Dealing with an abusive, mentally ill parent

My father is somewhat mentally ill (even though there is no official diagnosis), he would think everyone is out there to harm him, has rlly bad anger issues which he would take out emotionally and physically on me and just basically his childhood trauma. He gets angry at the easiest of things. Such as saying something wrong but you don’t mean it or even your slightest actions may trigger him. It is just so overwhelming to be in the same house as him. He would treat me and my sister differently, whatever she does wrong, he will blame it on me. I’ve tried so hard in excelling in my academics, but my sister is the only child he would recongize.

But im being affected a lot. I was just a kid. I was going thro PSLE (zero support from my family btw & insane expectations). My mom was going through health problems, so I had to do ALL the chores (on top of studying) I had to cook every meal, take care of my whole family without no support whatsoever

He’s so overprotective, not even ONCE I was allowed to go out with my friends, and considering my family doesn’t regularly too. Aside school, 24/7 im stuck at home. For school competitions or field trips it takes much persuasion for me to go, since “u don’t know what kind of people there is outside”. I honestly feel like im missing out a lot in life, during holidays while my friends are going to concerts, I am going buying toilet paper or groceries. I can’t go to class reunions or my best friends birthday (heck, my parents doesn’t even know who they are)

He would take out his anger on my family, but especially me. If he is mad about something nonexistent, he will just find the stupidest things to shout at me for. If I react maturely and calmy, which will them motivate him to shout even more because he wants a reaction out of me (so that he can shout at that too). Its so bad I would hate parent-teacher meetings for school, because I know he is going to start shouting and verbally abusing my teacher, I would even be scared for them. He has also lost quite a large sum of money from gambling also, so now he would try to make me guilty for money spent on me. My school fees increase, he calls me a “spoilt brat”, he would give me money for christmas/birthdays, but make me use that to cook for my family. So at times I would just stave to save money.

I can’t really get help from school counsellors and stuff, because I know they will report him, and I will be then physically abuse again for reaching for help. It got so bad I had depression as a kid and attempted suicide.

I don’t feel safe at home. “if the law doesn’t exist, I would have killed you right now and them” he said while trying to break my leg

Dear Rachelle,

Thank you for reaching out to us again. It sounds like you have been grappling with so much since childhood. What stood out to me is your resilience and tenacity to hold on to your life, keep up with your multiple responsibilities such as your schoolwork and also household chores which have been so been unfairly laid on your shoulders due to your family dynamics. I feel a mixture of admiration and also compassion towards you because while you are strong and capable, you also deserve to feel loved, supported and safe growing up. I want to send lots of love and light to you and your younger self right now. :heartpulse:

Rachelle, please correct me if I am wrong but I believe that you have written in before about your losses and childhood trauma and counselling resources/contacts have been shared with you. Do let us know if you would like us to share them again. I would like to add on to that by encouraging you to contact the National Anti-Violence Hotline (NACH) at 1800-777-0000 at if you ever feel unsafe at home as you have expressed at the end of your post. When you call them, please share with them what you have shared with us, about the threats your father has issued, the verbal, physical and emotional abuse you have been enduring, what you do at home and also having to starve yourself sometimes just to save some money for yourself. If you are afraid or unsure for any reason, you can call in for support, resources and advice anonymously. When you have gathered enough information and made up your mind as to what to do, you can then take your desired action.

Hearing your story really breaks my heart. You have suffered so much in your life all by yourself. I want you to know that there is help out there and you have taken the first step to reach out to us. That takes a lot of courage! I want to encourage you to please continue reaching out for help and contact NAVH. Also you have mentioned that you attempted suicide before as a child. It is not surprising given how isolated and overwhelmed you must have felt back there back then. If you are feeling suicidal at any point, please call in to SOS at 1-767 or message a Samaritan via Caretext at

Remember, Rachelle, you are not alone! There are people who care about you! Take good care, northern lights.