My Dad Is Emotionally Abusive
- Verify And Next Steps

If you are thinking 'My dad is emotionally abusive' then you are probably either looking for confirmation of this or wondering, "where to from here?" So let's have a look at both of these topics.

First, there is a list of things that occur in abusive parent-child relationships with explanations of some of these things while others have links to more detailed descriptions so that you can learn more about those.

Then we will have a look at things that you need to know in order to deal with an abusive parent.


My dad is emotionally abusive - some indicators

Your dad is highly critical of you.

You have to run things by him before doing anything. In other words, you are not allowed to make your own decisions in case you get it wrong (according to him!)

You realize that your dad lies to you.

He will try and convince you of one thing one day and the opposite thing the next day.

He makes all sorts of promises and frequently breaks them, but he always has an excuse for it!

You are expected to forgive him a lot, even for major upsets.

He does not forgive you anything. He will bring things up from the past, over and over, to make you feel bad so that you give in and give him what he wants.

Of course, there may be shouting, swearing, name calling, smacking, punishments that are excessive and frequent and so on.

You may have spent much of your life trying to please him and get his approval, and it rarely, if ever, happens. But you keep hoping that one day he will realize that you are actually good enough and will recognize you for who you are. This hope is actually dangerous.

You frequently feel that you don't know who you are.

You feel you are somehow less than others, unworthy, unlovable, destined never to be happy on this planet or that you always have to settle for second best. You think you will never have what you really want.

You can't understand why someone who supposedly loves you treats you so coldly and callously.

You are humiliated a lot.

There are lots of threats, about many things.

When you hear him coming home, you head to your bedroom because you never know what mood he is going to be in, and besides, you'd rather not be around him anyway, if if that means spending a lot of time alone.

There are lots of arguments about the same issues, over and over again. You may have thought that you were unable to communicate to him, or that he just didn't get you, but now you know he just doesn't care.

You may have been treated differently (worse!) than your siblings. You were the scapegoat, you got the blame for everything, you were punished more often, you were told off for everything, etc.

He makes you feel that you will never be as good, as intelligent or as successful as him.

There are times when you hate him. This causes conflict because you are led to believe that you shouldn't hate your parents.

You have known since you were small that there was something off but you did not have the life experience or vocabulary to explain it.


My dad is emotionally abusive - who is he?

There are people who control others for the sake of controlling. I'm not talking about strict parents or those who did not have good role models as children. I am specifically talking here about people whose relationships are based on coercion and domination. These people have a personality disorder, more commonly known as psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists.

These types have no, or very shallow, emotions. What this means is that they never feel bad about anything they do, even to their own children. I know, I know, you have seen your dad being angry and you may even have seen tears. It often takes months for people to get their head around the idea that there are those who don't have emotions. But what about in your case? Were there times when your father did not respond emotionally in the way you would expect? Did he often seem cold and uncaring?

When people are first introduced the idea that the manipulator in the life might be a psychopath or a narcissist, they often reject the idea outright. Their idea of what a psychopath is just doesn't line up with how they see their parent. Either way, it's still worth investigating. Why? Because if you're dealing with a psychopath or a narcissist, you need to be aware of it. Being in a relationship with one of these types is not the same as having a strict father or somebody with mental health issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

These people don't play by the normal, polite rules of society. If you continue to do so, you will lose. In fact, they rely on the idea that you will use these rules and they simply take advantage of it.

If you're emotionally abusive father has a personality disorder then there are some ideas that you always need to keep at the forefront of your mind. They are:

  • These people are practised liars.
  • They will often say one thing and do something else, simply because they changed their mind. This change of mind will always turn out to be to their benefit.
  • They will take credit for anything that works and shift the blame and responsibility to others when something doesn't go their way. The lack of responsibility shows up in not repaying debts and believing that the rules don't apply to them, that they are above the law.
  • These people do not care about others. They always look out for number one.
  • They know what they're doing with their manipulations. Just think about some of the things they have done. They're not mistakes, they're not random, they are done deliberately.
  • They know the difference between right and wrong. The problem is they can choose wrong just as easily as they choose right.
  • They can be brilliant at playing the victim.
  • They will twist and distort information in all sorts of weird ways. For example, there will accuse you of doing what they do themselves.
  • Negotiating with them is impossible. Remember the lies and the lack of responsibility? They can be very convincing with their words, just don't expect them to follow through.
  • They will never change. The only change they go through is an improvement in their manipulation skills.

This last one is very important. There is no treatment for these people. Waiting for them to change just because you figured out what they are is a waste of time. In fact, if you call them out they often double down on the manipulation and the will try and make friends with you, knowing that it's easier to manipulate victims if the victims think the person is actually looking out for them.


My dad is emotionally abusive - what can I do?

The best thing you can do is learn.

You can learn about mind control. You can learn about manipulators, psychopaths, sociopath and narcissists.

You can study the tactics that were used against you. Why were those tactics used? What effect did they have on your thinking, your emotions, your decision-making and your actions? How, specifically, were you lead to believe and do certain things? What drives the manipulators? What plans did they have for you? What was the reality they were forcing you to live in?

Only when you understand these things can you begin to take control of your own thinking and decision-making again, manage your own life, and allow your real personality to develop and flourish.


My dad is emotionally abusive - more reading

Read more here about angry and controlling men, beliefs installed by abusive parents, signs of verbal abuse, adult children of abusive parents, why do I attract narcissists, dealing with a toxic family, healing from emotional abuse and moving on after a psychopath.

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Would you like to talk to someone about your situation?

If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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