same state.

I really pray that your move helps, and i would advise suggesting he does some kind of therapy and some time. Good luck.

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