I am 19 years old and I am having problems with my father. I am his only daughter, and the youngest of four. All of my brothers were sexually abused, possibly by my father, and I am not sure if I was ever molested. I am having a lot of problems recently with my mental health. I am diagnosed severe depression for about 3 years. I am trying to get past everything but I cannot remember everything that happened when I was a child. My father was very verbally abusive and sometimes would hit my other brothers. I, myself have not been hit, or I cannot remember. I do remember seeing the beatings of my brothers. I want to move on from my father because I have so much hate for him. I do not live with him, my parents are divorced. But he is a sociopath (he fits the descriptions perfectly) and very deceiving. He manipulates me with guilt trips and buys me things now to win me back.. i can not get rid of the guilt that I feel for him, and it is hurting me a lot! I need to know how to move on and I am just scared, but I don’t know what of. I do not want to see him anymore but the guilt and hopelessness I feel are holding me back. I have a very low self esteem issue and he was the problem of that, I believe. I just need to get away… Please Help!
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You’re at a good age to get help now and to protect yourself better if you choose it. As a child you are necessarily under the domain of your parent. If they are abusive you don’t have much power to stop them. As a legal adult (at age 19), you have the legal status necessary to become independent of your parents. You can live independently of them and you don’t have to accept it when they are abusive.
There are some principles to understand here.
- Finding a supportive, trusted, non-abusive person or people in whom you can confide. Like a therapist or a friend, or a trusted clergy figure (if you can find a compassionate one).
- Reading books about how to recover from abuse, and how to become assertive. Reading and learning about abuse is healthy because it stimulates you to learn to form your own thoughts, independent of what your father thinks. (And don’t let him tell you it’s stupid or foolish for you to do this…)
- Finding a safe place to live where your father can’t get to you easily
- Decreasing or entirely eliminating any need you have to get money to support yourself from your father.
- Refusing to see or speak to or contact in any way the abusive person on an as-needed basis (determined by yourself and no-one else) so that you have the space you need to start to find yourself.