View Full Version : My dad never spends time with me anymore.

November 7th, 2016, 07:18 PM
I'm a 15 year old girl, with a good life. I have great friends, married parents, and I really shouldn't be complaining about anything right now. I have so much to be thankful for. However, I am feeling very confused.

My dad is a good man. He was once a pastor, with his own church just a few houses down our road. My childhood was great. Because he worked so close to home, he had lots of down time to spend with my mom, older sister (9 years older than me) and myself. I remember it well. And I loved it.
The church, however, began to die after a few years. He was forced to resign, and got a job at Meijer. He still works there now. His hours aren't the best. He goes to work anywhere from 12am-6am, and doesn't get home until afternoon. Then he normally goes to bed after supper. He has days off twice a week. Sometimes only once.
Anyway, I understand that his work schedule isn't flexible. I know he's always tired because of waking up so early. But... Still. Shouldn't he at least make an effort to spend time with my mom and I on his days off (my sister lives with her boyfriend now)? He always stays at home then, hardly ever going outside. He's always on the computer, playing games or arguing intensely with other religions on Facebook. Right now he's in a heated battle with Catholics (We're of the United Brethren denomination). I just don't know what I should do. I feel like this isn't a big deal, that I shouldn't be selfish and say he's in the wrong, but... I still feel like I'm invisible to him. Just five minutes ago, I asked him if he wanted to sit down and watch his favorite movie, Gladiator, with me. He said no, and sounded frustrated, even though this is the first time I've asked. He's on the computer. Doing what, I cannot say. He always yells at me to go away if I try to see what he's doing. I can only ever coerce him into doing something with me if my mom comes along. Other than that, I have to beg him. And by then, he's so mad about my continuous asking, that he's in a bad mood, so neither of us enjoy ourselves doing whatever it is we do.

Please. Tell me what to do? I just want things to go back to how they were, with the picturesque family spending time together. Not yelling and ignoring each other for the sake of arguing with others on the Internet.

November 8th, 2016, 07:54 PM
I feel for you and understand how you feel. In todays fast moving world with a smaller market for good jobs a lot of people have to take the best job available to them. I would guess your dad works very hard and tries getting as many hours as he can to take care of your family. Working nights is completely opposite of what our bodies and minds are used to. You do get so tired and both physically and mentally challenged by this. Especially with not getting a good sleep and not enough hours makes for being moody. You also have to understand that your dad needs his relaxing time to clear his mind and rest his body doing something he enjoys. You will just have to be patient and try get as much quality time as you can. I know that isn't much consolation but sometimes what happens in families to get by and survive is hard. Hang in there and good luck.

November 10th, 2016, 06:17 AM
I don't think you are in the wrong for feeling the way you do at all. It's completely understandable that you want your dad to be a part of your life, and right now he might as well never be home. You speculate that you both have no idea what he does online, but also that it may be fighting with other religions. Perhaps he feels he isn't able to fulfil what he feels was an important aspect of his life, so is insecure about his faith. That would explain why he gets so angry and hateful, but that is a byproduct of religion - especially when everyone around you isn't believing the exact same thing. Religion brings out the worst in normally good people, it's only seen as 'positive' when you are in a group of like-minded individuals, and it is easier to ignore others.

As for what you can do, it seems like you've really tried to get him to reconnect and spend time together. It is a big deal, it does matter, YOU matter. You are more important than any god or work, you are here, unique and special. If he is unable to see that then that is his loss. But it is yours too. It's okay to be upset, more than okay. You deserve to be loved and to be shown it.

The only thing I can think of is maybe writing a letter to him, leaving it on the keyboard. It takes courage to make yourself vulnerable like that, he could get angry or not understand, but at least you'd have a chance to outline how you feel. Show the empathy you have displayed in your message here about his work, but mainly talk about how you want him to be a bigger part of your life. Remind him of how you used to be, outside of the church (it seems a bitter subject), of how close you used to be. Try to explain what he is missing out on.

I really wish you luck, please let me know if I can help more or what happens,

~ Clara

November 10th, 2016, 06:54 PM
Thank you both. You really are a big help ^.^ <3

November 10th, 2016, 07:19 PM
Spend some time to speak with him by opening up how you feel. If you tell him you're sad, he should find a way to make you happy. If you request to spend time with him and you again, then he should plan something for just the two of you. You'll never know what to do until you try something yourself. Don't be afraid to open up, since you two are close, he'll respect your feelings and be open with you as he was before.

Sometimes his job could get in the way, so while he's busy supporting his family, remember that he has to do something to keep you fed and sheltered. It may not look like it, but he's really trying, don't be afraid if he says no, but try to reason with him and see if things could return back to normal between you both. :)

Muddy Sneakers
November 17th, 2016, 09:02 PM
You are right to be upset and it sounds like he's the problem, not you. You didn't talk about your mom. I bet she's not happy with the situation either. Can you talk to her about your feelings? Is there some way at a family event that you and your mom can talk to your dad in a way that won't cause him to blow up and get defensive? Don't blame him just tell him how much fun it is when he watches shows with you etc.

November 18th, 2016, 05:13 AM
He's irritable for sure, to the point where he's beginning to preach the word of god, to a fault of neglecting to follow the word of God.

Part of this is that he needs sleep.