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Abuse of Power

Nathaly's Father


Below is some writing from Uruguay after spending the day with a family there who had lived in the USA. It shows some of the development of my ideas about how some parents abuse the power given to them. I am in London now. It is Sep 2007 but the writing was done in July. A week or two after I was at the house, the daughter, Nathaly, emailed me and said she had thought of killing herself when she was 14.


Journal Writing About Nathaly and Her Parents

More Writing About Nathaly and Her Father

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Journal Writing About Nathaly and Her Parents

Written in a small town in Uruguay, 2007 - S. Hein


well i spent the last 8 hours or so with these parents and their fifteen year old.

they almost never gave her  a chance to speak. and when she did they interrupted her more times than not. a lot of the times when she started to say something they just talked over her and she gave up.

i am surprised she didnt get frustrated and just walk out. i dont know if she was really aware of how many times they cut her off.

it was like so often when i talk to parents. they act as if their teen is not even present.

after talking to, or rather listening to, the father i see almost no chance of my ideas being supported in this town.

this family had lived in the usa so we spoke in english the whole time. so i understood every word. unlike with peruvian fathers who i only understood about 80 percent, but that was plenty to depress me.

the daughter asked him to explain why she couldnt go to so and so place and he gave this long evasive answer using one analogy after another like about flowers not being able to grow in the garbage.

she kept saying, "papa listen to me" but he just kept talking

he would say "nathalie", in this condescending tone - without even looking at her. basically it was like everything she said had no effect on him cuz he had already made up his mind.

he tried to control his older daughter when she was 15 to 18 and was dating an older guy. the guy was 19 when she was 15. and he was smoking pot. so the father tried to stop it. but she kept seeing him.

at 18 she moved in with him and stopped talking to the father for one year.

so i would say it is pretty fucking obvious that his strategy of being a controlling father didnt work. yet he seems to think it will work on the fifteen year old now. she was obviously resentful of how she is treated. she is mature enough to live on her own.

she gave me much more intelligent answers to my questions (when the
parents actually let her answer) than they did.

the father sounded like a tape recorder.

he just talked and talked and talked and she lost interest time and time again and started watching tv. i kept trying to get her back in the conversation and then her father would take over again and start a new monologue.

it was almost like it was some kind of a play of a dysfunctional family. it was so far from what i write about. it seemed almost unreal, seriously. like she was living in the wrong place. with two people from another planet.

she spoke up time and time again but finally got worn out and just watched tv.

i cant write about this in my journal cuz they could read it.

i wish the laws would let her leave at 15.

im more and more convinced teens should be able to leave at 15 max. if not 14.

the parents should fund them till they are 18, thats fine with me. but not be able to say "as long as u live in my house u follow my rules." he pulled that one on her once. i am sure she has heard it before.

he said when ur 18 u can do what u want.

this is how parents abuse the legal power given to them.

so his older daughter moved out as soon as she legally could. and then didnt talk to him for a year.

but do u think he said "maybe i didnt handle things in the best way"?

no. instead he said now she is 27 and she says she should have listened to him cuz she ended up breaking up with the guy after five years and thinks she wasted those years. according to him anyhow, i havent heard her side of the story directly.

so he thinks he is right. but the daughter doesnt realize if he would have treated her with more respect when she was 12 - 15 she wouldnt have started dating a guy who does drugs and if she did she would have kept talking to him when she did move out.

so he had no influence on her from 15 -19 lets say. except a negative influence while she lived at home cuz he said himself from 16 to 18 it was hell.

so i am sure they were fighting all the time. that didnt need to happen. and what good did it do? she moved out anyhow.

he created the whole situation. and wasnt there for her when she needed him. he said it was financially tough for her but she didnt want to ask for help from him, and understandably so.

over and over the 15 year old today kept starting sentences and one or both of them talked over her. i dont mean just 5 times or even 10 it was like 20 or 30.

sometimes she would sit there and tap her foot while they talked. sometimes she would argue with something they said and they would usually just ignore it and keep talking.

i could see how much she resented it. but they couldnt. it was like they were both blind and deaf.

most of the time though they werent looking at her so it wouldnt have mattered if they were blind or not.

then later she was talking to the mother and i couldnt hear everything but i could hear her saying "pero mama...." (but mother...) and the mother would cut her off, sometimes actually laughing at her like "how silly!" or "how cute!" as if a toddler was trying to walk and kept falling down.

i wish so much i would have had a video.

i would title it "why teens hate parents".

and subtitle it "Why the laws need to be changed"

she was already so bitter that she will destroy any and all relationships she gets into. i can pretty much guarantee it.


so i had to write that and get it out and documented
i wish i could post it but i cant.

this town is too small.

but i will one day.