You may struggle with many unpleasant feelings if your father hurt you emotionally. Know that there is always a way to overcome the hurt and grow into a beautiful human being.
To a child, his parents are deities, and even if your father was a horrible person and a very bad parent, as a child, you must have longed for his love.
And that is quite natural, and the most important thing you should understand about the relationship between a child and his father, the younger the child, the more he is ready to do anything to preserve the relationship with his father.
The wounds inflicted on you by your parents are especially deep and painful and the hardest to heal.
A wound that does not heal is actually a trauma that shapes your character and becomes part of your identity.
To understand who you are, you have to understand what happened to you.
The very fact that you are wondering how to overcome the fact that your father hurt you shows that you are ready to see your father realistically, like any other human being, with flaws and virtues and to leave the idealized image of parents that children often have.
If your dad hurt you emotionally, know that you have all the strength that you need to overcome that.
In this article, we will lead you, step by step, to healing the wounds your father inflicted on you.
How to Cope if Your Dad Hurt You Emotionally?
#1: Don’t Blame Yourself
Regardless of the fact that you may be an adult, you will forever be a child to your father.
And a child will almost always try to justify the parents’ actions by blaming themselves for whatever the father said or did.
That’s a natural, universal defense mechanism, an attempt of the child to preserve the relationship with his father by all means.
You may be pissed off with your father and, at the same time, feel guilty for how he hurt you.
But please, understand that you deserve to have a warm, loving father, and nothing you do or are can be an excuse for your father to hurt you, discount your feelings, or neglect you.
Some people beat themselves up for being too sensitive while, in reality, they are only experiencing a normal reaction to someone’s mistreatment.
#2: Acknowledge Your Feelings
There are many ways in which your father may have hurt you. He may have said something that triggered you deeply, or he may always say nothing but behave negatively toward you.
It doesn’t matter what exactly he did. It matters how you feel.
Don’t try to frame your feelings.
You have the right to respond emotionally in the way you feel is right.
The biggest difference between a good and a bad father is not that a good father will never hurt you but that the good father will always take responsibility and seek ways to repair the relationship.
If your father dismisses how you feel and tries to minimize your reaction or the effect of his words and actions, it is natural that you feel angry, devastated, and betrayed.
The crucial thing you need to do is not repeat your father’s mistake by abandoning yourself and dismissing your own feelings.
So, step number two is to stay with your pain and acknowledge your hurt without trying to put it under the carpet or negate it.
By doing so, you will just do to yourself exactly what your father has already done to you. Don’t let him win.
#3: Don’t Push Yourself to Forgive Your Father
In a large number of texts, you will find advice on how to forgive your father if he hurts you.
As much as it is wise, sound, and noble to forgive, forgiveness is an emotional process that does not happen by force.
A man is ready to forgive only when he has healed and managed to overcome the wounds inflicted on him. That is also the moment when you can really have a meaningful conversation with your parents.
Forgiveness comes from strength and not from weakness.
A man who still feels the pain of injustice cannot be ready to forgive, nor can his forgiveness be sincere.
Allow yourself to be as angry, resentful, or sad as you need to be.
#4: Seek for Support of People Who Love You
When you are hurt, you need the comfort of the people who get you. Many people have trouble admitting they are broken and talking about it with others.
So, choose a person you feel safe with.
Not everyone can understand what you are going through, and that’s ok, but there must be at least one person who can.
It is not the talking that will make you feel better, it is the understanding, the support, and the encouragement that will provide you with a new perspective on what happened to you.
#5: Recognize What Hurt You
List the offenses your father most frequently used to hurt you. Make a note of all your beliefs about yourself, and then think about how each one came to be.
After that, concentrate on identifying the actions resulting from such beliefs and disproving them.
For instance, if your father has frequently told you that you are not smart, you may have come to believe that your intellectual capacity is limited even if you achieved a lot at school.
This notion might have impacted your grades. By seeking out the opinion of other people who also know you, your teacher, and your friends, you may find facts to confront this belief.
#6: Acknowledge Your Strengths
Find out what your strengths are. Self-hatred and low self-esteem might develop from feeling unwanted or estranged by your father.
Try to emphasize your own assets to combat these emotional issues. Even though you don’t have the necessary backing from your dad, doing something might make you feel more self-assured.
Make a list of all the things you’re good at when. Ask a close friend to assist you in coming up with strengths if you’re having problems.
Make sure your list is constantly visible by posting it on your mirror. When you find new strengths, add to them.
Note any praise you receive from others, including instructors or other responsible adults.
Then, to help yourself remember when you’re feeling down, refer to the list of compliments.
This will also help you find the strength to leave your father behind.
#7: Find Positive Role Models
Growing up with a father who is not a good role model can leave you without a sense of direction in life.
A father’s most critical role is providing leadership and moral guidance to his children.
When you miss on those, you have to pick up from people around you.
The best way to learn is through examples, so if you have some other male figure in your life that you can look up to, check if that person can be a source of inspiration and guidance for you.
Every person you meet in life can change your life for the better, so donćt exclude anyone when trying to find a positive role model.
Sometimes a great boss can make up for many mistakes your father made during your upbringing.
It is essential that you believe you deserve better than you got and actively seek what you need.
You’ll learn that there are many good people in the world who can and are willing to help without taking advantage of you for any reason. Just be open to that possibility.
#8: Accept and Move On
Facing the truth that you haven’t got what you needed from your father and that you can never fully compensate is tough.
It takes a lot of courage, and like any loss, demands from you to go through a specific grieving period.
You have to grieve the loss of the illusion that someday your father may change or understand you, that your relationship can be ideal, and all those beliefs that children often hold on to while growing up.
The sooner you come to peace with this, the sooner your healing process will begin.
Unexpected Benefits of Having a Bad Father
When you don’t have a role model, you actually have a lot of freedom to decide who you want to be.
Since you can never please your father, you are left with finding ways to please yourself, which, when you finally heal, is actually a great thing.
Self-made people often have very interesting experiences, and their knowledge and understanding of life are much deeper than those raised in happy families.
So, while growing up with a challenging father is hard, it can be a gift in disguise if you manage to overcome your wounds.