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My abusive dad 
5th-Dec-2006 09:19 am
Hey, Well this is my first post here. I'm new to the LJ communities, i dont know if this is the best place to put this but i do need help and advice. Sorry if it triggers for anyone, or isn't the right spot to post this sort of thing. You can delete it if it is.

My names Austin, I’m 17 and still live with my Mum and younger brother. My dad has bipolar and just recently moved out. He’s pretty much gone out of his mind or something, but refuses to see a doctor. The last time I saw him was when I stopped him from physically abusing my mother. And he’s also verbally abused me as well at times. All my life I’ve had to see the emotional abuse, financial abuse, social abuse and some times the physical abuse my mum has been through while living with my father. It had always bothered me what he does to her, like any kid I hated it. But this one last rage of anger I can’t forget. It doesn’t leave my mind, the things he said, the way he looked, just everything. It stays in the back of my mind. It’s only been two weeks since he’s been gone. But already I’m feeling so much pain from it, I thought everything would be different once he was gone, I thought I’d be happier and wouldn’t hurt so much any more.

It’s having huge effects on me, it takes me about 7 hours to finally fall asleep. During the 7 hours I think none stop about what happened that night and once I do fall asleep I dream about it. I’m only getting about 4 hours sleep each night. This has left me feeling like absolute crap. I’m so exhausted now and I feel so down. Usually I’d just get over my problems and move on but I can’t seem to do it this time. I don’t know how to get it off my mind.

The other thing that has been on my mind a lot over the past month or so when things have gotten really bad around my house is my anger. A little bit of background on me, I’m pretty damn shy, I never speak my mind when it comes to my parents and I’m never violent. That night and a few nights before when I was arguing with my dad I completely lost it, he was right in my face yelling all sorts of abuse to my face and I couldn’t handle it so it eventually slipped out that I wanted to kill him. He started saying to me “come on boy hit me” I was that angry that I could of, my mum came out and told him to leave me alone and told me to go to my room and calm down. But right then and there as she was telling me to do that he stuck his tongue out in my face as if he had just gotten some kid he went to school with in trouble. So basically I went back to my room and punched a hole in the wall, I’ve never been so angry in my life. And that was the end of the fighting that night. The next day came, I hadn’t seen my dad since as he’d been at work, he got home as usual and had another go at me in my room. Started pushing me again and again saying “come on hit me” I refused to do it, but he kept on at me telling me to hit him until I just snapped and hit him. He then said to me “now your just like me”. Of course after this I was absolutely shattered. After that night I decided I just couldn’t fight with him any more, it was killing me so I just went on with life as if nothing had happened. Afew weeks later my dad got extremely mad at my mum and basically went at her, I stopped him and made sure he didn’t get any where near her. Theres no way I’d sit back and let him touch her. He was screaming abuse at me and mum. I ended up punching him again. He eventually left and I haven’t seen him since. Now what’s worrying me is my anger. Those times I punched him I just lost it, I didn’t feel a thing and I don’t even think I thought about what was going on at the time. After it I felt like complete shit, I don’t want to be like my father. Since it’s happened I just get so angry so easily, when I do I feel like I have to punch something so in the end I wack my hand up against the wall and it makes me feel better. I don’t like how I lose control, it worries me more then anything. I don’t understand how these events have changed my way of dealing with anger, it never used to be this way so why should it be now? I just want your opinions on this, I don’t fancy speaking with doctors and that but I know I probably will eventually. Am I just as bad as my dad for doing that?
5th-Dec-2006 10:31 am (UTC)
hi and welcome!

i don't think you're like your father. i think everyone would lose control in that kind of situation. i've been beaten by my father for many years when i've lived with them, ending up in hospitals sometimes, and at some point i just couldn't stand it and hit him back. and i don't think it makes me being as bad as he is. i don't beat and would never hit my daughter.

i don't really have an advice for you, other than talk to some counselor or maybe if you doesn't want to talk to doctor, you could call some crisis center or helping phone line?

sending you lots of hugs.
5th-Dec-2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
I don't think you're like your father at all. I understand your fear - my father was abusive, too, and sometimes I worry that I'm turning into him. But you are not abusive. You are not hitting anyone who has less strength or power than you, and you are not hitting with the intent to intimidate and threaten someone who is not threatening you. The anger that you describe above is justified. Punching may not be the best way to deal with that anger - that's something you have to work out for yourself. But the reason for your anger is quite different from his.

Just a side note: I want you to know that, even if you develop bipolar disorder, you won't be like your father. I don't know if you will have the disorder or not...I don't even know if you've worried about it. But my partner has bipolar disorder, and she faithfully takes her medications, and has found a therapist that she trusts. She still has ups and downs that are a bit more dramatic than other people, but she is completely in control of her life. She hasn't had a serious episode in five years; she has a good job, great friends, and a healthy relationship. It is possible.
5th-Dec-2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the community, this is definitely the right place to talk about things like this. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. It's so hard to watch someone so close to you let themselves go like this - to see them deny treatment which could help them. I'm glad at least that he's no longer in your house for now, you and your mum deserve a break.

Talking about it, writing it out is a good way to try to get it out of your mind enough to sleep. Know that you are welcome to write here to us as often as you need to. When things like that happened in my life, I couldn't get them out of my mind, either. When you live in a situation like that, your body tries to adapt to protect you. Your mind is holding onto that fight to keep you on your guard - even though it's making it so you can't sleep. Sometimes our brains try to protect us with things that end up hurting us.

The anger you're going through right now is something a lot of survivors go through, myself included. Your father hurt you and your family, he attacked you physically and mocked you. On top of that you're not sleeping well and you keep reliving those fights... so your tolerance for things is going to be way down.

On top of your tolerance being way down because of how much stress you're under, you've had your father as the example of how to handle things your whole life. Yes, you know logically how to handle a situation without violence and anger - but the main example you've seen for years has been your father's abuse. You've been shown time and time again the angry reaction to a situation - it's understandable that when you're so exhausted and stressed, that your brain is reverting to the behaviour your father exhibited.

You know that the abusive approach to conflict resolution isn't a healthy one, so I don't think you're a bad person by any means. Right now you're stressed to the max, so your reactions are going to get away from you a bit. Imagine a wounded animal, hurt and scared - even when someone they love comes near them, they're going to bite. It's similar to what's happening to you right now. You're so hurt that your reactions are stronger and more angry than they'd normally be. ::big safe hugs::
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