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September 12, 2017
By you desk

I am a university going student and I have been suffering from severe depression for quite some time. In fact, I was a quiet and timid child because I was scared of my father.

Dear Nadine,

I am a university going student and I have been suffering from severe depression for quite some time. In fact, I was a quiet and timid child because I was scared of my father. Even now I feel afraid in his presence. My mother died shortly after my birth due to some complications during labour. My father, who loved my mother very much, holds me responsible for her death. He talks to me only when it is necessary. He is not cold towards my older siblings. With them, he is very loving and caring, which hurts me and I feel an inferiority complex because of this disparity in his behaviour between me and my siblings. When I was a child, he even used to beat me, but stopped doing that when my aunt spoke to him about it. My maternal aunt is the only relative, except my siblings, who knows how my father treats me because she saw a bruise on my body and asked me about it when I was seven. She told me to be brave and patient and always show respect to my father. So I tolerated everything hoping my good behaviour would melt his heart. So far, it’s not happened. My siblings are all right with me. They are not very friendly as they are considerably older than me. My older sister is eight years my senior and the oldest is 11 years older than me. My sisters are now married and my only brother is about to get married. Few weeks back, I perked up the courage to ask him why he dislikes me and he said I remind him about my mother’s death. I have kept quiet for there is no solution to my problem. I have lost confidence in myself. When my own father hates me, why should anyone love, or even like me? I am even losing interest in my studies and as a result my GP has fallen in the last two semesters. I cannot even share my problems with anyone, because I have literally no one close to me. Please help me.

Disturbed Daughter

Dear Disturbed Daughter,

Despite being treated so unfairly, you have shown great maturity in dealing with your circumstances so far. Not many girls could have lived under these conditions without becoming rude or aggressive. Since there is a considerable age gap between you and your siblings, your mother probably was not young enough to have a safe pregnancy.  Someone, probably your maternal aunt, should point out this medical fact to your father. You should try to bridge the gap between yourself and your older sisters. While growing up, a difference of eight years can be big. But once one grows up, years don’t matter, only mental compatibility and rapport decide relationships.

Anyway, the time which was really hard for you when you were growing up, is already passed. Now that you are a grown up young lady, you can understand the reason behind your father’s unreasonable behaviour. You can try to talk to him, and get it across that you were the one who suffered the most, as you not only lost your mother, but grew up without your father’s love. For now, you should concentrate on your studies, so you can have a career in case you need to become independent in the future. I just hope that your father realises his mistake and make amends. Keep up your courage till you can have a home of your own. I am sure God will reward you for your forbearance with a good future. Good luck!