I just don't see my dad ever changing


#1

I think my dad might have a mental health issue, or at least I think that would be better than if the way he acts is due to his own free will.

It’s just that ever since I can remember he bullied my mom, he beat her up twice when I was a kid, he always puts her down. He focuses and judges a lot on the superficial things like money and looks. He likes to have a lot of attention and do things that make him feel “powerful”. For example, he might help someone get a job, but not because he wants to be nice, it 's because he feels like he has some sort of “power” in shaping some aspect of a person’s life.

He sometimes reads prayers and “religious” things, but I don’t think it ever sinks in.

Once my uncle and my dad were having a discussion on what Jesus might have looked like. They were saying he looked black etc. I mentioned that no one really knows what Jesus looked, but that he probably looked like a Jewish man at that time and in that land.
My dad said that either way, they shouldn’t make pictures of Jesus with light hair and blue eyes.
I mentioned that not all Jews looked the same, that the Bible mentions that king David had blondish or reddish hair.
Then my dad said king David “Probably had highlights, he probably was a fag”

I couldn’t believe what he said, I can’t stand him. We usually all go to Mass together. Once we went and my mom didn’t argue with my dad that morning. But we got home and he called her “lard” just because my mom is overweight and wasn’t walking up the stairs quickly enough (in his point of view).

But I doubt my mom will ever leave him. This is the kind of example my dad sets for my brothers. My brothers say they are not like my dad, but they also don’t have much respect for my mom or me.

One of my brothers says vulgars things to me. I tried ignoring him, but he knows he’s getting to me. I’ve tried telling him that Jesus hears him etc. but he still thinks it’s funny to call me a “Ho” and I’m a virgin. He’s 25 so he knows better.

It just hurts me that he says things like that, basically for no reason. I know in anger people can say mean things, but I don’t do anything to provoke him, he just thinks its funny.

I’m just venting and rambling, but I guess they don’t care. They pobably just look at me as some religious nut.


#2

I’m so sorry to hear this, dear heart! Do you have any other family members to talk with (aunts, cousins)? How about friends? Is your dad a drinker? Have you and your mom talked about these things?

I am going to keep you in my prayers tonight.


#3

First of all, Dad’s, like anyone can change. It will be hard for you to see, because changes don’t happen overnight, and you will be scrutinizing every action he makes with the burden of the hurts you have experienced over the years.

I would suggest two things:

  1. Look for the good things he does, and let him know you appreciate that when you see that.

  2. (this is the hard one) When he does something to hurt or anger you, find something kind to say or do for him. The ugliness of his actions will stand in sharp contrast to the beauty of yours. He will see it and you won’t have to say a word. The only catch here is you can’t be doing this as a ploy. You have to sincerely intend to do something kind for him.

You can only change yourself, so these things may not affect him, but you will feel better for it in the end.


#4

I don’t know if this will help you or not but 10 days before my father died he received the Sacrament of Reconcilliation and The Eucharist for the first time in 40 years. He had lived a very immoral life, had made life very difficult for me and my mother and brother.

You sound like a loving and sweet woman. When your brother calls you vulgar names he is revealing his own inner demons. Remember, someone calling you names does not make you that - if someone called me a sofabed I would not be one.

Verbal abuse is so difficult to endure. I did not get from your post how long you will be at home or if you will be going onto school, moving out, etc. Talk with your priest regarding how you can best be a light of Christ for your father. I know it is difficult. I’ve been there…and I did have to say to my father, “I really want you to be in my life but it hurts me so much when you speak unkindly about me or members of my family. I don’t want to have to cut you out of my life in order to be able to continue to love you.”

It scared the heck out of me to do that…but it was a turning point in our relationship.


#5

It’s good that your dad had time to repent and change.

I feel sad, because those last dying moments I think can usually be so terrifying and my dad will have to have great faith in Jesus like the rest of us. But he doesn’t seem to truly care.

Sometimes I think he does have mental problem because he also has a sister who is very similar to him. Basically everybody thinks he’s a nice person, but ofcourse he shows a very different face towards us.

Once I saw this picture of my dad when he was about five years old and I just wonder “what happened?” How can a child, so innocent and pure, become so different?

My relationship with my dad seems to be the point where I struggle the most being Christian. But it’s also helped me reflect in my own actions and realize that I’m not perfect either, that I should always strive to be closer to our Lord.


#6

You know that your dad has sides of him, that he doesn’t let others see. Just like that he has sides you don’t see.

Like LSK said, you might have to just cut them out of your life, if they are doing you harm, even if it is emotional harm.

I’ll pray for you and your family.


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.