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Old July 26th, 2017, 10:55 AM
Darren2020 Darren2020 is offline
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I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

Iím not close with my dad. Iíll state some reasons why. Him and I donít have much in common. Heís heavily into sports, Iím not, heís into politics and I donít really care about that, etc. We donít see eye to eye on many things. For example, heís not really in favor of me dating outside my race. One day he asked me, ďWhat kind of women do you find attractive?Ē Just out of curiosity. I told him I donít have a preference in regards to race, as long as she is attractive and has a good personality thatís all that matters to me. Then he asked meĒ But, would you prefer to date a black woman?Ē I told him I donít have a preference. Then he tells me ďBut, youíre black yourself.Ē I told him ďI wouldnít mind dating a woman of my race, but I donít prefer it. Personality and beauty matters much more to me.Ē He then said ďwowĒ in a very condescending tone as if it was a bad thing. He has said and done hurtful things. I remember when I was four years old in kindergarten, he tried helping me with my math homework and I kept getting the wrong answer for this particular problem. He started to lose his patience and every time I put down the wrong answer, he smacked me across the head to the point where I started crying. I remember my mother even telling him that she didnít like that he did that. Even though that was a long time ago, I still think about that from time to time.

He has called me stupid and that Iím not good at anything. That really hurt me. He gets angry over little things and has yelled at me for things that I believe I didnít deserve to get yelled at for. He got so mad at me once because I didnít know about a big issue that occurred on the news. It was about a shooting that occurred in a church. I told him I donít watch much television, so I usually donít find out about things like this through television. I usually find out about it through social media and the internet. He got so mad when I said that to the point where he started threatening me and telling me he would kick my ***. I donít like when he tries to teach me new things, because he makes me feel like I am a stupid, incompetent, piece of crap. When he tries to teach me how to drive, he yells at me, he tells me I am a bad driver, itís taking me a long time to catch on, and tells me that I am going to give up teaching you how to drive, youíre just going to use public transportation for the rest of your life. Itís not like I am a terrible driver. I make a few mistakes only because I am still a beginner and not completely comfortable behind the wheel yet. Iíve only had 7 hours of practice. I feel like he expects me to be a pro driver by now. When he does that, it lowers my confidence, makes me more nervous because I am so worried about not messing up instead of driving, which in turn makes me more likely to screw up. Itís a little embarrassing that Iím 19 going on 20, and I still donít have a driverís license. I really want to learn how to drive, but I kind of want someone else besides my dad to teach me.

When he tried to teach me how to use a blower to blow the grass. I didnít know you had to hold it upside down for it to work. As I was trying to blow the grass after he got done mowing the lawn, the blower wasnít working and I couldnít figure out why. My dad then tells me ďCome here, youíre in boot camp this summer, youíre making a fool of yourself.Ē He then told me you have to hold it upside down. He couldíve simply just told me to hold it upside down instead of telling me all that! It was my first time using a blower. Heís hard to please. It seems like no matter what I do, heís never happy. Whenever I would get really good grades in school, he never really showed any enthusiasm or praised me for it unlike my mother and siblings have. He even said to me once, ďYeah you get good grades in school, but anyone can get good grades, what specific talents do you have?Ē That hurt me. I feel like any parent should be happy or proud that their child is excelling in their academics. Now that Iím in college, he tells me that I study too much and that I need to get a life as if studying is a bad thing. I am a Biology major with intentions to become a Physician Assistant. I take hard classes, so I have to spend a lot of time studying. He makes it as if studying is a bad thing. I really want to get into this field, and my father upsets me when he puts me down like that. He even told me once that Iím not going to be a PA, Iím just going to end up being a janitor. I feel like heís not really being supportive and showing much interest in my endeavors. He tells me that I have his support, but I donít really believe it because he doesnít really express or show it.

I hate when itís just me and him one on one. Itís awkward because we donít really speak much. I hate going on long car rides with him because itís silent most of the time, and I donít really know what to say because I donít know what to talk to him about. Like Iíve said, we donít have much in common and our personalities are very different. And another thing that bothers me is, whenever he yells at me or puts me down, moments later he will hug me and tell me that he loves me as if nothing happened. If thatís his way of apologizing or to make me happy, I donít like it. I donít like being around him for all these reasons. Heís very intimidating, not very approachable, and has a temper. I feel like I donít deserve to be treated like this. When he tells me Iím not good at anything, that hurts me as well. Thereís many things Iím good at and know how to do. I know how to cook, I know how to fish, do laundry, I am a good speller, I know how to clean, tie my shoes, snap my fingers, jump rope, I can read and write very well, etc. Itís not like I donít know how to do anything. I am a very nice person and have always been a good kid. I never partied, did drugs, snuck out, got into any trouble, drama, always helped out around the house, was always respectful, etc. I am the first person from my family to go off to university. I feel like thereís so many things my dad should be proud of. He does tell me he loves me and that heís proud of me, but he doesnít show it. Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to vent about this because I never talked about this with anyone and this is how I feel. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old July 26th, 2017, 01:16 PM
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Re: I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

Okay, my heart just broke.

Darren, YOU ARE A GOOD KID. Your dad can't communicate with you and doesn't understand you, but that does not make you a lesser person! YOU ARE A GOOD KID!

You keep on with what you're doing. You are a son anyone should be proud of. I'm proud of you and I don't even know you. Deep down your dad is proud too.

I'm not going to make excuses for your dad because he shouldn't be the way he is. But have you put any thought into what makes him who he is? I wonder how his dad treated him. Is he ex-military?

How does he treat your siblings?
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Old July 26th, 2017, 02:23 PM
Darren2020 Darren2020 is offline
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Re: I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

My father was raised by a single mother. He said she was very strict. His father wasn't really in his life. Yes he is a veteran, that could also be a factor in his parenting skills. And with my siblings, him and my older brother have a lot more in common and are pretty close. He doesn't really treat my brother the way he treats me, but he has yelled at him for some things in the past. Him and my half-sister don't have a relationship. They barely speak to each other. He has gotten angry with my other sister as well. I remember one time, she went in the fridge and ate a sandwich that she didn't know was his. He got very angry. He started yelling at her, she tried apologizing, and he grabbed her and slammed her on the floor then proceeded to whoop her with his belt.
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Old July 26th, 2017, 04:32 PM
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Re: I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

Oh wow. What does your mom say?

You're 19 and in college. Do you live at home? Do you have a part-time job?
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Old July 26th, 2017, 05:08 PM
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Re: I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

My mother usually isn't around when these things occur. I do live at home. I don't currently have a part-time job, but I have been looking for opportunities and submitting applications. Hopefully I get lucky.
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Old July 26th, 2017, 05:48 PM
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Re: I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

Darren, I don't want to make excuses for your dad because he isn't in the right. What I hope is that you can eventually forgive him for what he does. If he never had a father figure to learn from, good or bad, then his role model for parenting is probably a commanding officer.

You asked for advice, so here is mine. First of all, come up with safe things to talk about with your dad. Ask his advice for things he knows about -- applying for jobs or the best way to do a certain home repair or whatever. If you find yourself in "discussions" about things he likes talking about and you don't (politics or sports for example), stay noncommittal. Ask him questions (who, what, why, where, how) about whatever it is that is important to him (even if it's not important to you). Learn to "hear" what answer he wants (in your example of him asking you about dating a black woman, it's pretty obvious what answer he wanted) and if you can't give it to him, throw it back to him "I dunno, Dad, what about you? You would? Why's that?")

I'm not going to pretend for a second that this is optimal. You should be able to be honest with him. But mostly, in my opinion, you need to learn at this point how not to be a target.

Darren, you are destined for bigger, better, brighter. Keep your eye on that prize and know that your dad does love you even if he has no idea how to show it. There will always be people in the world -- bosses, neighbors, surly store customers -- who will be unkind. Knowing how to Shake It Off (as Taylor Swift says) is a big advantage.

I don't know if you are a fan of The Simpsons, but if you are look up the episode "Make Room for Lisa" (tenth season, sixteenth episode). I think you might be able to relate to it.
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Old July 26th, 2017, 06:17 PM
Darren2020 Darren2020 is offline
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Re: I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

Thank you for your advice. I will check out that Simpsons episode. Best of luck to you.
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Old July 26th, 2017, 11:38 PM
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Re: I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

I wish you all of the best, Darren. You've got "Success" written all over you; don't let your dad's behavior cause you to doubt yourself. Please check back in periodically. You have support here.
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Old July 27th, 2017, 07:47 AM
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Re: I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

Darren, you sound like the type of son any parent would be proud of. You are very academic and could look after yourself domestically. You don't need to be a sportsman, musician, politician or anything else, other than yourself. Your talent is clearly in your brain and it's a very useful one to have!

That you and your dad have little in common is not a bad thing at all. Only his expectations of you are different to your own and he seems to have difficulty in accepting that. I would imagine possibly that he does admire you and is proud of you, but is also a little jealous of you. Maybe your own achievements have been made under your own steam and he feels he can't take credit for that. People pull others down because they are unhappy in themselves. But you are not responsible for your fathers happiness, that is his issue to bear.

I would suggest getting some part time work and start to try and be more financially independent where you can. There are plenty of private driving instructors around who could help you get your licence. If you can fund that yourself, and earn to pay for a car and running costs then that will be another achievement for you and one your Dad couldn't take away from you.

You may never live up to your Dad's expectations of you. That is OK, live up to your own expectations. Prove nothing to anyone but yourself
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Old July 30th, 2017, 04:40 PM
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Re: I'm not close with my father. Any advice?

I didn't have a good relationship with my dad. ((hugs))


My recommendations are

Realize you can't change him, just how you react to him. Your college may have a councillor who could help you.

Get a part time job & use the money to pay for driving lessons... High schools sometimes have classes available for a fee. (in my area retired police officers teach driving)
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