I have had enough. I can’t take it any more. I am well over 21 and will not be told what to do by my father.
He’s a lawyer and wanted me to follow in his footsteps. Legal detail bores me rigid and I refused. I wanted to go to art school and be a graphic designer instead. He was furious. His father and brother are also lawyers and he told me I was letting down the whole family.
In the end we sort of compromised by me choosing to do a degree neither of us was enthusiastic about.
He asked his friends to give me work experience too but I didn’t want to be in a situation where they could report back on how I was getting on. So I found my own part-time job in a wine bar. He didn’t like that.
After my degree I carried on working in the bar and went to art school in the evening. By then my father barely spoke to me. But when he heard I’d actually got a lowly job in an advertising agency, he went ballistic. I stood up to him and still do, but it's not been easy.
As a child I was intimidated by him but never dared argue. When I was a teenager, I listened to his orders and then if I disagreed quietly did what I wanted. Now I am defying him out loud and getting the full wrath of his temper. I feel it is the right thing to do, not least because I have since been promoted several times by the agency. I’m also painting in my spare time, which helps relieve my stress and gives me enormous pleasure. Whenever we speak he always tells me that I am a huge disappointment. So I barely see or speak to him now because I won’t listen to him telling me how to live my life.