Dear Abby: I’m a 34-year-old man who lives with my father, who is 76 years old. I’m currently without a job, but when I have one, I buy food and whatever else is needed for the house. I believe I’m doing my fair share.
I love my father dearly, but I can’t stand him as a person. He can be very rude and verbally abusive. He has told people we know very personal things about me. When we’re visiting family, if I ask for something to eat or drink, he’ll answer, “No! You don’t need anything.” (I can tell that the relatives are annoyed by him, too.)
Dad played a major role in ruining a relationship with a woman I was dating. I don’t invite any of my new friends over because I know he’ll have something sarcastic to say. He also accuses me of not doing any cleaning around the house, but he fails to notice that I have done it at night while he was asleep.
I rarely converse with him because we have nothing in common. He takes almost no interest in what I have to say, even when I tell him about something I saw on TV. He says, “Well, you shouldn’t be watching that.” I keep my mouth shut because I need a place to live, but day by day, more and more, my rage is building, and I want to tell him off. Help, please. – Living with a Tyrant
Dear Living: Do not tell him off. Although you may be living “rent-free,” you are paying plenty for the “privilege” of staying under his roof. It appears your father resents having you there as much as you dislike being there. Do whatever you can to find a job. When you do, save every penny. And, for the sake of your self-respect, move out as quickly as possible so you can start living a normal life. You may need to find a roommate, but anything would be better than this.
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