Hi!

I am 21 years old and I have problems with my dad...

He is a very kind person and he loves me very much... The problem is I only know that because by now I've learned to read his mind and the expressions on his face, even the tiniest ones... By that I mean that we're two complete strangers... For some reason he's always been rejecting me... I would beg him to play ith me and he wouldn't, I would try talk to him and he wouldn't listen. When I was 11 I thought that if I tried to hug and kiss him we would start getting along. He just pushed me away and said that all that wasn't necessary... That year I got my period... He found out by mistake and the next time he touched me was 6 years later when my mom forced him to kiss me at Easter (I'm Greek and it's a custom here. We go to church and kiss everyone we go with, meaning friends and family. That year it was me, my mom and brother, her brother, his family, my mom's mom and her siblings. He kissed everyone but me). Once I tried talking to him, cause maybe it would work. He said that he doesn't bother me with his friends, so I shouldn't bother him with mine... Then I started cooking for him and try to have lunch with him when he came back for work. He made me feel so uncomfortable, I stopped a while later... So, anyway, I gave up. And then I turned 18 and he remembered I exist. He wants us to be best friends now, maybe cause I'm old enough... So he starts asking how am I doing and he orders me to cook and wash the dishes and stuff like that all the time. And I don't know what to do. It's like a complete stranger trying to discipline me, it's like he's trying to raise me or something... Isn't it a little late for that? Every time he's near me he feels so uncomfortable and he's so stressed and he makes me feel the same way... I adore my dad, but I'm confused... I don't know if I want to have anything to do with him... I don't know how to get closer to him, I don't know anything... Every time he asks me how am I doing, I feel like it'a a good thing because maybe we can finally start getting along and at the same time I just want to punch him really hard... And that is awful... I have no idea what to do...

And then every time he can do something that really matters for me he just rejects me again... For example, now I need a new computer. My dad owns cattle and he makes money by selling them. For the past three years he saves the animals for my cousin who is going to become his partner, some day in the distant future. Anyway, I asked him to sell a cow, so I can buy the computer I need and he said that the only ones he could sell are too young and he can't sell them. So, I suggested that he sells one of those he keeps for my cousin and give him one of the little ones when the time comes. But he said that he won't jeopardise his nephew's future over my computer. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want the computer so I can surf on the internet or something... You see, I go to college. GREEK college. You don't want to know what that's like. And I have papers to write. Many papers. A computer would save me time and money and it would help me write better papers and get better grades. It is necessary for me... And he can buy it for me and also prove that I do matter... But instead he just goes and puts his nephew first. Right now, I feel like I'm done with him... And he understands that I'm angry and he just won't leave me alone. He even tried to help me cook my dinner tonight, wich he didn't even do when I was five! Why does he have to do all that? Why can't he just face the fact that he screwed everything, that it's over? I spent countless nights crying because of him... And just when I accepted things the way they were and stopped having expectations... Why does he have to give me hope and then go and fail me miserably again?

I'm sorry for the huge post and I'm sorry if it doesn't make sense... I just need to let it all out... I'm SO flustrated and desperate and... i have no idea what else... Please someone tell me what to do...
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replied March 21st, 2008
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Okay, you have a few problems here and you do need some help. Where's your mum in all of this?
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replied March 21st, 2008
Um... Well, she's luing on her bed watching television... That's all she does. I've talked to her sometimes, it makes her sad, but it's not like she's gonna do something about it... Deep inside it kind of satisfies her, because not getting along with dad means she's our favourite parent and it makes her all exited... Both my brother and I have issues with her too. My mom is one of the children actually... My grandma was the parent in the house, but she moved out when I was 12 and I took over...
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replied March 21st, 2008
hum
Well a child should never have to be the parent. It is not your job. I know now you are 21 and technically an adult...but you should not have to be the parent.That is never right. Seems like some counseling would be helpful.. For the entire family
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replied March 22nd, 2008
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I agree with Doodle. I think you need to take all of this to a counsellor because there are so many complex issues here. Your mother in some sense has dis-enabled herself and you have become a family carer. Your needs have probably had to come secondary to everyone else's and now that you are an adult, you are looking back on your lost childhood and all you can see is rejection from the one parent who seemed capable of being an adult.

You need an ally - someone to put your case to your father that you also have needs that are not being met, your education is important to yourself and to the rest of the family and that a computer would be a good long-term investment.

Speak to someone in your college about student counselling. I think it is important that you get all of this out of your system so that you can feel stronger and move on with your life.
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replied March 22nd, 2008
I've been to a therapist once, when I was 16. Mom sent me because we kept arguing all the time... But the therapist told me to leave home as soon as possible wich was not what mom wanted her to tell me, so she didn't pay her and I never went back... I've been thinking of counseling myself, I obviously need it, but I can't afford it right now...
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replied March 22nd, 2008
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Can you afford to leave home, as the therapist suggested? I would have suggested that too, but I know how difficult it is for a student to survive away from home.

Think about getting a part time job and see if there is a friend who would share with you. What about your brother?

I do think that getting away from this situation would be the best thing for you but do it when you are ready and not before.
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replied March 22nd, 2008
Well, I kinda left home. I go to college and that is in an other city, so I leave there... The problem is being a student I can't possibly find a job that let's me pay rent, bills and everything else I need there (I don't qualify for staying in the dorms). So I'm still financially dependent on them...

Plus, my brother is only 16 years old, so he can't leave home... And I would never leave him here all alone. I've struggled hard to save him some of the things I went through and I'm actually making it... He says all hell breaks loose when I'm gone and that things get better when I'm here... I make him feel safe and I won't take that away from him... He needs me. So, for at least another year... There's no way out... Sorry for bothering you all... I just need help and I don't know how I can get it...
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