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Dear Sugar Needs Your Help: How Do I Deal With an Abusive Father?

Dear Sugar and Mistreated Melinda need your help. How can she deal with her mentally abusive father?

Dear Sugar,

Since my father grew up physically abused, he feels that he has every right to treat me however he wants. He orders me to do chores but mutters about how I'm completely inept. I clean my room, mop, vacuum, and do dishes, yet it's still a pig-sty to him. He also makes fun of the fact that I'm overweight, and has even gone so far as to hide food from me.


He treats my mom and I like dirt, and he's constantly yelling. He leaves for work complaining about how worthless we are, and then expects a back rub from me when he gets home.

The job market is especially poor in the area where we live, and he feels like it's my fault that I don't have a job yet. I'm just an extra expense to him. I feel completely abandoned because both my older sisters left home at 17, and my mom wishes I would move out too because then there'd be less for him to yell about. Moving out is not an option, I don't have enough money and I don't have anyone I can move in with.

My only option then is to confront him about how hurtful he is. I've written letters that I've planned to leave out for him when I'm not at home, but I always lose my courage and end up ripping them up. What can I do? Has anyone ever been in a similar situation?

—Mistreated Melinda

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