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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » Should I send a photo of myself to my estranged father?

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Author Topic: Should I send a photo of myself to my estranged father?
Member # 82377

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My biological father sexually abused me as a child, and I remember it. My mom filed for divorce when I was 3, discovered the abuse during the divorce process, and acquired full custody. However, I still had to have supervised visits with my father until I turned 13 and decided to stop them (thank you, awesome American justice system [Mad] ). Since then, I've had lots of introspection and supportive friends who have helped me heal. I later found out that he was abused by his parents and that he and his brothers abused their sisters as well.

Fast-forward to the present. I'm in college and the only contact I have with my father is to send him proof of enrollment every semester so I can stay on his health insurance program. Our calls rarely last more than 5 minutes. The last time he called, however, he asked if I could send him a picture of myself, because he hasn't seen me since I was 13 and I am now almost 21.

My immediate reaction is, "HELL NO. If you wanted to see me grow up, you shouldn't have molested me!" On the other hand, I now know that he, too, was a victim of abuse and although he really messed me up for life and sexual abuse is never excusable, he maybe still has some normal, fatherly feelings. On the other other hand, I absolutely do not ever want to see him again or have more contact than we do now, and it sickens me to think that he might get some kind of sexual pleasure from a photo, as perhaps odd or incorrect as that thought may be. Although I've done plenty of reading on father-daughter abuse and case studies, I'm not knowledgeable enough to understand the psychological dynamics involved.

That was more long-winded than I intended it to be, but I'm asking for opinions on this situation or advice from any one else who may have encountered a similar problem.

Posts: 1 | From: Texas | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42505

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Hi AlienShe. I think if you feel uncomfortable sending him a picture, which it sounds like you do, then you have no obligation to send one. Being abused is no excuse to abuse others, plenty of people have been abused and do not ever do it to anyone else. You don't really need an excuse not to send it, that you feel uncomfortable with it is reason enough.

Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

Posts: 876 | From: Seattle | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Just an additional note, AlienShe, wanted to give you big kudos for how well you're clearly standing up for yourself in all of this and your feelings about it. It's really inspiring to see that kind of strength.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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