Self Esteem

How To Deal With An Abusive Father

I just got this question about dealing with an abusive father from my article about How To Recover From a Critical Parent:

I have a 50 year old father who has always been over-controlling, mean, critical, manipulative, judgmental and border-line abusive. These traits are becoming more pronounced as he ages (except the abusive part) and he has tried to use psychological tactics to separate me from my girlfriend and to make me feel guilty for not spending time with him. I just want to move out but Sydney housing is the most over-inflated in the world at the moment. I'm not sure how much longer I can take it. I think the reason behind his issues is he never knew his father but it's ridiculously unfair to burden your son with this cr@p. He has a girlfriend of 7 years who you can tell isn't compatible with him. They fight all the time and she's depressed. She's cheated before as a form of escapism but he manipulated her to stay with him (probably because he feels lonely). The whole situation is so pathetic. Because of his emotional and physical abuse as a kid, I live with anxiety and depression. Do you have any advice?

Sounds like your father is a real challenge to live with, and you're still carrying the emotional scars from how he treated you as a kid. The really important thing when you have a father who is emotionally and/or physically abusive  is good boundaries. That's hard to do while you're still dependent on him for your physical needs such as housing, so the first thing to do is to start working towards getting out of there and into a place where you're living with sane, reasonable people. I get that Sydney is a nightmare housing-wise, which is why I did share accommodation for a long time when I first moved out of home. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Family

How to Cut Emotional Ties with Controlling Parents

I recently got a question about how to cut emotional ties with a controlling parent in response to my article on How to Recover from a Controlling Mother. I know a lot of guys struggle with the conflict that happens when we begin to break free from our parents during adolescence, and this can keep us emasculated for years while we continue to seek a controlling parent's approval. It helps to know that the conflict that arises when we individuate is a perfectly normal process; albeit one that controlling parents often over-react to.

Mike writes:

I'm a 20 year old man.  I was adopted, my sister wasn't.  Yes, I've grown up with a controlling mother.  I have always been musically inclined and have had a passion for music.  After high school, I wanted to take a year or two off to pursue this and generally dick around with my friends while I was young, and maybe figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  I had left high school with scholarships and an 88 average.  3 years later, I'm a third year University student in History (I had to take something in University, forced into choosing a major, she's paying for it) I'm struggling to maintain a 75 in my University courses, I've been experimenting with drugs, and I have no clue with what I want to do. … Continue reading…

By Graham Stoney, ago