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Problems with parents (but it might be one-sided)


Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once    

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Do you ever feel so pent-up with emotion that you feel like you’re going to explode??

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I feel like the question “how are you” is so hard to answer because I go through at least a thousand emotions a day…I’m never really sure how I am now. Some hours are good, some hours are bad, and weeks and days are just a blur.

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Hey there, I'm new here. I am so glad there is a forum to talk about friends and family because--there is a lot of talk about!

I haven't really had any problems with my parents before, but my relationship with my dad has been sort of strained for the past two years. I just don't feel connected with him in the way that I am with my mom. I've been trying to understand why I feel this way toward him: it feels like I disagree with him on a lot of things and he is really annoying sometimes, treating me and my siblings like we're younger than we actually are, overreacting about small things, hovering, and appearing to not care about the right things (for example, will focus more on the attitude I or one of my siblings gave him instead of what might actually be causing our attitude). I feel like I can't talk to him because of the way he is, and I think he will get defensive if I do try to talk to him. He feels more like a friend (??) than a parent. I also don't feel like I can talk to my mom about it because although she gets annoyed at him sometimes, too (😂), she will defend him. 

I've felt a lot of rage and hate toward him and am still confused because he hasn't done anything wrong, and I'm worried that it might just be me who is "overreacting." I don't want to feel this way forever, but I also don't want to do everything the way he wants it even if I don't agree with it. I've tried to think about the good things, but sometimes it's hard and the only things I can think about are the traits that annoy me. 

I'm worried that because of my annoyance with some of the things he does, I'm going to resort to pettiness and passive-aggressiveness. to deal with it, and I'm really trying to be more open in my communication with others. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. Has anyone felt the same way or does anyone have suggestions?

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Hey @Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once

Welcome to the DTL community. I'm one of the digital mentors here and I give support those who reach out to us. I have put your two topics together to make it easier for us to respond to you. I hope that's okay! 

I'm sorry to hear that things have been strained with your dad for a while now. I get the sense that this has building up for you for a while. I can see what you said about how you're worried that you might be overreacting. However, the thing is, your reaction is based on your feelings which are valid, and even if they are an overreaction, they are still important. I can completely get why you feel you can't talk to him, but I'm wondering, if you don't speak with him about it, what do you think might happen as a result? Also, I can see that you wrote about the pent up emotion as well which sounds challenging for you. I'm curious to know, do you think that is related to what's going on with your dad, or is there more to it?

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On 5/31/2023 at 12:57 PM, Monsoon said:

Hey @Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once

Welcome to the DTL community. I'm one of the digital mentors here and I give support those who reach out to us. I have put your two topics together to make it easier for us to respond to you. I hope that's okay! 

I'm sorry to hear that things have been strained with your dad for a while now. I get the sense that this has building up for you for a while. I can see what you said about how you're worried that you might be overreacting. However, the thing is, your reaction is based on your feelings which are valid, and even if they are an overreaction, they are still important. I can completely get why you feel you can't talk to him, but I'm wondering, if you don't speak with him about it, what do you think might happen as a result? Also, I can see that you wrote about the pent up emotion as well which sounds challenging for you. I'm curious to know, do you think that is related to what's going on with your dad, or is there more to it?

Thank you for replying. It helps to let it out a bit. 

I think if I don't talk to my dad about the way I'm feeling, it will just get worse. He has said in the past that I can talk to him about anything that I might not like him doing, but I'm scared to because he might brush it off or get defensive, which I don't want...I'm also scared of opening up and being more assertive, because it feels like he should be the one to recognize that some of the things he does aren't that mature. I'm scared he'll undermine my words and feelings because I'm just a teenager. I know I shouldn't be scared to open up though, but I'm not really sure how to get rid of that fear. I'm afraid because of the way he has acted in the past when I've tried to talk about my feelings (just gotten frustrated with me), and I think that I just want him to understand that I'm vulnerable and upset but it feels like I have to spell it out for him or just yell back at him. It feels like he understands certain traits of his, but like he's just given up on trying to improve them, which is why I'm scared to talk to him. We're both more introverted people, but I am more open with certain subjects, whereas he isn't.

Also, I noticed in the past few days I haven't been feeling so "ragey" toward my dad. I'm not really sure why. It feels like it goes in circles sometimes--there are periods where I think, this is fine, but then other times where I am really, really annoyed/upset to the point where I am almost crying. Sometimes I do cry, especially when he treats me like I'm younger than I actually am.

With the pent-up emotion, there are a few reasons. It isn't so much related to what's going on with my dad as it is with struggling with my sexuality. I've come out as lesbian (to myself), and it's been nagging at me on whether I should come out, if my parents know (I came out to my best friend a few weeks ago over a video chat late at night, and I'm afraid my dad heard me, but he hasn't said anything), and if I feel ready enough to come out. It's been weighing a lot on my mind, coupled with what's going on with my dad.

I'm not really sure how to deal with all of this. Do you have any suggestions on how to have a conversation about heavier topics with someone who you don't usually talk about heavy stuff with?

 

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Hey there,

I totally get why you feel scared of opening up and being more assertive. It sounds like a completely understandable reaction because of how he has reacted in the past. I think that people can often feel defensive when someone communicates an issue then have with them because it can feel like an attack. However, there are a few things you can do to maybe reduce the chance of him getting defensive when you tell him. Would you like us to share some of those tips?

Also, thank you for telling us about your sexuality. I'm really glad you felt able to share that with us - how does it feel to tell us here? :). I think that if you are having doubts about whether you're ready enough to come out, then it's definitely a sign to go easy on yourself and take it slowly. Remember, there is no rush, and you can go at whatever pace feels comfortable for you. 

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I would absolutely appreciate a few tips! 
 

Talking about my sexuality here actually feels really liberating and safe. I’m so glad that this platform is accessible for me and so many others.

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20 hours ago, Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once said:

I would absolutely appreciate a few tips! 
 

Talking about my sexuality here actually feels really liberating and safe. I’m so glad that this platform is accessible for me and so many others.

Hey there,

I thought you might appreciate it! Here are some tips:

- Use 'I' statements instead of 'You' statements. By this, I mean that you could say things like 'I feel hurt when I am treated this way' and then explain the ways you are treated 

- Focus on the future and say calmly why you are bringing this up, and try to keep it positive. So, something like 'I am bringing this up because I want things to be better' 

- Try to avoid using words that may come across as insulting or patronising. If you can feel yourself getting annoyed, try to have a break

- You might want to think about writing a letter and asking your dad to reply to you with a letter. This is because it means you're not together and have time to process and reply in a way that might be more calm and measured.

What do you think? We also have a few support guides below that I've linked you to. You might want to take a look at them!

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Thank you so much. This is really helpful, I will keep these tips in mind. I especially like the written letter tip, as I am a writer and often communicate better through writing. The support guides were also helpful. Thanks again! 

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15 hours ago, Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once said:

Thank you so much. This is really helpful, I will keep these tips in mind. I especially like the written letter tip, as I am a writer and often communicate better through writing. The support guides were also helpful. Thanks again! 

That's okay - you're welcome :)

Would you like anymore support at the moment, or are you okay?

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4 hours ago, Monsoon said:

That's okay - you're welcome :)

Would you like anymore support at the moment, or are you okay?

I'm ok for right now. Thank you!

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22 hours ago, Unsure-But-Sure-All-At-Once said:

I'm ok for right now. Thank you!

No worries! If you need more support, you know where we are :) 

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