What was the worst reaction to letting down your emotional shield?

I'm female but figured I would chime in. My stepmother was often verbally and emotionally abusive to her own three kids and myself whenever I had the misfortune to be around. She didn't talk to kids like most people talked to kids and she could go off on us for the slightest mistake. My father never did anything to stand up for her kids nor myself whenever she would start to lay into us - and she could be quite vicious.

When I was around 21 I worked with a counsellor on a letter that was addressed to just my father, hoping to open up a more honest line of communication with him. I asked him in the letter not to share it with my stepmother because I knew exactly how she'd react. I'm guessing she must have opened it, though, because the next time I called my dad she was the one who answered and it was obvious she was furious at me. When I got to talk to my dad I asked him why he'd shared the letter with my stepmother and his only reply was a blustery defensive response of, "We don't keep anything from each other."

So it was basically a confirmation of all my worst fears, which were that if push came to shove, my dad would always choose my stepmother's side over mine. I guess I shouldn't have been shocked because he'd done that since I was a young child, but I can't deny that more parental rejection heaped on top of a lifetime of it still stung. I basically gave up on having any sort of healthy or normal relationship with either of them after that.

/r/AskMen Thread