Q. I am afraid of losing my sanity because of my emotionally abusive father. Kindly help.

Answered by
Dr. Arooj Najmussaqib
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 07, 2019

Hello doctor,

I do not know how to explain my situation, but shortly, I have an emotionally abusive father and two siblings younger than me. He drained me emotionally for 18 years, and now he is aiming for my siblings. I am now used to his anger issues, insults, the traumas he manages to give my mother and me. But he is going too far, and I cannot stand him hating my siblings.

I always wanted him to go away, and I hate him. Today after he beat our cat just because it tried to run away from home, I decided I want him to die. But when he comes home from work as nothing happened, everyone in the house acts like he is not a monster, this is a habit we all have now. So when he is not home I pray that he should die and not come back, but when he is at home I serve him his food, his tea, etc. and have cheerful conversations with him.

I hate him, but when he is in front of me, I cannot act the way I feel. I am not even forcing myself to work happy, and it just happens like I am a robot. What kind of situation I am in? I am sure I want him to die, but he is too good at taking our entire family hostage. I am afraid of losing my sanity completely. I know when I am alone, I act like a crazy person. I do not know what is wrong with me. Please help.

Dr. Arooj Najmussaqib

Psychologist/ Counsellor


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Abusive relationships are quite painful to live in and survive. Especially when these are closed ones like father-child, siblings, etc., they left marked emotional pain through in life if left unhealed. I am afraid you did not mention anything about my mother. Her role here is also important to understand the core problem. It seems she is also one of the victims.

As per your query, it is drawn that your father has extreme anger issues and needs help, but without having insight and motivation, it seems impossible to sort out. Sometimes when children and partner communicate the effects of such behaviors to the concerned person, he or she may felt embarassed and try to resolve and change his behavior. However, in the present scenario, you are suffering a lot, and abuse has damaged your physical and psychological capacities in the form of eating disorders and aggressive, depressive thoughts.

Thoughts of killing the abuser come in to avoid the pain you are currently in, but it, later on, converted into extreme guilt and shame. Following suggestions might help to minimize the damage. Consult professional counselor and have regular sessions to channel out your concerns and catharsis as you have much to say. Remember there are a lot of things in the world which you cannot control at some stage of life and then you have just to let go and keep moving on until the time comes when you can at least control the harm if not change the situation. So my advice is to complete your education, protect your siblings, and wait till the time comes where you can protect yourself. You need to find relaxing things around you so your anger issues can be healed such as physical excercice, walk, healthy diet, hanging out with friends. Do journaling as venting out your feelings, look for positive aspects of your father's behavior, every person has both elements. Hate the behvaior of the person, not the entire person.

Regarding follow up:

Go for individual counseling.

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