So, I'm nineteen, female, living at home. I am currently in a state where I am focusing on my mental health and recovery, as I was instituted at the age of 17 for a period of time with bipolar disorder, and I cannot leave the emotional and economic support systems at home until I recover to a state where this is the case. I am also a full time student, and live a quick bus ride away from school.
This shouldn't be a problem at all, except that I live with my dad. We had a good relationship growing up, but over time it soured. He worked long hours to support his four kids and grew a large sense of resentment over it, he has unresolved issues of his own that he refuses to sort out with medication or therapy. Right until shortly before my instituion, our relationship was steadily getting worse and worse, with abusive behavior on his part. When I was instituted, he came in to talk to me and try to explain his side of our conflict. I told him to leave. We haven't talked for more than two sentances at a time since.
Because of all of these factors, he and my mother have been having a hard time maintaining their marriage. He went to China for a year to teach ESL and give my mother some space to reconsider his options. We did not communicate for the entire year. My mother told him to ask me if I wanted my e-mail put out on a little diary he was sending out to friends and family about working and living in China, he never asked me and lied to her about this. I never reached out to him.
My mother loved the freedom, the lack of tension, and while she missed him this was an overall satisfactory year for her. My father had 'a breakdown' overseas and was instituted for a period of time in a Chinese hospital. I don't know too many details about this, as I haven't asked my mother and I do not talk to my father.
My father finished his year in China and returned home. We do not talk. Any conversation we have is extremely short, tense and aggressive. He complains about me to multiple third sources, stomps around and mutters and curses over small things such as a butter knife not being wiped completely clean before being placed in the sink or a piece of paper floating onto the floor from an open window, or a chair being in his way. Any communication we have had is effectively him telling me his problems with him. I have no interest in opening any lines of communication with him.
So my father is at home, still living with my mother. Life must be juggled around him. If I have a friend over, he will shout and yell at my mother about how inconsiderate I am for bringing someone over and turning the television on at a low level and speaking with indoor voices. He only tolerates my boyfriend being over because my mom stood firm on that. I am encouraged to leave the house entirely when he is not working, as he will find fault with the mildest thing and turn it into a screaming match. Much of the abusive behavior has been curtailed, but not all.
For about a year, she has been telling him that the marriage is effectively over and she cannot live with him in this state, nor can she allow him to be near me due to the intense negative effect he is having on my recovery. The two of them are planning to put this condo on the market. This is an extremely slow process for two reasons.
1. He is refusing to speak to her about the end of their marriage and moving on to her face. He is refusing to help with any divorce proceedings. He is talking about all possibilities to my older brother, who relays the information to my mother. This is very emotionally hard on her, and is not an effective or sustainable means of moving this process along.
2. We currently live in a condo embroiled in lawsuits against management, bad publicity, insurance blacklistings, etc. This is not a property which will move quickly.
So what this means is my plea for advice is twofold. How can I live in the environment that I am in now while continuing to recover quickly and begin to plan my life beyond home? And when this entire process is done, how do I deal with the knowledge that my estrangement from my father is going to lead to me missing the last years of his life? He has, at the very least, severe and chronic depression. I believe the chances of him committing suicide are astronomically high. Even if he does not, he is in his mid sixties. If I continue on this course, which I feel like I must at this point, I am going to have to tell my mother I will not be attending my father's funeral. This is a very emotionally difficult thing for both my mother and I.
As for suggestions for therapy, I am currently in the process of setting up a free counselling service through my school which will last for 12 sessions, after which I will recieve a referral.