Help me understand my father?

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Help me understand my father?

Postby boots_ » August 14th, 2014, 9:48 pm

I understand that only a mental health professional can really diagnose someone, but it is painfully clear to me that my father has an undiagnosed mental disorder.

My father is.. strange. He begins many projects at once, often very ambitiously at first, but will never finish. We have several unfinished bathrooms, and unfinished basement, and half-painted garage. He is very fixated on material objects and often makes reckless, unnecessary purchases -- for example, we have owned and sold an rv, a motorcycle, a yacht, and several cars all within 5 years. The motorcycle he rode maybe a year before it was abandoned.

It seems he desperately wants material possessions to bring him some kind of prolonged happiness or inner peace that he lacks, and he would always be trying to "force" us to enjoy whatever new possession he acquired, as if he needed confirmation that he is content and happy and all is right in his world, and if you disagree in any way/shape/form you would be punished severely. A good example: when I was 15 and going through the body image difficulties that many young girls experience, I often wouldn't want to put on a bathing suit and swim on days that I was expected to do so, and he would fly into an incredible rage, telling me I was a "stupid cunt" or an "emo cutter". I know that an insecure teenage daughter is not exactly a can of sunshine, but I still don't believe that kind of reaction was ever warranted.

He is incredibly short tempered and occasionally hostile for no particular reason. Simple things will cause him to fly into fits of uncontrollable rage wherein he cannot be reasoned with whatsoever. Another excellent and recent example: saying aloud, "where are the car keys?" I made this mistake several days ago -- he immediately jumped off the couch and began screaming about me being unorganized and stupid and generally awful, barking orders at my brother to go to the hardware store for a new pair. It was only after my brother sheepishly pulled those very keys out of his pocket that he cooled down. There is no heat up period where I could explain that I'd driven this car home and it would actually be impossible for the keys to it to be anywhere but around the house.

He is very unemotional, and I see few emotions cross his face that aren't anger or passiveness. In the 19 years of my life, I can count on one hand the moments he's held my mother's (a very affectionate woman) hand, and I only need one finger to count the times I've seen them kiss -- once, briefly, because it was New Year's. He is easily made anxious and snaps readily under pressure. When he is around people he doesn't know he is awjward and exaggeratedly too-friendly. He has no friends, and is VERY reluctant to answer the door if it is a stranger, and is equally reluctant to answer the phone for an unknown number. He has very poor social skills.

The most frustrating trait my father has is his inability to comprehend things. There is no way to go about this in a more polite way than saying his is simply unintelligent -- we will often have to carefully explain things as we speak to avoid him getting confused, then frustrated, then explosively angry.

I know that this point that we will never have a relationship. But I would still like to understand, if it might bring me some closure. Please give me your thoughts.

Thanks for reading such a long-winded post :)
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Re: Help me understand my father?

Postby boots_ » August 14th, 2014, 9:53 pm

Woops, I apologize for all the grammar errors here. Probably should have hit that preview button, hehe.
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Re: Help me understand my father?

Postby manuel_moe_g » August 15th, 2014, 2:01 pm

Your father sounds like me, if I wasn't in therapy.

I also have a father who needs therapy. If your father stays alive, there is always hope - with age, men mellow.

You don't deserve the pain that this has caused you. The best thing you can do for everybody involved is to be self-loving to yourself and to work on yourself to create the best version of yourself.

Please take care, boots_, all the best, we here are cheering for you and for your greatest today and tomorrow!
~~~~~~ -- Obsequious Thumbtack Headdress
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Re: Help me understand my father?

Postby Omniel » August 16th, 2014, 8:54 am

Unfortunately, I don't think it'll be possible to understand him until HE understands what's going on with him. The behavior speaks to bipolar, possible personality disorder, obviously a rage issue....and it's all mixed up together.

As manuel_moe_g says, he may mellow out as he ages, but at this time I think the best thing you can do is to protect yourself emotionally as much as possible - if that means you getting therapy to discuss strategies for coping with him and minimizing the amount of time you're in his company (easier said than done).

It's really hard to live with someone who is not only untreated, but undiagnosed. Your mother must be a saint. You too!
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