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Old 06-23-2011, 07:05 AM   #1
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beachmom3 HB User
Always wondered if my father abused me

I'm hoping i can get some opinions of whether or not I should be concerned. i don't believe my father actually raped me. I'm more concerned that he might have touched me in an inappropriate way. Or maybe there is some other explanation for these feelings? My sister has these exact same concerns.

for some reason, I cringe and get EXTREMELY uncomfortable when my dad hugs me. I always have. I cringe if I am standing or sitting next to him and have any physical contact, such as arms touching. I am not like this with other people. I like hugs - even from older male relatives. at one time, he was in the hospital and was in a possible life-threatening situation. I sat next to him and he held my hand, and I even hated that. I do love my dad, but I never understood why I've felt so uncomfortable around him.

he has always had the "sweet, big teddy bear" image with the women in our lives - female relatives, friends of my sister and mine, his co-workers. NOBODY else seems uncomfortable around him. Quite the opposite - they initiate hugs all the time.

We also have an older brother. We are all three happily married. all six of us notice and talk about how our dad will stare at beautiful women. He does this all the time. He will position himself where it appears he's videotaping our kids or something, but he's either not recording (just spying through the lens), or there is a cute woman in the background once we see the video. this is something SO common that we talk and even joke about it all the time. He never misses the opportunity to stare at or talk to a cute woman.

My mom does not seem bothered or even seem to notice any of this. She is very much a person who can turn a blind eye, and can block things out of her memory. Besides this, I had a good and normal childhood. we were a church-going family and my parents were very charitable and did lots of volunteer work. Although, our parents never had The Talks with us. Never talked about sex, drugs, drinking. Difficult subjects were simply avoided. When my sister started her period, she didn't know what was happening and was terrified.

I believe my dad had a pretty good/normal childhood. His dad died when I was 5 and his mom died when I was 10 so I don't remember much about them, but my only memories are very warm and loving. I did not feel uncomfortable around them. However, as I'm writing this, I'm realizing that both of my dad's sisters ended up marrying men who have been accused of molesting (fondling) teenage girls.

I don't know that I have any signs of being an abused person. I don't have a problem with intimacy. Never did drugs or had any other destructive behavior, other than teenage (social) drinking. And I lost my virginity at the very early age of 14 - probably because I was allowed to go on car dates with my 17 year old boyfriend. Our family is also extremely modest. we always changed clothes behind locked doors. I am just now trying to feel comfortable changing in front of my husband of 11 years. I am especially modest around my father. I intentionally never wear halter tops, fitted, or lower cut clothes around him. And my idea of fitted and low-cut is actually quite conservative to most people.

I have 2 young daughters and they don't seem bothered by their grandpa. But I really cringe when they sit on his lap, and they often do. there is a photo that a family friend keeps sending of her children and mine with my dad. in the picture, my girls are sitting on his lap and each straddling his leg. this picture seriously creeps me out and makes my stomach turn. But everyone else thinks it is a great picture.

I sometimes wonder if my brother knows something or has the same weird feelings. he and our dad do not seem to have a typical father-son bond. he and his family live a thousand miles away from us, and make very few attempts to come back for visits. He is a great guy, but seems to keep the rest of the family at arms length. I don't feel that I can talk to him about this.

the only other person I felt this way around was a distant relative who I'm no longer related to because he divorced. I was never alone with him, but hated hugging or talking to him. I did tell my mom about this and she said that he had been accused of sexually abusing his step-daughter.

Sorry this is so long. I realize there are lots of people with much more serious issues. this is just something that has bothered me for as long as I can remember. TIA for any input

 
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:38 AM   #2
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Re: Always wondered if my father abused me

You sound exactly how I feel about my father and he did abuse me. The fact that you do not have memories may mean he abused you before you had words.
I would always say trust that gut instinct and protect your children..that means never leave them alone with him. Talk to them about secrets, positive touching of others and inappropriate.
I would get yourself into a really great counselor...one that you trust and feel safe to really be intimate with. One that will not put ideas into your head but rather help you to find out about yourself and what really happen. You may never have any memories but I still would always trust your gut. Is it worth your children being hurt in such a way that it will be with them all their life.
By the way, I never did drugs or had sex irresponsibly. I wanted till it was with a man I loved but after reading stories of what abuse has done to other women I would worry about if I might go to those extremes. It has come out in other ways in my life.
I went to at least 3 counselors before I found the right one...My older sister was abused more severely by my father than I and yet she buried her memories until her child hit the age when it started with her...than the memories began to surface.
I think your father has problem about women. The fact that he is constantly noticing women, to the point that he will film them instead of focusing on family says to me...no expert just feelings..that he is over sexed regarding women. Men who abused frequently are.
In my family...we all were modest. But there was under lying sexual energy that I did not feel in healthy families. I was often called the prude because it made me feel uncomfortable..and I know I am not a prude. But with my family sexual jokes always made me feel sick too and now i understand why.
If you can watch Oprah's show on men who abused children ..was 5/6 of them, all ages, races...it will open your eyes how they feel they were doing nothing wrong...what cons they are and how much in denial they all are in.
I finally saw what a con my father is and that is apologies were bs but the anger and resentment he has against me for telling to protect my nieces, is very really and ugly.
Sad part, I told to protect my nieces...and now my nieces think it is me with the problem...that i do not let go of the abuse...when in truth it is just my father doing excellent con job on them.
They only have listen to his side in last few years...and he lies about when we have fights what they are about or who brought up the abuse which is always him or my mother never me. My niece made it clear to me that she wanted to stay out of it....but yet her mother tells her things and she talks to my parents about it.
I try really hard to try and respect her wishes...but it hurts because I did it all for her and her sister. I do it again too so she never have the soul damaging pain it cause when your own father crosses that line. I just hope one day she will ask me about it and hear what it did to me. Now i guess they want a happy grandfather who treats them completely different than he does his own kids...he basically has written his own daughters off. He is that angry at all of us.
So...that is why before you say anything...get really good help because your entire world can change. But if it protects your children..than it is totally worth it. GOOD LUCK sorry my answer is so long too

 
Old 01-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
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student4toolong HB User
Re: Always wondered if my father abused me

Thank you so much for posting. Your post made me realize that the way I felt was possibly from sexual abuse I experienced when I was a child. I always, for as long as I remember, have been uncomfortable around my dad.

Last edited by Administrator; 01-07-2012 at 09:42 AM.

 
Old 01-07-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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wildcritters HB User
Re: Always wondered if my father abused me

thank you so much for saying I helped you.
It has been a very long haul for me since i sent the letter to confronting my father about 20 years ago now.
I can say this to you....do not be around him if you feel uncomfortable or you just do not feel right about it. Like if next few days you feel out of sorts or upset because you saw him...not worth it.

At least from my experience. My father has made it clear to me that he hates me and thinks i am most evil person alive. I realize that is how he probably feels about himself...but it is not okay he takes it out on me. He makes me out to be the bad guy even though all other family members say to him your got it wrong..that was not her..but other sister.
My nieces is worse...i did it to protect them. They now love him and feel he is greatest grandfather in the world. I am bitter etc...but i am not allowed to tell them when he says how much he hates me etc...they do not want to know.... I Get that is how their mom is ...so how they were mainly raised but still hurts.
Because they always include him into family events..so i am often left on outside because i cannot let him keep abusing me.
I rather i guess respect myself ..than compromise like i did most of my life at this point in my life.
I hope you have the courage to do what is right for you ...only you period.
I know how hard it is...and often we just do not know...i sure did not always know..i wanted to do what was best for everyone because i loved everyone still.
So i get how you can still love him but not want to be around him too...sounds confusing...
bottom line is something horrible was done to you at very young age most likely....it takes a part of your soul it is so bad...so the pain may get better but it will always be there.
Good news is there are so many of us out there ...and many people go on to have great happy lives. I hope that is your path!
I wish i had followed what was right just for me instead of everyone else in my family...i think i be much happier and less sick person now!
but you made my day...i am glad that i did something positive for you..it was for me ..really as much as for you! Good luck and i really hope you have a great life loree

 
Old 01-08-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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fibrocrafter HB User
Re: Always wondered if my father abused me

I can tell you some history about my childhood, but strangley enough, it doesn't involve my biological father and even stranger....I'VE ALWAYS WONDERED THIS ABOUT HIM......I've been molested by a neighbor's son at an early age, and then by my stepfather a few years later, and then by my step dad's friend...and so on and so forth it seems. No, back to the beginning....while my real dad and mom were married, my neighbor's son took me in the closet and messed with me and encouraged another boy down the street to do the same. I was 4 years old, and when my dad found us in the closet, he treated me like I was a willing participant, and him and my brother made me feel shame.

<too much info>


Even though I never wanted to get in the closet to begin with, I was bullied. Okay, later, my parents divorced, mom married step dad and he started doing the same stuff. I never told for 4 years and my counselor says that my dad and brother's reaction to my first abuse sort of taught me that I would be part to blame in the molestation and I would be made to feel shame. Sure enough, when it came out, my dad <blamed me>

Later at age 14, I was flattered by the attentions of a 20 year old. Now, in all this time of abuse, I managed to keep my virginity in tact, but when the 20 year old made advances on me, I already felt so morally ashamed , so he did take my virginity. Later, he tried to do the same thing with my 13 year old sister...(this 20 year old "boyfriend)...and I didn't want that, so I told my mom and she wanted to press statutory rape charges and when she told my dad, he said in a mocking tone..."Oh, she wanted that, and then she later cries..."He raped me". So anyways, amazingly, I have no memories of my dad ever abusing me, but I feel distant from him and I try to hug him and he is stiff and I say "I love you" and he says "Okay"....but my earliest memories of him before any of this ugliness was of him holding me in his lap and reading to me, or letting me sleep in his bed against with his arm around me, against my back...so, why did he become distant later on?



<too much info>


I know my past is so messed up that it's hard to pinpoint which incident causes what, but it's just always bothered me. Oh, and my brother is thousands of miles away and has no relationship with my dad whatsoever,



Oh yeah, and as an adult, I've heard my dad say "Sex is supposed to be wrong and dirty to feel good"....or something like that.

 
Old 01-11-2012, 10:41 PM   #6
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student4toolong HB User
Re: Always wondered if my father abused me

Thank you for your message, I've been reading peoples stories and crying all day and night. I'm crying because they're describing, to a T, exactly how I felt and still feel. I'm sorry to hear about your experiences, but it sounds like you are in the healing process and leading a happy and fruitful life. Perhaps when your nieces get older they will understand -- a child is so innocent and can be molded to believe the anyone in authority (or sometimes just the loudest most vocal person around).

I guess I did not know what sexual abuse was. I always thought that people who were sexually abusive were unmarried, unemployed, pathetic men -- and I though that sexual abuse only referred to rape.

My father was confident and successful. Yes, he had a temper and I experienced emotional and verbal abuse, but my family and I saw him as a man of strong principles (ie. someone who would never sexually harass another). I still don't believe it because I don't have memories of my father touching me. But I have memories of my father watching me, inappropriately. And, till the day I left for college I felt scared about going to bed because I thought he would come in at night and do things. My uncle, though, did touch me inappropriately. But, I was lucky that I only saw him once in my life because he lived an ocean away. My father, on the other hand, was someone that was respected, and someone I lived under the same roof with. This is someone that I saw everyday of my life.

I didn't know why I was always uncomfortable around him, but now I realize that there were things he did and said that were wrong (and also, there's a possibility that something happened that I don't remember). I still don't know what to think, but I do know that the fact that I cringed every time I even got close to my father and I wanted to cover myself up whenever I was around him, or the fact that I was so scared at night before I went to sleep, or that I didn't even like being in the house alone with him, were all signs. Signs that something wasn't quite right. I knew deep inside something was wrong, but I thought I was being irrational and insane. I ignored my gut for a long time and I finally talked to my therapist about it. I'm depressed and considering taking a break from school to heal. I do not know what to do but I feel like I'm on the right path.

Thank you.

 
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