I don't know whether what my father does is normal.

So I’m 13 this year. I am already getting help from my school counsellors and stuff. And my father is quite a toxic man. I’ve been caned and hit by him and my other family members. I’ve knelt outside my house crying and chanting scriptures. Been degraded to peasantry. Been forced to eat out the trash with him shoving the food down my throat. Been made to write lines over 500 times in multiple times. I’ve been through it all. He gives wild punishments and has made me want to commit suicide multiple times. I’m not going to go in any further about this. But is this normal? My view on punishments have been so warped that this is considered the norm. Anything else is child’s play. He has destroyed my sense of morality in parental love.

When i tell my friends that ive been caned since 5 and had gone through multiple near instances of threats of divorce amongst my parents. They yell out that it’s abuse. Is it? I don’t know anymore. My father had put both me and brother through hell and back. He flung books at my brother while he (bro) knelt against a wall and sobbed. My story is not the worst ones out there, but it is good enough for me.
Its just that my father also shows that he cares, i know. He buys us stuff, all the books i want, he gets them for me. Even after shattering my sense of pride and destroying my mentality and canning me 30 times as i knealt on the ground. He laughed and joked with me once i was done kneeling outside and chanting 1000 times in repent. I forget about all the things for a second. I stop crying and ignore all the pain to smile and joke with him.

I might write another one of these about my emotions. But for the moment, is this normal? Im not really going indepth with all my feelings yet. But based off this nutshell version, Is this normal?

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Heyyyy @Miizumi I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through all these… With what you’ve described, and to answer your question whether it is normal, I’m speaking from my own experience and from what I understood from people around me as well, I will say it is definitely not normal to me. And I feel it is not healthy either. No one deserves to have their sense of pride shattered or have their mentality destroyed, or to be treated in a way that causes one to have suicidal thoughts. I’m sure you feel similarly thus youre reaching out for help, so I hope to affirm you on this thought yeah!
I hope you keep yourself safe best you can and continue to reach out for help. We are here to provide you support best we can as well. Really wanna commend on your act of speaking out here too, on top of the help youre getting from school counsellors and stuff!!

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Hi @Miizumi

It sounds painful and heartbreaking to hear that you are experiencing these over the years. I think you are really strong and resilient seeing how you have been coping with your situation and such intense feelings. And I am really glad to hear that you have reached out to your school counsellors to seek support, that is so brave of you.

It sounds like you are going through a cycle of abuse from your father. Some information on this, the cycle of abuse involves four stages: building tension, an incident of abuse, reconciliation, calm (repeat). The times when he shows you that he cares would be the reconciliation stage. Also, the cycle keeps repeating itself through the years and it is definitely not healthy. When you are a victim of abuse, it can make you feel powerless, frustrated, or confused, thus finding it hard to break free from the abuse.

The fact that you are wondering if it is normal says a lot about what you feel. I would like you to trust your feelings a little more. Perhaps you have seen or heard about how other families interact with each other or received information/support from your school counsellor to help you understand more about healthy family relationships. I hope you don’t doubt yourself so much and validate your feelings. Your feelings are valid and need to be acknowledged. Often times, people who go through abuse have been manipulated to believe that they caused the abuser to be angry and getting blamed for the abuser’s behaviour. Do remember that the responsibility lies with the abuser, not the victim. No matter what you did or didn’t do, abuse is never your fault.

From your sharing, you seem to feel that this family dynamics isn’t healthy but your experiences have wired you to think otherwise. Do take time to read up about healthy family relationships or the cycle of abuse. I hope it will give you more insights about what is happening at home and help you trust yourself more.

For now, let’s try to take a step at a time to process these experiences. You may consider the following suggestions:

  1. Self-care. Make yourself a priority and focus more on your needs. Give yourself positive affirmations and encouragements. Remind yourself of your strengths and believe yourself more.

  2. Less victim blaming. It is to stop blaming yourself because you did nothing wrong. By blaming or doubting yourself, it could enable the behaviour of the abuser and it gives them the ‘right’ to punish you in their own ways.

  3. Acknowledge the actions. As hard as it might sound, these actions by your father are not right. Sometimes it can be difficult to hear that and acknowledge because you have been going through this for a long time. it takes a lot of courage to acknowledge that your father is not doing the right thing as a caregiver.

  4. Seek support. Do talk to your family members, friends or your school counsellor about your experiences and feelings. Talking helps in gaining new insights and perspective towards your situation. It may also help in validating your emotions and offer emotional support.

  5. Keep yourself safe. If possible, work out a safety plan with your school counsellor. This is in case things escalate and you are at risk of being hurt. When there is a safety plan in place, it may be easier for you to make decisions during such times.

Here are some external resources that you can reach out to as well:
National Anti-Violence and Sexual Harassment Helpline: 1800-777-0000
MSF Break the Silence: MSF | Break The Silence
PAVE: https://pave.org.sg/
AWARE Singapore: 1800-777-5555, Dealing With Family Violence | AWARE Singapore

I really hope things get better for you. Remember that you deserve and can get the necessary support you need. Do keep us updated on how you are coping, we would really like to continue to support you here on this platform.

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hey, im really sorry that youre going through this :frowning: regardless of whether or not its normal or common (which i think it isnt) its definitely not okay that youre being treated this way. i hope the help youre getting makes a difference and things change over time… while theres not much i can do i want to tell you that your emotions and your wellbeing matter and that we’re here for you

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Sounds like an extreme rollercoaster of emotions. I’m not sure whether this is normal but it sounds quite emotionally taxing for me to have to go through this repeatedly.

You mentioned that you’ve been getting help from school counsellors and other family members. What do they think?

I personally have to flag them off as unhelpful. They aren’t giving me definite answers. Though i find it nice that i can actually speak my truths without being gaslit.

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hey, im really sorry hear that. would you consider approaching msf or a family service centre for help? they might be more familiar with situations like yours

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I would say I’m too afraid to approach them. My family will ask questions on why I’m even asking for help. So it is best that I like low about stuff like this. No use pouring more gasoline into the fire. I do not want to confront them about these things at all, I’m scared.

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:frowning: thats fair, i see why you would be scared

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