Good day Dr,
I’m a 19 year old girl, the youngest of three girls. My sisters are 23 and 27. When I was 14, my dad moved to another country for work but he comes to visit from time to time. He’s generally a very reserved person and I guess that’s where I got my personality. I don’t think he’s ever directly said he loves me. Whenever he sort of does it’s in an sms and it’s worded like, “your mother and I love you”. My parents are quite strict and sometimes unreasonable. They have me under an 8pm curfew, weekend or not, but it’s not really my curfew because even if I’m not home by sunset they start calling me. If I’m at home and they know I’m there but I happen to not be in their site, they’ll call me! 😦
The reason I’m writing you is because my sister (23) is planning a trip to France and Germany and I’d really like to join her. Problem is, my parents are already not too thrilled by the idea of her travelling. They always say no basically but she goes anyway and when she gets home, my dad freezes her allowances until she apologises. Whenever she travels, she gets in a lot of trouble. My dad has disowned her several times and told her to go to hell recently just because she (very politely) told him what she felt. I never really get to do anything I want because I’m afraid to be a disappointment. Whenever I go out and meet new people then tell them I have to go because I have a curfew, they think I’m just trying to escape them and don’t call me again 😦
I’m very scared to ask him. I know my mum is ok with it but she lives in his shadow and turns on me in a heartbeat when he makes a decision. Once,my other sister told my dad that I was out ‘partying’ when I really wasn’t and my dad sent me a lengthy sms about how I should be careful lest he changes his opinion of me. I feel like he doesn’t know me at all. He has this ideal picture of me in his head.
Anyway, I’m rambling. My question is: I want to send him an email (because a phone call would be heart-wrenching) asking him if it is ok for me to travel to Europe with my sister, and I’m not sure how to word it. Please keep in mind that my dad is very volatile and doesn’t hold my sister (23) in the highest regard because he doesn’t approve of her drinking, tattoos, piercings, etc.
Thanks a lot
It seems that your dad cares for you, but doesn’t believe that you all have the ability to care for yourselves. You are at an age where if you wanted you could leave. It sounds like he uses his money as a way to have control of you. You are part of this just as much as he is. Do you want to stay in this kind of relationship? If you do then you will have to play by his rules. Your sister seems to have found an effective way to do what she wants and still stay connected with your father. You can send him an e-mail if you like, letting him know you are going. If you ask permission he will probably say no. You are an adult and now should be figuring out how to deal with your parents like an adult.