Living with an Angry Parent

I’ve been living with dad and mom my whole life. Even though I’m thirty-eight and rent an apartment three hours away from my hometown, I come every single weekend and stay here for the holidays and vacation. Besides, my boyfriend lives here as well.

My mom is a lovely person. She usually has her attitude a little worked-up, though it is not her fault at all. After living with my father for forty years, I guess anyone can get tired of the same old drill.

My father is an angry man. It’s so hard to remember a day when he didn’t yell at me or my siblings or at my mom. His curse repertoire we have heard over the years repetitively.  Rarely does he show any sympathy for me or my mom. He does show it to my other siblings, since they have learned to indulge him in his habit to get mad at anything.

In the past, when he had his moment of anger un-management, I pondered about what the motives were which seem to distress him to behave the way he did. I blamed myself. I always thought I had to be a good boy. I had to be quiet and agree with him on everything he despised. For my surprise, any effort was fruitless.

It is not that he doesn’t get angry anymore. He does, every single day. The difference is, after years of channeling the blame on me, I unveiled the secret of his anger: his failure and futility to do what he desires.

My dad has never accomplished anything which might allow him to rejoice in his success. He constantly believes that life has set him up for failure. He idolizes wealth. He always complains about how easy other people have had it to possess what they’ve always wanted. He hates them, but secretly yearns their approval.

Money is all he thinks about. That’s the engine which moves his anger and channels it toward us. Many occasions he has treated us as nothing. My mom is constantly hearing his degrading comments. Fortunately, she has built a wall, her own Great Chinese Wall, to prevent any of his ill-intentioned remarks to hurt or distress her at all.

In order to ease his monster or whatever he has inside, I have tried to help him out, not directly, by diminishing his financial burden. I pay for some services and aid my mom with her personal expenses. It has proven my efforts have not had any avail.

I’ve concluded that he enjoys being angry. He craves it. Despite any effort to ease his life and so-called problems, he winds up in an explosion of rage.

What have my mom and I decided how to deal with my dad?

Well, after years of harvesting only bitterness, we have decided to step aside and let him be the person he only thinks he can be. Since our efforts has shown us he will find something to get mad at and explode, the best plan of action is to retrieve. He loves repeating himself about how ungrateful life has been to him. But, he never gets to see how much life has given him: a lovely and patient wife, two professional children, a hard-working child (my brother has no profession, but he isn’t scared of working hard),  a loving and charismatic grandchild, a house, a stable job for 40 years, economically independent children, and so on.

You can’t help those who don’t want help. It is pointless and infectious.

What should anyone do if they have a parent like mine? 

Let him or her be. It’s not my fault my dad is the way he is. He knows the wrongs he has done but fails to seek help or undergo a change for the better. What I’m doing now is living my life because I only have one. I can’t waste time trying to assist him grasp the surface of what he has done during the last three decades.

I love him. But, once I got so influenced by his negativity that I almost turned into him. Until one day mom called me out. I snapped out it and never turned back.

Break the cycle.



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