How to be myself around my dad.

United States
August 20, 2009 10:26am CST
I need some advice... My dad and his wife have been giving me problems for years now. They tell me basically I'm no good, and am not doing anything with my life. I have tried to cut them out of my life, but they find me and harass me. Part of it deals with the fact that I let them treat me this way. I keep silent and hang my head in shame when they come near me. How can I bring myself to look them in the eye and proudly tell them, "This is who I am."? I want to be able to stand up for myself around them. I want to break away from them so badly. But I'm so scared to do so, for fear that they will lay a guilt trip on me. How can I build self-confidence? Or is it something that I will possibly never discover?
8 responses
@fifileigh (3619)
• United States
23 Aug 09
i think move out and go live ur own life with your own job and do ur own thing and forget about them. they longer u stay with them, the more messed up u r going to be, and it might psychologically mess u up. they probably want u out anyway, so that they can do whatever they want with anyone with them.
@tintukm (1084)
• India
22 Aug 09
You have to nourish your strong points to escape from this harassment.Select your best points in life i.e your abilities and come out with flying colors,this would show to your dad and hid wife that you can be independent and be self made.Work hard on your weak points that you think you have.Love your dad buddy.
• United States
21 Aug 09
It took awhile to cut my dad off. I looked up to him for so long he took such a huge part of my life and was like superman to me, could do no wrong. But once I turned 25 that is when I could finally admit that as much as I loved my dad that I didn't like how I was being treated, that there was a lot of mistreatment growing up, and my dad just not taking my feelings into any consideration once he remarried. I always was willing to go out of my way to visit with my father but for some reason I always had to come meet him where ever he happened to be visiting (back home where i live) and I would find out he visited and didn't even tell me! Then I was expected to be all happy go lucky when I did visit at his home (I would go together with my brother and sister) and his home is only 2 hours away! I did send him some pretty charged letters to try to reach through and express how I felt but he would return the gesture with a silly birthday card and he did try to shove his new wife down my throat which caused me a lot of pain but I have to say it was the best thing that happened now. It took all that for me to become my own person and not always under my fathers shadow, my father was always very passive aggressive and it took me being away from him (after i refused to communicate with him any longer) that I could see with clear eyes how I was being treated. Keep in mind my father visits regularly with my sister and brother and because I have a relationship with them I just never really brought it up but the tension is obviously there and I don't want that division and thats why it always angered me because it always felt like my father was encouraging division in the family. He does not talk to my mom, hasn't since he walked out of their marriage and now that I have come to a truce with my mother its like he refuses to have anything to do with me, how twisted is that?? I refuse to be a part of any quarreling, Im a big girl now and have my own family, don't need it.
• United States
21 Aug 09
I am wondering why they are being such mean people to you, especially considering that you are family!!! Do they have reason to act this way, something that you have done in your past, or are they just ignorant, self-absorbed people that just dont care about anyone but themselves? I think you need to realize that you really do not need this in your life, and that you are miserable BECAUSE OF THEM. Tell them how you truly feel, because you will be rewarded by being way happier! Also, I am sure their heads will turn from your expressions :D
@patofgold23 (5075)
• Philippines
20 Aug 09
you know pinkie, I can't help responding to this message. I am in about similar position with my dad too. I grew up never having the chance to be close and to get along with my dad. He is a mean person and pushes everyone around in the family and isn't even emotionally and financially during my school years. I am glad I had the scholarship and part-time job to help me get through. I have tried to cut him out of my life too... for all the bad things he did to me and to my mom and the rest of my family. unfortunaely, right now, I have to be practical and swallow my prode since I am not in the position to do so yet. I am a single mom ...and I am raising my son alone. I have income but it's just enough to get me and my son by. I thought if I go find another place to nd rent, I would be throsing away a lot of money I could better use for my son. So I stuck in my dad's house, he has a big house with 7 bedrooms. He is busy anyway and is not home most of the time. However when we do see each other in the house, we can't deny we don't like each other that much.--we just ignore eachb other. I am putting up with th\is until I can have enough money to be able to move out. For the meantime i have little choice. I do not go out of my way to make friends with my dad coz I have tried that before and he did not respond the same way. I just let him be, If oyu are in a position to leave the house and stand up on your own I suggest you do that. If like me you have little choice, then sometimes we have to make the best of what's there. But hey, learn to stand up for yourself. tell youR da's wife oof. The nerve of her!
• United States
20 Aug 09
You know I went through this and still do. Both my father, mother, and grandparents do the same thing to me. To tell you the truth there is really no way away from your parents feeling the way they do, but you just need to keep those bad thoughts out of your head no matter what you do. Just be straight up honest with them. Tell them if they do not like the things that you do with your life tell them to keep their negative thoughts to themselves. Try to do productive things. Like do scrapbooking or do something creative. Do anything you can to keep your mind of off the negative things they say to you. I'm not really sure what you like to do, but all I can tell you is to keep your mind off of them. That is how I dealed with the situation and I hope you can get some feedback on my advice. good luck.
@jashoaf (298)
• United States
20 Aug 09
Pinky, what are you doing with your life? One way to build self confidence is to take stock of your life - really look closely at it. Set aside the Dad question for now, because you won't be able to change him. But you can change you. Sit down and write out what you are doing in your life, both positive and destructive. Make a list of positives and a list of negatives. Everybody in this world will have both. Maybe you apply yourself to school and make good grades - that's a positive. Maybe you depend on someone else's money too much when you could get a part-time job - that's a negative. When you're done with your lists, look at them long and hard. The positives you can be proud of. You work for them. They are yours. The negatives can be changed, slowly perhaps but they give you a place to start improvements. Choose a couple things off the negative list that can be changed now. Maybe an attitude that you can think of ways to change, or maybe being on time every day, or things like that. Write them on a sticky note and put them on your bathroom mirror. Every morning, read your words and find a concrete action that improves that negative. Every night, read them again and give yourself a pat on the back for the actions you took today that worked. You will find your confidence growing little by little, as you see the positive changes in your life. Before long, you will be able to stand up to your dad and say, "I make my own life choices; I am in charge of my decisions, and I am content with my progress. If you cannot support me in this, then at least keep your opinions to yourself." Your dad may not even be aware that his words are hurtful. He may think he's trying to do you good. A lot of folks just have no idea how to talk to others.
@Amiaya (5)
• United States
20 Aug 09
From the sounds of it, your father and his wife are emotionally abusive, I am not sure what they get out of being this way with you, but they seem to enjoy manipulating you. That or they fear you are not doing good enough for yourself, maybe they think you can't take care of yourself, either way....you hanging your head and letting them talk that way to you is not the right answer, you have to try to stand up for yourself, be it in little ways at first. I have a father that is somewhat similiar to yours he comes around and he expects me (Or I thought he did) to be this perfect little wife and mother, he always made harrassing comments if my house was the slightest bit dirty, if I didn't cook 3 meals a day, if I had gained 5 lbs...it got to a point where when I knew he was coming around I went overboard, literally exhausting myself to get my house spotless. I dreaded him coming around. He always made these comments and one day I was just in the right mood and I looked at him after one of his comments about my house and I told him "This is MY house, you are a guest, if you don't like the way I keep house....the door is right there, STOP COMPLAINING!" and he listened and told me he was sorry, he wasn't trying to irritate me, he just wanted "The Best" for me. I told him this is the best, I am happy and content, this is the way I want to live my life, this is ME and I am happy being me. He accepted that and moved on...I still have this problem with my dad as he is an antagonist, he likes to get me irritated so I will go off on him. Building self confidence takes time and in my case it took counseling...yes most people are really scared of that word, because of the obvious "There's nothing wrong with me, I don't need "Help" But in all honesty, I wasn't messed up, I just needed a little help accepting who I am, because like you I always felt everyone thought I wasn't good enough. Now I realize as long as I think I am good enough....that I AM GOOD ENOUGH! So for you to be able to look them in the eye and tell them "This is who I am" you will have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that samething and be happy about saying it.