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My dad would touch me while I was sleeping as a child, I only started remembering this last year. Please help me.

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Question - (30 June 2008) 11 Answers - (Newest, 5 May 2010)
A female United States age 36-40, *0lj writes:

Hi. I am 30 years old with 3 beautiful children. I have had horrible relationships in the past, abusive, and now I am a single mother. My dad is an alcoholic, and as a child he was very touchy feely with me all the time. I hated it but didn't stop, I mean I tried and even told my mom, but she would act like oh well, and say, you need to tell your dad to stop rubbing you."

Anyways, in the past year I have had some major flashbacks of my dad in my room while I was sleeping(probably 3 or 4) and my panties would be off. I remember looking up and him saying put those panties back on. So I don't know what exactly he did, for how long, but obviously something if he was messing with my panties while I was sleeping.

I feel sick, disgusting, and growing up I had major rages, but was always told that I was the crazy psycho one. I don't remember this happening until like i said less than a year ago. I am a better and more stable person and I still talk to my dad, but haven't confronted him, because I feel sick and just wierd.

He probably doesn't even know that i remember, and really don't know what all he did to me. But I always hated him for some reason. I don't have a lot of money and cannot go to a psychiatrist, but would love to, because I have horrible depression and guilt. Please help me and give some advice, or if I should try to relive the past, or just try to block, even though I haven't been able to.

View related questions: alcoholic, money

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A female reader, tonya2837 United States +, writes (5 May 2010):

Hi I am in the same boat as you kinda my step dad made me have sex with him when I was a child. I told him no I was going to tell on him and he said he would kill me if I did so I didn't tell anyone.I would hate when he would send mom to the store or something because I knew what was going to happen. If I got off the bus and the car was gone I would hide in the woods till mom came home so scared he was going to find me.I left home at the age of 14 just to get away from him. I am now in a relationship with a man that I love very much but I have a doghter that isn't his and I am so scared he is going to be the same way with her I never leave him alone with her and he can't under stand why. I haven't told him anything abought what happend to me as a child. Should I be this way with him it dosen't matter I will never leave them alone. Any is it bread in to all men or are some of the normal can you trust a man. Does he wonder why I never leave them alone bucause he wan'ts to do something like that or is it just in my head that he will.I have never been able to keep a relationship because of what happend to me as a child.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 July 2008):

Never let your father be alone in your room with your children. I don't care if he's 90 year old paraplegic.

For yourself, there are many websites for adult survivors of abuse. If you can't afford therapy right now, perhaps you could join or start a support group such as offered by Adult Survivors of Child Abuse.

http://www.ascasupport.org/

http://www.asanctuary.net/survivor/index.html

Hope you are helped, and blessings to you!

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A female reader, 30lj United States +, writes (14 July 2008):

30lj is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Well, I see that you probably have never experienced anything like this before. To start off with, I haven't said anything to him and probably won't in fear of hurting him. I am pretty tough, and hopefully somehow I have overcome many thoughts...but I couldn't ever face him with this. For all I know, he might not remember because he drinks so much. But I have been evaluated, and do remember him saying that, and growing up he always touched me and rubbed on me inappropriately. It HAS ruined my life, so to speak, in relationships, guilt, frustration, stress, but he doesn't even know. So to say just drop it you have no emotion or not knowing at all what it feels like to think someone who loves you was touching you in ways no one should, especially as a child.But because I know he couldn't take it, I don't say anything to him, and I have to just try to forget and go on...but it hurts and that is why I came on here to see what other people have to say. I definitely do not agree with what you said and if you read any other posts you would see that I haven't told him, and won't and i try to just live the best I can, but I know why I haven't had a good time in relationships. I hope you are more sincere to the people you love then just blowing them off. It took a lot for me to even come on here, and I try my best to forget, but my memories came back to me. I didn't make them up, and that is why I am trying to deal with this internally so I can go on with my life.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 July 2008):

i think u should make sure before you start accusing your dad of something.. but of coarse you don't know for sure so i would drop it and get on with your life... Sorry to be so blunt but it just takes some kind of crap like that to ruin a persons life and your not even sure.

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A male reader, rcn United States +, writes (1 July 2008):

rcn agony auntYour welcome. In a way we're in the same position. Build yourself up before sharing life with another. My goal is to remain single until death do I part. At times it can get lonely. With my raising kids as well, my priorities are not in line with finding companionship.

Life is not easy. Although these bad things happened to you, doesn't mean it's over either. You've had one of the greatest obsticals take place in your life. Alot to overcome. As long as you want it, and to truely enjoy living, you can overcome anything that is put in your path. Focusing on what happened in the past, takes away from living now. Give you and your kids the best of you that you can give.

In locating a counselor, make sure you interview them. They need to have a great amount of experience working with post traumatic stress disorder. You may also find it beneficial to seek someone who is a neuro linguistics program specialist. They can do wonders with mental trauma.

Take care.

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A female reader, 30lj United States +, writes (30 June 2008):

30lj is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for all the positive responses. All were just what I needed, I do feel like I should go to counseling, but at the same time, I sometimes feel like I would be bringing back so much of my past, but in reality that is why I have been through hell and back with relationships and my own self identity. I am not in a relationship now, even though I have children, I love them wholeheartedly, i want to take care of myself emotionally before ever thinking about getting into another relationship. Just lately my depression increases, and I want to just choke my dad, since he is an active part of our lives, but at the same time I just cover up my depression somehow, but when I sit and think about what he did and how I have treated others throughout my life because of his immoral ways....anyways I think I will look into counseling and definitely write a letter, whether he will ever read it or not. Thank you all.

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A male reader, rcn United States +, writes (30 June 2008):

rcn agony auntLet me ask you this. Are your children girls or boys? It sounds like the flashbacks are regressed episodes. Even having a child who reminds you of you when you were young will trigger memories your child self tried so hard to hide.

I'm going to ask you to do a couple of activities which are proven to lowering and at times eliminating the feeling of shame and guilt.

First, in person, with a picture of your dad, or by letter (sent or not) you need to confront him. Whichever way you choose, you need to not just say you're bad. It's not about what he did. It's about the impact in your life caused by what he did. At the end, you'll need to find it in your heart to forgive him, not because he deserves it, because you deserve to live without all this pain and guilt.

Second, as the parent you, you need to write a letter to the child you. Letting your little you know it's not her fault, and it's okay to live and trust and love without carying guilt from what someone else caused. Make it detailed, as if you were talking to one of your own kids and helping them get over the huge amount of pain you're going through.

What happens is our minds are developed to protect us. Negative events are stored, but not as the event as you may see pictured, but as associations. You're worth far better than what you've been allowing yourself. This too is associations. You know the worth a sex assault victim feels about themselves. The association comes, even when the act stops, the negative beliefs continue. So getting into abusive relationships is not uncommon, since you're not giving yourself what you really deserve.

After completing the exercises. Start building yourself back up. Not just for you, but you're children deserve mom to be a strong individual for them. Being strong doesn't mean being a prude. It simply means being happy and loving yourself just because you're you. You have unconditional love for your kids, it's time you develop the same for yourself.

Take care.

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A male reader, Dr. John United States +, writes (30 June 2008):

Dr. John agony auntIt sounds like you probably were molested.

It is very important to your mental well being that you do get counceling.

I know you said you don't have much money but here in the states, every state that I know of has a system in place where it will cost you little or nothing to see psych. professionals and even to get prescriptions for little or no cost to you.

Contact your local health and welfare office and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Please don't delay. If I can help further please feel free to drop me a personal message if you need to.

I do hope things go well for you. Doc

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2008):

I think whatever happened, your dad was behaving inappropriately, to say the least, whether he remembers it or not. I was molested by my grandfather, in a similar fashion. It would happen in the middle of the night when my grandmother was drunk and passed out. I don't think you need to block it, as that is the same as stuffing your feelings, which I don't think is healthy for anyone. For me, counseling worked well. It took me awhile to find the right counselor, but when I did I felt better right away. I also talked about it with friends that I trusted. There are support groups out there, and places that work on a sliding scale, so if you are serious about recovery, you will find the help that you need. The more I talked about it, the shame lessened. I realized that I was a victim in the past, but I no longer needed to be a victim in the present in any area of my life. I had a lot of anger, and I still feel like I am healing. I only wish you the best in your quest for the truth, and your healing.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2008):

You can go to your doctor about depression and yu could get counselling or medicine for it. I dont think you should confront him. Some things are better "forgotten". I'd feel the same if I was in your shoes, personally though I feel disgusted at your mother, because if you were uncomfortable wiht how he acted towards you, then she should have been the one to step in and tell him to stop it, have you tried speaking to her about it? I think you should just think deeply about it, try to remember all that was going on.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 June 2008):

There are therapists or psichiatrists in your area who do sliding scales, which means that if you are of low income, they will charge only you what you can afford to pay. So please look into that. Cause you can definitely find a very affordable therapist. And it is imperative that you speak to one. And I am sorry about what you have been through. It is just so unfortunate...I hope with the help of a professional you can take the proper steps to get justice for what he and your mother have done.

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