Extremely strict dad won't let me work at 19. Is this abuse?
I have never had a job in my life. In fact when people ask me what do I do, I just tell them that I am "unemployed at the moment" because I am embarrassed to be blunt and say "well I would like to work, but my dad doesn't allow me to work."
Not only is my father extremely strict but he also is paranoid and overprotective, thinking that the "worldly influences" will "mess me up".
I cannot go to college, and that's something I would love to do. However it's another thing on his list that I cannot do; for one, he thinks that I'll knock up everyone there (or get myself pregnant), and that, again, I will be influenced by "the world." I cannot leave the house either, and since I do not know many people outside of the house (I was homeschooled, VERY sheltered) or have many real life friends, it's hard to use the excuse that I want to hang out with them. But in all honesty, he wouldn't let me do that anyway. Forget about "staying over" with them. In fact, he says the only way I can and will ever leave this house is if I get married. I don't even want to do that nor do I want to wait that long. Hell, I don't even want to get married!
And most importantly he will not allow me to work. Yet he calls me "lazy" and "selfish" every chance that he gets, and yells at me. My self esteem has tremendously plummeted, and at this point I feel like no matter what I do, it will never be enough for him. So I went to my room and took a lot of pills and made a few cuts in my skin.
I am 19 years old...I can't even have a job because he said that I have a "bad attitude", even though he pushed me to that point because he doesn't acknowledge or appreciate the work/chores that I do around the house, and he consistently yells, demeans, and lets me know what else I'm doing "wrong." He treats me like shit, even though I show nothing but respect to him; also calling him "sir" and being obedient. Being the best child and daughter that I can be. He has also threatened to whip me because of this.
I do not have a driver's license (therefore no car), and I've tried to stand up to him but he always sees it as me "talking back" to him when it's nothing more than me trying to defend myself.
I feel trapped and stuck... essentially under "house arrest." And all I do now is stay in my room until it's time to clean up again. I am severely depressed and I feel hopeless. He is sheltering me and keeping me from the world, and I do not know what to do. And I do not want to resort to ending my life but at this point, I feel like it's the only way out for me.
Add on: I have thought of leaving late at night by my basement or the window-- or doing so early in the morning, OR when my family is out somewhere; calling an Uber or my friend to drop the car off so I can pack my things. Plan b was to call the cops then someone to help me pack my things, IF my family were present. With the cops there they can't stop me. But I don't know if that's a bad idea or not. I have my social security card, birth certificate, GED graduate certificate, ID, debit card, and pepper spray. Is there anything I'm missing? I want to bring a lot of bags because I have a lot of clothes and other necessities. But I'm not sure if I'm going to have to sacrifice some things and not bring so much so I can escape smoothly. As for places to stay...I'm not exactly sure yet. Especially since I don't really have any money. So the places to stay is also another lingering thought. Is there anything else I should know?
I suggest you get an agency involved. You are being abused and held without your permission.
Call Adult Protective Services and ask for a home visit.
Is there an adult who can stand up to your father? A relative or pastor, Dr. or nurse you know?
You must get a support team in place before you take off. You must have a place to go and means of support.
Hi, I feel like, I’m my opinion, getting Adult Protective Services involves could do more harm than good. Especially if my dad were to say that nothing was wrong- they leave, I’m faced with him, and his punishments, then I could blow my chance of escape and that is frightening. He could take all of my devices away and I would end up even more stuck.
To answer your question, I do not have anyone that could stand up to him. Unfortunately most of my family hold the same views as him.. and we kinda moved to an area where we are away from everything that were familiar.
I thought of calling the cops, but I’m also afraid that that could do more harm than good. I only have one friend in the area, but I’m not sure about her. I was even suggested calling a women’s shelter, and that’s my best bet for now I guess? I can’t afford an apartment or a place of my own yet, and I also thought of sneaking and staying with the neighbors until I am settled. What’s your opinion on that?
Thank you in advance
A professional needs to be brought in to help you figure out your next steps.
Call your local women’s health center or abuse center.
Brought into the house? I'm so afraid and not sure that it's a good idea.😞
Hello the best thing to do is first look for the closest women’s shelter to you and contact them they are here for you. They may have services to come and get you from your house and bring you to their safe facility. They are the place to start to gain your independence. Like getting a job and furthering your education. Also there is the national domestic abuse hotline you can chat with online or by their phone number 1−800−799−7233 they are also a good place to start to get more info on what to do.
Yes, you are being abused. You are an adult and are legally free to do whatever you want without his approval or acceptance. You should leave. Please contact your local women's shelter or domestic violence/abuse center and explain your situation. Tell them you are looking to escape and you do not have and therefore need a place to stay. Ask if they can offer that for you or if they can point you to a resource.
If you truly want to escape him you need to be prepared to be uncomfortable for a little while (meaning sleeping on a friend's couch or at a women's shelter). Apply for a learner's permit and find someone to teach you to drive. Ask if a driving school is willing to give you a discount because of your situation. Take your birth certificate and SS card and go apply for a job. Try fast-food or a grocery store. Be honest that you have not had a job but that you are willing to work hard and looking for someone to give you a good start.
DO NOT under any circumstances call the police or tell your dad you plan to leave. The police are not on your side when it comes to things like this. Leave in the middle of the night. Pack enough to fit in one bag. Take essential documents, laptop, phone, pictures, keepsakes. Do not tell your relatives where you are going. Have a trusted friend pick you up in the middle of the night. Leave and go live your life. Also ask the shelter about free counseling services. You will need counseling to rebuild your self-esteem. There is no answer other than to leave, or else you will be stuck like this for the rest of your life and you only have one life to live. Good luck.