My father thinks that I'm not independent

I am a student of class 11. I am an only girl child and I have two younger brothers. I never get respected in my home. My father thinks that I am not independent and mature as other girls are. He thinks I am not good at anything; study or household. He wanted me to take science but I was interested in arts. He also wanted me to be a police officer but I want to be a teacher. He says bad words to me, because of which I am always tense. His thinking is that I should give priority to the household rather than my studies. He beats me when I am ill. I am not allowed to talk or make friend with boys. He never trusts me; he think that I always lie. I am also not allowed to wear what I want. He says “You are 18, so you should be married”. He forces me to do what I don’t want to. I really respect him so I do whatever he wants me to do. I want to be a successful woman in the future. How should I tackle this problem?
Nandini (18)

Dear Nandini,

Looks like you are going through a very difficult situation with your father who thinks that girls are a burden. Your confidence level seems to be quite low and it looks like there is no other lady at home who can support you.

You say that he beats you when you are ill and says bad words to you, and forces you to do what you don’t want to. When someone does all the above, it is called abuse — physical and verbal. And it is not okay to be abused in any way. Please seek help from a trusted older lady — a teacher, a friend’s mother, a women’s organization or helpline in your area as soon as you can.

Your interests lie in a very different direction from what your father wants. You are 18, and an adult. You have a right to make your decisions. It is important that you believe in yourself that you can achieve what you want. If you truly want to be a teacher, work hard and complete your B.A. degree with a subject that is taught in school. Then you can apply for B.Ed. Later, you can pursue your M.A. degree, too. Convince your father that being a teacher is a good profession and will get you a respected job in society.

Nasreen Hashambhoy
Latest posts by Nasreen Hashambhoy (see all)

Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.