Emotional Abuse and My Father

Written in 2006 as a part of my healing journey.
My father has always been the person in my life to make me feel small. As if no matter what I did, I would never be good enough.
I’ve always been the one to stand up to my father for my mother’s sake. It kills me inside to watch him control and manipulate her. I always stand up for her. She always lets me take the brunt of it. No matter how passionate I feel about putting him in his place, I still leave feeling worthless. I keep telling myself, “Why do you keep doing this? Why do you let him get to you? Even today as an adult when my father speaks to me with zero respect and in that controlling voice, I break down into that scared, lonely, unloved little girl.
Emotional abuse is the most painful, reoccurring experience in the entire world. Just when you think things have gotten better, one small comment from the abuser brings back many years of unresolved pain and memories. As a teenager I would sit in my bedroom and cut. Cut into my arms mostly and sometimes my legs. I would use anything I could find, bobby pins, tape dispensers, even knives. For me feeling the outside pain was the only way to help the severe, unbearable pain in my heart. I spent most of my  childhood depressed, just waiting to get out.
Going to college was the first step in helping this. It got me away but not permanently. It always made it harder to deal with when I got back. I started seeking therapy in college. I was determined not to allow my father to have this control and fear over me. It helped some. Every time things got better, he always did something to remind me he was the same person.
After college I moved out on my own an hour away from him. I can leave now when he upsets me and makes me uncomfortable. I’ve learned that I’ll never receive the love from my family that I want, but there are people in the world that give me the love and support I deserve.
For anyone in a similar situation, don’t give up on life. I wanted to many times, but I knew God put me here for a reason and it wasn’t to be controlled and miserable. I worked hard for what I have today and fought through so much pain to achieve happiness. I’m still dealing with my father, but I’m finding better ways to stay away from the negativity. For anyone in an emotionally abusive situation, please get out. That person will only change if they want to and many times they don’t. The longer you keep yourself in it, the longer it will take the pain to go away.
Flash forward to today. I’ve done a lot of healing work with my father in speaking my truth about my experiences with him. He has apologized for many things. Sadly he still feels the need to control and has chosen to only hear what I have to say if it is in alignment with how he thinks and feels. It is unfortunate that a positive relationship cannot occur. I continue to work through my feelings of his emotional abuse. As a parent myself, I am raising my children in a loving environment. I know I am not perfect, but I am making sure my children know they are loved and their thoughts and feelings matter.

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