It would be helpful to have an objective evaluation of the situation. You may be right about your father and he might be entirely to blame. It’s also possible that you are contributing to the problems in this relationship, but without an objective third-party assessment it’s difficult to make that determination.
One solution to this problem is individual counseling. This would involve you going to see a therapist on your own. Another option is family therapy. If your father is open to it, this might be a good way to sort through these problems. Given how you described your father, he may not be open to family therapy. It wouldn’t hurt to ask. If he’s not open to it, then try individual counseling. Family therapy may be the ideal but individual counseling could help a great deal.
The good thing about counseling is that you get to meet with an experienced professional who can provide you with an objective opinion on this matter. The analysis the comes from good psychotherapy can help to clarify your situation. The therapist could also assist you in learning better ways to interact with your father. Clearly, something needs to change but without more information and further analysis, it is unclear as to how to proceed.
The bottom line is that this seems to be a power struggle. There are likely other factors involved. Understanding the power dynamics between the two of you will be important in knowing how to move forward.
One thing is certain, if you’re living with your father, it may be time to move out. You stated that you “respect his house and his rules to a degree” which made me think that you might still be living in his home. If so, your moving out could significantly improve the dynamics of your relationship. He might gain respect for you if he saw you developing more independence.
Also, the fact that you follow his rules only “to a degree” could be part of the problem. It’s not clear what those rules are and if you should be following them entirely or “to a degree.” Again, more information and analysis are necessary.
If your father is as controlling and aggressive as you have described him to be, it might be in your best interest to keep your distance. When someone’s unwilling to change, then it is you who must adapt. If your interaction with him is problematic, then it would be wise to limit the time you spend with him.
I wish that I had more specific guidance I could offer you but that’s impossible to do over the Internet. There’s a great deal of information that would need to be acquired in order to give you the most appropriate advice. That is why in-person counseling is the ideal solution to this problem. It’s the best way to acquire the necessary guidance for interacting with difficult people. It will also help to resolve the depression you’re feeling as a result of this situation. I hope that you will give it a try. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle