My mother (an alcoholic) died a year ago. I have no remorse over her death. She picked on me when my father and brother were not around. My father has a rosy picture of my mother. He was her meal ticket so she specifically made sure things were good for him only to pick on me, belittle me, complain about my weight, etc. My father was incredibly lonely after she died. My husband and I were buying a house together when he asked us to stop and move in with him. He gave us a sweet deal, no rent, if we come and take care of the place and pay the bills but he continues to pay the mortgage. I'm angry at cooking dinner all the time, shopping for groceries, etc. My father is not only a child of an alcoholic himself, he was married to an alcoholic. I am also a child of an alcoholic. My father is very controlling. He micro manages everything I do in the kitchen. I'm in such full blown silent rage and I think he realizes it now so he doesn't micro manage so much anymore but things slip out of him that make me want to strangle him. I'm angry and resentful about being in this situation. I don't like living with him. I don't like cooking dinner every night and shopping for massive amount of groceries. How do I deal with this anger? I need to cope with this situation without being so angry. I did go to Ala-Anon and ACOA but it brought up so many feelings that I thought I would cry for a year about the awful feelings I have about my mother. I need to squelch those feelings and just get through this. Does anyone have any suggestions? My father is 82. He is fairly sharp but I think he did have a very minor stroke about 2 years ago which went untreated. After that episode, he became forgetful and disoriented but then a few minutes later, he's as sharp as a tack and can finish the NYT Sunday crossword puzzle.

And example of his controlling/micro managing behavior is: He has two garbage cans. One for recycle with a white bag and one for garbage a black bag. Well, I took the garbage out, taking the black bag with me. I took the recycle out taking the whole bin with me. I had to walk to the barn and left the recycle bin to bring in when I got back. When I got back, the recycle bin was inside (don't know who did it) and the garbage bin was filled with a white garbage bag. My father is persnickety about what color bag is in the garbage. I was in the dining room unpacking and he called to me, "Come in here, what is the meaning of this?" He was looking at the two garbage cans, both with white bags. I said "I didn't know, maybe my husband didn't know there was supposed to be a black bag in the garbage and put a white bag in accidentally." NOthing more was said. I find out later that my father put that white bag in. Why do I have to deal with all this micro managing?

WHen I was younger about 20 years old, I complained to my father that my mother was picking on me and belittling me. He couldn't believe my mother would do that. I never approached him again about it and just took all my mother's nastiness over the years. I'm angry at him about that and I am DEFINITELY angry at my mother over the years of verbal abuse. Thank you for any incite.

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Hi horseperson! I relate to everything you've said. I'm sorry you're going through this with your father. Mine died very young, which left my brother and I with a devastated mother who had to go back to work. After she got over the immense grief of losing him, she morphed into "battle mode," which gave her a crusty, prickly shell and a chip on her shoulder the size of a boulder. You did'n't dare cross her, didn't dare disagree with her, and never ever corrected her. She held me hostage most of my growing up life - as I mentioned on another thread here, I became the "stay at home mom" if you will, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry while also going to school. Whenever I did anything she didn't like, or there was a perceived wrong -- the screaming and derogatory comments would start. She belittled me in ways that completely destroyed any self-esteem I may have had. It never really came back completely. When I hit college age I bolted from that home as fast as possible. I went t college and never came back. Also got married earlier than I should have -- in a continuing effort to stay away from her home -- i know not a good enough reason to get married but I was 22 and had stars in my eyes. I was lucky though -- I married a saint of a guy who is wonderfully supportive. Mom is now in hospice and dying of cancer. She is still demanding, manipulative and has an incredible sense of entitlement, but she doesn't live with me. She is in assisted living very close by. I still am the dutiful daughter, and am trying very hard to build boundaries when I interact with her. By finding this place, and these great ladies, I am beginning to understand that she should no longer have the power to bully me and take away my self esteem. Its all up to me now to change how she impacts my life. Just the way its up to you as to how you allow your dad to affect yours. Walk around with hate in your heart -- and he wins. Walk around with a smile on your face, and laughter at all of his barbs -- and he loses --and probably gets pretty pissed off as well. Another win for you! My tack is to try and become the person on the outside that I know I am on the inside. Don't let anyone take your dreams of owning a home away -- this is the only life we get -- live it your way! Good luck to you and God bless!
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Horseperson, let me give you my perspective. I grew up with a father who verbally abused me. My brother, just last night, said he had the "Napoleon Syndrom". He was a bully who took out all his nastiness on me, not so much on my brother (my brother was 6'4"). Criticized everything I did, how I looked, I could not have a differing opinion from his, he was just mean. Mom said and watched him do this. Her needs were met.

After his death, which I was not there for, Mom and I talked about him. She agreed that he was verbally and emotionally abusive to me. But because I tried to defend myself, it "made" him worse. So it was my fault. Even though he verbaly abused her too, I guess that wasn't her fault???

Long story short, now I cannot stand her. She was the other parent, where was she, why didn't she protect me? I realized after Dad died that she is maybe even more dysfunctional than he was. She knew what Dad was doing and your Dad knew what your mother was doing. He chose to turn away. Now you are angry and the root of that anger is that he was not there for you. Also that he continues to hold her in high regard. He does this because to not hold her in such high regard would mean he would have to acknowledge she was a mean drunk.

I am finally getting over some of the anger now. I let it go for Dad when he died, for Mom it is a work in progress. I will never have a relationship with her and that is her Karma.

Move out, asap. You can't live with your father and the memory of an abusive mother. She will control you from the grave, just liek he tries to control your life now. Good luck to you.
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Oh my gosh, thank you all!

First, yes, I have horses. I now realize I ran to the love of horses in my childhood because they were huge caring animals who "loved" or seemed to love you no matter what. It got me out of the house when I was young. I started working at farms at age 13. I did go to college but worked at horse farms from 13 up to college and then during the summer months to make dough for college. I now have my own horses.

Second, I can not tell you all how these answers have helped me. And I do know I need to stand up to my father rather than roll over and take it. Many of your comments really resonated. Thank you all!

I am better today. I spoke to my husband about it as I've been doing all along. He is VERY, VERY understanding, sympathetic and empathetic. We will get through this. I just need to speak up to my father. And we can't change our habits to suit my father, maybe I need to insist my father change his habits more.

And yes I feel that the anger is from all those years...not just from cooking this one dinner. My father speaks lovingly of my mother because all her barbs were directed at me when he was not around. This is so hard for me to hear. My mother was an artist (don't get excited, she wasn't a good one) and her pictures hang all over the house, grim self portraits that were probably painted when she was depressed and drunk. How he speaks of those wretched things makes me want to vomit.

But thank you for this outlet! I'm new on this forum. I will be back and want to read comments to other questions.
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Jeanne: You rock!!!! Amen, set some boundaries. Claim your respect and don't allow your dad to bully you.

Meanwhile: I don't think it's passive aggressive, it's just survival and much better than ripping her face off.

Judy: I think you might have hit the nail on the head. Lot's of anger there towards the mom who mistreated and the dad who let it happen.

Horseperson: You would be buying groceries and cooking dinner regardless of when you lived. Maybe you and you husband should find your own happiness. Your dad offered you a "SWEET DEAL" maybe the same kind of thing your mom offered your dad. I'll take care of you, but you have to sell your soul for it.

I hope you will give this some serious thought. My hope for you is happiness and love. Cattails.
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And if you cried for a year, that would be healing and the woman who is no longer here would not be controlling you from the grave.... crying doesn't kill us, but keeping the hurt inside perpetuates the abuse... you deserve to be healthy... you deserve to get help and heal.... my prayer for you is to start some kind of counceling.... i have been where you are... the past is the past, I only have to heal it.... it can't hurt me anymore, it doesn't control my life and my abuser does not get to live in my head rent free anymore, I made up my mind to get healthy and it was worth every tear... prayers for you...
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Horseperson, would you be happy living there even if your dad stopped micromanaging? It sounds to me, and forgive me if I'm wrong, like you're angry with him regardless of his nit picking. My dad isn't the man he used to be. He was an angry controlling troll of a father while I was growing up. Now, he's sort of vague, like not really mentally there most days, and I'm still pissed! The man probably can't even remember my childhood, but I still have the resentment. Although, sometimes my dad does something very childlike that makes me momentarily forget who he used to be.
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I feel for you. My Mom is the control freak, and was also mean and abusive, when I was growing up. She doesn't even drink. She is mellowing in her old age, actually trying to be nice. Which is hard to accept. I don't know if it would work for you, but I just ignore my Mother. Walk off in the middle of her talking. It makes her mad, I guess it is my way of being passive aggressive. Sometimes I just act like I'm agreeing with her, then go ahead and do what I want. That makes her mad too. But, she just lives next door, not in the same house.
I couldn't help but notice your title. horseperson. Do you have horses?
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And by the way, if someone called to me "Come in here. What is the meaning of this?" I'm afraid my answer would be, "It probably means that someone made a mistake. And if you ever speak to me in that disrespectful tone of voice again it means I will no longer be making mistakes here because I will no longer be here. I am not perfect but I am an adult and I expect to be treated like one."
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Well, it sounded like a sweet deal, didn't it? And in some families it would have been. But obviously it wasn't a good deal for you.

What if you and hubby went back to the original plan of buying a house together? You could get a job that would earn you more than the rent you are saving, be earning credit toward your social security history and building up a retirement fund.

It doesn't really sound like your father needs live-in help. If he needs some homemaking help he can hire that.

So, you could do it. You could get out from under the micro-managing oppression you feel in that house. What is holding you back?

But whether you stay or exert your independence, he will still be your father. Your history with your mother will not change. Please seek out therapy that will help you deal with your feelings -- not because your feelings are "wrong" but because they are keeping you from what you deserve: a satisfying and joyful life. You need to be able to stir the beef stew humming a little tune and thinking about the card party with friends this weekend, not boiling yourself in a full blown silent rage.

You matter. You are important. You deserve to be treated respectfully as an adult.

Please take care of yourself.
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