SINGAPORE: A young man turned to social media for help when he reached a point where he could no longer tolerate his father’s abusive behavior. “How do I deal with my abusive father?” he wrote on r/askSingapore on Sunday (April 7).

In his post, he talked about the mental and physical abuse he had received throughout the course of his life, including instances when his father became enraged about seemingly insignificant things like “forgetting to close a window or forgetting to remind him about something.”

“When my siblings and I were younger, he would often slap or kick us when he got angry (he claims it his right to do so as a parent),” the young man said.

While the abuse lessened after he entered Secondary school, his father would still frequently “shout and scream” over the smallest things that set him off.

This caused him to be constantly anxious, as he felt compelled to choose his words and tone carefully to avoid enraging his father.

Unlike his friends, who looked forward to returning home at the end of the day, he dreaded it because it meant going back to the routine of walking on eggshells around him to keep the peace in the house.

Moreover, the young man also shared that his father made them “report their locations at all times” and dictated “when and why they could leave the house.”

“Although I’m able to make a number of friends in school, I’m not able to maintain any of the friendships because I need to go home early on weekdays and cant meet anyone on the weekends,” he added.

Despite enduring such abuse, his father shifted the blame onto them, claiming his actions were merely responses to their behavior and asserting that he was just “doing his job as a parent.”

With university starting in six months, he is considering leaving home to avoid his father. He is hesitant, however, because he sees the money spent on rent as an opportunity for future investments, such as a BTO.

“The earlier you set boundaries, the better”

Singaporean Redditors encouraged him to move out of their home and become independent, saying that while doing so would have financial consequences, it would give him peace. One Redditor said, “You can’t put a price on mental health.”

Another commented, “The earlier you set boundaries, the better.

By the time you are thinking of getting married, it will be easier to put your foot down on things because trust me, he will feel entitled to the right to veto whatever he doesn’t “approve” of.

I moved out of home 13 years ago and till today the mother is still tormenting me with her narc behaviour, but it is my fault that I only learnt to set boundaries and stand up to her in the last few years.”

Several Redditors also opened up about their experiences in the comments section.

One Redditor shared, “I’m in a similar situation as you except it’s my mother who is the perpetrator and a narcissist. my mental health is awful but i’m also strapped on cash to be able to rent in Singapore and sustain myself for a long period of time.

What helps me is just avoiding her. (eat at a different time, i stay in my room/out a lot when I was studying, i don’t interact with her at all.”

Another Redditor wrote, “I am in the same, if not worse, position. For me is the mother. I never went out with friends till I was in Uni. If my friends want to hang out, they would have to come over to the house…

My sisters and I are expected to pay the house bills grocery bills give pocket money (technically everything financial) when we were made to suffer as children.

They have zero retirement plans. Cpf empty. Bank empty. And are alrdy burdening us with healthcare, etc and will continue to do so till they die. My advise OP? Leave. Leave if you have the strength and courage to. I wish I did.”

Others, however, disagreed, stating that it would be better if he endured his father’s treatment for a little longer and saved the money for the BTO.

That way, he could take his sibling with him, move out, and have their own place away from their abusive father.

In the meantime, they advised him to save as much as he could and work part-time to increase his savings.

Read also: Young man says he is being disowned by his father “because he used his toilet without cleaning it”