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First, I want to say a) sorry for the length of the post, and thanks very much for all who read, since this topic is something that has tormented me (literally) for almost my whole damn life. I'm not going to lie, posting this much about myself makes me wicked nervous for some reason.


My father is an ISTJ, and to put it mildly, he has wrecked mine and other’s lives to the point that I unfairly painted ISTJs with a large “YOU ARE ALL EVIL” brush. As I’ve been reading around about in the interwebs, I now know that I was being unfairly closed minded about the whole thing, and I need to develop my understanding better. All solutions I have come up with in my life regarding him have come up empty, and I can’t run from it my entire life, so I’m hoping to glean some insight from you guys.

My main concern is, he treats people he ‘loves’ like shit. Unless, of course, they do exactly what he wants when he wants it. I’ve been told my whole life I’m a failure, I’m going to fail, I’m going to end up like X person who is in a horrible situation if I don’t do what’s told. Well, so far, I like to think I’ve proven him wrong, and for the most part, he barely affects me anymore. I’ve gotten out, I’ve made a life for myself, and I’m fine. In a roundabout way, I am thankful for all his doubt and borderline neglect of me, the anger and bitterness from it inspired me to do all the things I wanted to do that he said I never could (finish college, find a husband, be successful in the field I wanted to be successful in, etc.) While in a way destructive, the resentment I held onto for him, on days when I felt really down on myself, made me drag myself out of bed just to prove him wrong. But, as everyone knows, having that kind of poison in your mind will make you grow weary, bitter, and maladjusted, and I now see this.

He is so, well, stuck in his ways, I can never tell if his apologies are sincere or a slap in my face. Things like “I wish I raised you better so you would have turned out better.” And “well, if you want my help I’ll give it, because I don’t think you can handle it yourself.” Obviously, I pretty much reject him in every turn because a) I am extremely resistant to take help from anyone, ESPECIALLY someone I think is trying to manipulate me.

Despite the crap I’ve gone through, I’m more concerned about my mother. I don’t want to pour out my mother’s life problems on the internet because that is just a breach of privacy (I may answer some specific questions if they aren’t too personal, but I respect their privacy very much.) Basically, he is so manipulative of her, I’m so scared she isn’t happy. He is very much in the “she lives to serve me and that is that” camp. She is on heavy anti-depressants, he won’t let her have any unsupervised contact with outside parties unless it is a church they are attending. Luckily, I still have ways to still contact her when he is at work (phone), and I’ve been walking on egg shells to make sure it stays that way. I have every reason to believe he is mentally/verbally abusive. He rarely gets physically abusive, but I HAVE seen it on a few occasions (of course, he is very careful not to act that way around ‘outsiders,’ and now that I have moved out and given the proverbial “fuck you” I am probably an outsider now.)

I genuinely think something is wrong with him. In an ideal world, I want him to just get in to a psychiatrist. But of course, any time someone tells him he needs to see someone, he rapidly cuts off contact with them, including switching churches when a priest told him he needs to rethink his ways. He listens to no one except himself and the voices in his head. (I shit you not, he is EXTREMELY religious and he thinks god ‘talks’ to him. Not trying to step on anyone’s religious toes here, I am agnostic, but I’m sorry, he thinks he’s a freaking psychic, and even though most of his ‘predictions’ come out wrong, he thinks he has this massive gift and it makes his behavior right. He is sick, end of statement.)

First and foremost, I want my mother out. I hate to think she is too ‘whipped’ to stand up for herself, but I worry that is the case. She won’t tell anyone what’s going on, she never did when I was a kid and I put up with that crap. Now, I won’t pretend to know what is going on behind closed doors, but I’m extremely frightened that if something was, I will NEVER know unless I install freakin cameras or something, and it’s getting to that point. I don’t know that if, in our private conversations, she would tell me, and I don’t want to lead her to anything. She is so heavily medicated, I don’t want to lead her into a false story, I just don’t know how to get the REAL story.

So, any ideas? My first and foremost concern is my mother’s well-being, whether that means getting a freakin’ court order to get her to live with me, or convincing my dad to get help, I don’t care how I do it. I need to pony up and do something about it and stop lamenting and expecting things to sort themselves out. I am completely aware I may be in the wrong here, so even posts critical of me are welcome. A lot of people have told me to just let it go, just live my life. But I can’t do it while I worry for my mother. While my mom barely ever did anything to protect me from him, I’d lay down my life to make her happy.
 

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I think this has more to do with the fact he is a jerk (sorry) than an ISTJ. I think it's healthy to remove yourself out of that environment, as no one-- ISTJ to ENFP-- will thrive being around that.
 

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Please, please Google "adult protective services" in your state, and talk to a state/county/city employee about your options in regards to your mother.

And kudos on getting out of that toxic atmosphere, and remaining a good person!
Thanks for that. I will most definitely begin compiling information and contacting people based on that. Your post actually gave me the idea to contact the 1 priest he actually trusts now and see if I can make any headway with him (while he seems 'crazy' to me, I can tell the guy is a good guy, and hopefully he'll listen to a heathen like me XD.)

And thanks for the kudos, it is nice to hear that. :) Though, often, I still wonder whether I still am a good person, probably why I've spent so much time in my life waffling, wondering whether I'm wrong or right, what I should do and what is overstepping my boundaries.


I think this has more to do with the fact he is a jerk (sorry) than an ISTJ. I think it's healthy to remove yourself out of that environment, as no one-- ISTJ to ENFP-- will thrive being around that.
I do agree, the situation at hand has very little to do with the fact that he is an ISTJ, there's no reason to be sorry :p. I was just hoping to glean some insight, perhaps learn some "ISTJ tips and tricks" to try and snap him out of his cycle of destructiveness so I can fix this situation without resorting to the authorities. It is probably my conflict-adverseness talking (something I need to work on) but getting the authorities involved would cause a whole bunch of chaos and hurt, mostly to him. I don't know why I still care what happens to him, there is a very good chance his ability to get a job would be finished if I were to go the legal route, and I don't know who would 'take care' of him. I guess a small part of me thinks he is, somewhere a good guy that just took the completely wrong path in life, and as much as I hate (yes, I admit) him, I don't want his life ruined, or to saddle him onto his parents.

Luckily, I have gotten out. If it weren't for my mother, I'd never ever speak to him or see him again. Any time I am forced to go back and interact, I am extremely thankful for where I am in life and for the people who have helped drag me out of that, in more ways than one.
 

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Yeah I agree that this has little to do with him being ISTJ because most of them aren't like that. I understand how you would generalize the behaviour of one person into their entire type (because I've done it before with ESTJs) but you shouldn't for the simple fact that it's inaccurate.

It honestly sounds like your dad has some sort of personality disorder (OCPD most likely, not to be confused with OCD). Does that sound accurate? As for how to change him, I'd need more info. Has he always been like this or is it a recent change?
 
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Yeah I agree that this has little to do with him being ISTJ because most of them aren't like that. I understand how you would generalize the behaviour of one person into their entire type (because I've done it before with ESTJs) but you shouldn't for the simple fact that it's inaccurate.

It honestly sounds like your dad has some sort of personality disorder (OCPD most likely, not to be confused with OCD). Does that sound accurate? As for how to change him, I'd need more info. Has he always been like this or is it a recent change?
Hmms, the description of the disorder doesn't really seem like him. I mean, a couple points maybe, but everyone can probably identify with one or two traits of any disorder.

In some little ways he was always like that. He always thought he was right, didn't like mom's side of the family, was very religious, but in the past he was much more benign about it, just like anyone who has a strong opinion/like for tradition. (My mom's side of the family is a different denomination.)

Then he took a job in Saudi Arabia for a year, and when he came back he went full blown monster. He never said anything bad happened to him, so I really don't know what the heck could of caused it. He mentally brow beat my mom into converting to his religion, started getting all loopy and 'prophesies, I has them,' started trying to manipulate and control my sister and I into religious vocations/colleges. He stopped letting my mom talk to her family 'unsupervised.' He's a really private guy, so I don't know what all happened with my Mom, she just stopped talking and ended up in and out of the psychiatric ward for depression related issues.

I try not to interact with him any more than I should. Any time I do it seems like he is always trying to find out how I'm doing badly, since he 'prophesied' I was going to end up a pregnant teen in an abusive relationship. (Hasn't happened, lol, 25, no kids, and married to a wonderful guy.)

So, there's that. I dunno if he just snapped or what. I can't think of any legal way I can force him to go get his head checked, so I'll probably just have to either stage a family intervention or get the authorities involved on my mom's behalf.
 
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