Afraid of My Dad

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 12, almost 13 and my dad has had a bad childhood. Its seems like he wants me to have the same fate. I remember quite a few times when he was really mad at me, but the earliest I can remember is age 7, he was picking me up from girl scouts and when I got in the pick-up I said I wanted my mom to pick me up. He got really mad and started to throw things at me, anything he could get his hands on heavy or light, he just threw them at me. When we got home, I ran inside as I unlocked the door, I was crying when I got in and trying to get my coat and shoes off, when he came in he kicked me down, right in front of my mom. That basically how it started. And now, two days ago, I sat in the back seat of the car, he blew up. He yelled at me, said he wished he never had me and many other things.

Today was the same result but worse, he called me a little shit, bitch, didn’t even say my name, or say “my kid ” and if he thought of it he would have made me go into the trunk. My mom had to give me a stress relief pill to get me to calm down. And now, whenever the door opens, I start to panic thinking its him. I can’t even refer to him as ‘dad’ anymore. My mom even said that if I don’t visit her she won’t get upset because she will know its because of him.

I cant stand to be in the same house as him anymore, and I avoid him at all costs because Im afriad it will get worse. I’m afraid of him. I also have a little brother, but my dad treats him so differently, he gets into trouble at school? Don’t do it again. Me? I told the truth and he thought I was lying, I tried to explain, but he hits me with me dogs leash at the back if my legs. It was pretty thick too. Until I said I was lying. I cant take it.

A: You shouldn’t have to take it. What you describe is physical and emotional abuse. No kid should be scared of her own parent. No kid should be hit and belittled. I’m surprised and alarmed that your mother hasn’t called protective services on your behalf. Since she hasn’t, I suspect she is as scared of him as you are.

I know this will be hard but you really have to talk to a trusted adult to get some help. Think about talking to a teacher, the school nurse or the school guidance counselor. You and your mother need protection and practical help.

In the meantime, there is a number you can call to get some support. The Boys and Girls Town Hotline, 800-448-3000, has counselors on duty 24/7 to help kids like you get the help they need.

Please erase the history of this conversation on your computer. Men like your dad often get very mad when they discover that someone has gone outside the family to try to get help. We certainly don’t want you to get hurt again because you wrote to us here at Psych Central.

It took courage for you to write. Now take the next step. Talk to an adult. Call the hotline if you need more support.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Afraid of My Dad. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/27/afraid-of-my-dad-2/