Skip to main content

How Do I Escape my Father’s Influence?

From the U.S.: My father is the most critical and hypocritical person I’ve ever met.  Everything must be his way even if his way is stress-inducing.  He does everything for a reason, but no one else thinks.  Everyone makes his life harder, but he never causes problems.  Everyone else causes themselves problems, but his problems are worse.  No one appreciates him, but it’s justified that he does not appreciate anyone else.  Etc.

Everyone- myself, sister, mother, relatives, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, clients, strangers, etc.  There is no one he has never said a negative word to or about.  He is judgmental, pessimistic, and controlling.  My therapists, teachers, friends, sister’s friends, mother’s friends, his sister, etc. agree.

This extends to trivial things or things of common courtesy.  He questions, scolds, and threatens us.  This often turns into screaming fits followed by muttering as he stomps around.  During extreme tantrums, he gets physical with me or especially my little sister knocking us down, holding us on the ground, leaving bruises, hair pulling, kicking, slapping, breaking things, etc.

I’m 25.  Every day is a struggle due to mental and physical health problems for which he has no empathy.  He refuses to believe he causes me stress.  Based on reflection, research, and discussions with therapists, my mother, and others, I’ve concluded my father is the root cause of my constant fears of criticism and rejection, low self-worth, negative thinking, obsessive behaviors, and interpersonal conflicts.  Based on comments I’ve received, I sometimes worry I’m turning into him.

Since elementary school, I’ve wished my parents would divorce.  They are finally separating, but I’m concerned he will remain present by calling and visiting.  I’ve attempted to move away multiple times since high school.  I return home because staying in school or financially supporting myself is challenging.

As I get older and he induces more suicidal thoughts, my hatred turns violent. I wish that he could experience my psychological and physical torment, I could hurt him the ways he has hurt us, I could hurt him other ways.  Sometimes, I even wish that I could kill him or he would die.  I have never self-harmed, harmed another person, or planned to so I trust I will never act on these impulses.  Still, these thoughts worry me.

I don’t want him in my life or on my psyche, but his presence and damage seem permanent.  How do I escape his influence healthfully?

You may be right that your father has caused many of your problems. You may be right that continued contact with him is painful. But if you think he needs to change in order for you to feel better, you are leaving him in control of your life. At 25, you are old enough to change the nature of your relationship. You may not be able to stop him from being negative. But you can certainly change your reaction to him. You can set yourself free from his influence and go to school and/or get a job so that you can be independent.

You mentioned that you have a therapist. I urge you to take your questions to that person. Good therapeutic work will help you develop the skills you need to free yourself from your father’s toxicity and to move on in your own life. If you haven’t been specific about the level of your father’s control over you, do take your letter to your therapist. It is an articulate account of how you feel. Having that information will help your therapist know how to proceed. I urge you to go deep with your therapist so you can take charge of your life. You deserve it.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

from Ask the Therapist

Become a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.


Popular posts from this blog

Working Remotely Is Not Necessarily Stress-Free

Many believe that working from home or remotely can foster freedom and stress-free job satisfaction, and that everyone wants  more work autonomy. A new study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, says “Not so fast.” In the study, researchers examined the impact of remote work on employee well-being. Their findings suggest that a variety of factors can undermine or accent the employee benefits of working off-site. Accordingly, researchers developed new strategies to help managers provide remote-work opportunities that are valuable to the employee and the company. “Any organization, regardless of the extent to which people work remotely, needs to consider well-being of their employees as they implement more flexible working practices,” the researchers wrote. The study appears in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology . In the review, a total of 403 working adults were surveyed for the two studies that made up the research, said lead author Sara Perry, Ph.D. Re

Today’s Popular Music is More Angry, Sad and Less Joyful

Today’s popular music is noticeably different from the popular songs of the 1960s and 1970s. Now a new study reveals that it’s not just the music itself that is different; today’s music consumers seem to prefer songs that express darker emotions in both lyric and tone. The findings, published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies , show that the expression of anger and sadness in popular music has increased gradually over time, while the expression of joy has declined. Using quantitative analytics, researchers from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan studied changes in popular music lyrics throughout the last seven decades, from the 1950s to 2016. Data scientists Kathleen Napier and Dr. Lior Shamir analyzed the lyrics of more than 6,000 songs found on the Billboard Hot 100, a list of the most popular songs of each year. In the past, songs were ranked primarily by record sales, radio broadcasting, and jukebox plays, but in more recent years, popularity is based on several

I Pretend that Fictional Characters Are Real & Talk to Myself as Them

I’ve always loved to play pretend. But now that I’m a teenager, instead of outgrowing it, it’s gotten worse. Now I’ve gotten to the point where it’s an obsession, and I spend more time with my imaginary friends then with real people. I pretend that my favorite characters from movies and TV shows are real, and I talk to myself, both as myself and the character. I have long discussions with myself. I also pretend that they are with me everywhere I go–to the supermarket, to my cousin’s house. I pretend that they’re with me, no matter what I do. Lately, I’ve also been doing something that’s hard to explain: I pretend to be two people (usually myself and my mother, or a cousin, or a made-up person) and have a pretend to have a conversation with them. I pretend that the fiction character is watching me and my mother/cousin/other. Usually, those scenarios involve either a verbal fight, or joking. I’m really concerned because I know this is abnormal and I’m not living a normal life. I’m worri