I’m here today to talk about my father.
I’m usually against the idea of talking about someone behind their backs, and that too, so visibly. But I also believe in the idea that if someone is fine with harassing someone, they must be okay with other people knowing about it too.
My father is a bully. He hurts and insults people who don’t have the power to say something against him. He browbeats people into listening to what he thinks is right. I used to try to pacify myself by saying “He’s only doing this because he wants the best for you and loves you.”, but it’s been a few years since I really understood that he acts this way just because he can.
Whenever I start thinking about the mental and emotional abuse this man has given me, one incident always shines bright. TRIGGER WARNING When I was in 11th-12th, I used to self-harm and I was suicidal. My mom cried when she found out, my father didn’t even address it. A few months later, I remember sitting on the floor in their room; my parents and I were having a conversation about what my problem was. Somewhere in the conversation, my father said this: “You can die if you want to, no one’s stopping you. I’ll feel bad for a few days, and I’ll accept it after a few days. It’ll just be hard on your mom.” I think he meant for it to be motivational, but those are words that I’ll never forget in my life. I always laugh when I think about it.
That was just the icing on the cake: I’ve been body shamed, called ugly, called dumb, given the silent treatment for 2 months, mocked for my grades, etc etc etc. It continues today too when he tells me to just quit trying to become a doctor.
He has no clue about the things I like, the things I dream of, my ideals, my thoughts, things that I’m passionate about, things that make me emotional. My dad doesn’t know me. And I don’t think I want him to even try anymore.
See, I understand that he is the way he is because of the way he grew up. His actions can be explained, but they can’t be excused. I don’t have it in me to be upfront about all of this. The reason is that I have been honest about the way I feel when he body-shames me, but he still continues to do it. This is a man who’s so blinded by this belief that what he’s doing is right, that he can’t ever stop to reconsider. I don’t want to put myself in a vulnerable position, only to be insulted again.
I always ask myself why I can’t find the strength to work hard and get out of this hellhole. It’s true, I can’t bring myself to keep working even when I fall. I find it really really hard to get back up. A part of me believes I’m soft and easy on myself because everyone else is hard on me. But if I keep being soft on myself, will I ever get the chance to live without being bullied and criticized; without being controlled? I really hope I have the strength to try.
(PS. When I say ‘abuse’, I mean ONLY mental and emotional abuse, NOT physical or sexual abuse.)