Join Date: Jul 2012
| | verbal/mental abuse? Farm work and family
Hey everybody, I first off want to say that I do not plan to use this post as means of venting (we all know, that's what facebook is for! :P ), as I am specifically here to gain further information and advice regarding this specific situation. As an overthinker, I feel as though jotting down some ideas on paper is always helpful, although this time I feel I should have somebody else give their 2 scoops.
Some upfront information about myself is I am a 21 year old who currently attends a big 10 university. I am studying agriculture business (yet still undecided on a specific major/path of life). I am attending this university because my brother did so in the past and I felt as if it would be a solid "life choice", although honestly I feel as if the education system seems to reel in far more money than any student may benefit from such an education (a completely different topic!)
Although I attend college in the spring/fall, I usually spend all my summers, and summers prior to this one, working on our family farm. This is a pretty big farm and we do anywhere from 1200-1500 acres. Unfortunately, with running farms this big, there is massive amounts of work which seems to run our families life, and I believe in a negative way. I have worked over 50 hours this week alone, and my father still does not believe that this is satisfactory.
After unloaded 200 bales of hay and straw into a barn (where I obviously did the physically intensive part) with my father he decided that it would be a great time acknowledge the fact that I had been working inconsistently. (9am, 10am, 12 pm, etc.) yet still putting 8+ hours in each day, and this conflict erupted into an ugly "you go to hell", "f*** you I worked all day today" ...and "you're a ****** son because you have a DUI", which is in fact true. One night after dealing with all the blaze that goes on within our home I got belligerently drunk which resulted in an unconscious trip to jail. As I take ALL responsibility for my actions, it is still shoved down my throat constantly, when I realize the real penalty that I have paid (job industry, car insurance, etc.). Since the incident I have not drank a single ounce of alcohol (although this is one of those days where I feel I would do such a thing). Instead, I'm jotting all of this down and sending it your way.
My mother deals with this hard, and it is just not me that gets ripped on constantly, my brother does as well, who also lives at home. He works constantly at Deloitte accounting firm and has a well paying job, he also starts/and also gets involved with the very verbally abusive fights that go on in the household.
Away from this house, I am an inspiring and fun-loving human being (well atleast I think so?). I have a beautiful 1/2 Asian, 1/2 American girlfriend who is undoubtedly my best friend. It happened as though we were much better friends before we started dating... and then one night (oops :P ). I feel as if my parents are never able to see this side of me that I would love to show them (my mom see's this side of me because she is actually caring, and not obsessed with working on the farm). I treat mom as a goddess, hugs and kisses, "thanks for the food mom, it was great", because it's true, she deserves it. She cooks, she cleans, and if I allowed her to she would even wash my clothes (I do this myself).
The fight today started as "hey, I need to talk to you about your inconsistent (hard) work". I replied with (as I saw this fight being provoked against my will) "yeah, I actually need to go meet a guy about selling some of my old hockey gear, think we can talk about it later?" - said in the most respectful of voices, but I was answered with "NO. This needs to be nipped in the A-S-S now". My dad is a hard headed farm, mind you he is not dumb, but he has a temper. He continually verbally degrades me as I try to defend myself with facts of how much I have worked, how ****** I am, and how I don't do anything right. I know that all of these things are not true, and I try to continue to strengthen my relationship with my dad, but it always ends up in disaster. He limits me to have a /very/ slim social life, consisting of "yeah maybe you can see Lina later" (my girlfriend). This is hard because I value my relationships with people outside of my family and I feel it creates much more happiness in my life, as well as perspective, as in, "wow, I guess there are some great people out here", and I let these people know how much they make in my life (in a totally not creepy way).
My dad claims that the work we do here on the farm cannot be a 9-5 job. Therefore, there is no consistency, yet this is how I am nagged at for. I compromised by saying I will work every single day, 9-5pm and then after that I would like to have an independent life away from the house.
As I do like being apart of the farm, I do not understand my dads ethics. He has an extreme obsession with the farm and an ego to with it (I have a bit myself as well, what do you know, I am his child). He said that this was impossible and that it his way or the highway. He threatened to kick me out (as always, but he needs me), and said mocked me for eating "their" food. I suppose I am no longer as to eat the families food, which most of it comes from our garden. Despite that fact, every morning I make him an extremely healthy smoothie, and one for myself. I bring this out to him, or have it waiting in the fridge EVERY single day, he literally cooks NONE of the food in this household, yet I am punished for consuming the families food and providing him with a much more nutricious mix of the food that is already present on our farm. Mind you, I am 151 pounds, 6', so as you can see, I am a twig. It is hard for me to believe that I would be doing any serious damage to the supply in the house, although I am ENTIRELY respectful that it is his food.
I guess what I am getting at is that I am living with a man that wants me available 24/7, and to have no social life (besides the time I get to use facebook, which is limited), and to commit myself to being his slave drone. Mind you he does pay me $8/hour, but rarely do I see the money, and there is always a constant nagging about the fact that I was paid for the work that I actually did, which is usually ALOT. I do not ask for money from my parents, and I have supported myself as individually as I can from selling old hockey equipment, old birthday presents, and entirely anything extra I can find from the dump that is indeed, our basement. He yells at some of our other employees for being "late" or not showing up when they are as young as 16 or 17, and wonders why they don't want to return? I mean honestly, who would, working for this man?
I feel level headed about the whole situation, but I am started to feel that it would be entirely hopeless to live it out in this household in peace. There is so many things that I can't explain, and with 4 people here that are extremely smart, things get extremely "mind fu**ed" and confusing. Everybody is against everybody, even when I try to bring some happiness and joy to the family. I suggest watching a funny movie, but then when we are watching it, it turns extremely awkward, or "we don't want to watch this, what a horrible movie". Or doing something as inviting somebody else into our home (to bring something new, upbeat, and happy), but it almost always looked at is a negative thing. They are extremely pessimistic about anything/everything and I am trying not to obtain these attributes, although most of what I have already said in this post exemplifies these traits.
I suppose that I feel out of options. I am extremely excited to be going back to school in the fall, but I will be here another month. I depend on them because my school is paid for with the MET (michigan education trust fund). They bought this when I was very young, and now I am using it for college, therefore, I depend on them for education. I know that is not very long, and I tell myself that I am able to "stick it out", but somehow I am ALWAYS dragged back into these situation in which all 4 family members scatter off and hate eachother. I am looking to create a better bond between the family, and see my dad take some time away from the farm and spend it with his family (in a positive way).
My childhood growing up was all fighting, between my mom and my dad. My brother and I would sit in our room as these two would verbally and mentally abuse eachother until their was nothing left. At one point, my mother attempted suicide, but failed, and I am very thankful that she has lived. My brother and I would just sit in our rooms crying hoping for it to end, and when it did, it felt as if this house was a jail cell still. There was nowhere to go, and no way to see our friends, therefore, we were doomed.
I feel as if there is MUCH to live for, I have seen it, with my own two eyeballs. There are great lives out there that I aspire for and wish to someday raise my own children in that light (not in the near future). I feel as if I have potential and that without them I could still bring a bright future (although, I do not want it to be this way, I want everybody to be happy)
Since then, not much has changed still. I just wanted to type these thoughts down as they came up and see what somebody else had to say about all these situations. I am going to stop here, and go eat a banana. If you read this far, thanks in advance, and I hope to hear back from you.