My dad is a manipulator

My parents are old school and they super set about their children following their footsteps. I am the oldest and I have a brother that is one year younger than me. I have more siblings but me and him got the most strictness of my parents. I always asked myself why I grew up shy and not talkative and I now can see that it was because of my dad. He would always hit me and my brother for every little thing that we did. If we spoke out we got hit. If we got bad grades in school we’d get hit. I suffered so much because of him and my mom. My mom never hurt us. She was always there to hug us and tell us that everything was going to be ok. But I started to hate my mom a little because she would never tell my dad anything she would just sit there and watch us get hit. My brother was the more rebel. He started not caring and he would always defy my dad. When I graduated highschool I went straight into working because I wanted to save up for college. When I picked up my first paycheck my dad wanted me to give him my whole paycheck but I told him no. We got into it and well, me being scared of my dad, I gave in. He would constantly tell me that since he gave me everything growing up that now it was my time to pay him back for everything. He would give me $30 maybe $80 of my paycheck each week. I used to think that was a lot because I had never gotten money before. This went on for years until I moved out with my boyfriend. When I was 20 I got my first boyfriend and I hid him from my parents. Long story short, he ended up raping me in a parking lot on a rainy night. I went home and I cried. That was my lowest point because my parents never taught me anything. I couldn’t tell anyone because my parents views were that I had to make it to marriage as a virgin. I was scared. I went on for 2 years with severe depression and the only that helped me out with all of that was my best friend. I ended up telling my brother and he was furious and wanted to do something about it but I told him no. My brother eventually convinced me to talk to my mom about it so I did. I told her to keep it a secret and not to tell my dad because she would tell my dad everything. I ended up with a 2nd boyfriend and I confided in him that I was raped because he wanted to have sex and I couldn’t. He ended up meeting my parents one night and he ended up telling my dad that I was raped. I was furious because that wasn’t his story to tell. My dad was drunk when he had been told. So he was worried and super nice. But once he was sober he would bring it up and call me a whore and a slut and that no man would want me. 2 years passed and my mom ended up being diagnosed with Lupus. My dad had to constantly miss work and because of the stress he had he ended up with anxiety. So he ended up saying that he was sick and that he needed to quit his job. So for 2 more years my brother and me were the ones bringing in money. I ended up meeting an amazing guy that is a different race than me. My parents did not like him at all. They disapproved of him. Well he ended up opening my eyes that some of the things that my parents were not normal for them to do to their child. When I decided to move out with him my dad would tell me that if he ended up in debt that it would be my fault. That if he didnt have the money to pay his truck it would be my fault. So I ended up making a deal with him to let me move out and that I would pay his truck payments each month. A couple months passed and I got pregnant, soon after I got fired because I was sitting. I tried to explain to them why I was sitting and they kinda just brushed it off. I looked for my jobs but no one wanted to hire a pregnant woman. So I ended up talking to my dad to tell him that I wasn’t going to be able to pay his truck anymore. He would call me every day to tell me that I was lazy for not going to work. That i was unfair becuase I no longer wanted to pay his truck. He stopped calling me after a while because my brother told him he would pay for. Keep in mind my brother is married and has a kid and still lives with my parents because they make him feel bad about leaving. They tell us that if my mom dies it will be because of us. After I gave birth I ended up with severe post partum depression so I was admitted to a mental hospital for a week. My parents would call just to tell me that I was in there because of my boyfriend because supposedly to them he was the one stressing me out. I got out and my parents were nicer to me. They wouldnt bring any money up. But that didn’t last long. Soon after my dad started demanding that it was my duty as his daughter to help him out financially and not help my boyfriend. As of now he has not worked in over 4 years and he has no plan in going back to work. My mom is the one that is sick and she is the one that is working to bring money in. My dad does not even help her out around the house. My mom comes home from work and still has to clean her house and make food. The only thing my dad does all day is sit on the couch watching the tv or scrolling through his phone. He has the audacity to call me and tell me how can I live in peace knowing my mom, who is sick, works. That she has to work to bring in money because I don’t want to help them. I ended up setting up a gofundme for my mom, for her medications, that just made $700. They keep messaging and telling me to give them money. Tax season is here and my boyfriend decided to buy his car new tires and my parents called me and said that he’s buying unnecessary shit. That he should be using that money to buy me a car since I don’t have one. I don’t know what to do with my parents anymore. They just call me to argue and fight lately. I just want to have a good relationship with them but my dad is the one that messes everything because he manipulates my mom to doing things or telling us things.


I’m sorry that you have suffered so much. You have been raised in a hellish family. I was too. I tried to keep at least some kind of relationship going with my parents, but it was hopeless. Both of my parents were mentally ill, but functional enough that I could not force them to get help. I ended up cutting them off and never seeing them again.

Actually, your dad seems an awful lot like how my mom was. My dad was an alcoholic who drank himself to death. He could never hold a job either. The remarkable thing is, how often really bad parents end up with better children and they deserve.

You owe your father absolutely nothing. The same is true of your mother, but I can understand why you would want to support her as much as possible. I have a feeling that she felt helpless to do anything about how badly your dad treated you.

Your first responsibility is to yourself and your child. Your dad has no right to expect anything from you. It really sounds as though your mom would be better off if she only needed to take care of yourself instead of letting your dad live off of her.

I suspect that you would be in a far better place emotionally if you no longer accepted phone calls from your dad.

Speaking of unnecessary shit, if all your dad is doing is laying around, he certainly doesn’t need a truck. Instead of trying to guilt others into taking responsibility for his debt, he should sell it.

If your mom tries to help your dad manipulate you, maybe you need some time away from her as well.

Even though some time has passed since the rape, I strongly urge you to get some therapy, not only for that, but also for having been raised in an abusive home.

1 Like

From: ManekiNeko

Im so honoured that you shared this post. And I want to bote how proud if you I am that you have come to this place where you realise that your family, more so your dad, has been using you. It’s not a comfortable place to be in as there’s this mixed feeling of knowing and addressing the issue, could it run the risk of losing the relationship all together and is that something your heart is prepared for?

one thing that infuriated me is when parents have this “pay back” system with their child. No child should feel like they have to be in-debt to their parents just for being alive. And in a sense, just because someone gives you a house and food, doesn’t mean that they are providing the staples of love and nurturing a child needs.

there are so many things I wish I could just make right for you. The fact that your dad continues to use you, the fact that your ex disclosed something so personal to your dad, the fact that you’ve suffered physical and emotional trauma.

what do the next steps of your story look like? I’m so glad you have by the sounds of it an amazing boyfriend. You also have this community behind you. You are loved x


Hey @tomorrowwillbebetter,

Gosh you have gone through so much, and I’m truly humbled by your willingness to share here. It is so very brave to share all of this, especially as it mostly stems from traumatic experiences. Coming from an abusive home myself with a manipulative mom, my heart goes out to you. There comes a time in life when we get to see and feel that something is wrong, but it can be so very conflicting at first. We feel like we have to keep helping and being in contact with our parents because they are “family”, but at the same time, is family supposed to be hurtful? So many of your personal boundaries have been crossed, as well as for your brother. It is absolutely unfair to have been told the things your dad said, and to be hurt by them repeatedly. You were just a child – and no, a child never owes to their parent what is given to them. Being a parent is a life choice, a responsibility. Receiving care as a child is not something to own, but a fundamental right.

It takes so much strength to come to the point of writing “my dad is manipulative”, and unfortunately that is objectively true. I wish it wasn’t, because you truly don’t deserve to be treated that way. It took me a while – a lot of patience and kindness given to myself too – to accept that fact that I was never responsible of my parents well-being (could it be material or emotional). You are not responsible of your parents either, of how they feel, think, or of what they do. You have our full support here. You matter so much.