My dad is so unkind to me. He always calls me mean names like retard and bitch and fat. He tries to be a good father but nothing ever works and I can’t take being near him anymore. My mom tries to get him to stop and it never works. One time when I was telling him how I felt he laughed and when I brought up this family contract we signed promising to stop calling names he said it was all a joke and he kept making noises mental people make and saying I act like that since I get upset about his name calling. I have ADD and things like that are a sensitive topic to me and I try to tell him and he just laughs and tells me I’m the horrible one. His words have started to make me meaner to him and my family and I have started to feel depressed because of it. What should I do ?
Thank you so much for telling us about this. Your father’s behavior is unacceptable and you do not deserve to be called those or any other derogatory names. This is a problem and it is time to do something about it. Writing us was a good first step. Here are two things you can do.
First, know that the fact your father is calling you these names is verbal abuse, and it isn’t ok for him to do. The feelings you are having are legitimate — he should know better and when he laughs about an agreement that has been made this means he isn’t understanding how wrong his behavior is. Here is a free hotline for you to call that will put you in touch with a counselor who will guide you through the next steps to get support.
Secondly, at 15 you can talk to your high school counselor. He or she can help you in a variety of ways. You can even show the counselor what you have written here for starters.
Don’t wait. My experience in this area is that if the child and the other parent have tried to make changes and it hasn’t worked — it is time to get some outside support.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Dad’s Unkind Words. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/12/21/my-dads-unkind-words/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.