My dad was just incredibly rude to me. again. Please help me sort through my feelings, possible responses, and the wisest course of action.
posted by rebent to Human Relations (38 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Here's what happened. He re-posted an opinion about how drug testing for recipients of public assistance should happen. I commented to that a link about how drug testing in florida actually cost more money than it saved, and wrote a comment about how, if we're drug testing poor people, we should drug test everyone.
He commented back a pretty logical argument against my comment and concluded with "And stop following me around and posting contrary responses to everything I post." OK, I thought, he's probably just a bit snarky at me for contradicting him.
So I came back at him with another comment on the topic, to which he replied with this:
"Reb you remind me of 8th grade when you had to show everyone how wrong they are. Find something else to do."
My jaw hit the floor. So did my partners'.
This is, like, exactly the type of verbal shut-down that he has used my entire life. Well, when I was small enough, it wasn't verbal. I'm over 25 now. I had hoped that, you know, once I got a couple of college degrees and married and stuff, he'd treat me like an adult. But nope, every time I disagree with him, his response is basically "I'm your dad and what I say is right. If you disagree, well, I can't punish you anymore, but I would if I could."
So this is more of the same that's been going on a few times a year since I moved out six years ago. And, like I said, two degrees, married, etc, I'm getting sick of it. I want to have a real relationship with him, but I am not sure how to break past this rudeness and disregard.
Before I get any further, I gotta be honest. I was like that when I was in 8th grade. I still am a bit. I like to talk, I like to be right. That made his comment hurt even more, because I've been fighting against that my entire life. But it's true that I do like to argue too much.
I want to tell him that he was incredibly rude and hurt my feelings. But I know that he will respond with "you are being, as usual, over sensitive; blaming everyone else for not following your 'rules' and using that as a manipulative argument tactic." (he would never actually say *that*, but that's what he would mean.) I worry that he might be right, that that is what I do. That's also something that I've been fighting against my whole life - taking things too personally - and I know it's something he would consider the end word in any argument with me.
So I've thought of all sorts of really rude things to say back to him, like "treating people like they're in 8th grade must be why your church is thriving" or "Telling people who disagree with you to shut up will probably work forever." Etc.
But I really don't want to be rude back.
I think that if I try to argue with him, to prove that he's being rude, he will just call me argumentative. If I try to be honest with him and tell him he hurt me, he'll just say I'm being aggressively sensitive.
I kind of feel like my only option is to tell him that he needs to respect me if he wants to be friends. But I'm afraid that he will say that it is I who must respect him, etc etc, and that he has done no wrong, and so my only option will be to cut ties, or to bow my head and submit to his authority. I don't want to do either of those.
There's gotta be another way to do it. I know I'm not the first person who's had to deal with this, so please please tell me what you think of my situation, and if you have been through something similar before, how you acted and how it worked out.