My father rarely gets angry, but when he does, he gets extremely violent. What do I do?



My father keeps abusing my mother. The first physical fight happen when I was two years old. My other sisters were a few years older, so they remember it better then I do. My father was very kind and treated my mother nicely, but his attitude changed after they got married. He was very irritable and wanted full control over my mother. He wouldn't let her leave the house and made it clear that her place was in the kitchen. Basically he treated her like a maid. My eldest sister was diagnosed with cancer while a child. My mother had to leave my other sister with my father. She was a handful. My father didn't know how to discipline or have enough patience to care for her. He would lose his temper and ended up beating her. My mother couldn't watch her because my other sister was in critical health and needed so one to stay with her at the hospital.

After a while my sister was finally well enough to come home and soon after I was born. For some reason my father took a liking to me and I became he's favorite little girl. My father was very good to me and he never hit me. He would take me places and buy me things. We had a lot of fun together he was my best friend and we were very close.

I didn't know about the abuse and how badly he'd treated my mother and sister. He'd acted like a completely different person around me. For the first 15 years of my life I've lived a happy 'fairy tale' life free of the bad memories that my sister had to live with (my eldest sister, because of the chemo, doesn't remember much and isn't able to talk about it.) Throughout my life I was plagued by a dark memory. I couldn't remember what it was, but when every my parents would argue I would get an uneasy feeling.

During my freshmen year, my parents when out on the motorcycle. My eldest sister was home, and I was watching my infant niece. I got her to bed and fell asleep around midnight. At 3:00 I was woken up by the sound of breaking glass and banging noises. At first I thought we were being robbed. I grabbed a hammer, which I kept by my bed, and opened my door. I saw my mother and she looked at me and told me to get back in my room. I handed her the hammer and locked my door. I didn't see my father yet -- he had ran outside when I opened my door. My mother followed him outside, but he came back inside through the porch door and started banging on my sister's door. He yelled at her and ended up punching the door so hard that it left a dent. He then locked himself in my parent's bedroom. My niece started screaming and my mother and I ran to her. I picked her up and my mother told me to put her in the car, we needed to leave because father had gone crazy. My mother was so angry at him that she began hitting the door with the hammer. Meanwhile I got my sister to put my niece in the truck and then called my other sister.

My mother came back and told me to get in the car, but I refused to leave. This was our home. I didn't want to leave. I was starting to go crazy, running around my room trying to find my phone and call someone to come help me. My mom had to grab me and held me down. I refused to leave until she explained what was going on. She told me about what my father had done, how he abused her and even tried to kill her. She told me she was afraid of him. I was in shock, but did what I was told. We get everyone loaded up and went to my grandparents' house after my other sister got home. When we got to the house my and got everyone settled, my mother and I fell asleep together.

She apologized to me and then I remembered what happened all those years ago. I was so young at the time, but I could remember seeing my mother at my grandparents' house lying in bed with bruises all over her. She was crying and I was crying, but I couldn't understand why and we fell asleep together. It was horrifying! That bad memory was so similar to this new real life nightmare. After a while things settled down and my father apologized for what he did, so we came back home. Things turned back to normal. I started to forget about the big fright and soon I became a senior. I would get really stressed out when ever my parents would leave together and I would think to myself 'will it happen again?' but it never did. Things were looking up, and I was starting to feel happy again.

Then another nightmare. My parents went out and got into an argument. My sister had let someone drive her car, and they messed it up. My dad was really angry about it, but was taking things too far. My mom was trying to talk to him about it, but then the talking turned violent. I'm not to sure what happen, but my mother told me she tried to run away and fell in the woods. Some people found her and took her home. She came home with a cut on her arm, blood on her face and a black eye. At first she told me that she had fallen down and couldn't remember what happened. Then she told me that my father lost his temper, threw her on the ground, and then jumped her. The people that where there pulled him off of her, she ran away fell down passed out and was then carried home. My father hit her so hard that she lost her memory for a little while and left a horrible bruise on her face.

I am disgusted with my father! He broke his promise and hurt my mother again. He also hurt me and the rest of the family. I used to love him. He was good to me, but he isn't safe to be around. I'm afraid that he'll kill my mother or worse. I don't know what to do and I know my mother is afraid of him and is too scared to get help. I want to help my mother. She is such a nice women and is the best mom in the world! I couldn't ask for a better mom and she doesn't deserve this -- NO ONE deserves this!

Please help use! I need to know what to do!

Thank you, and I apologize for writing such a long message.


Since you believe your mother is an abuse victim, the best thing you can do for her is to contact one of the many abuse shelters to ask for help. Likely your mother will not leave either because she is afraid of being on her own or because she is convinced that it won't happen again.

Whether she leaves or not, you and your sisters should consider moving out into your own homes. That might give your mother the courage to join you.

In regards to your dad, encourage him to get counseling at your church.

Thank you for the advice.