31 Year Old Woman Just Wanting Her Dad's Approval
Hi, I am 31 years old, with a lot of issues that I do not take lightly. Now, it's Father's day and I am home tearful since Friday. "Why?", you ask.
Well, as a child it was just me and my dad and he drove a truck all my life. He also brought all kinds of women home to (I guess) be my mom, but they never would stay. Now I can't say that it was all his fault for that but mostly, yes, it was.
He would come in from the truck and be tired and ill-tempered, especially to me, because he never wanted the ladies to think it was them. I would get into a little trouble (the reason I know it was a little is I am a mom too.)
He would start off with being loud and then get worse to the point of leaving marks on me that I had to lie about in school. Well that went on until I turned 13 and moved out, got a job, got a house and got raped.
I have not stayed one night in his home since then, but still to this day I need his approval. He calls me now and gets me all torn up and has enough nerve to tell my husband that he thinks it's funny, because he doesn't have to deal with me.
So around February 2010 he tries to do this, and my husband and I have already talked about it and how I react. So I nicely tell him that he is the one who hurt my feelings and I would like an apology, and will not be talking to him until then.
The problem there is that I think sometimes you have to be the better person in this kind of situation. But I do not want him to think that I am giving in.
What do you think?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Lorraine, and thanks for telling your story here. I am glad you're asking for guidance re. your relationship with your father. I think you have never faced the severity of the abuse your father perpetrated on you, and the fact that he is still being abusive to you.
You said you got in "a little trouble," then went on to say he left marks on you that you had to hide in school. You were severely physically abused, and if authorities had been notified, you might have been removed from your father's custody. It is important that you face what happened.
Also, you stated that you "moved out, got a job, got a house and got raped." This concerns me, especially since you didn't say anything else about that.
The only conclusion I can draw based on what you've said is that you were abused as a child and raped as an adult (or while you were still a teenager), and you've never dealt with that emotional trauma.
If this is the case, I recommend you do the trauma journaling described on this page. Be sure and write in total detail about everything that has happened to you, from your childhood through your adulthood. This is the first step to healing.
Then use these imagery processes for emotional healing to resolve your emotional trauma, if you feel you can do this work on your own. If not, you will need to seek professional counseling to help you through your healing process.
The most important thing for you at this time, Lorraine, is to face and fully acknowledge what has happened to you. It will be difficult or impossible for you to get clear in your current relationship with your father until you do this. You may also need to cut off all contact with him for a while--maybe 6 months, to start with. You will need your husband's support in this.
Believe in yourself, Lorraine. You have to put yourself and your personal well being first in your life, in order to be happy and to be the person you want to be.
Take good care of yourself.
My very best to you,
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