Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bullied By Dad 10.28.13

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
                                 
My dad is a teacher at my school. He is also the coach for soccer. I won’t be on the soccer team because he is so mean to me. But he’s so nice to all the other girls and they think he’s the greatest. It makes me sick.
He is even meaner to my mom. I wish she would just leave him. I would love to go to a new school and so would my brother.

My brother is always at his girlfriend’s house because he stuck up for my mom once and told my dad he was a bully. My dad yelled at him until my brother left the house. Then my dad acted all nice when he came back as if nothing happened. My dad thinks he’s all the nice things people say about him at school. He acts like he’s the hero or something.

Why would my mom put up with him saying awful things to her about everything? She even acts nicer to him when he tells her she is stupid. Yesterday my mom said she knew she was stupid for doing something wrong. It was sickening and I wanted to throw up! I think I should tell my dad he’s horrible?

Signed,

Bullied by Dad

Dear Bullied by Dad,

We’re proud of you for having the courage to want changes that would benefit everyone in your family including your dad. We understand that you do not want to live a façade or lie. We know it must be frustrating and painful for you.

You are mature to realize and discern what the truth is. This allows you to grow up and break the cycle of emotional abuse and bullying when you are on your own.

You now need to accept the hardest fact. You cannot change your dad or your mom unless they see a need to change and want to change.

Your brother seems to want to escape and/ or deny his situation and it’s good that you have not chosen that pathway. The escape or denial pathway may set a pattern of possible self-damaging choices i.e. drugs and wreck-less behavior.

You have probably heard that you can only change yourself. That knowledge will help to free you of the mental anguish you are suffering now.

How do you make changes that will affect your life now?

• Find a talent you want to try i.e. musical instrument, art or photography and commit to it for six months and then re-assess if you like it and want to continue for another six months or try another talent. This process may take awhile to find something you love and you are good at. Don’t give up – it takes that long to really put your heart and soul into something. It’s also long enough to determine if that talent is really what you want. And if it isn’t something you want, you still gain wonderful experiences that will always enrich your life.
• Join a service club or group. Serving others will reduce your pain because you stop thinking about yourself and your problems and you learn problem-solving skills.
• Ask your mom to get you professional help with a therapist and be honest with her. Tell her that you hurt for her and you need help dealing with it. (She may even begin to actualize her own reality … but do not put expectations on her to change. It can set you up for more pain if she can’t or won’t stop her own denial).
We care and applaud you for caring about your family so much. Our prayers are with you.

Signed,

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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