Father, Heal Thyself



Dear Dharma,

My dad always tells other people to go to counselling when they have issues and speaks very highly about the process.

This makes me mad because he refuses to go see one himself because he thinks that he doesn’t need one.  However, in my opinion, he’s depressed, treats my mom disrespectfully and cries at night.  My grandfather was a hoarder and my father has been showing signs of this too.  My mom is getting very worried, but dad won’t listen to anybody.

Is this just one of those things where I should let go and let the Universe figure it out?  Or should I say something to him?  I tried telling him lightly before and he got very angry and started yelling and hyperventilating.

Don’t Know What to do About Dad

Dear Don’t Know,

Yes, it certainly is hard to deal with someone who sings the praises of the choir but refuses to even hum alongside.

Problem is, you can’t force someone to go to counselling if they simply won’t go.  And for whatever reason – fear, I’m guessing – your dad refuses to admit he has some very serious issues to work out.  As a result, these behaviours sound like they are starting to take over the household.

You’ve already said you’ve lightly tried to bring these problems to his attention, and you got a major overreaction.  I don’t know if anything will be accomplished by bringing it up again until you develop some different tactics.

Dharma has said on more than one occasion that while you can’t change the behaviours of others, you surely can take steps in adjusting your own, and that’s where I would start.

Don’t know if your mother would be agreeable, but I think it’s time for everyone to take your father’s advice and seek a family counsellor – with or without your padre. If you can create a united front in learning how to best deal with the anger, disrespect and possible hoarding, you may be able to affect some change in the home as a whole.

Even if you have to go alone, I really think you should.  If nothing else, you will be given some strategies to help you get through living at home in these conditions until you no longer have to.

Sending positive thoughts your way…



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