I want to get out of my house. My dad’s always been an asshole, giving me shit and gossiping about how stupid I am to anyone who’ll listen, but he’s gotten more unbearable since I started school. Problem is that I’m a commuter with no money. I need his help, and he knows it.
I want to be grateful for the roof over my head, but I’m sick of being a goddamn punching bag for this narcissist’s ego. Where would I even start?
– Angry Aden
Hey Angry Aden,
You aren’t alone, trust us. It seems like it’s a requirement to be perpetually in an argument with one of your parents once you hit the age of 18 or so.
What it sounds like to us is you need to confront your father about his actions. Your dad doesn’t seem to be aware of the mental damaging effects his words and actions are having on you and that is not OK. Your parents (or dad in this case) are meant to be your go-to support system, the person you call after a bad day and great day alike, and the person who might have to slip you a $20 when you need gas money. Sometimes simply bringing the damage he has caused to his attention is enough for him to take a step back and realize he’s being way too harsh or that he is acting exactly like his father treated him. It’s a pretty common thing with dads and sons. (Remember this when you have kids of your own!)
The conversation will be uncomfortable and it’s ok if a few tears slip down the side of your cheek, but if his constant picking you apart is hurting as much as you say, it’s worth it. Now, this is treading tricky waters. These conversations can take a turn to anger and yelling very, very quickly. Stay calm and attempt to control the conversation while also making sure to listen to what your dad has to say before you respond. Most importantly, don’t create this “me v.s. you” mentality. If you guys are going to continue to grow and improve a father/son bond, it has to be a collective effort. And if this fails miserably, you can have a slight peace of mind that you went about this with dignity and faced your problems like an adult. Let’s just hope it goes great because there’s nothing sadder than a family being torn apart.
These types of conversations need to happen, but remember these conversations are a two-way street. In our experience with nitpicking parents, it usually boils down to both parties misunderstanding each other. You have real-life problems and situations you need help with. Your father does too. You have class projects, exams, and whatever else you’re involved with. Your dad has a job (hopefully), deadlines, bills, and assholes to deal with at work. At the end of the day, you have to recognize your dad is just another human being in this world just trying to make it work. Not too long ago, he was just another 20-something-year-old kid working, partying, and going about his life. He might not have the best coping methods for his stressors so unfortunately, you catch the brunt of it. With this in mind, perhaps you and your dad can find common ground in the fact that life is straight up hard and life is much better when you have a co-pilot next to you.
As for the money situation, just know it’s a shitty one no matter how you slice it. Yeah, cutting ties with your dad to prove you don’t need him is an option, but it’s a very short-term solution. Let’s be real, student debt is no laughing matter, credit card bills pile up FAST, and dammit, you gotta eat, man. We understand your desire to have freedom—especially the financial kind—but don’t cut your nose off to spite your face. If you two can work on the constant bickering, we think the money issues will solve themselves. Parents seem to be much less reluctant to throw you some cash when you guys are getting along.
Best of luck,