Question #135: How do I deflect the well-meaning people who ask me about my abusive dad?

Captain Awkward

Luke and Darth Vader in an Elevator

Hey Captain!

I’ve been dealing with a rather awkward social conundrum lately, and I’d love some advice. The short version:  I need to figure out how to fend off well-meaning questions from acquaintances about my semi-estranged father.

The longer version: my dad’s an alcoholic person with bipolar disorder, and he’s non med compliant. I grew up in a very unstable, sometimes emotionally abusive home, and it’s left it’s marks on me. My mom  was brave enough to divorce him a year ago, and I’m finally facing the demons my childhood left me with. I’m getting weekly therapy, and have taken steps to limit contact with my father.

The problem is, my dad was outwardly quite charming, and I often have to deal with people asking after him. I really don’t know how to answer friendly questions about him. I refuse to pretend everything is (and was always) peachy, and…

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