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Struggling with my dad



I feel so weird about posting here but I don't have anyone I can really talk to about my struggles.


I'm 25 and still live at home. I am currently studying and about to graduate at the end of this year. I currently don't really have enough money to move out even though I want to. 


I am really struggling with my dad right now. He seems to not understand that the way he acts and the things he says are really hurtful and as much as I try to set boundaries and tell him to stop, he never does. He thinks its funny to make me the butt of every joke he has which makes me feel awful about myself and he loves to annoy me until I react badly and tells me 'its just a joke, lighten up'. He blames me for not making decisions that he can easily make himself. He lords it over me that he pays for the food I eat and the roof over my head and takes ownership over everything even if I payed for it myself. I don't trust him at all really and feel unworthy of pretty much anything. And I hate it cause I don't care what he thinks but somehow I always do. I feel guilty and anxious all the time cause he complains that I don't love him and I don't want to be near him when I am just trying to protect myself from constantly getting hurt. I try to ignore it but it hasn't done anything for the past 5 years, just lower self-esteem every year I get older. It can make me really depressed sometimes too.


I don't know what to do anymore and I am really sick of dealing with it. I feel like it is having a really negative effect on me and I don't want to turn into a bad person. These feel like such minor things but they have a really strong effect on me and I don't want to feel like this all the time. I feel way too anxious to say anything to him and besides when I have, he always just gets defensive and then does the same thing again. Can someone offer some advice or tips on dealing with anxiety and guilt trips from parents??? 


Sorry I rambled on, Thanks for listening/reading. 

Re: Struggling with my dad

Hey @DisneyFan22 


Welcome to ReachOut. Haha, you're right, it can feel a little strange sharing aspects of one's life with a bunch of strangers - good thing this platform is anonymous and we have a really supportive community to make things a little easier. Good on you for having the courage to share Heart


Hm, sounds like you're in a tricky situation, and feeling a little trapped by being financially unable to move out. It's a little hard to offer advice with such little information. Do you have a mother at home too? Or is it just you and your dad?


From what you've described, it sounds like he 1) lacks insight into how his words upset you and that 2) he has a tendency to get a little defensive when you try to set boundaries.


Regarding these issues - I think this article might be helpful. They sum up some good tactics that might be worth using when talking with your dad.


You also mentioned lacking self-esteem, which is tough. I thought I'd link you in with some professional support. We have a list of services here that offer free counseling 24/7. I think getting some professional support could be really useful in terms of getting assitance with your self-esteem AND the issues with your father. An objective person who can listen and provide guidance is really useful. What are your thoughts on giving counselling ago (assuming you haven't already)?


Feel free to keep us updated with how things go Heart


Re: Struggling with my dad

Hey @DisneyFan22 I'm so sorry your going through that, your boundaries deserve to be respected and you are worthy of everything. The ReachOut community is here for you if you need to talk, or need support Heart


@Maddy-RO already mentioned that professional support could be useful for helping you deal with your anxiety and depression, which I definitely agree with. Councillors are trained to listen to your concerns without judgement and will keep your information confidential, so I think it could help to discuss your problems with them.

Re: Struggling with my dad

Hey DisneyFan22

That sounds so rough - allot to deal with. I can imagine having to work through that kind of energy every day would feel really heavy.

Similar to Maddy & Featuringme - having an objective, compassionate voice to work through what you're experiencing might be beneficial. Are you open to things like this? For me, discussing the relationships in my life with my therapist offers me allot of clarity. I have worked through some really icky things with family through therapy personally, and feel allot better for it.

How are you feeling today?

Re: Struggling with my dad

Hi guys, 


Thank you so much for your kindness and help. I really really appreciate it. 


Yeah I have my mum and she is really great and understanding, she brings me a lot of joy so I am super thankful for her. She had a similar relationship with her father and sees what my dad does as he does it to her too sometimes too. She has said things before to him but same kind of thing, always defensive and not really willing to understand. 


Thank you for the link, will definitely check it out. 


I have been thinking about seeing someone to talk to. I think it could be really beneficial so thanks for that suggestion, I am going to look into finding someone and thats awesome that there is free services. 


Today I am ok, feeling a little anxious but had work today so I was out of the house most of the day. I am going to relax this afternoon and do some reading which I think might help distract me a bit. Thank you for asking, I hope you guys are doing well too.


Thank you so much for your support and assistance. Heart

Re: Struggling with my dad

Hi @DisneyFan22, I have had a read over your thread and I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through at the moment. I can totally see how that would leave you feeling quite low and anxious at times. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I didn't have an ideal living situation at home with one of my parents, however once I moved out, a lot of the issues I was experiencing instantly improved. It sounds like magic almost but the environment that you are in can have a really negative impact on you. I know you can't move out right now, so I say this to give you a bit of hope that things can get better and how you are feeling during this time (e.g feeling like a bad person) is not necessarily an accurate representation of you as a person. Also, it is common for people to think that talking to a therapist means that there is something wrong with you but that isn't true! Sometimes we need a little bit of assistance to manage a situation that is out of our control or depth. It can really help to have an unbiased and supportive psychologist/counsellor in your corner!

It is also nice to hear that you also live with your Mum and that she is supportive. I know it doesn't take away your challenges with your Dad but it is nice to have someone who understands where you are coming from. It is also great that you have a plan for this afternoon to help distract yourself. I know it can be hard at times but it sounds like you are really doing your best to handle this situation. I am also wondering if you have any friends to chat to about this? Heart

Re: Struggling with my dad

This means so much to hear that others have gone through something similar and were able to make it through. Thank you so much for making me feel better and that I am not being silly. It is very reassuring. 


Yeah I really try my best to think that it is the situation that is causing these feelings. I often go down a bad spiral and find it really hard to get out but I am going to really try and look for positives like your kind messages. I think this is where a counsellor could really help.  


Its so nice to hear that someone understands that positives can't always fix the negatives. But I am going to try really hard to focus on the positives and see about a counsellor for some solutions. 


Unfortunately, I have spoken casually about these issues with my close friends but they always want to give unsolicited advice and tell me that other people have it worst than me. I can fully agree that others have it way worst than me but it makes me a bit sad that they can't understand that I just want to talk it out. That is mostly why I came on here and I am finding it a much more welcoming place to say something and ask for help. 


Thank you so much for you kindness and help, it really is appreciated. Heart

Re: Struggling with my dad

Hi @DisneyFan22, How are you feeling today? I'm so sorry to hear what you have gone through. I can understand how you feel because I had similar experience during my whole childhood and adolescence with both my mom and dad, and that actually influences me quiet a lot until now.
I just wanna tell you are worthy and you have many strengths that others might not have. Please tell yourself you are really great once you've finished something, even it is just a very small thing like getting up early today. You can also have your mom help with that as well. Hopefully this will give you some self-esteem and positive feelings. Smiley Very Happy
What I've also found effective during my tough times was that it would make me feel a lot better when I told someone that could understand me. I think this is a very small but very effective healing process, so keep up with us if you feel bad. We are here and listening to you. 

Give you a lot of love HeartHeartHeart

Re: Struggling with my dad



I am ok right now but sundays are always the hardest lately so I am kinda anxious. After a long day at work yesterday, I want to relax and plan my coming week on sundays but it is really hard when he is here all day too. And cause I am tired I would rather just spend some quiet time relaxing but it can be a bit difficult to get away. 


It makes me feel a lot less lonely knowing that kind people like you understand what I am going through. Thank you so much. That is a really great idea that I am going to try and force myself to think what I was able to do rather than put myself down what I didn't get to. 


It means so much that people who don't know the ins and outs of all the situations are so understanding and are willing to listen. It brings me hope that I am going to be ok and that I'm not alone. I really appreciate it cause I felt so alone and like I was being too emotional because of how people react to what I say when I tell me. But I feel that there really are wonderful people like you who are willing to listen and offer guides and ideas from your experiences. Anytime I start feeling bad, I am going to try and remember to look at these messages and this platform to reassure me and remind me that I am not my negative thoughts or alone. 


I think a slow walk with my dog might be a good way to get out of the house and get some fresh air today and then I will know that I have also done something good for my body. And I am going to plan out my week and hopefully that will provide distraction and something to look forward to.


Thank you so much for your kindness and help, these messages are so useful and I am feeling  better since reaching out. Heart I am going to look into counselling this week too, I'm nervous but I know that they are there to help and it will be just like talking to you guys. Heart

Re: Struggling with my dad

@DisneyFan22 Sorry to hear about this. I too, had the same problem growing up but not to the same extent now. My dad and I had a falling out a few years ago and I still haven't talked to him since. (We live in the same household)


If we you need anything, we are here to support you