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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!)
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Inappropriate behaviour at best. Would hate to consider the worst.
He is a vile disgusting pig and i am sorry to say this but i wouldnt let my children anywhere near him, please don't leave them alone with this man. Im so sorry you have been through this, i think you need to talk this through with someone trained. You were abused, what you wrote made me go cold tbh.
I think your father is a paedophile. Keep your children away from him.
It's not normal for a dad to flirt with his daughter at all.
Bloody hell. Do not leave your kids with this man ever. Distance yourself from him. His behaviour is wrong.
If someone else told me their dad did this I'd condemn it if course. I guess because it never went further physically than my cheek or ear, I don't see it as abuse.
Does this mean my future DD is under threat? What can I do about it?
I also would love to talk to my younger sister about this. I don't think she experienced the same but I don't know. She is having a big midlife crisis at present basically down to very low self esteem. I wonder if these issues have been caused by dad. I have had three huge bouts if depression in my life and also suffer from low self esteem.
Can anything productively be done about this or us it just digging up a whole lot of buried stuff for no reason? I am only thinking about this at all because I'm pregnant with a girl I think.
It's not just your daughter you need to protect.
What can you do? Cutting off contact for a start.
Not normal in any way. Abusive and sickening. It sounds like he did as much as he thought he could get away with but would have liked to do more. I wouldn't let your children anywhere near him.
The fact that your mother witnessed all of that but didn't say anything makes me think that you can't trust her to step in if something dodgy happened with regards to him and your children. She either didn't recognise how dodgy it was or closed her eyes to it.
Erm no, this is beyond weird behaviour and I wouldn't let my children near him! Would you let your dp do this to your dd? Nope! I think you already know that this isn't right by your concern about anything happening to your dd - you don't want her to go through what you went through.
There is no rationalising or justifying your fathers actions and behaviour, or your mothers for being complicit in this.
and you must not leave your son alone with your parents either (not even your myn because she appears to be enabling it)
Sorry but all these things are completely inappropriate behaviour and not normal at all. Big red flags waving!
Please protect your children, if you have even an inkling of a doubt which you obviously do your duty is to protect your children!
Hope you get some good advice from the other ladies.
My mum didn't adequately protect me & my Dsis from my grandfather. Luckily nothing happened to me but it did to my Dsis. As a mother you MUST protect your children & you MUST NOT let your children have anything to do with your dad. What you suffered is abuse. Please don't let the same thing happen to your children.
Have you spoken to your OH about it? I think the easiest thing you can do first is to stop contact with your parents while you work out how to proceed. I know there are charities you can speak to about this sort of thing, but I'm not sure if you would be able to press charges against him (not an expert in this field).
The most important thing is that you MUST protect your children.
I am so sorry that this has happened to you, what an awful, awful thing
Not normal at all! My dad has never once commented on my body, I think he'd be mortified if I did. He is a lovely relaxed man who was never aggressive with me as a teen or would dream of lying on top of me! Definite alarm bells!
IMO the best thing for you and both your children would be to cut off contact completely. Staying in touch with an abuser means you can never move on fully. It's very tough accepting these awful truths about parents and removing them from your life but I can just about guarantee, that, along with some counselling, will improve your life massively in the long run.
Have you told your DP about what happened?
When I say 'aggressive with me' - NEVER physically. Just picking arguments with me, belittling my interests etc. The majority of the time he was a living, funny, normal dad. But there was a definite rough patch when I was in the last years of school.
I have no idea how often the weird flirting thing would happen but not daily. I didn't live in horror of him coming to tuck me in. I think I thought this was all normal! Or at least that he was a bit of a loser.
There is nothing to be gained by prosecuting him surely?
If anyone has details of charities I could speak to about this I'd welcome that. I think it would be an overreaction to cut him out of my life.
An over reaction? Really?
So what ate you going to say to your son or daughter when they tell you grand dad has been touching them or lying onbthem or slobbering on them?
Good luck with that.
If you won't cut contact, will you at least ensure that your children are never alone with him?
Whatever the reason for his inappropriate behaviour can you not tell him that it makes you feel uncomfortable? My dad is a bully. He is very difficult and inappropriate, but not sexually abusive in any way. He does objectify women and i found that this applied to me when i came of age. Comments about my body and my choice in men. Ick. But I have always called him on his bullshit. It isn't easy but clear boundaries can help your own sanity if nothing else.
It is gutting to realise you have a dad who is fucked up, and uncomfortable calling him on his shit. My dad never accepted how inappropriate his behaviour was and is, so I choose not to see him anymore. It is sad, but necessary.
Hope you get to the bottom of it x
be careful leaving your kids alone with your parents from what you have said already your dad dominates your mum so even her presence is not enough
Actually what I mean is will you at least ensure you are always with your children when your father is around? I wouldn't trust him with your mother around as she allowed him to abuse you so there's nothing to say that she will protect her grandchildren.
Thanks Sheshelob. I appreciate your comment. I will definitely call him on this shit next time. The 'tits' comment has really pissed me off, oddly, like I give a shit what he thinks of my body.
The slobber business happened when I was a teenager. I don't remember anything out of order happening when I was younger. I could do with talking to someone who knows what they're talking about about this as my feeling is he poses no threat at all to a child. But I could be wrong.
It was abuse. Just because it was your dad not a random stranger doesn't mean it wasn't abuse. And your mother was complicit in it for reasons unknown. Would you think this was just "a bit weird" behaviour if your daughter said a friend's dad had done it to her? Or a teacher?
Keep your future children away from him.
OP, you ask 'to what extent is it normal for fathers to flirt with their daughters' - it is never ever normal. He abused you and continues to be extremely inappropriate. Please stay away from him and - crucially - do not let him anywhere near your children. I am so sorry he has done this to you.
In no way normal to have dad "flirting", urgh. It's not an overreaction. How would you feel in the future if your son came to you saying grandad had behaved like that to him? Awful I would guess.
Have you discussed any of this with your DH? As this involves his children too he has a right to know.
Ugh. Paedo - just cos your mum did nothing, doesn't mean yr DF's behaviour was OK.
Lucky escape - but watch him round the children. I mean, really watch him & don't leave them in the same room alone.
Don't leave DS with him either. Just don't.
What you've described is abnormal, unacceptable, and sexually abusive behaviour on the part of your father both historically and in the present day.
I'm another who, regardless of gender, wouldn't leave a dc in his/your dm's care for any length of time and I would suggest you heed the advice given not to leave your dc with them - not even while you 'nip to the shops' or some such outing of short duration.
If you don't intend to cease visiting your dps, I would suggest you pull your f on each and every occasion he makes inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature and on those occasions he makes threatening remarks which are intended to scare your dc, or anyone else for that matter, into compliance, no matter how 'jokingly' he says them.
A baby with 'sexy legs'? It's extremely worrying that anyone could make such a remark about an infant and, no matter what excuse or reason your f may give for using such terms, disapproving of such remarks is not poliitical correctness gone mad - it's commonsense displayed by dps who have no wish for their dc to be sexualised at an early age.
With regard to the scene that greeted you on your return from the cinema - trust your instincts. Something untoward occurred, which is all the more reason why you cannot leave your precious dc in the care of their maternal dgms.
MrsPurr have you ever had counselling where you've talked about this?
No counselling. I had some useless CBT when I had postnatal depression. I paid for two session with a psychotherapist when I was deciding to get pregnant again as I was scared if getting PND again and wanted to talk it through. But it was about £50 a session and she said I needed to see her weekly for a year. I really couldn't justify the expense.
And I did mention the weirdness with my dad and she said j should speak to my sister.
when girls start to develop breasts and womanly curves some 'men' start drooling. i experienced this with a male relative who made a suggestive comment to me which resulted in a firm no which led to begging dont tell your mum. utterly pathetic. be very careful especially as your dad gets older and may have less 'control' over unhealthy urges.
It is so hard because it isn't fair. I just felt angry that everyone else seemed to have loving, careful, respectful fathers, while mine was a clusterfuck of immature narcissism.
Whether or not it is actual abuse - and only you can decide that with the help of trained professionals, preferably - that it feels wrong to you makes it wrong. So you have to draw a line under it. I found that meant seeing my dad as the pathetic, flawed, weak person that he actually is, and it meant I couldn't see him anymore.
I really hope you work this out. Really feel for you.
Very disturbing behaviour and not normal in the slightestż,
If I were you, I really would not be leaving my dc's alone with him under any circumstances!
Your post is quite chilling tbh, it really is very disturbing behaviour and it still sounds as if he is behaving in a very inappropriate manner.
I think you should have counselling. The situation you were brought up in has led you to have very serious boundary issues, where you're not aware of what's normal and what's not. That has already had consequences for you in the form of depression and low self esteem and it could have consequences for your children too.
What do you think?
Whereabouts roughly are you MrsPurr? Can you look up any rape and sexual abuse counselling services in your area? They generally have a phone number you can call to talk to someone with expertise in this area. It doesn't matter when it happened or to what extent it happened, or even if you aren't sure what happened, they will be able to help you find a way to work through what you want to do about this.
The only other sexualised thing I can think of that he did - and I appreciate this doesn't help my case that I don't see him as an abuser - is he once made go and drop a parcel off to a client in his office. I was in my school uniform after school. It was really weird. Afterwards I got the impression my dad wanted his client to think it was a stripogram, then realise it was just me. Of course I felt humiliated by this but I didn't die of it. I'm not drip feeding I promise, that really is all I've got left!
I think he has serious boundaries issues and is fucked up about sex. In the way many men of that generation were. I don't think he is an abuser. The question is whether my kids are safe. For what it's worth I truly honestly don't think anything happened at Xmas, I just think DS was having a tantrum - but my reaction to it makes me think maybe there might be problems down the line.
MrsPurr he was an abuser, definitely. It's ok that you can't see that right now, because growing up it was your normal, but please believe me when I say you need to address this, otherwise there is a serious danger something could happen to your children. Do it for your own benefit too.
FWIW if someone I knew in real life was in your situation, and I had talked to her and encouraged her to seek help but she didn't, and I knew she intended to let her children spend time unsupervised with her father I would not hesitate in reporting the situation to social services. I was abused as a child and there is no way I would take any risk of that happening to another child if I knew I might be able to do something to prevent it.
what an awful life your mother has had with such a piggish man
I would honestly talk to your little sis. You say she is going through some problems?
I'm sorry this happend to you.
reading between the lines ... not just are my kids safe ... are any kids safe around this man (school uniform or not) seriously think about it!!
Sorry but please don't leave your children alone with your parents, ever!
MrsPurr - do you agree with every post here saying your DC should not be alone with him?
Alarm bells are ringing tbh. Not normal, God if my dad had done anything like that I think my mum would have killed him
However I do remember when I was about 14 going to a friends house for a sleepover and her dad came upstaires, drunk and was acting really weirdly. Makes me feel bit sick when I think back to it.
It all sounds very wrong, trust your instincts re your kids which at the moment seem to be telling you not to leave him alone with them.
Definitely weird and inappropriate behaviour.
I'm not going to tell you to cut all contact with him because that doesn't sound realistic for you. But please don't leave your DS alone with them, ever! The fact that you came home to a screaming child, a "sheepish" mother and you felt uncomfortable about the situation speaks volumes - listen to your instincts. If my parents or PIL babysat and I came home to DS screaming I wouldn't feel at all uncomfortable about the situation
Your children will only be safe if you keep them safe - and that means very closely supervised around both your parents.
He's an inadequate fuck up.
I'm astounded by everyone involved really.
Who was in the pub with you when he commented on your breasts?
Why did every one of them not say 'shut up you perve!'?
It's vile and offensive from anyone, but what an utter fucking betrayal from your own Dad.
Cut contact. Your Dad is dangerous and your Mum is complicit. Your dc may be the ones he goes even further with.
If you go to your gp and explain that you want counselling for sexual abuse then perhaps there will be some available?
Please don't leave your ds alone with your parents. If i were you i'd talk to your sister too. So sorry you're having to think about this when you're expecting.
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...
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.
No it isn't normal. Not remotely.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sorry that should be 'as her relationship with'
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 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.
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?
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.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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.
You need to have a full and open conversation with your sister.
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.
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.
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 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.
Fair enough Cailin, a valid point.
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.
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?.
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.
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.
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