Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Was everyone's dad this weird or is it just mine? (Abuse?)(75 Posts)
When I was younger, my dad, when he used to come in to say goodnight, used to come in and lay flat on top of me, while I was on my back, and sort of squash me. He also used to slobber on my cheek/in my ear and say, 'Will you be my girlfriend?' He used to do the slobber/girlfriend routine in front of my mum and she never said anything. This happened throughout my teens but stopped I think when I got my first serious boyfriend - which my dad was weird about, he was very aggressive with me but perhaps that was normal teenage girls and their dads stuff.
I have racked my brains but I don't think there was any actual abuse. Our relationship has been fine since I left home.
Is this normal, slightly over the line weird stuff, or totally freaking weird? Please talk to me honestly about what your dads were like with you.
I worry about it now as I'm pregnant with a girl and I am probably over thinking but don't want anything to happen to her. But perhaps I am totally over-reacting. I have a 3 yr old DS and my dad adores him but comes out with some odd comments. He's called him things like 'sexy legs' - when he was a baby! - which is odd. And can be quite cold to him when he's having a tantrum/screaming etc, saying to me, 'Leave it to me, I'll deal with him because I don't CARE!' - he acts like he's joking when he says this but it's not very funny. At Xmas we left DS with my parents to go to the cinema - when I got back DS was screaming his head off and Mum was sheepish. I think it was just a pre bedtime tantrum but I feel odd about it.
Last week we were all out for lunch and looking at my six month pregnant body, my dad said, out if nowhere, 'What happened to your tits?' (I guess he meant they looked smaller cos of my bump?) He was quite drunk and it felt pretty aggressive. Just to give you an idea of some if the weird comments he comes out with.
Probably just pregnancy hormones but I would welcome your perspective. To what extent is it normal for dads to flirt with their daughters? (And of course, if my DP did anything like that to our DD is kick him out - but he never would - I have married a completely different man from my dad!)
MrsPurr, I really feel for you. It can't be easy reading some of these responses. But they do illustrate that things can look very different when you've grown up with them to the way they look from the outside.
To me, it sounds as though your dad used you horribly for his own gratification and still has a very skewed sense of what are appropriate boundaries. And your mum is complicit in all of this. I'm so sorry
The duty you have now, above all, is to ensure that your DCs stay safe. Bearing in mind that you are only just starting to explore how healthy or otherwise the "normality" in your family is, please be really cautious about any contact you decide to have with your parents. For your own sake too, you need some space to start processing this. If you choose to enforce healthy boundaries between you and your dad from now on, it will probably have some repurcussions (you will be challenging long-established family rules, after all), so you need to be ready for that.
I hope you can talk to your sister about this and find a good way forward.
OH god this thread has given me a chill up my spine, not only for your father being a complete creep, but the fact that you dont see it as everyone else see's it, that comment about coming home to find your baby son screaming crying and your mam looking sheepish, Im sorry but my first thought was that something was done to that baby, be it physical abuse or sexual. Im only thinking this because of the picture you've painted, what man in his right mind asks his daughter a child to be his girlfriend, or comments on her TITS? your mother is as bad in my opinion, Id beat the shit out of my husband if he ever said or did something like that in front of the kids.
I really think you should speak to someone, because Im sure a lot of kids who were abused or groomed thought it was normal, thats what really hurts abuse victims.
Sorry if I sound harsh but my first worry is for your innocent kids.
I would contact the above organisation and talk to them.
I think your father did abuse you (and perhaps your sister as well) throughout your childhood and your mother for her own messed up reasons failed to protect you and your sister from him. She is still with this man. He's still being abusive and your own boundaries (which are very low to begin with) are being trodden on by the two of them. Your parents have and continue to fail you utterly.
I would not leave your children with such people under any circumstances; your DS's reaction to them is ringing alarm bells loudly. He probably took care of your DS but frightening the living crap out of him!.
Why do you feel you cannot cut them out of your life?. Fear, obligation, guilt?.
Def horrible behaviour. However you excuse it it must have been disgusting to have your Dad lying on you and slobbering in your ear. Jeesh, can't even think about it. I think you have normalised it and suppressed your true feelings because it must have been awful.
Also I would trust your instincts about your DS screaming his head off when you lef him with DF and DM. DM should have looked distressed about it not 'sheepish' as you describe.
And perhaps email your sis to give her a chance to think about what she wants to discuss. Springing a question on her might just get a denial because it all seems to be a family secret at the moment, that DF is a creep. Perhaps frame it as if it is a concern of yours and an issue which you are trying to come to terms with, and not about her, in an attempt to get her to come to you and discuss it openly.
Fair enough Cailin, a valid point.
I don't want to divert the thread but I just want to say I would never discourage a person from discussing the details of abuse, regardless of who might be getting off on it. One of the worst things about the aftermath of abuse, for me, was the feeling that I had to keep it to myself, that unlike other traumatic life events I had to remain silent about it, as it was "upsetting" "unpleasant" "inappropriate," and for fear that weirdos would get off on it. Well let them get off on it, I don't give a shit. I'm not going to stay silent because of their fuckedupedness. I think if someone suffered abuse and wants to talk about it they have every right to and they shouldn't have to censor themselves because others have some sort of problem with it.
My dad used to play this game with myself and the neighbors daughter who was maybe three years older, she'd be 7 i'd be 4ish, my sister about 2 where we would all pile on top of each other, him on the bottom and then he would wriggle out and pile on the top of us which would bloody hurt, we'd be crying that it hurt and he wouldn't get off. For that reason alone my kids have never been left with my dad, I know it wasn't sexual but the fact that he seemed to quite enjoy using his physic strength against 3 little girls made me very cautious.
I don't mean you shouldn't find support for issues on sites like mumsnet, jyust that you might be better off not discussing intimate details of abuse.
I hope I'm not wrong about this and I hope no-one is deterred from seeking support here because of my post.
People sometimes post this stuff to hear the stories of others because they get a sexual thrill out of it.
Not saying you are - no reason to think you are at all- but be aware.
People sometimes come to sites like this to read stories about abuse because it gives them a kick.
I used to volunteer for a helpline for parents and we regularly had callers ringing in about abuse - and as the call unfolded, it became apparent that they wanted to talk about abuse because it aroused them. I left in the end because I found those calls too difficult to handle, even though I knew most callers were genuine.
That's why you're being warned to take care about eliciting others' stories.
You need to have a full and open conversation with your sister.
Please don't fall into the trap of thinking you only need to protect a dd from him. Some abusive men will abuse both boys and girls and your ds needs protecting too.
Don't leave your children with your parents.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I had a teacher who used to fondle some girls privates in the classroom. In truth he did not rape any of us but he abused a position of trust and damaged those students faith in men in authority - at the very least. I think that is bad enough that he should've been pulled up on it - this was in the 70's/80's so though apparently parents knew about it they hoped it would disappear and so he stayed in his job unchallenged until retirement. It surfaces every so often with people (incl parents who knew back then) appalled that it happened and he got away with it but bottom line is that although the damage was not monumental it was an abuse of trust and faith and of those girls right to be in a safe place in a small country school. Likewise you had a right to be physically comfortable in your fathers presence - as do your children. TBH I wouldn't risk him being put in any position of trust near your children.
Put it this way then.
What would you think if your Mum had lain on top of you?
What would you think if you entered a room and found your Dad lain on top of your 13 yrold dc?
Sorry to answer your question - no I don't worry about my dad & DS. I don't spend much time with them though tbh, my parents are both hard work.
No trivialising at all, just sharing my experience. I had given the whole laying/squashing thing no thought at all until I read this post. He did it to both my sister and I throughout our childhood. I thought it was normal.
Sorry that should be 'as her relationship with'
Oh SSD you mentioned you had a DS, ignore me being dense. Do you have any worries about your dad round your kids.
God it's mad the conversations you can get into with total strangers on the Internet.
I will talk to my sister. I need to pick my moment so she has time if she has something awful she needs to tell me. My feeling is she doesn't as get relationship with dad has always been more uncomplicatedly loving than mine. Mine's always been a bit scratchy.
no, its not normal please don't trivialise this seriouslysleepdeprived, you think its normal becaue it happened to you - i dont know what your fathers motivaion was, maybe it was innocent, what the OP described definately wasn't.
As for calling DCs sexy bum or sexy legs, i dont think its intrinsically wrong, a bit ridiculous but not wrong per se.
Seriously- the laying on top of you was for his own sexual gratification. It is not normal for a parent to use their child for sexual pleasure no matter how "mild" the form it takes. Affection is giving a peck on the lips/face, a gentle touch on the hair or arm, a nice warm hug. Lying on someone is very strange behaviour at the very least. Slapping bums can be affectionate, but only if it's a game both players genuinely enjoy. If it's a case that one person is slapping another person's bum to embarrass them or when the other person doesn't want it then it's nasty and inappropriate.
Seriously sleep deprived, it does help. Have you got kids? I had basically forgotten all about till I had kids and started to worry if my dad was a wrong un.
No it isn't normal. Not remotely.
Defineme, we were actually out for lunch for my dads birthday. My sis and mum were there, not my dh. I embarrassedly said, 'oh, yes, it's because my tummy's so big I suppose' to sort of cover up how horrible it was. My mum thought he said 'hips' and said 'oh, you've always had narrow hips' - trying to be nice. My sis said 'oh you look lovely, you look really well.' When I laughingly told my mum what he'd actually said, she said, 'oh god, you're not fit to be the father of daughters!' Half joking. They were all pretty drunk. I wasn't as I'm pregs!
I repeat if anyone out there has relevant experience or advice or can point me in the direction of some if be v grateful. Thanks for all your comments. You can always rely on MN for a reality check. I have no immediate plans to see my parents.
Not sure if this helps but my dad used to do the whole laying on top of me thing. Bit of slobbering, no girlfriend comments though. Would also do it in front of my mum. I had forgotten all about it until I read your post but I suppose it is weird.
He never makes comments about my body but DH noticed when we first got together, that my dad would slap my bum, which I guess is also odd. I didnt even realise he did it. He stopped doing it now I'm married...
Is this not normal all be it ott affectionate dad stuff?
Also had a good friend continuously call my DS sexy bum when he was a newborn which I did find odd but no one else did, so I don't know...
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.