You may be a glutton for punishment. You seem to be continually tolerating abuse. Abuse by relatives is still abuse and it should not be tolerated. It’s not okay to tolerate anyone’s abuse. Not from a father. Not for a mother, not from a sibling, and so forth. No one has the right to abuse you.
Mental health wise, it may best to limit your contact with your family. They seem to be always upset with you. Nothing you do is ever right with them. I suspect that it has probably been this way for a long time.
Your confronting your father about the abuse may have made things worse. It may or may not have been the right thing to do. Since, I don’t know the details, it’s difficult for me to comment. Sometimes, confrontations are not appropriate. Again, I don’t know the specifics about what happened, but it may have been better to have not said anything at all.
You mentioned that this latest issue might disrupt your Thanksgiving. You’re worried about them causing a scene or confronting you during the holiday. The question becomes, why would you go? It’s unclear to me why you purposely choose to spend time with people who abuse you. Are you only going because you are worried that they will cut off ties with you? Or punish you in some other way? If so, it would seem that you are motivated by fear. That would indicate that they still have power over you. They have power over you because you allow them to have that power.
In the case of your father, you’re worried about how he will react so you give in to his demands. Your concern about his reaction seems to be what’s motivating you to behave in a particular way. That’s the kind of power he may have over you. If so, it’s wrong and you can change it.
This is the ideal problem to work through in counseling. Many people find counseling helpful for these types of problems.
The reality is this: your father abused you. He continues to abuse you. You don’t have to tolerate it. If you do change your behavior towards your father or other members of your family, they’re going to be upset with you. Even if they are upset with you, you have to do what’s right, what’s best for you. Sometimes that can be difficult which is why I’m recommending counseling to help you learn a better way to navigate this difficult family dynamic.
As for going to the Thanksgiving dinner, I can’t make the decision for you but you should never knowingly put yourself in an abusive situation. Maybe do what you want for Thanksgiving instead. Try being with people who love and cherish you, instead of with people who are angry and attempting to manipulate you. It would make for a much more pleasant holiday. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle