On the phone thing: Don’t be too hard on yourself, most phone calls take weeks of psyching myself up before I can do them. Last time I had to call the bank I hung up and then started sobbing. It’s a pretty normal anxiety that is very hard to break out of.
My dad’s being weird. He told me yesterday that his opinion of me has changed recently. I asked him "Is that because I managed to get a job and not get immediately fired? And he said “Well… that is is part of it yes.”
He suggested I go do TEFL in Japan. I’d already considered this when the opportunity came up while I was at uni. I’m not a good teacher, my dad knows this. I don’t like kids, my dad knows this. He asked me if I could put up with it for a year if it meant I could go to Japan, but I didn’t know how to answer that. A year of putting up with things I don’t like doesn’t sound like a good year.
I point out Betty, he says “we’ll figure something out.” This being the same guy who is so incapable of looking after his own dog that he has threatened to re-home him if I move out. (except it wasn’t a threat he was just informing me off what might have to happen).
He brings up that my Japanese would improve a lot as I’m over there, and really that would be lovely. Just the opportunity to go was why I was tempted in the first place. Then he mentions that it would be really good for me to go since all the costs will be covered (I’d have to look closer to check this) before I get myself stuck with a mortgage.
And there it is. Yet another attempt to stop me moving out. I don’t understand this attempt since I’d be even more unaccessible if I’m halfway across the globe. I don’t get why he’d rather I live in another country than in my own house.
I heard him complaining about me and my sister to his girlfriend this morning. I didn’t hear everything since I was trying to sleep in my bedroom and he was downstairs. But I heard bits and pieces.
It was mostly complaining that we’re not doing any of the things we’re supposed to be doing. Last night I cooked myself some dinner after my sister had washed the dishes, and he was complaining that she hadn’t washed them.
He was complaining about how he can’t talk to me, that he doesn’t know how to talk to me, that I always get upset at him. Hearing him say this (again) was upsetting but also I just didn’t care. Except I did because I’m upset.
I know I’m not great at being on top of all the chores and such, but it’s not like I never do what he wants. I’ll wake him up at 16:00 so he doesn’t have to use his phone as an alarm. I’ll probably make him coffee as usual then to. That probably sounds like the absolute bare minimum, which is because it is.
I don’t know how to explain to him that I’m doing my best, because my best has gotten worse compared to even a year ago.
I don’t know how to tell him that I’m always tired all the time, when I’m clearly not tired since I have enough energy to stim constantly and I’m not doing anything nearly as physically intensive as his job which is a full 40 hours a week. I
don’t know how to tell him that I think I really need to go to the doctors, at least without blaming him for why I’ve always been so dismissive about my own health and the few times I have managed to mention it to him he tells me to “just go to the doctors” as if it was that simple. I don’t even know if I’d been able to tell the doctors without feeling like a whiny little bitch.
I don’t know how to point out that I’m fed up of always being expected to do anything and everything without him pointing out the same happened to him, and he dealt with it so I can too.
I don’t know how I can explain to him how fucked up my brain is without him thinking that I’m just making up excuses. Or without me convincing myself that I’m making up excuses.
Sounds like a bad idea then. It could be a great opportunity, but only if it’s something you want.
Do you have to buy a place? How about renting to begin with, so you know how living alone is like. That way you won’t immediately have a mortage and you aren’t responsible for everything going on, like small and big repairs. Renting now doesn’t mean you can’t buy later!
You will not be able to chose for him, and him blackmailing you with the dogs doesn’t have to be his actual plans. If the dogs aren’t going to be taken well cared of, rehoaming might even be the best decision, even if it sucks and hurts like hell. In the end, the wellfare of the animals needs to come first.
To the rest:
Maybe you can try and write him a letter? Sometimes that’s easier because you can think about how to phrase things so you can really get across what you want to say. He can’t interrupt you, you can’t get flustered and forget what you wanted to say, or how you wanted to say it. Sometimes writing the letter alone helps, even if you never actually give it to him.
That’s the conclusion I came too last time. I think I vaguely remember him pointing out the same flaws I did at the time, which makes his bringing it up again now extra confusing.
… No? There’s a bit of my brain screaming that renting a waste of money. It’s the same bit of my brain that screamed at me for wasting money when I bought some of those fancy pens with the four colours. It screams all the things my dad said when I told him I wanted to try living in uni halls next year. I probably need to get better at telling that voice to shut up.
There’s another bit of my brain screaming that this means I’ll have to do the complicated things again if I rent first. I need to figure out where I’m going to move to. Where I currently live everything is far too expensive. And that means figuring out how to get to my job, or if I move my job too.
I’m just worried that if we try to rehome him, he’ll never have another home again. He’s getting fairly old for a dog, and he can be agressive towards other dogs and he can act agressive towards people. If things had gone slightly different when we first met him, if we’d approached him instead of him approaching us, then my dad thinks that we wouldn’t have been allowed to adopt him due to how agressive he would have been acting.
I guess I can give that a try. It’s going to have to be an internet letter or it will be full of scribbles. I can’t imagine that actually sending it to him would ever end well. He’s fed up of being critisised, and I don’t think I’m in a place right now where I could not mention all the critisism.
Renting first can be a really good idea and good preparation, rather than something requiring a full later do-over. If you’re going to a new location, renting for a year there first means you can get used to living on your own, get a solid sense of what the real costs for that are in your chosen area and whether it’s indeed where you do want to own a home, and if so, what you do and don’t like about the rental to help inform what you do/don’t want in a house, and exactly where in that area you do/don’t want your house to be. It would also let you get some of the starting-out expenses (e.g. furniture, bedding/towels, kitchen stuff) out of the way before deciding how much to spend on a down payment, and you’d still own those things for the coming house. Would it help to think of it as more of a preparatory step and pre-purchase insurance than as a waste?
TEFL in Japan: There may well be other ways to spend some paid-trip time in Japan if you wish, now or in the future, with more-enjoyable work and/or a shorter stay than a full year. Could be worth looking into some time, if you’re interested. The college you went to may have alumni services that could help identify such opportunities.
I agree with Bibliovore.
To me buying a house would be a huge thing, kind of a once-in-a-lifetime-event, and I definitely wasn’t emotionally or financially ready for that when I first moved out at 18. Having a house comes with a lot of responsibilities and hidded chores which I still can’t phantom to bear. Like Biblivore said, renting is a good way to train how to live alone and to get used to that independence and everything that goes with it.
I know that this varies much in different countries though, some cultures buy and sell houses several times in a lifetime and it’s not a big deal.
(In the US, it’s not uncommon for people who buy a house to buy at least two in their lifetime, and sometimes more. There’s a concept of a “starter home,” which may be lower-end or simply smaller so people can start to build equity before they have all the kids they plan to have or can afford the home they might someday like. People sometimes move for work or to be in a different school district, or to be closer to other family, or if the house they thought would have enough space for their family just doesn’t, or if they get divorced or their spouse dies [I know someone on his third wife and fourth purchased home]. Sometimes people downsize, too — when their kids move out, when they retire, if they decide they want a smaller house requiring less upkeep/expenses, etc. — and sometimes mobility changes [from age or otherwise] necessitate moves, such as to a single-level house if stairs become problematic. But lots of people buy or inherit one house and keep it for life.)
So pretty minor in comparison to everything else, but my dad has gone to visit my sister. I found out about this maybe ten / twenty minutes ago.
I’m just annoyed that when me and the little one told him we were going to visit her at the end of May a few weeks ago, we hadn’t given him enough notice. But he’s gone and made the same journey and is staying a day longer than we will be, and I find out about when my sister tells me “oh yeah, and daddy said he’s not back until Tuesday because he’s gone to visit [sister]”
Am I overreacting? He’s barely home anyway so it wouldn’t be too odd for him to have gone to his girlfriend’s after work today and not be back until then. It’s probably just because it’s a much longer journey that I’m bothered.
Whether you’re overreacting might depend on the reasons he wanted more notice. If, say, he felt it wasn’t courteous to him to not give him more notice (you gave him a lot!), it’s particularly rude if he doesn’t give you any at all; if, say, he needed to make any traveling health arrangements for your little sister, that might be another matter.
Either way, I think it’s rude of him to expect very early notice on your own travel plans and give you zero notice on his own. And even if it weren’t, it makes sense for you to be annoyed by it.
I don’t suppose there’s any chance he had thought you already knew, through your sisters, so thought he had given you notice? (That he didn’t talk with you directly is still something he’d ideally apologize for…)
He was complaining that I hadn’t thought things through properly with what was happening with the dogs. (I think I spoke about that earlier? Found it:
this one from three weeks ago.)
My sister does often end up relaying things he’s told her to me, though I don’t think he expects her too. She’ll relay when he said he might be home next along with whichever of my actions (or lack thereof) he’s been complaining about recently.
Actually now that I think about it, he was planning to go see the middle one and cancelled when the little one got covid and we were all freaking out. This could be a rearrangement of that which he forgot to tell me about. I found out about that one a couple days before he was planning to go down, so technically more notice than this time.
Yeah, your dad was definitely being weird about that, and I think you were right that he was reacting more out of not wanting you to go than from any sort of rational notification needs. If you wish, you could try talking with him about it when he’s back —I wouldn’t hold out high hopes for him changing, but from what you’ve said he’s heard you and made changes on a few other points before, so maybe. It has indeed sounded like he’s been starting to see you as more independent, which is good.
Can confirm now that he wasn’t planning for the little one to know either. She only found out because as he was leaving the house when he left, she noticed he had the middle one’s Easter eggs with him and asked if that meant he was going to see her. If the little one hadn’t noticed that, I’d have found out when I checked Facebook yesterday.
I don’t know if him not telling us this stuff is because he’s bad at remembering stuff or if he just doesn’t care. But when me and my sisters would forget stuff, he’d yell at us for lying and not doing the whatever on purpose, so that makes me think it’s the “doesn’t care” option. Because if he was bad at remembering stuff he’d be more understanding of us being bad at remembering stuff. But then again he’s also gotten cross because we forgot the thing he didn’t remember and had asked us to, so who knows?
He’s supposed to be back tomorrow but I doubt I’ll see him with our conflicting schedules.
Little one’s nagging again that she doesn’t have anything to eat so I should probably put a shopping order through, but we have plenty of food at home that she just doesn’t want to eat and I really can’t be bothered right now to try to sit down with her on the website and listen to all the suggestions I make be responded to with shrugs and pouting and her asking for a ton of expensive shit that I know my dad will complain about if we get.
Just tired, but shouldn’t go bed yet or I’ll regret it tomorrow.
I am crying about cake. Just, fair warning that this post is that level of petty.
Many many years ago (meaning before covid), my dad got my sisters fancy cakes for their birthdays. They were from this fancy cake shop where he got them custom made to look like their favourite animals, and we took a photo of the cake, and the cakes were delicious, and everything.
Then when my birthday would roll around afterwards, I got a supermarket cake. And I’m feeling extra jealous about that right now. I think I’d asked for a cake like theirs once, but I didn’t know what I wanted it too look like and the cakes were not cheap so I just said it was fine. And I got to eat my sisters’ delicious cakes anyway so what was I complaining about?
I also said I wanted a cake that was not chocolate for my next birthday. So of course I forgot to remind him to get a not-chocolate cake closer to the time so I another one. And another, and another, because I kept forgetting to say anything until after the day.
But then last year I was super happy because my aunt’s friend make the cake and it was custom made to have some characters from an anime I used to obsess over on them. I didn’t even care all that much that the cake was chocolate on the inside or that I’d drifted away from that anime a year or two earlier. I was just happy that this was my cake and it was for me.
I’m also upset that my dad decided he’d rather be teaching the ladies where my aunt lived how to dance on my birthday, but at least he’d asked if I was okay with that. Even if I only said yes because it wasn’t like there was anything else I wanted to do, and I bought my ds so I wouldn’t be completely bored (because I really didn’t want to join in and he would not stop asking).
And now my sister’s birthday is coming up in less than a month. My dad booked a holiday to visit our aunt again, but didn’t think to ask if those dates would be okay. My sister’s birthday is in the middle of his holiday. He was going to just take her with him, but she has an exam on her birthday and she can’t rearrange it like the presentation she made her rearrange. So he decided that she can do her exam and then take the train down to them, and he’ll drive them back up when the holiday is done. So my sister is spending her birthday doing very not-birthday things.
The middle one isn’t going because he asked (told?) her to dog sit, and I won’t have enough holidays to join them (both from the beginning like my dad expected me to and from her birthday like she wanted me to so she wouldn’t be alone).
I’ve talked it over with her and we’re going to celebrate a day early. I haven’t seen my dad since I figured out the holiday wouldn’t work out (and I’m not looking forward to that conversation because when I told him “I think I don’t have enough” he told me that I do and to sort it out.)
Anyway, I found the fancy cake place my sisters used to get their cakes from, so yesterday I took the little one there to see how early we’d need to order her cake and I kinda also wanted to be able to order a nice cake for me in a couple months even if it’s not going to be a particularly noteworthy age.
They don’t do custom cakes anymore. Stopped just before the pandemic. There are other cakes, less than half the size, and I’m still going to get my sister a lemon one of those like she asked for yesterday, but it’s not the same.
I’m just really sad now because I’m never going to be able to get myself one of those really delicious cakes and I’ve actually just spent the past half hour (at least) crying over this.
So the good news is that I don’t owe my dad anymore money, at least until rent is due again. The bad news is I was kinda out of it in yesterday’s conversation with him. So wasn’t picking up on any of the weirdness until afterwards.
Like he referred to himself as my sister’s “keeper” but also said he can’t look after her any better unless he quits his job. And he said that “in some aspects I’ll always be your keeper too” but when I was later trying to explain to him that I thought it would be a bad idea to rent with him as the landlord because he’s my dad, he said that shouldn’t matter and it’s something I’m going to have to learn to get over.
And apparently I’m sending him mixed messages because I want to be independent but still want him be a parent and help with stuff. Which I guess is supposed to be a contradiction but it doesn’t feel like a contradiction to me and I don’t know how to explain it.
Basically it was a lot of one rule for him and another for the rest of us, but he was being really convincing as to why that’s true.
And now I have to decide whether I pay him more rent or whether I pay for all the food shopping, by next week. I really need to figure a way out of this house one way or another.
I think it is weird for a parent to call him/herself “keeper”, even though it’s theoretically not incorrect. To me, it sounds so distant and less like family. I don’t like it, but it might be a language barrier thing.
I don’t think this is unusual. A parent doesn’t stop being a parent just because someone comes of age, and if I remember it correctly, you’re still very young?
I’m 32 and my dad is still my dad, he is someone I would go to for advice and emotional support, if I needed it. To him, I will always be his little girl. This doesn’t mean that he treats me like a child, or I cling to him like one, it means he is still there for me if I need it.
In my eyes, moving out it a big part of becoming independent and to create a healthy relationship towards the parent(s). It will give the “child” the opportunity to become independent and chose their own path, and their own way to live. It will also help the parent to see the “child” as an adult, and to accept that they are moving on and don’t need them the same way anymore.
Staying home for a long time will fortify the roles you already have, and I believe it will cause more problems, fights and stress in the long run.
Adding the situation with your dad makes me think it is even more important for you to get out of there.
I don’t think it’s a language barrier thing at all. He uses odd terminology like this fairly often, but when I try to pull him on it he complains that I’m not being fair because he’s autistic and bad at communication and I shouldn’t expect him to use the perfect words first time.
It feels like he’s acting like he’s “allowed” to always see me as a child for the rest of forever, but I’m not “allowed” to be an adult until I stop seeing him as my dad. Which is probably never going to happen, so it’s like some unatainable goal I’m never going to reach and I’m just going to have to figure everything out without asking for his help ever again.
It’s not much but we’ll always be around to try and solve any queries and bounce ideas off. I think that between the many of us, we make one competent person.
It does also sound like he just keeps moving the goalposts. I suppose that it may be easier to see him as an older brother always in trouble when he keeps this up.
Right now I’m struggling with the logistics of having both a home and a job. As in, I can’t live somewhere if I don’t have a job to pay for rent/mortgage, but I can’t get a job somewhere if I don’t live close enough to get to the job.
Also I’m bad at geography so trying to search when I know very few place names is difficult. Specifically, I know the name of my town, the town we lived in before this one, the city I went to uni in, the place where my aunt lives, and vaguely recognise the names of places along the train line I used to commute on and various supposedly nearby places my dad namedrops as if I’m supposed to know them.
Today I clicked on a house on a whim because the road name was similar to my irl name, and the house looks great and in a convinient location and all, and the town is surprisingly close to my current town, and I did look at another couple places near there. But then I checked and it’s almost an hour and a half away from where I currently work and I’d have to take a train and a bus.
So I’ve been trying to figure out if I could get the pub I currently work in to transfer me to another one which is further away from where I currently live (1hr bus vs 15-20 min walk), and I did check online that it has vacanies for my specific role. If I could get that job then the commute would only be a 30min train journey (including walking to and from stations) from the couple houses I’ve been looking at.
But then I was looking at the train timetable to try and figure out how my commutes would work, and I wouldn’t be able to do neither the opens nor the closes I’m currently doing and I’m not sure how much of a negative that would be if the pubs even consider the transfer in the first place.
And then I start thinking about what happens if I get the job transfer only to find out the renting people don’t allow pets or if I get the house but have to commute forever to get to my current job location, and I just don’t know how to deal with all the possibilities.
So now I have to decide if I keep trying to figure out this particular scenario (though probably not today because there isn’t much time left before I have to go to work) and all the energy trying to talk to all the relevant people will take, or if I do it all over again with a new randomly chosen town name another day.
And I look at online guides that say they’re going to help with this, but it’s all stuff like “Make a budget! Practise doing some chores! Pay rent to your parents! Buy all the things you’ll need!” Which is good advice and all, but it doesn’t actually help me with the specifics of how to find a place that I am capable of moving to.
When I started looking for a new job, I looked for openings that I could reach by public transport. If it wasn’t possible, I discarded that particular place.
You can do that too, in a reversed way. "My job is , let’s look for a place to live nearby by ". If you find something interesting, check if you can reach your job. You can either try it like this with both the work locations, or you wait until you know if your transfer will go through. I’d mention this to the boss too, so they know that you need a decision.
Most websites I’ve used when looking for a place to live will let you choose a city, or a part of a city, and then a radius from that point, 1km, 5km, 10km, 50km and so on. That way, you don’t have to know the actual village/city names
Obviously idk you or your dad so this may not be applicable. But something that helped with my father seeing me as more independent was not coming with a blank slate.
By that I mean asking if an idea needs to be adjusted rather than asking what to do flat out.
So rather than “I dont know how to do X can you help me?” Instead say “I need to do X and I think I should do this , then this, then this does that sound right?”
Atleast in my situation it was a small change that made a pretty significant difference.