Apologies in advance if this post is a bit all over the place.
I've been having a lot of counselling for the past few months, I didn't really think it was doing that much good in resolving issues, aside from the therapeutic feeling of talking to someone. We agreed understanding the past is a critical part of letting go and starting anew, but that's easier said than done.
In a nutshell my mum was mentally ill since about the time i was born, and it became very severe when I was around 10-14. My parents divorced when I was like 1. I didn't get any support for my home situation, and as a young kid picked up a lot of anxiety/pain and internalized it all.
My relationship with my dad was okay right up until the point I got 'fat' age 12 (All 126lbs of fat) Coincidently this clashed with when I hit puberty and my body started changing.
The other day my dad came over, and as usual was in a bitter, angry mood. Laying into any woman who started talking on the TV (Really degrading and sexualized stuff) and then started talking about how women and childbirth etc is so disgusting and young mums are tramps. Now the former part is very typical but he'd never really talked about the latter.
Today I also saw him and he was much the same, I told him I took offense to his remarks about women and would like him to stop, since it was damaging to my self worth. He said he didn't care, and didn't care if I had low self esteem (Yeh, seriously). The look of total disregard for me and hatred on his face was quite appalling.
So here I am this evening, about to go to bed when it hits me. My dad is a misogynist. I'm not one for name calling but it is becoming so clear. The only point he was civil and 'nice' to me has really been when I was young, and thought he was this amazing big strong man, who could do no wrong, and I was a well behaved agreeable little girl.
When body started changing and I developed my own opinions and insight into life, and could date or have kids he became verbally abusive. Telling me i was too fat because I was no longer a skinny little child. Telling me I should wear my hair up or cut it short, since I grew it long and wore it down, dissuading me from having kids and belittling my intelligence (He still loves to compare me to my brother, always suggesting he is stronger, wiser, braver, more productive than I am).
I've always got why I have some issues, but never understood why I have gone through life berating myself for everything, I should feel proud of myself for getting through a difficult time.
Realizing how my dad treats and talks about women has given me a sort of epiphany and I suddenly feel like yelling "There's nothing wrong with me!!". I still internalize my feelings now, and I don't often cry as a result and never show anger, but I'm actually having a good cry now and it feels good-great even.
I feel really soothed in acknowledging the bad feelings I have felt about myself and body are just reflections of how he feels about women as a whole.
It still leaves plenty of challenges in trying to move on with life, but I feel like this will be one of the best things I could realize. I just wanted to explain it here, since it feels good to share.
I am also curious if anyone has experienced a similar kind of behavior, especially with a parent. I can't imagine ever acting like he has to my own someday child, his behavior is totally alien to me.