My stepdad swears and shouts at me

Dear Suzie, Help me please. My step dad came about a 2 years ago and it was alright at first but then he started swearing and shouting at us and telling us to f off constantly for the tiniest of things. And it wasnt like a joke he woulg get right up to your face and call you a bitch or whatever. And he does it loads to my younger bro (11) and i step in to protect him and then he shouts at me and i ruin everyones day… I phoned my dad about what was going on and my dad phoned my step dad and told him to stop it but my step dad told him to f off and had a go at me for phoning my dad… then one day my mum got really stressed and said she needed to go to hospital and i was alone in the house with her and she was really emotional and having a panic attack then my step dad came in and told me to shut the f up because i was crying and he made me stand out side with my baby brother in the dark until he and mum had worked out what was upsetting mum. and apparently its all my fault. apparently mums upset because we all argue and apparently its me who starts all the arguments because i step in to protect my brother. Last year a stranger in spain tried to kiss me and my mum wants to go there again but i really dont want to because it will bring beck memories… but my step dad would get so angry… and i have tole my step dad i dont like him telling us were arses and stuff and he just said \’write me a rule book then\’ and \’if im that much of a bastard i may as well leave\’ i was wondering if maybe im coupletely wrong because he says hes treating us like adults… i dunno maybe i should jst leave because i make stuff more confusing for everyone thanks 🙂

Treating you like adults? If he acted to any adult outside the family like this he would find himself in court for threatening behaviour. If your mother had the sense to call in the police because of his behaviour to herself and you, he’d find himself in court for domestic violence. This is not acceptable behaviour. There is no excuse for it and there is no way it’s your fault. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. His behaviour is his responsibility and it must stop.

I feel really sad for your Mum. Has he has beaten her – with fists or words – into a state of such fear where she cannot see what damage he is doing her children, and herself? That she got into such a state that she needed hospital admission for a panic attack is not down to you at all. But I am horrified that no doctor thought to ask her what drove her to such lengths, or offer her help. Or maybe they did, and she refused it. Maybe he has made her believe that she needs him and cannot do without him. Whatever her reason for standing by and allowing her children to be on the receiving end of such verbal brutality I don’t know. But it must stop.

Stepfamilies are difficult places to be in and I do know that adults sometimes find them hard to manage, and painful to be in. But that cannot under any circumstances excuse what this man seems to be doing.

It’s possible that he could be helped to see how truly intolerable is his behaviour. Perhaps his reason for it goes back to his own childhood and he just can’t see how monstrous it is. Perhaps if someone was able to come in and call a halt he would be prepared to go through counselling and change. Or maybe your mother simply needs to see what is going on through someone else’s eyes and tell him to straighten up or move out. If not, you and your brother should no longer have to suffer it. I have to say, from the level of anger and vicious language this man is prepared to direct at you I fear for you – I really do. You’ve just sent me another mail saying that he sometimes shoves you. ‘Shoves’ is a soft word, isnt it? You mean he’s using physical force against you. Thats’ violence. And that goes well over a line.

You need, and deserve, support and help. Talk to your Dad. Ask him to contact someone both of you can trust – a teacher perhaps, or your doctor. Your doctor or your teachers could call in a social worker or indeed the local domestic violence unit of the Police, and I do think this may be necessary. Perhaps you could go stay with your Dad for a time or another relative until your Mum is able to insist on your stepfather managing his outbursts and coming to terms with whatever is leading him to behave this way.

But please; stop thinking this is your fault. Ask for help and go on asking until you get it. And let me know what happens.

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