Confronting My Abuser

Oct 7th, 2012 | By | Category: All Posts, Discovering I'm Empowered

by Christina Enevoldsen

I didn’t actually plan to confront my dad. I didn’t think it would do me any good.

This is what I wrote a few years ago:

“My dad has displayed his selfishness for as long as I’ve known him.  I’m not under some delusion that he’ll suddenly develop a conscience and confess how he hurt me.  He covered up his abuse when it happened without regard for how that would hurt me and he’s still doing that now.  Holding out hope for some kind of healthy, compassionate response from him would keep me under his control and I’ve spent too many years there.  I’ve moved on without involving him.  He’s the one who would have destroyed me; he’s not the one to repair me.”

Before my recent phone discussion with my dad, I hadn’t talked with him in four years. I’ve been healing just fine without him and since my dad and mom walked away from me before specific memories of the sexual abuse surfaced, I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to stand up to him anyway.

I’ve confronted my mother a few times over the recent years, which is the only communication I’ve had with her in that time. I’ve objected to her lies that I’m living in a fantasy world and I’ve stood up to her assertions that I needed to forgive and stop dwelling in the old, dead history.  On the several occasions that I’ve confronted my mother, my dad was silent.

In the early stages of my healing, I wrote a very angry letter to him, but I didn’t feel the need to send it. I didn’t write it for him, I wrote it to articulate to myself just how I felt and to validate my anger and pain so I didn’t need him for that.

For me, confrontation, even in the form of a letter gave him too much power.  Even if it didn’t obligate me to hear any kind of a response, I didn’t want to imply that I wanted to open a discussion.  Now that I look back on it, I really just didn’t want to open the door to hope that he would somehow soften toward me and I didn’t want to face that pain of rejection if he didn’t respond or if he responded with more painful words.

My dad heard about what I was writing and saying about him but he never bothered to contact me. Instead, he defended himself to my son, “I can’t believe she would say something like that.  I love her.  I would never do anything to hurt her.”  My dad can really stir up trouble, but he can be a real smooth-talker too.  When I heard his response through my son a few years ago, even though I had clear memories of the abuse and had been living with the effects all my life, I still questioned my sanity because of his almost convincing words.  The truth is, I wanted to believe that my dad loved me.  It scared me that he could still influence me that way.

A few months ago, I heard through my son that my dad’s health wasn’t very good and that he wanted to talk to me.  I’ll be honest.  As much as I’ve sorted through all of this, when I heard that my dad wanted to talk with me, I was very emotional.

As sick and perverted as he was toward me, my dad was not only my sexual abuser—he was the closest thing to love that I had.  My mom was cold but my dad was very emotionally and physically affectionate.  To my mother, I was invisible, yet with my dad, he sought me out.  My dad pursued me for his own gratification, but as an emotionally starved child, I couldn’t afford to be picky.  My dad took me places and treated me “special”.  We picked out our family dog together, he drove me to Girl Scout Camp (those poor girls), he threw me in the air when I was convinced I could fly like Mary Poppins.  My dad was involved.

Yes, my dad caused me enormous pain, but he was also the only person I felt any amount of connection with while I was growing up.  Though the comfort I got from him was mixed with fear and the “love” from him carried the price of sexual compliance, that was as close to love as I ever had.

When I got the message that my dad wanted to talk with me, I hated that I wanted to talk with him.  I judged myself for still having a soft spot for him and I was afraid that all my boundaries would crumble and I’d sacrifice my wellbeing for his, just as I had for most of my life.

I also hated that I had hope.  I wanted to believe that I didn’t have hope of him finally coming to his senses and loving me, but I did.  I had to admit to myself that I wanted his love, though I also had healed enough to know I no longer needed it.

In the midst of sorting out those feelings, I heard myself think, “Parents aren’t important.”  That stopped me.  That’s not true—parents are very important, and not just in childhood.  I’d lied to myself as a shield from the pain, but I was ready to face another layer of that. My life would have been better if I’d had loving parents, but the way they are, my life is better off without them. I want parents, but I don’t need them now.

For a few days, I grieved the loss that the new truth brought.  It was both painful and empowering. It felt good that I was cleansing myself of another lie and I was proud of myself for acknowledging the truth

Afterward, I still wanted to talk to him, but I felt differently about it.  I didn’t feel the same longing, just a calm.  I decided that I could afford to talk with him.  I didn’t know the reason he wanted to talk with me, but I wasn’t afraid of the outcome.  No matter what he’d say, I’d stand up for myself.  It was okay to have hope because I could afford a disappointment. I wasn’t depending on him for a good outcome since I’m fine without him.

The phone call

Almost as soon as my dad answered the phone, he told me that he loved me.  I was silent.  He repeated it, “I love you more than you’ll ever know. You know that don’t you?”

Those words might have stung if I’d heard them a year or two ago.  It was one of the things I wished for the most.  But that day, they were just empty words.

I told him, “What I do know is that you and mom have both chosen abusers over me and hurt me very much. I’ve felt affection from you, but the way I define love is to do what’s best for the person I love. If I hurt them, I try to make amends instead of causing more pain. Both of you caused me more pain. Mom accused me of being a liar and you hurt me with your silence.

“Four years ago, I told mom that I wanted to stop brushing things under the rug and to stop pretending like things are okay.  I wanted a better relationship because you’re important to me.

“It stirred up a lot of feelings when I heard you wanted to talk to me. I felt like a vulnerable little girl who wanted to be able to trust in your love. In the years since our separation, I wished for either of you to call me. I wanted you to say that we could talk about whatever we need to talk about to resolve this.

“When I heard that you wanted to talk to me, I thought it could be one of two things. That you wanted to have peace by finally admitting the truth or that you wanted to talk about pleasant memories and good times we’ve had so you could say goodbye.  But in that case, I have the rest of my life to live knowing that all of our relationship was just about taking care of you.  You get peace either way and I’m willing to give you that, but I want the same thing I wanted four years ago.  I want to talk things out.”

Without skipping a beat, my dad responded, “You don’t know how much we love you.  We’re not hateful and we want to get things so we have a loving family. I said to your mother wouldn’t it be fantastic if our daughter would come up and knock on our door?  We prayed that we would have a life together again.  You don’t know how much we love you and we’ll always love you. I’d give anything to hold you and kiss you one more time and your mom feels the same way.”

Wow, the only response to my request was that he loved me, but that wasn’t good enough anymore.  He wanted me to be the one to come to them, without either of them taking any responsibility for the disaster our relationship was.  Yes, he wanted reconciliation, but he wanted things to go back to the way they were.  Same old story!

I told him, “I love my kids so much and there are things I’ve done in the past I’ve done to wound them.  I’m willing to hear their anger and pain and to validate their feelings and their experiences.  I don’t try to gloss over it by saying, ‘I know but I’ll always love you.’ I sit with them in their pain.  I don’t try to protect myself from it.  That’s how I define love. That ‘s what I wanted from you and Mom.  I wanted to talk honestly about things and not just cover it up with, ‘I love you’. If you really want to communicate love to me, say that you’re ready to talk about my pain.”

He replied, “Uh huh, I guess from the standpoint of my approving of the way you presented this, that’s really difficult for me.  Because I never once did the things you said I was doing. Your mom and I have wondered why you would put us in this position to say I’ve done these terrible things and I would never do those things. I can honestly tell you that I would never do those things because you’re my daughter and I love you.”

I was prepared for his denial.  I asked, “Are you saying I’m making up the sexual abuse or that I imagined it?  That’s one of the worst things you could say to me.  That’s not love.

“You said that you prayed that I’d show up at your door but the ball is in your court.  If you want that to happen, it’s up to you. You walked away from me. The way our relationship used to be made you happy, but it didn’t make me happy and that’s not healthy.  I told mom that I wanted honesty and openness and that’s what I still want.  There’s a lot about the past that I could forgive, but neither of you asked for forgiveness.  If you want a relationship based on the honestly that I asked for, I’d be interested in that. The only way we can go forward is if we deal with the past.”

I also confronted my dad about betraying my daughter when he defended my ex-husband’s sexual abuse and tried to bribe her to keep quiet.  He made excuses and I confronted him about his excuses.

He ended by reminding me that he loved me.

Confrontations aren’t usually so mellow. Our conversation was punctuated with memories of happier moments and we even laughed a time or two.

The only hint of any hostility from him was when he denied sexually abusing me.  He used the excuse that he didn’t approve of me bringing it up in public, but he had a kind tone in nearly the entire time we talked.

In the past, that’s been the most difficult time for me to speak up for myself.  It’s much easier to maintain my boundaries when people are mean.  When I started getting good at standing up for myself, I could stand toe to toe with someone who was overtly opposing my wellbeing, but responding in a healthy way to the sweet talkers has been a weakness.  Until now.  As “nice” as he sounded, he didn’t lull me into falling for his lies.

I felt so empowered to be both gentle and strong.  I was firm in speaking the truth and didn’t feel bad if the truth happened to hurt him.  I also didn’t lose sight of my needs even in the midst of my dad repeatedly discounting and ignoring them. Every time I told my dad what I wanted, he changed the subject, but I kept going back to what I wanted. Afterwards, I felt so free that I could tell him how I felt and what I wanted, yet not feel like that made me vulnerable.  In the end, my dad’s actions told me that my needs still aren’t important to him and I was okay with that.  MY needs are important to me and they are no less valid just because he refused them.

I was willing to talk to him one more time to say goodbye.  He didn’t deserve it, but I gave him peace. All my life, I’d put his and everyone else’s needs above mine and I knew I wasn’t doing that this time. I didn’t compromise myself in reaching out to him.  This time, I not only didn’t lose anything in giving, I had some major breakthroughs.

I thought that nothing would likely be gained by confronting my sexual abuser, but I’ve changed my opinion a little now.  It wasn’t what my dad could give to me in the encounter, it was what I gave to myself.

Now that you’ve heard my experience and thoughts about this, I’d love to hear yours. Please comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to the comments so you can continue to partake in the discussion. If you would like to protect your privacy, you don’t have to use your real name. Email addresses are never made public.

Related Posts:
The Truth About My Abuser’s Threats
It’s Not About You, Mom
What We Wish Our Parents Understood About Our Sexual Abuse
Understanding My Abusive Parents Didn’t Heal Me
Peace and Protection From Abuse
Standing Up For Myself: Reclaiming My Self-Worth

Christina Enevoldsen

I’m Christina Enevoldsen and I’m the cofounder of Overcoming Sexual Abuse and the author of The Rescued Soul: The Writing Journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal. My passion is exploring new ways to express my empowered new life. I’ve recently discovered the joy of waterslides, the delightful scented lotion from Bath & Body Works, “Dark Kiss” and hosting princess tea parties for my granddaughters. My husband and I live in Scottsdale, Arizona and share three children and six grandchildren.

[read Christina’s story here]

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  1. Christina,

    I’ve found this site about a month or so ago and you have no idea what a blessing it’s been to me! I so look forward to reading your postings and I can relate soooo much to everything you write and I am facing the reality that my dad sexually abused me too. My memories are fragmented which kept (and sometimes still keeps) me in denial, but I am learning to trust myself now. I’ve read a few things you wrote about denial and fragmented memories and am interested if you would be willing to speak more about this at some point? Trusting myself despite only have a few fragmented memories makes me feel less confused and better about myself and like I can trust me to take care of me regardless that my parents never could or probably never will validate the abuse. Good job handling yourself in a calm and firm manner in confronting your abuser! You are truly an inspiration to me!

  2. Christine,
    I am literally in tears after reading this, and also in awe of the timing of what you post and what I am going through ever since that post you put up on my mother’s birthday of July 8th.
    I haven’t spoken with my parents since I confronted them of abuse in July and during that process I was getting coaching and writing a lot and doing the “lots of extra support” thing. And when it kind of calmed down, I stopped doing those things… yesterday I found myself in a deeply sad moment when I realized, wow, I haven’t spoken to my parents in over 2 months, the longest in my adult life. There are times when it would be really nice to have a mother, to have a father. My mother has said so many times to me “All of my friends are so close to their children, I don’t even feel like i have a daughter.” And finally I said back “What do you think it feels like not to have a mother?” I am finally allowing myself to feel the vulnerability and devastation of it all.

    I had written my parents a 4 page letter and they responded with wanting to discuss each point, point by point, over the telephone. I made the decision that I did not feel like putting myself through that – since they also were denying that even ONE thing I had written was true. I thought, what is the point of hearing why I am crazy and delusional, I already struggle with feeling that way without anyone else’s help.

    And yet there is still a part of me that wants to talk, that wants to hear what I want to hear, which is what they will say, which is more or less what your father said. And I know I deserve more than that. It’s a struggle for me. The little 2, 3, 4, year old in me who was given up for adoption and then raped and molested, and then more or less became a runaway and a drug addict is still wanting that love – and when people (like my partner) give it to me I can only handle it in small doses.

    Thank you for sharing so truthfully, what you shared pierced directly into the heart of what I am experiencing.
    It’s so awesome to know that I am not alone and that there are women like yourself and Darlene who have walked some steps ahead of me on this journey.

  3. I am so sorry Christina. That must have been so difficult that I cannot even imagine. I never experienced the sexual abuse you have Christina. I was only molested once when I was 11 years old. I had 2 friends over night and my dad was so great to us. He bought pizza, made popcorn and drinks, gave us a movie to watch. What a great night, as I sat next to my dad, so proud I was to have as my dad. The next day he dropped them off at their houses and I rode along in the front seat of our car. He took my hand and held it, I felt loved. We got back to the house and I began packing because my mom was going to pick me up. I decided to change out of my clothes I was still wearing from the night before. Dad came in while I was changing. I desperately scrambled to find some clothes to hide behind, but not before dad got an eyeful. It triggered something in him, he came over to tickle me. As laughter filled the room, dad began blowing raspberries on my stomach, then he preceded to perform oral sex on me under the disguise of tickling me. It was the most humiliating hour of my life. I can’t even describe the awful things he did to me that day. It changed my relationship with my dad forever. I never again went to his house alone. I never even went there period until I was 18. I went with my mom and my boyfriend. I wanted to ask him why he would do such an awful thing to his own daughter. With my mom and boyfriend right there in the room with me, he told me it was my fault for letting him see me naked. It was my fault for trying to seduce him. I was stunned! I was sick to my stomach, thinking after years of having me out of his life that he would have placed blame on himself. I shouted at him to explain himself, how could it have been my fault, I was just 11 years old. His response, “because you liked it.” My mom had heard enough, she literally dragged me out of there in discuss. I wanted to kill my dad, I asked my boyfriend to beat him up. I spent the next few days replaying everything in my head, doubting myself for everything that happened. But then I realized, this is what he wanted me to think, he wanted me to have self doubt. Its true, my body responded, but that is a natural reaction, not my choice. I hate my dad but have since forgiven him, but never will forget. I never talked to him again, I forgiven him because I know he doesn’t want me to. As long as I do the opposite of what my “dad” thinks, I will be okay. Thanks, Morgan

  4. Christina,

    I so appreciate how you revealed your thoughts and desires concerning your dad and mom. You make it so real and “normal” for me because I do have some of the same when it comes to my dad. I’ve asked myself many times if I want a relationship with him, and the answer is, I want a healthy relationship with him. In order to have that, there has to be the commitment to talk about our past. Reading this has made me feel that it’s ok to not only want that, but it’s ok to wait for it, too.

    Hugs, Patty

  5. Michele,
    The topic of fragmented memories is something I’ve been thinking about recently. This post reminded me of how far I’ve come in learning to trust myself. Some of it has come from learning how the mind works and a lot of it has come from keeping a healing journal, where I record everything that I believe relates to my abuse, including memories, dreams and feelings. It’s been amazing to see how it all fits together and to see the way my mind allows new memories to surface. Doing that has been so very validating to me when I see how consistent it is.

    I’m so delighted that you found OSA and that it’s been such a blessing to you! Welcome to our healing community!

  6. Kylie,
    Thank you for sharing this. I especially love this part of what you wrote:

    My mother has said so many times to me “All of my friends are so close to their children, I don’t even feel like i have a daughter.” And finally I said back “What do you think it feels like not to have a mother?” I am finally allowing myself to feel the vulnerability and devastation of it all.

    That’s such a great response! My mom gave me her version of the same thing when she told me that whether or not I acknowledged her as my mother or not, I’d always be her daughter. She said that in the context of demanding that I honor her. My reply was, “I’ll honor you as my mother when you act honorably”. All my life, I carried the full weight of the relationship and it took me a long time to see that wasn’t my place. It sounds like you came to that same conclusion. That was freeing, but sad at the same time because THEN I had to face what I feared all along, which was their undeniable abandonment.

    That’s so fantastic that you’re standing up for yourself and only doing what you are comfortable with. That’s so self-validating! Thank you for sharing this part of your journey.

  7. You handled that far better than I think I would have. In your shoes, I get the feeling something about placing the whole thing where the sun never shines would have come out of my mouth at some point.

    My father has only said “I love you” once or twice to me that I can remember, and he has NEVER said “I’m sorry.” His tactic is to pretend nothing ever happened… and you’d better believe you have to play along, lest you be the target of his searing tongue and a list of reasons what happened was your fault. The irony is this is the same person who has (justifiably) criticized my late grandfather for being such a cruel man.

    I played along the last time I saw him, for two reasons: He’d been diagnosed with cancer that year and I wanted to see if knowing he has a terminal disease had caused him to reflect on things, and we were in a room full of other people at a funeral reception after we’d just buried my ex’s grandmother. I was mostly polite in honor of Grandma and in support of my daughter.

    I got my answer in the silence that followed for a year and a half after that conversation, followed by a tacky card sent on a milestone birthday with a note that addressed me as if I was still ten years old. Pretty obvious to me he’s still preferring to pretend nothing happened. He still wants to believe that works, and that the price of losing his only daughter is somehow not his fault.

    He’ll take that to his grave unless some divine miracle happens between now and when the cancer finally takes him. I said what I had to say about the abuse in a letter to him and the rest of my family several years ago, one over which he claimed he’d sue me and used as an excuse to spy on me online, but didn’t have the guts to mention it to my face.

    I have also seen what I need to see. Any further pursuit for closure with those who opened the wounds is just pearls before swine.

    I want parents too… but I don’t need them. Especially not the set I got.

  8. Morgan,
    OMG, that sounds awful! I’m so sorry for what your father did to you. The way that he did that after being so loving causes SO much confusion and damage. It took a lot for me to untangle love/sex and comfort/fear because of the context of my abuse.

    That’s so great that you sorted out your dad’s lies so quickly and threw off the blame that he tried to put on you. Wow! Thanks for sharing that!

  9. Patty,
    I didn’t think I’d ever admit that out loud because it was hard enough to admit that to myself. I judged myself for wanting that, as though that made me weak. But it felt really good to be honest with myself and also to know that I my desire for a relationship with my parents didn’t mean I would go running back to them. I could acknowledge my inner child’s desire for a mom and dad, yet the adult me could say, “It’s not good to go around those people unless they change.”

    Your comment reminded me of how great it is to be a part of a community of healing survivors because one of the reasons I decided to hear what my dad had to say was because of you. Before I even considered talking with him, one of my fears was that I might be compromising my healing to have contact with him. But since you’d shared with me that you’d met with your dad and felt good about it, I figured at least I’d have your support. LOL Sometimes, navigating this healing journey is difficult because we can’t copy someone else’s journey. We have to hear and weigh and decide for ourselves what is best for us at that time. I’m really glad for being able to learn from each other and to use that to make better decisions. So thanks for sharing, my friend!

  10. You did great. You were prepared and handled the situation well.

  11. PS,
    I can relate to those feelings too! I just read the letter I wrote to my dad a few years ago (posted here) and I wondered what I would have said to his face during that time. In my letter, I told him I didn’t even want to share the same planet with him.

    I can also very much relate to playing along to see if the cancer would have any positive effects on him. My dad has had some health issues recently that I thought might influence him to “come clean”, but it doesn’t seem to have done that. I knew it wasn’t likely, but I still hoped.

    I’m sorry that your dad didn’t validate your experience or apologize either, but I’m so glad that you know that you’re okay with that. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  12. Jim,
    Thanks! I agree that I was prepared and that made all the difference. If I had talked with my dad prior to that, I don’t think I’d have walked away feeling so validated. I believe it would have caused me more harm if I hadn’t waited for the right time in my healing journey when I could validate myself in the midst of so much invalidation, especially from my primary abuser. Thanks for your comment!

  13. The blurb on my wall attracted me to reading this post. I have multiple abusers as well as abusers who have molested my child. I want that kind of peace and have worked on it little by little.
    I was particularly proud of myself a few weeks ago during the family cook out (during which my birthday was being celebrated with my niece’s) I was responding to my son on how many mentally ill people when they get together seem to be very dramatic. My brother interjected, “Like you.” I turned and firmly said back, “No, not like me.”
    It sounds simple and like no big deal but for me to not defend myself vociferously and become offended like I would in the past was a very big step. My brother knows my buttons and how to push them. Not reacting in a knee jerk fashion and getting upset helped me to realize that I didn’t need to give him any control over my knowledge of myself. If that makes any sense.

  14. Hi Christina
    Wow, there is so to comment on! I found it interesting that your father said that he didn’t like you talking about it in public. That struck me as a bit of a truth leak.
    The constant repeating of how much he (they) love you and how you don’t know how much they love you is so empty. Just words with no substance, no real meaning and that is what was so hurtful in my situation with my own parents too. Like “I love you” solves everything. “I love you” without action is nothing but they don’t see that. I spent years in my this process of recovery learning what love really is by learning what it isn’t. It is so devaluing to be told “I love you” instead of being listened to!
    It took me so long to let go of the longing for my parents to value me enough to want to resolve or even to talk about the past. I know that what I longed for is the validation of me as a person that I thought only they could give me. But like you, I learned to give that to myself.
    Hugs, Darlene

  15. Bipolar Bear,
    That’s fantastic! It’s wonderful to experience those victories and to see the fruit of the healing process, isn’t it?

    I’ve noticed the same thing about my responses to abusers. I don’t need to control other people’s thoughts and feelings about me anymore (I never really could do that, but I sure tried!) because I’m secure in the truth about myself. Thanks for sharing your progress with us!

  16. Christina, omg…you sound so much like me! I applaud you for being so honest with yourself and I’m praying that you’ll continue to be strengthened thru every facet and every struggle that comes with being abused. My father abused me and my mother enabled him. I too felt closer to him because my mother has never wanted a relationship with me. I was never wanted. I was a replacement baby for the son they lost a year before my birth. Rejection from the womb. My parents chose to take my ex’s side also. I went from an abusive home as a child to an abusive marriage. It started out so subtly. He started drinking and doing drugs almost immediately and brought xxx-rated porn into our house. I had grown up in a “christian” frigid home and had never seen the likes of what I’ve lived thru. Even when I tried to leave him when our daughter was four, I told my parents EVERYTHING, my father said since he wasn’t abusing me…physically….that my place was with him. I learned that my life and the life of my daughters wasn’t worth being saved. I stayed with him for 22 1/2 years hoping and dreaming he would change. I went from being emotionally and mentally abused to being physically and sexually abused. I tried to explain this to my parents but they wouldn’t listen. He still works for my father and I think they back him because they are controllers and he is easily controlled. My father has the money and a reputation in his town. He retired from preaching around 9 years ago. I myself have moved on. I’m happily married to a wonderful Godly man and am so at peace. Yes, sometimes I wonder if my parents or even my sister think about me. My sister had to chose their sides, she married my ex’s brother so apparently she thought she had no choice. It still hurts sometimes but I’m healing and letting go and not holding my breath for anything from them.

  17. Darlene,
    My dad telling me that he loved me used to work very well. I used to dismiss any objections I had when I heard those words. That also worked when I’d tell my dad about the things my ex-husband was doing to me. My dad would say, “David really loves you.” So I thought I didn’t have any right to complain. It was like love equaled ownership and as long as they loved me, they could do whatever they wanted to me and I should just be grateful to be “loved”. Those patterns fed into my belief that those abuses were all there was to a relationship. Love meant being hurt.

    Like you, it took me a long time to be able to love and validate myself so I could afford to see under the “I love you” lies. Until then, I denied the truth to protect myself. Self-love is SO key to seeing the truth.

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Laurie,
    Wow, our stories are very similar! I’m glad you’re at a happier place in your life too. It’s a wonderful change from so many years of abuse. Thank you for sharing that.

  19. Thank you Christina for sharing and being an example and a witness that there is life after abuse!!!

  20. Hi Christina, Your blog was just what I needed to read today. I have tried many times to talk to my mother about the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of my brother and his friends as well as a lifetime of verbal, emotional, psychological abuse and sexually inappropriate behavior by my father. I have never been at a point like you where I could believe enough in myself no matter what her response. Maybe I am getting close. She is the one I most want to talk to because she did not protect me and dismissed the abuses all through my life. Your blog describing your feelings and the actions you took to confront your father have inspired me to reconsider the possibility of finding a new way to approach the confrontation and to not back down and go silent as I have before. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  21. My relationship with my older brother, who sexually, physically, and emotionally abused me, was like this for a long time. One minute I would remember much of what he had done to me and how cruel he was, but then he would sweet talk me as if nothing ever happened and he really liked me, and I would forget all of that and be taken in again. It was always painful for me and I would kick myself for it when later on a surge of memories would come back to remind me of all the things he had done and how much I hated him. Anyway, I used to feel the same apprehension as to whether I could face him or similarly manipulative people down today. But I’ve broken out of those patterns today, and while he is the person least likely to try and contact me (since I don’t have anything he wants–there are much better targets for him…) I’m sure I could stay in my presence and keep the topic on all of his crimes and how he hasn’t changed one bit.

    I’m so glad you got some self-affirmation out of the encounter, even though he had nothing for you. Love is definitely an action, it isn’t some secret you hold deep inside yourself while violating and abusing someone else. My mother always pleaded about how much she “loved” me too, but her love was worthless, so she can keep it.

  22. Alejandra,
    I’m so glad this came along for you at the right time. I confronted my mother before I confronted my father too, probably because I was more angry with her and she was the one overtly attacking me about my disclosure. Have you read the blogs I wrote about that?
    It’s Not About You, Mom
    The Truth About My Abusers Threats

    That’s wonderful that you’re getting to a place that you believe enough in yourself to withstand her response! The abuse attacks our self-worth and self-confidence so much that it’s amazing that any of us can stand up to it. But so many of us find a way anyway. That astounds me everyday. Yay for us! Thanks for sharing that. Let us know how it goes.

  23. Caden,
    I’m standing up and cheering for you for how validating you are to yourself. When you speak the truth, your voice is so strong! You’re an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

  24. It is so encouraging Christina to read your story because your expressions of ambiquity were so clear and so familiar to me. My father sexually abused me, my mother allowed this. I too wanted so much to believe that all this was a lie. I was fearful of confronting for several reasons. I didn’t want to get sucked back into believing all is well. I didn’t want the relationship to continue, unless there was acknowledgement and apologies. I felt so vulnerable around them. In fear of displeasing them, a sincere wanting to make them happy. You would think I was 4 or 5 years old, not 45. After I did though in a letter. (Chicken me), There was such a feeling of relief and freedom. The contact from them slowed tremendously and then stopped. I realized because I had my own children that they never really loved me. Abuse and self gratification IS NOT love.
    it was so hard for me though to grieve this loss of knowing I was never loved. I in no way wanted their sick warped perception of love, I just wished I would have had real love from them. It helped me to focus on others who did care about me in a healthy way and to remember with fondness, my gandmother’s love. Warmth w/o abuse, kind words w/o yelling, healthy touch and a peacefulness w/o fear.

    You have been through so much and I truly admire your strength.
    Good for you and your own resolve. The freedom is so worth it, right?
    When you are ready to confront, we’ll be here. But this is a personal decicision. We do understand how hard it is for you. Keep in touch.

  25. Christina–
    I so appreciate the honest and thorough way you share your story. It was over 20 years ago that I confronted my parents. They came to visit, and expected the “don’t talk about it” rule to continue, but my therapist put me on the spot by asking me what I was going to say to them. (I hadn’t planned on saying anything!). Of course, I got the luke-warm response which is so typical. Dad said he wished he had done things differentlyand Mom reminded me that I was always a precocious child (my fault, of course).

    I tell you this, because it took most of these last 20 years to realize that the appology and understanding would never be forthcoming. We all hope that one day they will understand what they have done. My mother has since passed away and my father is in his late 90’s, and now I know that he will die with excuses on his tongue. He stopped being my “daddy” when I was 12 years old. He stopped being anything more than a disturbed old man to me about 5 years ago. For me, it really is resolved. I hope that others will find this place of acceptance more quickly than I was able to do.

    Thank you, Christine, for this site.

  26. Hi Christine,

    Thank you for making your story available– it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone.

    For about 5-6 years (starting around 8 yrs old) I was molested by my dad. My parents split up when I was 7 so my brother’s and I would alternate staying at each parent’s home. My dad would often ask that I stay in his bed and being so young, I obliged. My dad and I always had a fun, loving relationship as you described- we always went to the grocery store together, rode bikes and genuinely had a good time being buds. As I got older, I suppressed the confusing feelings I had- I loved spending time with him and knew he cared about me, but in my mind I knew something wasn’t right but fought to ignore this feeling. As the years passed and I started to have relationships, it became hard to suppress the feelings any longer.

    My dad has been an alcoholic all of my life, in and out of rehab was the norm. When I was younger, I think I accepted that he did these things to me because he was drinking. As I got older, and went to some counseling, I realized that child abuse and alcoholism are two separate diseases- one does not cause the other. If he wasn’t an alcoholic, he would still abuse children. I have two older brothers- I recall in college getting the news that my dad was being accused of child molestation on a young girl. I remember him calling me and saying “I would never do that- you know that.” I was astounded that he would say that to me after the things he had done to me- it was like he was acting as though it never happened. I had never confronted my emotions about the issue, so I didn’t say much on the phone. I recall being terrified that I could be asked to testify for him in court as I am his only daughter. Luckily, my older brother informed my dad that none of us would be involved with the court and that he is to handle this situation on his own. The worst feeling I felt was the guilt of not speaking up sooner. I thought if I had told someone about what happened to me, it could have prevented it from happening to someone else. This would not be the only time he was accused of such a crime- a year later, another girl stepped forward and my guilt surged. Although I knew what happened to me was real, knowing it happened to other girls made it even more real.

    I recall the first day that I acknowledged this happened to me and I felt a gigantic sense of relief but also shame. It disgusted me to say it out loud. After having intimacy issues with my long-term boyfriend, I acknowledged that my issues are related to my past trauma and thought I should tell him so he didn’t just think I was a prude. I immediately felt closer to him after sharing such a dark secret. I never wanted sympathy, just understanding. He has been there for me always and has always been so patient with me.

    Hiding this secret from my family was becoming harder and harder. My dad would come in town from rehab and I would avoid him– which made me feel like my brothers thought I was a jerk. My oldest brother had a son last September and the thought of something happening to him made me sick. I had always thought I’d never tell my brothers- I just felt like it would upset them too bad to know this happened to me and ruin the relationship they have with their father. Nonetheless, the arrival of my precious nephew brought me to take one of the biggest steps I’ve taken to healing- telling my brother (aka THE BEST, most supportive, brother in the world). I remember the night- I called and told him I wanted to talk. I drove around in circles around his neighborhood before stopping in. My sister in law was awake so we made small talk until she went to bed. Then, it was just me and my brother and I knew this was going to be it. As tears came to my eyes, I told him “You know the charges that dad has?… well, it happened to me too”. He came to my side instantly and cried and I could sense his anger and sadness at the same time. We talked for a while and i told him that I felt obligated to tell him now that he has a son. We decided not to tell our other brother (for now) as there will be a proper time when he has kids, as there was for telling my older brother. As for my Mom- I don’t think i’ll ever tell her. I think the guilt she would feel would be too much. She did everything for us growing up and I never want her to feel like she put me in a bad situation.

    My brother encouraged me to write my dad a letter to tell him how I feel. I want so bad to hang on to the good parts of the relationship I had with my dad, but the truth is, i can’t stand to be in the same room with him without feeling uncomfortable. Every time he called me on the phone, I felt fake and anxious. I was tired of living this lie and acting like everything is ok. I sat down and wrote him a letter–surprisingly, I got it right the first time and was satisfied with what I had written. I thanked him for all of the good memories, wished him the best, and told him that I needed to not have him in my life for my own well-being and for the sake of my relationship. I couldn’t properly start the healing process until he was out of my life. While this was the hardest thing I ever had to do, I felt relief after I dropped it in the mailbox. He never responded–which is what I requested– but a part of me still wanted to feel like he’d fight to keep our relationship.

    (PS i’ve never written about this before so I’m realizing how long this is becoming..)

    My current situation is why I’ve decided to blog… my boyfriend and i went to college together, then we lived in different cities for over a year. In college and over the year apart, we had sex a decent amount, but still had issues sometimes because I wouldn’t be in the mood (like any girl I imagine). I shut down when we try to talk about it and feel uncomfortable when he asks me what I like… or what makes me uncomfortable. For some reason, I just can’t bring myself to talk about these things.. even to the person i trust most in the world. Recently, he moved in with me and the sex is just not there (maybe once in the last 2 months). I know I’m capable of enjoying it, but lately we aren’t intimate at all and we’re around each other more than ever. It’s very frustrating because I don’t know how to fix it. As a result of being rejected by me so many times, he doesn’t try at all anymore. Sometimes we don’t even sleep in the same room. This is his way of coping with it- he doesn’t want to pressure me. I understand why things have gotten this way, but I don’t know how to make it better. I’m only 25- we want to get married but I’m worried that things will be like this forever leaving him very unsatisfied. The bad thing is, I’m such a pro at suppressing feelings, that I can easily not think about the issue while it’s bothering him every day. I know he will never give up on me, but I want to satisfy him and have the most fulfilling relationship possible. We are the best friends in the world, but lately it seems like that’s all we are because of my sexual disconnect. I don’t know if the recent confrontation with my dad has triggered this sexual distance with my bf, but I want so bad to make it better.. for both of us. Can anyone offer advice?? I’ve tried looking for books on the issue, but I’m having trouble finding one that matches my situation.

    Sorry this was so long.. just realized I needed to vent. Whew!

  27. I have just read all ur comments, and I feel compelled to write this. I am 59yrs old and I was abused by my uncle from the age of 5yrs. It was horrific and it went on until I was 14 yrs when I plucked up the courage to tell my parents.. I must also add that my father was a very cruel man and my siblings and I were beaten regularily . He was also an alcoholic, when I told him about the abuse he showed no compassion what so ever, and not long after he started to abuse me also, it was then that I started to run away and rebel, I also started to drink and take drugs, the police used to pick me up all the time and take me home again, but as soon as they would leave I would b off again. I also used to fight a lot. I had so much anger that it didn’t matter who I fought with. When I was picked up for the last time I was put into care , where I stayed until I was 17yrs old. I told social worker my dad & uncle abused me, so they took him to court. My mum stood up in court and said I was lying and just looking for attention… Off course I never realised it then but she was scared of him too! He used to abuse her also. When I was 16 my mother was taken into hospital suffering renal failure of course I never realised how seriously ill she was, while visiting her once she asked me “did ur dad really abuse me” when I told her he did she cried and said when she gets out she was going to take my brothers and sisters (I was second eldest of nine) she asked me to help her and I said I would. This never happened because she died in the hospital soon afterwards, she was only 37yrs old and had 9 kids. After she died I was 17 and I went home to look after my brothers and sisters, but only lasted 2 weeks, he blamed me for mum’s death, said she died of a broken heart because of the lies I told her. I immediately left and went to live in London with my aunt, I carried on drinking and fighting, the pain in my life was unbearable… I then met and married my still husband, who also had alcohol problems. And although he drank he was a good man. I was with him quite some time and I decided I wanted to confront my father, so I invited him to come live with us. To my surprise he agreed. Bit again it never happened because he went out and got drunk and fell down stairs and broke his neck. They say he took 3/4 days to die. So I never got any answers from him either. One thing I do know some of u say ur father said he loved u. I never heard those words from my parents ever. I went on married and had three children. I drank for yrs and even ended up in prison for Gbh . I came out of prison carried on drinking and we decided to come home to N Ireland, everything escalated from then on, I drank more and more. Eventually I had enough drinking, so I went in for counselling and detox. When I came out I still felt empty and in pain, so I became a Christian… I can honestly say for me it was the best thing I have ever done. Only when I have all my pain and sorrow over to GOD did I get complete peace. I thank u all for ur stories they sure have helped me. I pray my account can help some of h. GOD BLESS.

  28. Sharon,
    Your mother’s “precocious child” comment made me shake my head. I’m glad you saw the victim blaming behind that comment and didn’t accept it.

    It takes a long time to come to acceptance about all these issues related to parents. Parental love is a hard thing to let go of, even if you never had it. I hope we can all learn to give ourselves the love that we never had. Thank you for sharing!


  29. Hi Tina,
    Thank you for sharing your story. There’s so much to comment on, but I’ll just comment on the last part about your issues with your boyfriend.

    I understand how being triggered by the pain of the abuse can create a shift in your present life. That’s happened to me frequently. Sometimes, that makes it feel like I’m going backwards in my healing process, but it’s just more things being revealed at the right time.

    One time, I heard about a friend’s young relative disclosing sexual abuse and even though I heard and read about abuse all the time, that really set me off. I was disgusted with men and told my husband I never wanted to see another penis as long as I lived. That was a huge shift in me. Before that, I’d enjoyed sex very much. It was shocking to both my husband and to me that I’d feel that way. I’ve learned to go with wherever my healing takes me, so I explored that thought of never having sex again. Over the next few days, I told my body that it never had to do that again if it didn’t want to and to my surprise, I sensed a huge relief. I’d never known how much I needed to know I didn’t have to have sex. The abuse gave me the message that I didn’t have a choice and even though I enjoyed sex, I really needed to be firm in the truth that I didn’t have to do it. It took some time to work through it, but giving myself to permission just to “be” was incredibly freeing and self validating.

    Whatever it is that you’re feeling, you deserve the time and space you need for yourself. You’re worth it.


  30. Hi Mary,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad you found some peace.

  31. Hi Christina,
    My husband of 20 years, who is so understanding just reminded me that I do get more sensitive around the holidays. I do not even celebrate them. Christmas at home was always a disaster. My father would be drunk Christmas eve, throw the tree down, after my Mom demanded he put the lights on. The mosestation from my Dad would take place the next day. I hated Christmases.
    Around holiday times, I just want to isolate myself, perhaps, as a way to protect against more harm. Both my parents are dead, I’ve been through years of therapy, yet still there are triggers.
    All of the stories here are so sad and have such a ring of truth for myself. Thanks for sharing everyone. I feel better knowing I have a place to vent.
    I was so happy to hear that one survivor had a yen to tell because of the nephew and wanted to stop the cycle. Hooray. I love to things like this. I wonder how I too can help stop the cycle. My confrontation was years ago, yet somehow, I still want to do more to help others.

  32. I confronted my father just out of college. It was one of those moments in my life where I felt I was dreaming. My whole body seemed to go numb from emotion. The whole time I yelled, swore and demanded an answer to why, why? My father sat there and listened to every word, never interrupted me, then finally told me he was sorry. He held me to his chest and cried. I was in shock that I could bring him to tears, not knowing if he was truly sorry for what he did or that I brought something up that happened over 10 years ago. As for the abuse itself, my father bribed me with ice cream and candy in return for being able to touch me. Being 11 years old with my father’s hand down my pants was very confusing, felt very icky and good at the same time. I hate thinking about it more than anything, something I have to live with my whole life.

  33. Irene,
    I’m sorry that you could relate too. I’m glad you know you can vent here and we’ll listen. It’s really sad that so many of us can understand. Thanks for sharing your story.

  34. Lindsey,
    I can relate to the confusion over your dad’s reaction. Before I confronted my dad, I had a few dreams about being with him and his response to me. I so badly wanted him to just hold me and comfort me, but I couldn’t ever trust in his love. With the history of manipulation, how could I believe anything from him?

    What happened after that? Do you still have a relationship with him?


  35. Yes Christina, I have forgiven him and do see him from time to time, but I live in another city so it is no more than 3 times a year. Nobody knows what happened between us, so there is some awkward moments. I don’t hug him when he or I leave, its something my family isn’t big on anyways. But even though I have forgiven, I will not forget. My children will never be left in his house without me there. Its something he has to live with too.

  36. I so appreciate your transparency. Thank you for sharing. Safe hugs to you.

  37. Christina, thanks for this site and your courage to both tell and hear such pain. Thanks too for allowing both men and women to share their stories in safety and empathy. Male survivors face some unique challenges, trying to tell their stories.

    I managed to retain my faith against many odds and continue to speak and write for people of faith who have had their faith shredded in the grinder of abuse and, too often, family denials and insensitive church leaders.

    Thanks for what you’re doing!

  38. Hi… Thanks for sharing your story! I was sexually abused by my father. And ooo how all the story’s sound so much alike. Glad I’m not alone. I was reading Tina story and we are battling the same fight. I’m 26 and me and my boyfriend have been together over 9 years now and sex is something that just doesn’t happen. I have a lot of triggers. When he(my boyfriend) drinks is a big one. My(sprem donor) dank all the time and his breath is something I vividly remember sticking on my body after he would abuse me. So having sex w my man after he’s been drinking is painful for me. It’s just something he doesn’t get. We talk about all the time and he just DONT get it. It’s so bad that I’m Willing to let go of our family. I feel this something he should repect. Am I asking to much of my man to stop drinking? As much as I try this sexually abuse is still controlling my life!

  39. I am a wife and mother of three great kids – married for almost 25 years. A year ago, my father in law (my husband’s step dad) started making sexual advances on me, including grabbing me and kissing me after I came out of the bathroom. At first I shrugged it off – praying it was my overactive imagination or that he was drunk, maybe both. Finally, he started asking me if we were “cool”, and at Thanksgiving he told me he loved me, and accused me of having “encouraged” his actions! I DID NOT!!!! He lied, and accused me of trying to grab his penis. I wanted to barf. I denied it vehemently.I finally told my husband, and he decided NOT to tell his Mom as it would hurt her. “But what about me?” I think to myself EVERY SINGLE DAY since this happened. It has ruined my relationship with my father in law, who NOW knows that we are not “cool”, by my very “cool” behavior toward him. I ignore him completely and avoid all eye contact and conversation when possible. My mother in law surely senses something is going on – but I am sure he puts the entire blame on me. The question is: WHY do assholes like this try and tell you that YOU encouraged their behavior? Why am I so angry against my husband for protecting his mother (AND his inheritance) and not his wife? It has destroyed me in so many ways. I am disgusted now, and it has boiled over into my relationship with my husband, sexual and otherwise. I was in great shape….but since then, I have stopped working out and gained 20 pounds, because of it. I was sexually abused in a foster home between the ages of 3-7, and suddenly its all regurgitated in me. I feel as vulnerable as I did then – and powerless to do anything about it, because it would DESTROY our family. But what about me? That is what I keep saying to myself over and over again….why do I have to be the victim and continue to suffer. Why should I be the one who has to pay for therapy to learn how to “deal” with this?

  40. I was sexually assaulted in college. He befriended me first and then committed the rape. I feel angry and hurt and do not recall any of the assault. I have repressed memories and PTSD and etc.

  41. I was assaulted from age 3 to 11 mainly by my sisters father, but occasionaly his brothers,sons, sisters, daughters, various family members in a sickening incestuous circus. The adults often forced us children to “perform” for them on a dirty mattress on the floor. Then I had to contend with random predators in back bedrooms, dark hallway, I was picked up off the street once and raped in an abandoned building. I was surrounded by glass on the floor, and i remember thinking he was going to cut and kill me. I was strangely calm, I was 7. I confronted my mom once, she said I must have liked it. When I cursed her out she looked shocked and ashamed, so i stopped yelling, stuffed all the pain down, smiled pleasantly, changed the subject and ordered a pizza. 15 years, 100 pounds, suicide and psycotrophic drugs later, i am finally learning to respect and love myself and be healthy and I get a call frim my abusers sister (sick, complicit, if not an actual abuser.) Havent heard from this woman or that cursed family in more than 20 years. Thinking of calling and ripping her face off, for me and her severely mentally handicapped sister ( so severe, she couldnt speak) but who was magically impregnated and gave birth to three severely mentally and physically disabled children.

  42. Hello,

    I too have been looking for a place I can talk about my abuse. Everytime I see another celebrity coming out of the closet of shame regarding their abuse, I am shocked and in awe of how many people are talking about it.

    Tonight was my first time Googling it and this site was first on the list of my entries. I’m glad you all are here to help each other but it is still overwhelming for me right now. That is the thought of talking about how it all began for me and how it has been my darkest nightmare and secret all though it shouldn’t be. I was just a 5 or 6 year old child when it began for me.

    I will come back and visit from time to time and hopefully I will figure out how to talk about it. I too love truth and no that truth should set you free not keep us as a prisoner. Thanks for reading my post and listening!

  43. I was molested by my brother from age 5 to 10. He was 16 to 21 years old during that time. Now, I am 52 and he 63 years old. I live in NY and he in VA. He married and has four adults sons. I am married with three adult children. My fear is that his sons will have children soon. I never confronted by brother and never told anyone what happened. What do I do? Do I write him a letter? I see him obligatorily about once a year at family gatherings. Should I fear him molesting any future granddaughters he may have? Do I tell his sons? I would love some advice.
    Thank you.

  44. I felt like you were reciting my story. I felt anger, love, and total empathy. If I could reach you now I would hug you sooo tight! IT’s hard to love someone whom has hurt you so badly. I’m there too..
    The Bible says HONOR OUR PARENTS..but where was the honor bestowed unto YOU, as an innocent child!? I have saved your post, and forwarded it to my mom. Kind of a silent talk to have with her. She needs to KNOW the impact of my father’s abuse, one way or the other.
    Love to you, and yours..even if I don’t know you, I KNOW You.

    Trina in Canada

  45. After 30+ years of pain and suffering, I finally confronted the man who physically, emotionally, mentally, and verbally abused me. My father.

  46. It takes a lot of courage to confront a sexual abuser. I applaud you for not only your courage, but your wisdom – in being true to yourself. After being sexually assaulted for over a year, constantly making excuses thinking I was “making something out of nothing”, when my step father in law finally came out and told me he was in love with me and suggested that I had encouraged his attention, it was like a horror story come true for me. I remember FINALLY telling my husband, who to his credit believed me, but probably didn’t want to believe me. I remember telling my best friend, asking what i should do – should I tell my mother in law the truth – would she believe me? I sought out counseling and the truth is – my mother in law wouldn’t have believed me, in fact she would have probably blamed me. Because she didn’t want to believe it either, which I think is most often the case. People want to live in their bubble and God forbid you burst it. When confronted by both me and my husband, my stepfather in law admitted everything, but didn’t want anyone to know, especially his wife. Later, he tried to recant his statement. Its a lose-lose situation for the abused, at least it was for me. My parents are both long dead, or I would have had their support I am absolutely sure of that. For the sake of my mother in law, and my family, I am forced to tolerate his presence in my life at family functions, pretending everything is normal, although it is far from so. It amazes me that my mother in law doesn’t notice, or ask about, why I am different. I realize however, its because deep down inside she suspects it, and would rather not believe it. Rather than losing what she has for the 3rd husband around, she would rather not know. Its hard living like this….I don’t know how much longer I can go on….I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I am hurting hiding this secret, and constantly watching his interactions with my daughter carefully as she grows. Fearful. Angry that it must be me that keeps silent and suffers. Again – I applaud you for your courage, your father created a victim but you refused to stay one. I hope someday you get the peace you deserve. All the best

  47. It took me 26 years to say something about what happened to me. I have dealt with drug abuse, failed relationships etc. Have two loving parents (neither the abuser) that sacrificed so much for me. The first step to healing is voicing what happened to you! Wish it didn’t take 26 years to say something!

  48. Dear Christina and anyone else who can help,

    I am here on behalf of my partner. She has been sexually abused by her father ever since she remembers. We read all your posts here and her story is very similar to most of you. She doesn’t have access to the net and so I am here on her behalf. Her dad works in another country but visits home once in a few months and every time he visits he abuses her and makes her do things to him. She had no where to run since her mum too knows what happens but remained silent on the issue. If my partner had not allowed her father to touch her or do anything he would leave the house and her family for the duration of his visit and not give any money to the house for the day to day expenses too. He would beat up her mother or be rude to her brothers. Her brothers do not know of what is happening. She is doing her final exams in University and today starts her exams, today is also the day her father and mother arrived for their visit.

    She told me after reading your blog that he too was very sweet to her and told her he loves her and he was the closest thing to love she had. They threatened her not to tell anyone of what is happening at home. And if she did he would leave the family for good and take everything with him, leaving her family on the road. He used to tell her that what was happening was not wrong as it was much better than what goes on in other families, where the father gets another woman and all… and to be happy that he is only in love with her and that it is within the family…

    During her exams he usually doesn’t disturb her while studying but every break that he allows her is only for his gratification.

    He sickens me to the bone and hence it is very difficult for me to type all these things out. When she confided in me I had spoken to her a lot of how wrong is it and how are the different ways to stop this – by complaining to the police, by contacting woman’s rights and if worse comes to worst to run away and come live with me and my family.

    She hopes he would change and stop what he is doing so that they can be a proper family. But the thing is that he is very rude in a way that he wont allow her to leave the house or get a job or even may beat her up and I cannot sit quiet for any of this. She worked so hard to do well in her university and even though he paid for it, I don’t think its right for him to take it away. – This all might happen if she stands up to him.

    Well I know I might be missing out some points but this is somewhat of how the whole story goes. She need your help, some guidance.

    This morning her mom and dad arrived and usually he would want to give her a very sexual hug but this time he didn’t .. they just shook hands. Also when she got a moment alone with her mother, her mother said to her ‘you can do what ever you want, no one will ask you anything, you can even run away – he wont say anything, wait and see we have a few surprises for you.”

    Her mom sometimes used to tell her to run away or fight for herself but sometimes she used tell her not to tell anyone and to be silent and not do anything about it. So today what she said is very confusing for us to understand. We are just waiting to see how this unfolds.

    A month ago on a phone call when her dad was trying to be sexual over conversation she asked him to stop talking like that and asked him why would he talk like that, he immediately shrugged it off saying that what he asked differently now? and that all this while she obliged but why is she suddenly stopping him, and asked in a very rude tone if she had spoken to someone about what happened. Ever since this argument on the phone he has not spoken to her directly but only through her mother.

    Also I forgot to mention that while her mother was talking to her this morning she said this that kinda pissed us both off, she said “don’t worry what ever you have done your father has forgiven you.!!” It enraged me that he forgave her when he was the one who needs forgiving! ><

    I'm sorry I'm not a very good story teller to narrate what happened properly but this is all that happened.

    please advise…

  49. Oh wow Christina, I just keep reading more and more that resonates. It still surprises me that it took me 42 years to realise I could meet with my step farther, the man who abused me from 12 till 16. His wife had married him knowing he’d abused me (I’ve no idea exactly what she knew) but she asked me to meet, I was 21 and she said to me, “I know the story and Im going to marry him anyway”. I said little and even remember that after lunch she told me that if anything were to go wrong she’d know who to talk to, me. Now, in hindsight I see how so often in my life I cultivate this dependable person, who’ll keep a secret persona. Anyway, the idea of finally being able to tell them both what was on my mind and ask them both the questions that I’d had circulating in the back of my mind for always was liberating. I walked out after our 40 minute conversation and almost immediately realised just how much ‘power’ he still had over me AND I also realised that I set myself free. That meeting had nothing to do with them but everything to do with me taking back my power and my freedom – or, as you so beautifully articulated “It wasn’t what my dad could give to me in the encounter, it was what I gave to myself.” – I so appreciate you and your written word, Thank you for sharing your stories.
    If you are curious here is a recording of my video and a little of my story:

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