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Author Topic: My dad is really scaring me...
xEGBx16
Neophyte
Member # 101220

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My dad is really starting to freak me out. He won't stop touching me. Anytime I'm with him, he'll try to put his fingers through my hair or he'll put his hand on the small of my back. If I'm sitting on the couch, he'll stand right in front of me. Whenever he's walking behind me, I literally have to jog because if I stop walking he'll get really close to me until I can feel his stomach touching my back. He's always talking about how much I look and act like my mom, and I'm at the point where I can't even have a normal conversation with him anymore.

I keep telling him to stop but he thinks it's funny. We had a Christmas party last night, and he said “watch this” to our guests and then came up to me and started touching me just to hear me tell him to stop. Everybody laughed and I had to remove myself from the party altogether to get it to stop.

I don't want to accuse him of anything or assume the worst of him, but I get really scared whenever I'm with him. I can't stand to hear him talk. If I'm in a room with him and I don't have a direct path to get out, it makes me feel like I'm going to cry and like I can't breathe.

It makes me really uncomfortable, but my mom always tells me that he's my father and he loves me and I need to be nicer to him. My mom and all my relatives seem to think that I'm just being a snotty teenager, but I really feel like it's more than that.
Please help. Thanks.

P.S. I submitted this for the website already, but I decided that I didn't want to wait so whoever's in charge of that can just ignore it, I guess. Sorryy! I hope you can still help me.

Posts: 7 | From: NY | Registered: Dec 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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It's okay to post both here and for the advice column, especially given the wait the column answers usually involve.

I'm sorry you're in this situation.

I hear you saying you feel scared around him: have you always felt that way? Or do you have a good relationship you can fall back on, where you can talk with him, for instance, and tell him how uncomfortable he's making you?

If not, is there anyone at all in your family you can go to who will have your back? Where you can make clear that you want to be nice to your Dad, but you also don't want anyone, including a parent, touching you when you don't want to be touched, or not allowing you some domain over your own body? Where you can express you are earnestly feeling really scared at this point?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
xEGBx16
Neophyte
Member # 101220

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I haven't always been afraid of him, but we've never been very close. We've always had a very uncomfortable relationship because he smokes weed and he's kind of a male chauvinist, so I've never seen him as a good person to be very involved in my life.

I wanted to tell my mom, but I'm scared she's going to tell me I'm overreacting.

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Heather
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Do you want to talk to try and come up with a way to try talking to your Mom where you think she might be able to hear you?

If so, how do you feel about leading with the idea that this isn't about not being nice to your Dad. It's about his lack of boundaries with you making you so uncomfortable that you feel inclined to try and get away rather than get close or stay closer. That what you're asking for is about what could create a *better* relationship between you and your Dad.

Maybe, too, you can talk a bit about how sometimes, during puberty, what's happening here is a somewhat common dynamic, especially between daughters and parents, and even more so daughters and fathers or stepfathers, particularly. And it's a lousy one, especially for girls who already tend to have to be dealing more and more with people thinking they have permission to touch them, or not have boundaries around their bodies, and who tend to need *more* boundaries, more privacy, more respect around the ownership of their own bodies, not less.

That is so common, this kind of thing, that it might be something your mother remembers, too, and maybe talking about that and asking her to think a bit back about being your age, she might have a window into better understanding your feelings.

[ 12-24-2012, 12:48 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
xEGBx16
Neophyte
Member # 101220

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I can try to talk to her, yes. It never occurred to me that this might be common, but now that you said that, I actually remember her telling me once about being uncomfortable around her dad too.
Thank youu! This helped a lot more than I thought it would. [Smile]

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Heather
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That's excellent that she's voiced remembering similar feelings: that could be just the kind of in-road you need.

Do you feel like you can take things from there, or would you like a little more coaching before you bring this up with her?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
xEGBx16
Neophyte
Member # 101220

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I wouldn't know how to bring it up with her on our own... the only time she ever talks about me being nicer to my dad is when he's around...
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Okay.

How do you think asking if you and she can have some time alone soon would go over? Like asking if you can go out for dinner together, or take a walk, because you really need to talk to her about something and want that time alone?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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