How to tell your dad you hate him

The Worst Things You Can Say to Your Parents

Find out about the worst words, phrases, and sentences you can say to your parents, why they're so damaging, and what you can say instead.

Why words hurt

We’ve all said the wrong thing at times, leaving our parents feeling angry, hurt, or confused. Words can be eternally damaging, especially coming from kids who are supposed to respect and love their parents. “At some level, most parents question themselves and wonder whether they’re good parents and whether they’re doing the best for their children,” Elizabeth Jeglic, PhD, a professor of psychology at John Jay College in New York and coauthor of Protecting Your Child from Child Abuse: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Kids Safe. “When children say hurtful things, it taps into those fears and insecurities and makes them more real, causing pain.” Find out how to rid some of the worst offenders from your language and substitute them with some better and kinder alternatives.

“So and so’s mom is better than you”

Your mom can’t always agree to let you jet off to Paris with your college roommate or drive cross country solo. She’s trying to be the best parent she can be so that you’ll be the best kid you can be. Her job as a parent isn’t always to be popular but to offer love, freedom, and guidance with age-appropriate boundaries, says Gary Brown, PhD, LMFT, a relationship therapist in Los Angeles. And telling her that someone else’s parent is better will definitely hurt her ego. “A child should point out an observation followed by a question,” says Jarret Patton, MD, pediatrician and author of Whose Bad @$$ Kids Are Those? A Parent’s Guide to Behavior for Children of all Ages. For example, try, “Annie’s mom is letting her travel alone. Why won’t you let me?” By stating an observation, there is little to feel defensive about from the parental view. Following up with a question can give your parent a chance to explain the difference in parenting styles while allowing you to express yourself.

“I wish you weren’t my dad”

You really don’t mean it, but in the heat of the moment, that’s what you said. You just want a different type of dad, at that second. You don’t feel like your dad understands your experience, says Brown. “A child, like many adults, loses her filter when emotions run high,” says Dr. Patton. “Painful statements can be the result. Oftentimes, this is simply a developmental stage in younger children who don’t have enough reasoning skills [but grown children can lose their temper, too]. Wishing away a parent or saying ‘I hate you’ may be the only response a child can muster.” Don’t take it personally as the parent, however hard it may seem, says Dr. Patton. When your child calms down, have a straightforward conversation. Have the child express his emotions and reasoning, says Dr. Patton. He should use “I feel __ when…” language. “This can build more trusting, respectful and deeper relationships while teaching them about using hurtful language,” says Dr. Patton.

“You told me that already”

We’ve all said things more than once and repeated ourselves, so don’t lose your patience or cool when it’s your mom or dad. “By telling your parent that he or she repeated themselves, you’re coming off as rude and snarky, and even implying that they’re slipping mentally,” says Stacey Laura Lloyd, a relationship writer, and coauthor of Is Your Job Making You Fat? How to Lose the Office 15…and More! “As a result, don’t be surprised if they respond angrily, curtly or even accusingly.” Instead, try to lighten the mood. Say something like “Really? No way! And then you did…”

“I wish you were dead”

You’ve been pushed to your limit. Your mom has given you advice on your son’s poor eating habits yet again. You’re done with her unsolicited judgment. “You’re only changing the topic to make yourself in control of the situation,” says Lynn R. Zakeri, LCSW, who practices in the Chicago area. You may be upset but communicate respectfully and without being hurtful. Instead, Zakeri suggests you should say something like, “When I want your advice, I’ll ask for it.” “It’s more honest, to the point and relevant,” she says. Keep an open mind, moms have been known to have some pretty good advice.


“You look ugly today”

“Even in the best of parent-child relationships, there will be challenging moments,” says Brown. Just like you don’t want to be told that you don’t look good, the same goes for your parents. Those words are insulting and hurtful. Chances are, you’re just looking for a reaction, attention, a distraction from the current state of affairs or a way to express anger, says Zakeri. Say what you really mean instead, being respectful as you do so. “The Golden Rule that children often hear from parents certainly applies to how children interact with their parents as well as others: Treat your parents the way you want to be treated,” says Brown.

“I bet you can’t wait to get back to work”

It’s dated to say that dads feel more comfortable at the office than with their grandkids. Your dad most definitely loves spending time with his grandchildren and likely enjoys spoiling them too. “While a man’s self-esteem and ego are driven by his career success, balancing family life and career are difficult for men,” says Julie Spira, a relationships expert, CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. “Try not to make him feel guilty about his time away from you.” We’re sure he’d rather play with LEGOS than process an expense report. Instead, tell him how glad you are that he’s with his grandkids.

“You love my brother/sister more than me”

You know your parents love you the same. But when you have a sibling, it’s normal to ask your parents this question. You’re looking for affirmation, likely during an argument. You’re using it to distract your mom and manipulate her. Don’t get into an argument about who your mom loves more. Instead, focus on what’s really going on. “Always speak to the behavior and explain your feelings in a way that isn’t accusatory,” says Jeglic. “When we make accusations, parents become defensive and the conversation stops. More often than not, there will be a reason why your parents did something with another sibling and not you and they can explain it.” For example, if your parent gave your brother a more generous present than you, you can say, “When you bought my brother a bigger gift than me, it hurt my feelings and made me feel like you cared about him more than me.” “If this is said in a calm manner, then the parent can explain his or her reasoning and you can have a discussion about it,” she says. It’s not only parent-child relationships that can be fraught with tension; try these 11 ways to have a better relationship with your siblings.

“You’re a bad mom”

Kids are often quick to say this phrase when they don’t agree with a decision a parent made or when they’re not allowed to do something that everyone else their age is doing. But, “Personal attacks are a sure fire way to shut down any discussion and have it evolve into a shouting/anger match,” says Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, a psychotherapist, and relationship coach who practices in McLean, Virginia. “You can open up the lines of communication by respectfully asking your parent to listen to what you have to say, then keep your comments free from any comparisons or attacks on how good or bad your parent isn’t/is.” She says that instead, you should focus on your own history and behavior as it relates to your decision-making skills, rule following, trustworthiness, and maturity level. “Make your best case for why you should be allowed to do this, based on how well your parent can trust your readiness for it,” she says. If your parent comes back with a hard no, respectfully tell him how you feel about his decision and comply, even though you’re unhappy with the decision, she says. “This will offer additional evidence of maturity that your parent will take into consideration the next time you come to him for permission to do something he may have concerns about.”

“I hate you”

Hate is a strong word. You may be upset with your mother for bailing on babysitting the grandkids when you had planned a date night with your husband. But watch what you say. “What if these were the last three words you said to your mother?” says Kristie Overstreet, a licensed professional clinical counselor and author of Fix Yourself First: 25 Tips to Stop Ruining Your Relationship. “If something tragic happened and this was your last statement to her, you’d have a difficult time healing.”

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock


Here, you’re telling your parents that what they’re saying isn’t important and doesn’t matter. You know that you’ve lost the argument and the point has been decided, so, you’re trying, weakly, to save face. “You just want to make them mad and retaliate someway, somehow,” says Gilda Carle, PhD, relationship expert and author of Ask for What You Want AND GET IT. You’re saying that they can talk, but you aren’t listening. It’s better to speak respectfully without being rude. Be clear about what you think, feel and want. “Everyone disagrees with someone,” says Carle. “It’s never about the argument itself. It’s about how you peacefully disagree with others and continue relationships with them.” She suggests that you say instead, “I don’t see this as you do.”

“Shut up”

Your mom just won’t stop going on and on about how Sarah’s husband is a doctor and she lives in an affluent area. You just can’t take it anymore and shout “Shut up!” It’s not surprising that you’re upset. “Your mom just hasn’t said the actual words, ‘And why don’t you have a doctor-husband, too?'” says Carle. Using a tone that’s friendly and respectful makes it more likely parents will listen and take what you say seriously. It also makes it more likely that they’ll talk to you in the same way. “Smile and calmly remind your mom that doctors are under constant stress and work long hours,” says Carle. “Then laugh and take your mom’s comments lightly. Her methods may stink but her heart swells with love for you.”

“Call Mom and see if it’s okay”

Dad can make family-related decisions himself. “Having parents means sometimes your father will call the shots, and other times your mother will take the reins,” says Spira. “Dividing responsibilities doesn’t always require a check-in for busy parents.” If he wants to call your mom/his wife about what brand of bread to get at the supermarket, he’ll do so. Just don’t make him feel like he has to run every little thing past her. Let your dad take charge when he offers to do so. It shows you respect him as a parent and will take the pressure off your mom, says Spira. On the other hand, here’s why you should call your mom more often.

“I can do whatever I want”

You feel out of control and helpless. You want to throw a pool party but they just won’t have it. You have to be as clear as you can about what you think, feel, and want, giving details to help your parents understand your situation. They can listen better or be more helpful if they understand what’s really going on. “Tell them, ‘Here is what I want to do and why,'” says Tina B. Tessina, PhD, psychotherapist, and author of How to Be Happy Partners: Working It Out Together. She says you can make a presentation, like you’re selling something in a business deal or presenting a project at school. “Don’t whine, act resentful, or be angry,” she says. “Have confidence in what you want to do and why it makes sense, and tell them that. If they don’t think what you want to do is safe or they worry you’ll get hurt or rejected, they’ll say no. Act grown up, answering their questions clearly and calmly, she says. “You’ll probably get a yes,” she says.

“You don’t love me”

You want to go out with your friends but your mom won’t let you. You’re using guilt to manipulate your parents. “Don’t accuse her of not loving you, you know she does,” says Tessina. “Loving you is not the same as letting you have whatever you want.” If you have a disagreement, try to see your parents’ point of view. If you can, say so. Telling parents you understand their views and feelings helps them be willing to see yours, too. “Calmly, with no whining or anger, say ‘Mom, my friends (name names) are going out to (Jen’s house, the movies, play video games, the ball game, hang out, etc.) and I want to go with them,'” says Tessina. Give details about what you’re doing and what will happen, she says. “If you ask her permission, she will be a lot more likely to say yes.” Want to say something nice to mom or dad? Try one of these best compliments you can give a parent.

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Why Do I Hate My Father?

When you ask, "Why do I hate my father?" you're recognizing that there is something missing in your relationship with your father, or that something is not quite right. Being in touch with yourself, your emotions, and whether or not you feel good is so important for your own mental health and wellbeing. There are many adult children who struggle with parental relationships; if you believe that you may hate your father, it’s important to ask yourself why. Never feel guilty for asking the question. This recognition is the first step towards resolving the relationship or letting it go. When you know why you feel this way, you can begin to answer the question, "What's next?" Perhaps you don't recognize such a strong feeling when thinking about your father, but have an awareness that your relationship is not what you would like it to be. This article will cover a few of the possible reasons you might feel that way.

  1. You Feel No Connection with Him

Do You Hate Your Father And May Not Understand Fully Why? Let's Talk.

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Many grown children feel completely disconnected from their fathers. Sometimes, the problem takes root because the father gives too much of his time and energy to his career. If your father abandoned you completely, you may hate him even more. It might seem odd that you can feel so apart from him and at the same time feel deep anger and resentment towards him. Although your father wasn't a part of your daily life, you needed him to fulfill the role of father. For whatever reason, he let you down.

We tend to expect mothers to be more emotional and nurturing of their children, and for fathers to be more practical. Traditionally, we also tend to consider fathers the providers, and perhaps the disciplinarians. Regardless of the respective roles your parents played in your life, children have a need to feel connected to both parents. In fact, quite surprisingly, research indicates that the absence of fathers is more damaging to children than the absence of their mothers. This suggests that children have an innate need to connect with their fathers.

Because traditional gender roles dictate how men should behave-i.e. emotionally distant, tough, impenetrable, and detached-some fathers have more difficulty being emotionally connected to anyone-including their children. Even though these expectations for men are usually supported culturally, they can be extremely damaging.

Anyone can become a parent. There is no pre-test. There is no certification required. There is no education, or effective preparation, necessary. Just because someone becomes a parent, does not necessarily, nor automatically, ensure they are well-equipped to serve this critically important role. This is not meant to excuse any father's harmful behavior, but to explain it. Children suffer when their fathers are not able to be emotionally available to them during their most vulnerable, formative years.

  1. He Hurt You When You Were Vulnerable

Children depend on their parents in every way, at least for several years of their development. In fact, a child's literal dependence upon their parents is such a critical reality that young children adolescents, and sometimes even high school students, automatically accept responsibility for neglect or abuse suffered at the hands of their parents. As a child, you need your parents to take care of your physical and emotional needs, which you aren't yet equipped to fulfill yourself. You also need to be taken care of with love and compassion. One of a child's most basic needs is to be loved unconditionally. Some fathers have no idea how to do so. If your father hurt you physically or emotionally at the time you most needed him--when you were most vulnerable and trusting of his intentions--it's perfectly understandable that you feel hatred for him today.

Emotionally abusive parents can leave scars that are just as damaging as physical ones, even though emotional abuse is not tangible. No one should ever make the mistake of believing that emotionally abusive parents are not damaging simply because the negative impacts of their abuse cannot be seen with the naked eye. Sadly, there are many people today who struggle in their everyday lives due to unresolved emotional abuse from their parents during childhood years.

  1. Others Talked Him Down

Although this reason may seem rare, it does happen, so it's worth looking into. Try to consider your father's characteristics, attitudes, words and behavior as objectively as you can, and think logically about how he treated you. What has he genuinely revealed about himself to you directly, in both word and action? Sometimes, other people have their own reasons for having a poor opinion of our parents. When they are unwise enough to inflict those perceptions onto their children, the children are likely to believe the negative opinions. You may have no reason at all to hate your father if the person putting him down did so out of selfish motives.

  1. He Didn't Deal with Your Teen Rebellion Appropriately

Many children go through a period of rebellion during their teenage years. It is a very natural and necessary stage of development, in which all adolescents must figure out who they are, separate from both their parents. Sometimes, it can be easy for parents to take rebellion on a personal level or believe that pushback from their teenagers is a reflection of neglectful or poor parenting; in many cases, this simply is not accurate. As teens learn and grow, it is natural for them to seek more individualism and freedom, even if their methods of doing so are not always the best.   A wise parent knows, or learns, how to deal with it appropriately so that everyone can come back together when the rebellion (or "individuation stage") has passed. The parents may learn skills to help them diffuse arguments. They realize your need to be both independent and accepted. If your father didn't have these skills or know how to deal with your rebellion, what could have been a temporary bump in the road might lead to a lifetime of resentment instead.

Sometimes, fathers may believe that authoritarian parenting is the best way to deal with rebellious teenagers. However, many studies have shown that this is simply not the case. In fact, very strict parenting is linked to children who learn how to become sneaky and work around their parents, rather than trust them.

  1. He Hurt Someone You Love

Any father who is abusive to a child's mother shouldn't be surprised if their child hates him. The same can be true if they hurt anyone who was important in your life. It can be tempting to punish your father, out of loyalty, love, care and respect for your mother. It can also be very difficult to see a happy mother turned into a sad mother because of a father’s actions or mistreatment. At the same time, loving one person well, does not require hating the one who harmed her. And healthy mothers will want their children to have healthy relationships with their fathers, unless attempting to do so places you in potential physical, mental, or emotional danger. A professional counselor can help you figure out if you should move forward with your relationship with your dad, or let it go.

  1. He Didn’t Spend Enough Time with You

Parental bonding is so important to children, especially during the latter’s formative years of growth and development. When a father is regularly absent, not around, or even preoccupied with issues such as bipolar disorders, eating disorders, etc., this puts children in a very difficult spot. Many fathers who work in busy careers, such as art design, politics, business, finance, world politics, etc., may not spend as much time with their children as they should. The lack of time can have harmful impacts on the family unit at large, causing children to blame themselves. As kids get older, they may begin to hate or resent absent fathers for not being around more often.

Healing from Hatred for Your Father

Although the hatred of your father may run extremely deep-and may even span generations-you shouldn't abandon hope for recovery. Many men have found that consistent therapy sessions with a qualified professional can help resolve feelings of pain, confusion, and hatred toward fathers, in favor of acceptance and understanding. Some of these patients will go on to develop stronger relationships with their fathers, some will engage in further therapy sessions with their fathers, and some will simply move forward, armed with the knowledge that they are not alone, and that their wounds will eventually heal; regardless, healing and moving forward from hatred for your father are certainly possible.

Therapy services are helpful for hatred of fathers, largely because therapists are equipped with tools to help you get to the root of your feelings-roots that might be obvious, in the case of people whose fathers abandoned their families, or roots that might be obscure, as may be the case of people whose fathers were seemingly model citizens, who stuck around and provided for their families. Familial relationships are complicated and multilayered, and it is almost impossible to look at them through an unbiased perspective on your own. A therapist can help you peek into your own past and behavioral patterns to determine what exactly requires healing in order to ease the hatred you feel.

Whether you are seeking help specifically for feelings of hatred, or you are seeking mental health help for another reason, a therapist will have experience working with people who have similar feelings toward their fathers.

The Danger of Carrying Around Hatred

As seen above, there are myriad reasons why you may feel hatred towards your father and there’s no shame in choosing to your story. With that in mind, it’s important to understand the dangers of carrying around hatred.

For one thing, holding onto hatred can negatively impact your own mental health. Regardless of why you hate your father --- whether this has to do with parental alienation, personal disagreements, etc., --- hatred can greatly impact how you live a life.

If you believe that you may be carrying around hatred, to find therapist services, a treatment center, or even to find a support group can be life-changing. Letting go of hatred doesn’t mean that you have to be close to your father, especially if he was emotionally abusive. However, freeing yourself of hatred is something that will only benefit you in the long run, whether you’re in your early 20s or much older.

How Therapy Intervenes in Hatred Toward Fathers

Do You Hate Your Father And May Not Understand Fully Why? Let's Talk.

Get Matched With A Licensed Counselor - Click Here

Therapeutic interventions can work to heal all kinds of relationships. While marriage counseling is the most well-known form of relationship therapy, therapists can be invaluable tools in helping families connect, reconnect, or heal from absences. If you feel hatred toward your father, a therapist can help you determine the most likely cause of your feelings, develop coping mechanisms to handle your feelings in a healthy way, and learn how to mend your relationship, if that is a possible or desired step. Therapy delivered by a psychologist in an office setting can be a wonderful tool, as can online therapy; if reconciliation is your goal, your father may be more inclined to discuss ongoing concerns from the comfort of your home or his.

Nervousness About Taking Therapy

There is no denying that positive impacts and results linked to a mental health treatment center and people who find a support center. If you are nervous about the decision to find therapist services, that’s OK. If you determine that moving forward with therapy is something you’re interested in, you can do so at your own pace. There is no rush; furthermore, when you do decide to find therapist services, you can count on a mental health specialist who works with at the rate and speed that you are comfortable with.

Therapy is often seen as a resource for people with mental health disorders, but in reality, therapy can help with all sorts of challenges, including your relationship with your father. Even if your father never sets foot into a therapy office with you-or engages with an online therapist with you-therapy can still help you heal your own ruptured relationship, expectations, and ideals in order to move forward, freed from hatred. Sites such as can help you on this journey. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors.

Counselor Reviews

"Rebecca Solomon is my therapist; she entered my life in a complex time when I was getting divorced and my father was dying at the same time. With all the layers of family, marriage, career, friendships, ebbing, flowing, dying, and being born, Rebecca puts together the whole picture easily and responds to the whole dynamic. Her suggestions have helped me so concretely, both to take action where the action was needed and also to reflect on things that I completely missed seeing. I have grown a lot during this very difficult period and I am thankful that Rebecca is guiding me through this hairy labyrinth. I recommend her wholeheartedly."

"At first at I was a bit nervous not knowing what to expect from this, considering I've never done online counseling (pretty convenient if you ask me) and was overall pretty mixed up in my feelings about what was going to happen as well as excited (because who doesn't want free counseling right?) First Dr. Marote greeted me, then we quickly dove into the details of my current life situation ranging from my current relationship with my girlfriend all the way to how my family's environment and influence on me caused me to take the decision to leave the house, and overall was pretty quick and done with a lot sooner than I had expected. Dr. Marote was insightful reflective and compassionate with every word she had spoken, and especially helpful in regards to not only providing insight into my life but as well as putting things into perspective. In short, I would give Dr. Marote an 11/10 if I could; she is patient, understanding, and knows what she's doing, and well as willing to work with you on how to deal with your problems."

Looking Deeper into the Hate

While your reasons for hating your father might not fall perfectly in line with any listed here, these are only a few of the most common reasons for feeling hatred for your father. Sometimes, your reasons for hating your father can be a combination of multiple reasons listed above. Ultimately, only you can come to the reasons behind the feelings that you have towards your father. With that in mind, decisions to find a support group, join a treatment center, or find therapist services can be immensely valuable. Processing your emotions, both positive and negative, play a critical role in the upkeep of your emotional and mental health. Using these as a starting point, you can gain wisdom and insight into your experiences with your father and, with the help of a therapist, cultivate understanding and acceptance of the hatred you have for your father to carve out a brighter future-with or without that relationship intact. Take the first step today.

Questions People In This Situation Often Ask:

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How do I tell my dad I hate him?
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I HATE my father. What should I do?





















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    6,0006 #42








    90,000 How to overcome hatred for a father?


    Margarita Alien

    June 11, 2019 at 03:51 pm


    All my adult life (35 years) I hate my father. Even in kindergarten, in the picture of the family, the psychologist wrote: "negative attitude towards the father." I drew it in brown on one side of the sheet, and on the other with colored felt-tip pens, me, my mother and sister.

    I have reasons to hate him. They are from childhood and from a later age. I forgave him a long time ago, but intolerance remains. I have a fit of hysteria and anger if he comes closer to me than 5 meters. I can't stand his voice, his mannerisms, his physical presence.

    As a child, if the two of us stayed at home, I locked myself in the room and did not go out until he left the apartment. Sometimes, she sat for half a day and all day, did not eat or drink, so as not to cross paths with him in the kitchen.

    Now I have my own family, a little son. My parents have a nice dacha with a lake. In the summer for me and my son there is a paradise: native places, clean air, native lake. I am sitting there on maternity leave. I tolerate my father, who also sits in the country, for the sake of outdoor recreation and for the sake of improving the health of my son and myself.

    I am overweight, have hormonal problems, spinal problems, skin allergies. Swimming every day and no chemistry is a lifesaver for me. But next to my father, there are always tears in my pillow, anger, stress, breakdowns on the child, anger at myself - I can’t change myself. He will say a word to me or sit down to eat next to me, and I go into the room in hysterics. He screams that I'm crazy. And I can not drink water for half a day if he is busy with something at the place where there is drinking water. I can't come.

    My son is two years old - you can't leave one here. And I can't live without a cottage. Husband works all the time, they don't give holidays. I can’t rent someone else’s house, other people’s places are also expensive. There is only one way out - to change your attitude towards your father. But it doesn't work.

    I still hope that with age I will become wiser and more tolerant. But no, it is stronger than me, I do not control my feeling of rejection. I try to endure, but hysteria begins against my will, and I can stick a knife into him. I mentally imagine it, throwing objects, crying excitedly, and then devastation and loss of strength. Save only the days when he leaves for the city to work. But this rarely happens, because. he has his own company. In the summer he is almost always at the dacha.

    What is the theoretical name for such an attitude towards the father? Antagonistic, perhaps? How to work with it, fix it? Is it worth breaking yourself? Or is it useless? Maybe it's easier to break off all meetings, leave, sacrificing everything? Can I change myself?

    Good afternoon, Margarita.

    I read and feel your emotions that are bubbling inside. They just ask to come out to exhale and begin to live for real. It's time, Margarita, to take a step into a new life, but this requires at least your slightest effort.

    I will say with confidence that it is absolutely not worth breaking yourself. You need to change the quality of your life - this is 100% real and possible! For myself, husband, child. It is in this sequence that the main thing is not to confuse anything.

    Now for some terminology, if that's important to you. Everything that happens to you is a real, unexperienced resentment, even if your consciousness says otherwise: “I forgave him a long time ago, but intolerance remains. I have a fit of hysteria and anger if he comes closer to me than 5 meters. I can't stand his voice, his mannerisms, his physical presence."

    Why such a resonance? It seems to have forgiven, but I can’t be around - hysteria, anger, hormonal disruptions, excess weight. And the most important thing in the description: “And I can not drink water for half a day if he is busy with something at the place where there is drinking water. I can't come." That is, the resentment and feeling of hatred is so great that it is ready to sacrifice even the satisfaction of a vital function. Do you understand what I'm talking about?

    I'm talking about the fact that our psyche displaces from consciousness everything that hurts and stabs from the traumatic experience and places it in the subcortex of our unconscious.

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