Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
It may be that your father was taught that women are worth less than men are. Even though the culture may promote being equal on the surface for both sexes, there often lies a hidden belief underneath that women are of a lower class and therefore should not be treated equally.
It also could be what your father chooses to believe or what he was taught by his family. Domestic abuse that occurs in families often have this theme. The female is subservient and has no rights. If your father grew up exposed to domestic abuse, he may have believed what he saw and made it part of who he is.
It is fine for you to not have contact with your father. Exposing yourself to abuse is never healthy and if your father will not change, then he leaves you little choice. Your mother may even believe the same (especially if she was raised in an environment similar to your father's) or feel she has little choice but to agree with your father. Staying away from a dysfunctional and hurtful relationship such as the one you have with your father is a healthy way to react. That does not mean it doesn't hurt. You may want to seek therapy to help you cope not only with being treated abusively, but with how you feel about having to end your contact with your father.
I hope this helps,
What about the influence of the behavior of other family members in the way that my parents have behaved towards me. My uncle and aunt have a child who is approximately the same age. They may not have wanted me to do better in school etc. than their own child & this may be why they did not treat me well. It was soon after my parents met with these relatives that they began harassing me. The harassment was the most severe when I went to graduate school. In graduate school, I studied a subject that was very similar to what my father had studied in graduate school. I believe is that personal & professional jealousy has been a factor in the way my immediately family members & relatives have interacted with me.
It is unusual that your parents would feel a sudden sense of competitiveness with relatives and only in relation to you and not your brother. It is more likely that this was already a deep seated problem or belief before and something happened in their visit with your relatives that triggered what they did to you. Also, it is more likely that they would want you to do better than your cousin, not worse, if it was about comparisons.
Most beliefs come from a person's background and though circumstances can trigger issues, it is highly unlikely that a place can influence a parent so greatly that they begin to treat a child abusively. And the fact that he continues the behavior towards you also tells you that it is a belief based problem and not circumstances or other people that cause it. It may be that he felt obligated to abuse you since it is a family issue and you were near family after your move. Abuse is rarely about one person. Rather, it usually is about family dynamics.
You're right when you wrote: "It may be that he felt obligated to abuse you since it is a family issue and you were near family after your move." However, I think that living in the Southeast influenced may have influenced my parents in a negative way. My father was not treated well by his Southeastern employers most likely due to racism. Also, the stark increase in the abuse occurred soon after I went to graduate school & majored in a subject very similar to the subject which my father studied in graduate school. This indicates to me that professional jealousy may also be a factor since prior to my attending college, I was harassed very significantly. It was due to my father's initial encouragement that I had begun to study the subject when I first began college. Perhaps my father was trying to trap me into majoring in the same subject or a similar subject in order to harass me even further. My father's behavior has been quite unusual.
When I was in college, I was practing playing the piano in my college dorm. I was taking a piano class. My uncle & aunt had arrived from the Southeast to visit my parents. They had come with my parents to pick me up from the dorm. My uncle came down the steps of the dorm making a long, ugly face while he was looking at me as I was playing the piano. I thought at that time, why were my relatives still treating me badly even though I was older. (Your previous answers have been great.)
Although the southeast does have it's racism and prejudice, it is no different than any other area of the US (I understand this from my own personal experience). How your father is treated at work should have little to no influence on how he treats his children. Though the pressure from being close to family may have triggered it, your father has held these beliefs for some other reason besides geographical location and other outside influences.
I also wanted to tell you that my parents' harassment of me has led to my having health issues. Even though my father won medals in college for running & swimming, he has never encouraged me to exercise & swim to maintain my health.
Recently, when I mentioned that I should have taken AP Biology in school, my father responded by saying what would be the point in studying that subject meaning that I should be studying in school the same subject he studied in order to prepare to study the same or a similar subject in college. (When I was in school, my father told my school guidance counselor that I should study the same subject he studied in college & other subjects that would be required of students who major in the same subject he studied in college.) My father has attempted to take control of my life by harassing me because I majored in the same subject as he did in college (due to the encouragement of my college professors) & a similar subject as he did in graduate school. My father's behavior has been very unusual.
It's fairly obvious that jealousy is a factor in my situation because my uncle referred to me as mockingly as a "great brain" a few years after I finished college. I always tried to do my schoolwork & college work as well as possible but my efforts were/are being mocked by family members. Thanks again for your responses.
The Southeast is a place where racism is a part of the culture. This may not be obvious to people because most of the racism takes a subtle form. As an Asian Indian, I've probably been subjected to racism more in the Southeast than what you've experienced living there.
I am just clarifying some issues. My father's behavior is maniacal. I said recently to my parents that my schools thought well of me. My father said mockingly, "Hmm!". I went to many schools when I was growing up because my family moved many times. I was very lucky to have good schools. Nowadays, there are so many bad school & even former school are not 1/3 as good as they used to be. My father's mocking of time in my schools doesn't make any sense. His behavior might be part of the Indian belief system that women should not get an education or perhaps his behavior regarding my schools is due to professional jealousy. I've often thought what I did to cause him to behave the way he does to me. He has increased his campaign against me as I have grown older.
No one is ever to blame for being abused. You are being abused by your father and family because of their issues, not yours.
The best way to address how you feel is to seek out therapy. This will give you the opportunity to address all of your feelings about the situation and give you support for what is a difficult and painful relationship. Try talking to your doctor for a referral or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.