AIBU to feel 'frightened' of my father even though I'm mid thirties?(31 Posts)
Didn't know what else to call this thread.
I've recently done something that my father and lesser extent mother will strongly disapprove of.
Background is that parents are deeply religious, a Christian minority church with v v strict rules with control every aspect their lives.
Growing up I had:
No friends outside the group
No tv or radio
No hobbies or interests allowed
No groups such as guides, brownies etc
No homework on Sunday
No makeup jewellery
Not allowed to wear trousers
Suffice to say it was awful.
I left the group years and years ago and have married since and have two lovely children.
I do my own thing now but the mind control is always there and the fear of meeting people from the group is always there.
Anyway I did a very 'rebellious' thing recently as I got both ears pierced twice. I've always wanted a piercing so I just went and had it done.
I know this sounds ridiculous and very difficult for 'normal' people to understand, but when my father sees it he is going to go completely nuts.
Even me now at my age, I'm terrified of him. He will shout and rant and be so aggressive over me doing this.
Can anyone help me to out this in perspective? I know it's silly to be afraid of him but I am.
Haven't seen him since I did it but will over the next few months.
I'm embarrassed to write this actually.
I've name changed for this.
OP, congratulations on getting your ears done. I bet they look fab.
Stand your ground when you see him. Calmly come back at his shouting with 'Thanks for your opinion dad but I'm 33, I'll do what I want when I want with my own body'.
Have you ever stood up to him?
How is his relationship with your children?
Has he ever physically hurt you (sorry to ask)?
OP, sorry, meant to add that I can't imagine how difficult the situation is
You don't have to see him, you know. No one has the right to make you feel that way.
It might be worth finding someone to talk to about your abusive childhood.
What your feeling makes sense in light of the experiences you have had.
Thanks for the support!
No physical abuse, just endless emotional and mental abuse.
I wouldn't know where to start to tell someone in RL, so it's nice to be able to write about it here.
Thanks for reading.
When you see them next meet in a neutral place... If ( when) he starts ask him to stop then walk away.
If he still rants he still views you as a child he can control he needs to learn this is no longer the case. ( I appreciate that this is really easy to write and years of conditioning and not upsetting your father abiding by the rules is incredibly challanging well done on taking the first steps)
How would it feel to really stand up to it. To say very nonchalantly "Nobody gives a flying fuck what you think, and they haven't for DECADES, you ridiculous loser"
Or "Jesus had a piercing" (sorry , too far).
Maybe "if you see fit to examine my perceived failings in this manner I hope you are ready for me to dish up the return favour" even
"If you have nothing pleasant to say, say nothing" or
"Stop being ridiculous, this is a non-topic"
Hi I was brought up as a JW's so some things ring similar. I got my nose pierced when I was 26 and that didn't go down well but 12 years later and they are over it 😂. Do you have any friends who have left? My brother and my best friend both have so it's nice to be able to talk about stuff that other people just simply don't get.
Thanks for your opinion dad but I'm 33, I'll do what I want when I want with my own body'.
Exactly. Would you put up with this if it was a friend or neighbour? Not a chance. I know it's easier said than acted on, but just because they are your parents doesn't mean their behaviour is any less rude or inappropriate.
Glad there was no physical abuse. The reason I asked OP was because if he's ranting and shouting at you then you actually have nothing to be afraid of. I know that's easy for me to say, well type. But you're not going to be physically hurt. It's just words. Horrible words. But just words.
Kate has got some brilliant come-backs there
Will this ranting be in front of your children? I think it's perfectly legitimate to use them as an excuse if you didn't want to confront him for you. So, say to him "Don't shout at me in front of my children". I know this doesn't actually address the deeper issue that he still sees you as his property and under his control but if you don't feel up to addressing that bigger issue right now then you can start by just getting him to stop ranting just once IYSWIM.
I would not validate his rant with a thanks for your opinion. I would just start with " I am an adult and I'll do what I want with my own body".
What is there to be embarrassed about? Your reaction is entirely and totally normal. Your father brought you up to be afraid of him, you are traumatised by how you were treated.
Can I ask why you still see your father?
FWIW, my parents weren't abusive, just emotionally disengaged and negative. I have some good news that I'm afraid to tell them because I want them to be proud of me and they won't be. And that matters, because they're my parents.
You poor thing. I can see why you're anxious.
Would it help to tell your father and mother that you've pierced your ears in advance of you actually seeing them? Perhaps by email? You could say that you thought they might be upset so wanted them to have a chance to get used to the idea before you see them.
I agree with seeing them somewhere public where maybe your father will be less likely to lose it.
Have a plan for what to do if he starts shouting at you. Eg "I'm an adult. I know you don't agree with what I've done, but it's up to me. If you can't respect my right to make my own decisions then I'm afraid I can't stay." Then, if he continues, leave.
What does your DH say or do in these situations?
My Dad died when I was 35, and it was like a big weight lifting off my shoulders. I have a great dh who used to run interference for me with my Dad, but I didn't feel like I could start to be who I really am until he died.
You don't have to like or love your parents, and you can walk away.
Dd has a "God" connection... nothing to do with any churches, or us, or school, or tv.
She was given some bible stories and read them by herself and seems to have a direct connection which has made us think about a few things from what she's taught US !
God gave us free will to make our own choices as far as I know. Dd says we make our own choices and only God will judge us. We have to be happy that we will be judged but we can also also be forgiven because God forgives and sent jesus to prove it?
Dd is 5 btw and far more knowledgeable.
So I guess, it's not up to your dad to judge you.
But if it were my parents acting that way, I'd be telling them to wind their necks in... till dd tells me off anyway.
I can only remember "judge not lest thee be judged" really. Which I spose is relevant.
Thanks for the views. I know it's sounds ridiculous so I'm glad not to be laughed at in here!
Not Plymouth brethren but v similar, I think.
Even if he doesn't say anything, he'll give me the silent treatment and cold shoulder (another one of he strategies) which is often worse.
I still see him for the sake of my mother.
Hi Bizarre, I have had an identical experience. In fact I'd almost think we might be talking about the same place if you are in the south of England. I left the
cult group in my teens but the effects were long term.
Good for you for getting your ears pierced! I got mine done twice, and the top, and my nose....I was "rebellious" teenager. I fronted out the cold shoulder treatment.
Just remember that 'biblically speaking' you are under your DH's authority, not your dad's, and you may need to remind your mum or dad of that. Presumably your DH
is normal doesn't mind. His view is literally irrelevant. I should also point out that your Dad doesn't get to emotionally abuse you any longer - I say this as the daughter of a woman whose father is still her authority and whom she's terrified of. She's nearly 70 and he's nearly 90!
It's totally dysfunctional, I fully understand it, but you do need to make a stand for yourself.
Can you not see your DM without him? Meet her somewhere? Can she visit at yours? Or is she "controlled" by him?
Honestly, I wouldn't bother to see someone who made me feel like that - you owe him nothing, you know.
Your choices are - continue to allow him to bully you and make you feel afraid. Or stop seeing him altogether - no explanation required, just cut contact. This may or may not mean you don't get to see your DM though. Or turn round and tell him not to speak to you like that, or you will be leaving and won't be coming back.
I still see him for the sake of my mother Is that because your mother wants you to see him, well see them both? Or is that because through him is the only way you can see your mother?
Is your mother controlled by him?
miss Just remember that 'biblically speaking' you are under your DH's authority, not your dad's
You are an adult op, you have nothing to fear, he can abuse you no more. If he notices your ears, and starts ranting, and being abusive, go NC for your sake, and that of your children.
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