TW: This article discusses abuse and trauma, please read with caution.
Though the patriarchy has made it a point to ridicule and exploit women who have ‘Daddy issues,’ the steering truth is that it has a terrible affect on women’s mental health. So, we’d like to counter the sexism behind all those distasteful daddy issues jokes and share these confessions by women on Reddit about how having a father with anger issues has impacted them. Perhaps this’ll sensitise people to how deep the emotional wounds are.
1. “I became significantly non-confrontational, since I internalized the idea that, ‘No matter what, I would never win an argument,’ which turns into ‘No matter what, I will never win.’ I didn’t really heal from that. The only progress I’ve made on that front is simply get old enough to give less of a shit. I have, on the rare occasion, found the bravery to call people out on their bullshit.”
2. “Yeah that feeling you get if you argue back. No matter how relevant, well thought out and logical your argument is, he’ll just respond by hitting you. My mum telling me ‘You wind him up.’ What’s the point of anything but concession?”
3. “I went away and didn’t call at all for like 3 months. He called and asked why. I said, ‘Why should I? You yell at me. I can’t have a conversation with you where you listen to me so why start one?” He then said ‘So what, you’re going to cut me out of your life?’ I said, ‘I’ve already cut you out and I don’t miss you.’
Apparently he cried after that for like the 5th time in his life (wonder where the anger came from lol). Then he went through some transformation where he’s become this giant teddy bear.”
4. “We become angry daughters.“
5. “I focus on therapy now that I am in my 30s and realised how my father’s anger manifested itself in my family’s life. My mum is defeated, my brother and I have minimised contact with my dad, my sister lives her adult life as a scared woman. I don’t wish the best for my dad to say the least.“
6. “I’m the scared daughter with panic disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. I minimize contact with my dad. I’m an overly loving mother and it breaks me every time I am close to losing my temper. I’ve spent years in therapy unable to stop my temper. I’m now on three medications for depression and anxiety daily.”
7. “Therapy. I still get anxious around loud, angry men… but, therapy has helped me learn that he is gone now and the past can no longer hurt me.”
8. “I still flinch at loud angry voices, or even just raised voices, but I haven’t had him in my world for more than 15 years and I’m all the better for it.”
9. “I didn’t spend much time with him after I had my kids. He was a hateful man. I didn’t want my boys to be around someone so toxic. And he didn’t care about being a grandfather. It wasn’t until the end of his life that he became less angry at everything and okay to be around.”
10. “Idk, maybe I have anger issues, I swear at work when things don’t go the way I wanted. Never at someone but out loud. I don’t have patience with technology, if it doesn’t work I sometimes have to fight the urge to throw it at the wall.”
11. “I decided when I was very young that I would never let myself become angry like my father. He would escalate the smallest things to yelling for no good reason, catastrophising things that were mainly just parts of everyday life. He looked ridiculous to me, as though he were making a fool of himself, even though I was afraid of him at the same time.
I learned how to express myself and explain my ‘side’ of things. I clung to reason and logic when my father went off the handle in fits of emotion. Deep down, I foolishly thought that if I could reasonably explain my behaviour, then he would not be as mad.”
12. “It did a lot emotional damage, but at the same time, it made me a better parent. I know what having a parent full of rage does to a child, so I was very calm, communicative, patient loving and understanding with my son.“
Clearly, having an angry parent has a serious impact on our behaviour and mental health.