My dad abuses me

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

So, a little after I was born, my parents divorced. Soon after, my father went bankrupt, and then my mom and her boyfriend died in a house fire. So we had to move in with my grandparents…I live with my Dad now though. The thing is he hasn’t had a great life too, and since I was born he’s been an alcoholic. He also gambles, and when he does that I have to watch my brother until 5 AM, worrying if he’s coming home, then have to go to school and take on life all over again starting at 6:30. He’s beaten me before, but my dad told me not to tell anyone, or I’d have to go to foster care and they beat their kids to there’s no point in my life. He also says I can’t make it to college, that I will have to pay for it all on my own, and he doesn’t believe in me. I’m not allowed to hang out with friends a lot, & he gets angry then screams at me until I cry and I just stay inside. All of my other friends have good relationships with guys, but my self-esteem is just not that great with my dad yelling how ugly I am and worthless. My friends tell me I’m pretty, that I’ll make it to college, and that I should tell someone about the abuse but my dad just tells me I can’t tell anyone. And the rest of my family doesn’t like my Dad, but are still more concerned with saving his butt than my or my brother’s safety and him not having any consequences. I can’t take this. There’s no mom for me to talk to, my dad doesn’t even get girlfriends because of his extreme personality. I don’t even know what to do anymore. Please help.

A. No one should have to endure what you have already! I am so very sorry that at the age of 14 that you have experienced so much pain in your life. No one has the right to treat you the way you have been treated.

I encourage you to talk to the guidance counselor at school about your situation. You may also want to talk to a trusted teacher as well.

You are obviously a thoughtful, sensitive young woman. If college is something you want to pursue you should set your sights there. Your dad sounds like he has a number of problems with his own thinking and behavior he has to deal with.

Every state has an agency devoted to protecting children. Here is a link to those agencies. You can call them and they can help you. You did the right thing by writing us here, you are not alone.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Sep 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). My dad abuses me. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/22/my-dad-abuses-me-3/