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DrPsychologist
DrPsychologist, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  I am a licensed psychologist with over 10 years of psychotherapy experience.
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I was mildly sexually touched by my father as a child. I have

Customer Question

I was mildly sexually touched by my father as a child. I have recently confronted him and my siblings with it. My fear is for him. He has built a world without that in it and isolated me in the process of course. Now, that I've told him I know, and I've told the rest of the family, will he die? Of shame? What happened to him that he was able to do that to me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

If your father touched you inappropriately at any time, then it is sexual abuse. And when someone is open to abusing a child, it usually means they were abused themselves in some way or they witnessed someone being abused, usually a sibling. It is extremely rare for anyone to just decide to become a child abuser. There is almost always some type of dysfunction in their childhood that causes them to cross that line.

Your father will not die from how he feels. People cannot die from the emotions they feel. They can get so upset that they feel ill but unless there is already a preexisting condition that would have already caused them to become ill, then it is only going to make them feel bad. Your father may feel shame at what he did, which is a good sign. It means he knows it was wrong and there is a chance he will deal with the root of what caused him to act that way.

If at all possible, consider suggesting counseling for at least you and your father if not the whole family. When sexual abuse occurs in the family, it not only hurts the person it was done to (you) but it can also hurt others who may feel they should have done more to stop it or intervened somehow. Counseling can help everyone voice those emotions and work through them. But most importantly, you and your father can work through your relationship and deal with the aftermath of what occurred making your relationship better.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Kate
Make my relationship with him better?


You live on a different planet.


Is that what I want?


Is that what he wants?


Wouldn't it be better to nod and say goodbye


Not every story has a happy ending - why bother spending $ on a very unlikely outcome. He has bowel cancer, will die soon. Why should I torment him further if in fact he suffered similarly to me?


I triangulate


Your advice was good, but not helpful.


With thanks and pls continue - it is still good to have someone to talk to anyway.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry I could not be of more help to you. I will opt out and let another counselor assist you.

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Why?

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
You said the advice was not helpful. I will allow another counselor offer a different perspective.

Take care,

Kate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I'm angry, sad, hurt, frightened, and you are an expert


 

Expert:  DrPsychologist replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I am happy to help you with your question. I imagine that you might feel abandoned by the therapist that was just helping you, but sometimes opting out is best so that an expert who specializes in the topic of your question can respond.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Your reply does not address my issue. I am being brushed off.

Expert:  DrPsychologist replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I am happy to help you with your question. I imagine that you might feel abandoned by the therapist that was just helping you, but sometimes opting out is best so that an expert who specializes in the topic of your question can respond.

Kate actually did answer your question well. Her suggestion for counseling was well-intentioned, but perpetrators are not typically amenable to counseling and from what you said - that your father isolated you from the family - the abuse has continued at least on an emotional level for years beyond the molestation.

I would recommend that you work with a trauma specialist on managing your feelings of anger, fear, shame, and responsibility (I detected all of these from your statements). You may want to report your father or you may not - that is a personal decision, but this is a reportable crime so you need to be mindful of that if you disclose his name to a therapist.

To obtain referrals for trauma specialists in your area you can contact the Sidran Institute at Tel: 410-825-8888 and for more information about trauma you can review their site http://www.sidran.org/sub.cfm?contentID=33§ionid=4

Please let me know if I can further assist you with this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you to the people who set up this website, with such good intentions. I also have a double psych degree (UQ), and believed, when I paid my money, I would be talking anonymously to psychologists.


Now, I realize it is a website like any other. Psychologists either help people one-to-one or they don't. I don't doubt that you are psychologists, only that you think you're doing any good here. Advice to see a local counsellor or the police is so end-of-interview. In between jobs?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
No answer at all
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Furthermore, I think the correct advice would be to "get up early tomorrow morning and go and see the sunrise, alone. Take no notice whatsoever of other people."


After watching the sun Rise, ask yourself if it's all worth it?


Usually, the answer is yes, maybe, or soon


Occasionally, you will miss one. But this is still good advice. And better than 'make an apptmt with your local counsellor'.

Expert:  DrPsychologist replied 1 year ago.
Well, it looks like you've got your answer then.

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