Love, Life Stories

My father doesn’t seem to love me – and I don’t know why

No matter how much we argue, there's nothing I crave more than his friendship and support.

For years, I’d always been Daddy’s little girl.

He would spoil me with sweets and gifts when I was younger, and even as I got older, he’s never failed to give me everything that I’ve ever wanted and more. He may love me, but we can’t find a way to put aside our differences and get along, no matter how hard I’ve tried.

I can’t help but admire his hard work ethic and all the sacrifices he’s made upon coming to this country with almost nothing. My dad is my biggest inspiration, and everyday I aspire to be half the person he is. But recently, it seems like although I make the effort to talk to my father about something serious, the conversation always takes a 180-degree turn into an argument.

Both of us are very similar people, but instead of getting along perfectly, we clash very often. I can’t tell you the number of over the top, heated arguments that I’ve gotten into with him. We have many of the same bad qualities, such as how stubborn we are, our temper, and our aggression. 

The worst part is, our fights are always over something miniscule. It comes to the point where I question why I’m even trying to have a normal conversation with him. There’s his way, and then there’s my way. And although in some instances I may be correct, he can’t seem to see things from my perspective.

Every time we’ve gotten into a fight, I leave weak, emotionless, and numb. All I want is a healthy relationship with my father, but at this point, it seems impossible. I wonder how long this will go on for, or if, when I leave for college in a few months, this will change altogether.

I’ve noticed that the older and more mature I become, the more I stray away from large arguments. I feel like things are slowly patching themselves up the way they used to. But when we do get into fights, it’s not a pretty sight.

I can’t help but feel like every time we get into a fight, he begins to hate me more and more. I’ve made my fair share of bad decisions as a child, and whenever I make another one I feel like I’m being judged by my own parent.

Over the past few years, I’ve felt a dangerous distance from him.

I’ve never felt like I could talk to him, or even my mother, about just anything. I envy my peers who have those kinds of relationships with their parents. But it’s different with my father because I almost fear talking to him about anything.

I distinctly remember one week where every night we would get into some type of discussion gone wrong or heated argument. And honestly, these killed me.

Not just because there was nothing I hated more than fighting with my father, but because I would spend the entire night just crying thinking of what I had done wrong and then I would spend the following school day with red, puffy eyes, and a migraine.

It’s ironic because my first instinct when I get home from school or work is to greet my father and then go about my business. And while I still do that, it seems like I try harder and harder not to talk to him. I figure that the more I avoid talking to him, the fewer arguments we will get into and the less he’ll hate me.

My relationship with my father hasn’t just taken an emotional toll on me but has affected me physically. Time after time I’ve gone to school feeling worthless and depressed, all because of a stupid argument between me and my father. People would constantly tell me that I looked tired or sad, and I wouldn’t even know how to respond.

Instead, I would put a smile on my face and pretend it was all okay.

I’ve even had suicidal thoughts in the past because I thought I was simply a burden in his life. Sometimes I feel like he would rather be just become independent from me and live life completely on my own. 

The only thing that seems to bring me and my father together is reminiscing over old memories with relatives, or talking about my career goals and plans for the future. It makes me feel like I have a stereotypical Asian father who only really cares about the success of his children. 

What I don’t think my father seems to understand is that I genuinely want his support and compassion. We share many of the same positive qualities as well, such as our generosity and our intelligence. But I wish he would find a way to understand my life choices and advise me as opposed to arguing with me.

Everything I want to pursue in the future as far as my career goals are for my parents, especially my father. I want to be successful to make him proud, and to be able to give back to my parents as much as I possibly can.

And no matter how he treats me, that will never change.