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A family afraid

An abusive father is making their life unbearable. 

You’re not to blame, says our elder, but you do need to seek help. 

Dear EWC:

I am living with a narcissistic father and it’s driving me insane. He is extremely controlling and abusive. Living at home is a nightmare and my mental health is deteriorating. 

My father feels the need to control everything and everyone; there is a tracker in my mother’s car that goes off whenever the car stops and alerts my father on the location of the car. He doesn’t allow us to go anywhere and he thinks that is always right. Last weekend my brother asked my dad to go out to watch a movie that shows in the morning and instead of my father responding in a civilized manner he beat him as a way of rejecting his request like a psychopath! I rushed in to go save my brother and in the process, screamed out spiteful things at my father. 

In the moment I shouted that I hated him, which wasn’t true as I was overwhelmed and angry. My father decided to send these horrible messages to us telling us that he is leaving all because I said that I hated him, which is extremely petty given the circumstances. He came back a few days after but he has been rude and honestly living with him is unbearable; some advice would be appreciated.

Ruby-Mary replies:

Thank you for reaching out to EWC. I am so sorry to hear that you and your family members are victims of abuse from your father. Some info you gave in your letter leads me to wonder if you’re having some feelings of guilt regarding how you feel about your father. Please do not blame yourself or anyone else in your family for your father’s abusive behaviors. You and your other family members are victims of his abusive behavior. No one deserves to be subjected to any type of abuse, be it verbal, emotional, or physical.

I don’t know your age, so I’m not sure if you’re in school or not. If you are, please consider speaking with someone at your school who might be able to give you some valuable resources that would be helpful for your situation. Perhaps you could speak with a school counselor, social worker, psychologist, or nurse. These professionals often have information that could immediately help you. I’m also unsure of where you live, but I’m sure there are local authorities such as police, legal, protective services, or social services you can speak with regarding being a victim of abuse. I hope you will contact these authorities and let them know what’s going on. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact authorities about your situation. I understand it’s scary to think about what could happen as a result of authorities getting involved in this, but isn’t it also scary to think about what could happen to you and/or other family members as a result of your father’s abuse? These authorities usually know the best way to handle situations like yours. They are trained to know how to keep everyone safe and they may also try to help abusers get the help they need. 

Your dad’s abusive behavior is an indication that he also needs help. Those who engage in abusive behaviors oftentimes have been victims themselves. They have issues from their past that they need to deal with before they can change their abusive ways.

I think it’s extremely important that you tell a trusted adult what’s going on in your household. Your concerns may be difficult to share, but I’m sure you’re tired of what you and your family have been experiencing, so now is the best time to do something about it. 

Please feel free to write again if you have further questions, concerns or want to provide an update. My positive thoughts are with you. Take care.

Family 

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