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You Asked: I Hate My Father

Dear Sugar,

For years I've had a deep ingrained hatred towards my so-called father. I went to therapy for two years for it, but I still have a lot of resentment built up. I've never had a real conversation with him, and I don't plan on ever having one with him in the future. I don't want to work it out because I do not want a relationship with him. Unfortunately, I have to live with him. I am currently in school and living with my family. I applied to a couple of new schools for the Spring semester, so if all goes well, I will be living on campus, but until then, I have to deal with my dad. But I can't even stand looking at him, let alone speaking to him.

My sister and my mom have told me I've been too hard on him, but I couldn't care less. He has put my family through extremely difficult circumstances, and has not once apologized for his actions. I am otherwise pretty happy with my life, except for the fact that I have to deal with him on a daily basis. I wish he would just go away, but that's not an option. Is there anything at all I can do to ease this tension?

— Bitter Brianna

To see DearSugar's answer,

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Dear Bitter Brianna,

You say you want to ease the tension in your family, and yet, the intense hatred you're holding on to says otherwise. Your dad isn't going away, and even if you want to cut him out of your life, it sounds like he's still very much included in your mother's and your sister's. I don't know the reasons for your anger, but obviously they run very deep. The process of letting go is no easy task, and I commend you for trying to work things out with therapy, but holding on to this bitterness is only going to serve to hurt you. While I certainly won't suggest you make any kind of amends with your dad — anger is a very necessary emotion and often a method of protection from future wounds — you can recognize his inabilities and your grievances, but take your rage out of the equation.

First of all, get out of the house. Apply for a student loan, drop down to a part-time class schedule, take another job, or rent out your friend's closet, if necessary. This living situation sounds incredibly unhealthy, and I would guess that by physically removing yourself from his presence, the tension would naturally decrease. When you do see him, stay reasonable; if your anger overwhelms you just leave and that will automatically deescalate any impending conflict. And certainly, continue therapy — your campus health center should have options available for you. You're obviously still experiencing the impact of the relationship with your father, so even if you don't want to work through it for your family, do it for yourself.

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cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 8 years
Anger and pain are parts of life. The relationship a girl has with her father has a big impact on other relationships she has in life. I was there...it is true. A bad therapist can do more damage than none. A good one can't help you if you don't want to really face the issues. I have been in both of those situations myself. A life-changing therapy helped me face some really tragic parts of my childhood, and took ALL the pain away. This was done within a couple of months...not years of expensive therapy. My Dad saw such a change that he went and had it done too. It is called EMDR. It is not some magic hoax or voodoo. I was a test subject in the research...and this is a real big breakthrough. EMDR doe not erase what happened, but it desensitizes the pain from a memory...ANY memory...and then you feel freedom that you cannot imagine. Painful memories are chains around us keeping us from the life we deserve. I urge anyone with ANY painful or tragic memory to look for a EMDR trained professional. This wonderful therapy is helping our soldiers cope with horrific things they saw and experienced. It was used with many that survived 9/11. As with many things in health care you will find some articles when you google "EMDR" regarding some professionals refusing to use it on the basis of malpractice and liability issues...all result from lack of appropriate training. Look for those certified in EMDR. I have no doubt that my life was transformed by EMDR. I have referred some of my own patients to EMDR professionals and seen huge results. A couple months can effect your whole life. What can you lose? Can you imagine listening to someone that has been through horrible things and realize these memories no longer rule their life? The pain is GONE.
bubblyw bubblyw 8 years
I had the exact same issue. I treated my dad like crap for years, and I never could really pinpoint why. Finally I broke and I just expressed to him how angry I was at him, but didn't know why. I told him I just needed time and space to get it straightened out. Luckily I was in college out of state, so I got my space, and after having expressed myself and gotten some time, things are going a lot better.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
I agree with Chrstne and looseseal. And it really is hard to comment without knowing what really happened.
cubadog cubadog 8 years
You don't sound all that happy with your life if you are living with such deep hatred and resentment towards your father I can almost bet that it carries over into other aspects of your life. I think you need to continue with your therapy and invite your father along to work out the issues you are having. I agree it is incredibly difficult to advise on anything without knowing the whole story. My father wasn't the best (we did not speak for a few years) but in time he apologized for not being the greatest father in the world it is hard to do. Just because the apology is not on your timeline does not make him a bad person but since we have no idea what occured no one can really tell you what you should do.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
if he's so bad then you really should refuse further support from him, separate yourself from him completely. why would you take money from someone you thought so little of? get yourself a job and finance your own education and life style. you will feel less guilt about taking money from this awful person and a sense of satisfaction knowing that you put yourself through school. it may take 5 or 10 years longer, but you won't have to suffer from the hideousness of this person, and you can concentrate on the positives in your life. and he will be free to enjoy the people who appreciate those who love and appreciate him; it's a win:win.
bluesteyes bluesteyes 8 years
This is highly stressful and yes going away is a great idea. I think the more you think about this the more you will suffer yourself not him. I don't know what he did to you or your family but I do know the saying don't let your anger control you. It seems you're letting it consumes you. I would say stop seeing the therapist, get out more, hang out with friends and if you don't wanna speak to him, don't. I am sure it will sort itself out. I am certain your dad knows you're very upset with him
baybelle baybelle 8 years
I feel so sorry for the poster. Holding on to such anger and stress can only harm you physically and mentally. Do try to calm down some - meditation is a really useful tool to dispel some of this really strongly negative energy.
nikecold nikecold 8 years
Ay! I just read the other comments and all I can say is Berlin has it right, so does Looseseal. And Fallen, its great that you have an opinion but honestly you are being harsh so what if she hasn't just moved out, she already said if everything works out she will be soon. The question is how to ease some of the tension, and that is a lot harder than 'omg just get over it you're a spoiled brat'. You know nothing about the situation and yes it could be soemthing trivial but given that she's been trough therapy and says her dad put her family trough difficult times, then I'm assuming its not. Maybe you have a great relationship or at least an ok one with your parents or maybe you don't, I don't want to make harsh assumptions about your character. But I can say that if you can't at least stop to think that things aren't always as easy as picking up and leaving, just like women with abusive husbands or other situations then I really think you shouldn't be calling her spoiled or a brat. No matter how easy it might be to get in a car and be independent it is not emotionally and mentally resolved that way. And taking that into consideration is being realistic. Sure she could pick up and leave, but you are also forgetting the way people's minds work she might still be holding on to hope. She might not want to leave the rest of her family. Doing the right thing isn't always easy. Plus she has already taken action towards finding her own place.
nikecold nikecold 8 years
oh hun, I feel your pain but at least you have the possibility of moving out and at least you live with other people, I on the other hand live only with my dad. My mom died and my brother has his own family (I'm the youngest) and the other one lives in a different state. So all I can say is hang in there ... I know it sucks but a lot of things suck in life, evaluate whether the things he's done are really worth not having a relationship,although you it seems you are already sure they are. Good Luck! I wish I could be more helpful, but at least I can say you're not the only one.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
Didn't she already mention in her post that she's planning to move out? Maybe "if all goes well I'll be living on campus come spring semester" is not as solid as "I'm going to go live in a cardboard box under a bridge RIGHT NOW!", but she's clearly already motivated to move out. I don't think that's the part we have to worry about. And we have no idea what her family finances are like - she could be supporting her family for all we know. And just because her mother and sister apparently forgave him does not automatically mean he didn't do anything that bad. Plenty of abuse victims readily forgive their tormentors. There's just too much we don't know. Since she's saying her father put her family through "extremely difficult circumstances", it's probably safe to guess that it's not that he simply annoyed her, gave her a curfew, or took away her credit cards - if that was the case I think she'd use different words. She'd say he did "this, this, and that to ME", not to her family. If I have to guess, I'd say it sounds like some sort of criminal activity, addiction or affair? It sounds too serious to be something that's easily dismissed with a simple "OMG, just get over it". I would like to know why she hates him, too. It really is hard to comment without that info. I can relate to resenting your own father, but I'm peacefully co-existing with mine because he and I also share a lot of good times. I wouldn't assume this is the same for everyone, because I understand that some parents truly are assholes of the highest order, but if the good times are there, focusing on those over the bad times could help. The notion that she should make peace for the sake of future children she may or may not have is kind of ridiculous, I'm sorry. Plenty of kids never knew one or more of their grandparents because they died before the kids were born. I, for one, am glad I never knew my paternal grandfather, because he sounds like a horrible excuse for a human being (he sold one of his daughters to feed his gambling habit, so I have a long lost aunt out there somewhere... but I digress...). It never really occurs to most kids that their parents also have parents until they're older and can understand more, anyway. For kids too young to understand, Grandpa is just Grandpa. It wouldn't really dawn on them that Mommy relate to Grandpa the way they relate to their Daddy. Plus, it wouldn't be that hard to distract them with something shiny so that they forget the whole thing.
Fallen85 Fallen85 8 years
Chrstne I'm sorry for what you've been through but if this poster is older then you then maybe you couldnt leave because you were underage? This girl is in college which means she's eligible for student loans which means that she can move out if she wants to but it's more convenient for her to stay because it's free. Also, he didnt necessarily abuse her and since the sister and the mother already forgave him i assume the father isnt acting the same way. These are the things that lead me to believe she is just being difficult and insisting on her own way. She could do what a normal person would do in such a terrible situation which is move but she chooses to stay... why? Catch my drift?
vmruby vmruby 8 years
Well as I see it you have 2 choices: either you can suck it up for now and deal with it or you can move out alot sooner than you had planned on. Either way you need to get back into therapy because it's obvious to me that it hasn't done a damn thing for you so far.....
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
Alright, I was in the same situation in high school. First of all, Fallen, with how I hated my father, and how he put our family through hell and back, and never once was man enough to apologize, etc., I don't think I was ungrateful of living under his roof if I hated him. With the OP's dad, obviously something went very wrong on his end, and like me, my dad really messed up, was horribly abusive, and blamed everyone for everything that went wrong on the family. Like, I was the reason he was speeding and got into a motorcycle accident. How does hating someone make you ungrateful? How grateful can you be to a dou*hebag!? And..ya know, my dad shouldnt have been abusive, and I shouldn't have been living there, but I'm sorry, if there is no way out, there is no way out. You can't magically convince yourself to leave if you have no where to go, or feel to restricted because someone opressed you so much. THAT is what is being realistic. Being realistic is understanding that no matter what any person on the outside thinks should be happening is not what happens in most cases I was never being a brat because I hated my dad, wanted somewhere to live, and I wanted to ease the tension. I just had no where else to go. I felt that by easing the tension, we could all live more comfortably. There was nothing I could do to get myself out of the situation, and lord knows I tried. I did, eventually, but that was harder than staying in the house -- and yet, it was very hard to leave. How does any of that constitute being spoiled or a brat? This girl sounds oddly like me, just a bit older. And when you live with an abusive f*uckhead, you NEVER bring the stress on yourself.
Fallen85 Fallen85 8 years
I had a massive run on sentince there without nearly enough punctuation but hopefully you get my point...
Fallen85 Fallen85 8 years
geebers, her question is "Is there anything at all I can do to ease this tension?" and the answer is: MOVE OUT! Her father did something she didnt like. He did it at LEAST 2 years ago and while her mother and her sister have obviously forgiven him she has decided not to yet she is asking us for advice to ease the tension while living in her parent's house with her family including her father because she's in school and either cannot or will not move out until she's in a school in another city... this sounds like an ungrateful spoiled brat to me who has decided that her own comfort is more important then anyone else's and while she would like to live comfortably she would rather her father leave his own home then for her to act like an adult and move the f*ck out. I dont think I'm being harsh, I'm being realistic. Even if he did abuse her or something of the sort, she should obviously not be living there!! She is bringing all of this stress on to herself, she is old enough to go to college she is old enough to move the hell out of her mommy and daddy's place.
awkwardturtle awkwardturtle 8 years
I agree w caterpillargirl, I think we need some more of the backround info.
heartbreakerx62x heartbreakerx62x 8 years
I think it will be best to remove yourself, but, I really think that you should try to move above your feelings and be an adult. Again, unless he did something truly terrible like abuse you or something, you have to understand that being a parent is difficult and people make mistakes. That does not mean that you have to have a super close relationship with him, but maybe just a civil one - especially to make things easier for your mother and sister. I used to be in your shoes when I was younger and didn't talk to my dad for a long time. I finally grew up and realized that we both had made mistakes - none of which were worth throwing away our relationship. He passed away last year, and although I am sad about the years I missed with him, I am SO glad for the final years that I spent with him. Life is too short to hold such a grudge, and although it will take some time, take the steps to make yourself happier and then maybe focus on making your relationship better.
hope2be hope2be 8 years
Unless I know what caused the anger and hatred, I can't quite comment on it. It may be major, or it may be pretty trivial. But mom and sister seem to be able to forgive, so I think that for her piece of mind, the least she can do is try to follow mom and sis example, keep the peace while you're still living under his roof, at least until she moves out. Go back to therapy too.
Lily-Inferno Lily-Inferno 8 years
Fallen wasnt harsh at all. OP was way harsh. If you cant forgive, get out and remove yourself from the situation. You dont have to live there. Youre in school..there are these things called dorms. Try living there. You dont have to be anywhere you dont wanna be.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
My father was never around, I've only talked to him a handful of occasions and although he's pretty frickin' useless as a father, but I think he's a cool guy. IDK...like they said, did he do criminal stuff or not give you enough credit cards?? I'd just deal, finish school, get some distance, and then try to work on a relationship mature adult to mature (hopefully) adult. You can't change him, so try that.
graylen graylen 8 years
Great advice, Berlin. And kudos to you for truly being a mature adult and handling a situation with class.
Spiderlove Spiderlove 8 years
Unless he did something SO unforgivable (like, god forbid, incest or murder), you need to get over yourself. You ARE being a mooch, living under your fathers roof so you can go to school. And if indeed he did something so morally reprehensible such as incest or murder or something, then you should file charges! Other than that, grow up and move out!
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
I'm with CG. If we don't know why this girl hates her father, we can't figure out the situation, honestly.
GScott86 GScott86 8 years
Hmmm, okay so at times my parents piss me off completely too, but then consider this. It's ten years in the future and you're married and have children. They grow up and are about 6 years old. What are you going to tell them when they ask why they can't see grandpa, or why you don't talk to or hate grandpa. Then you'll try to explain why, and yet they will say, but he's your daddy. Have fun and get ready for that conversation. No matter how controlling and how much parents piss you off, if there's a way to at least make amends/forgive, you should do it. You don't have to be around them 24/7 if you don't have to be at least respect that much. Maybe there were some tough times, but he did stick around (and still took care of the family at least financially). That shows he at least gave a s*it still. Maybe you should've dragged him to therapy with you? Either way, get ready for the wrath of your kids, because they will either resent you for your behavior or they'll pick up on it and repeat it.
brindey brindey 8 years
I know being a full-time student can severely limit choices like housing. I think almost all college students are "mooching" off their parents-they just get a dorm room to boot. You go to a college close to home-which means you get to stay close to your sister and mother. And your father. First, I don't think you are ungrateful. Or a mooch. You sound young-an no one starts off with rent money. Esp. in this economy. Living at home is probably saving your parents money. Second, you can't control his, your mother's or your sister's actions. (I am sure you resent their forgiveness of him. I would if my sister forgave my father. I would feel betrayed and alone.) He is probably never going to take responsibility for his actions. Ever. And your mother and sister won't make him. That is a bitter pill to swallow. Hark- you get to control your own actions. Try to move out. That can be really tough, esp. as a student in this economy. Hold your line. It sounds like you haven't backed down. Don't unless you want to try to fix it. Be mad. Get back to therapy. You don't want all that anger simmering and breaking down your healthy, positive relationships. No one's family is perfect. You aren't alone. Having anger doesn't make you a monster. Hugs.
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