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DF just joked about my sexual abuse

(23 Posts)
Dontknowwhattosay1 Mon 05-Jun-17 00:01:26

NC'ed as quite outing.
Just back from my Dad's. we were talking about my nephew who has a paper round (this is relevant). We talked about my paper round when I was 12. I said it was a shame my DN didnt get all his wages as his mum takes some off him. We got to keep all our paper round money.
My DF said yes, but you got extra pay from that old boy didnt you? haha.
When I was 12/13, on my paper round an old man invited me in to his house and sexually abused me. I've never got over it, even now after counselling and 30 odd years, I still have nightmares and dress dowdy.
My dad, who's always been my daddy-I'm a daddys girl, we've never fallen out, we're always in and out of each others houses. He actually said that.
I dont know how to handle this. I couldnt look at him, just changed the subject and tried to be normal.
My dad is 73 and does get confused, he;s been like that a while. docs say he's fine. But how the fuck can he say that?
I'm holding my shit together but that hurt. deep down.
Jesus, am I still the family joke?

Isadora2007 Mon 05-Jun-17 00:04:29

Oh my goodness. I can't imagine what made him say that. How has he dealt with it previously? I cannot fathom an earthly reasonable "reason" that he would think that was okay to say.
I'm so sorry.

SuckingEggs Mon 05-Jun-17 00:05:38

Heaps of sympathy - that's hideous of him to say. If he's not on the brink of some kind of brain disorder, you need to tell him how hurt you are. Even send a message if you cannot talk. You poor thing. Deep breaths and promise yourself you'll call him on it or it'll fester.

lazydog Mon 05-Jun-17 00:06:27


Even if you hadn't mentioned that your df gets confused sometimes, I was going to suggest that unusually offensive and inappropriate comments are often an early sign of Alzheimer's sad

Brokenbiscuit Mon 05-Jun-17 00:07:07

flowers OP, I'm so sorry. Of course it hurt. It sounds like it was really out of character for your dad to say something like that. I'm sure you aren't the family joke.sad

Could he be in the early stages of dementia or something similar? You said that he does often get confused.

Could you talk to him about what he said and how much he has hurt you?

AdoraBell Mon 05-Jun-17 00:07:23

I'm so sorry firstly that this was done to you, and also that your own father joked about it.

Could you tell him how hurtful it was and that it is not an acceptable way treat you?

Dontknowwhattosay1 Mon 05-Jun-17 00:27:55

I think I'm going to have to say something. Thing is, I'm scared I'll cry. A lot. My dad, bless him, cant handle crying. He's a big soft lump but isnt great with talking about feelings. He'll get upset cos I'll have to tell him how much he hurt me.
I'd have to tell him....stuff. About how the abuse has affected me. even now. I'm so much better thanks to the counselling, but I know I'm scarred for life.
He has been confused for years but never diagnosed. I've long suspected mild dementia. Its the only reason I can think of he'd say something so hurtful.

RoseOfSharyn Mon 05-Jun-17 00:36:58

OP thats is awful and I'm sending massive unmumsnetty hugs.

This is massively outing but I CBA name changing....I was sexually assaulted by my driving instructor as a teenager. The national press picked up on it and a few tabloid newspapers turned the whole thing into a huge 'joke' piece. There were scale size pictures of the implements he used to carry out the assaults, as well as 'hilarious' headlines.
I was disgusted.
There were people in my workplace laughing at the article while I was sat at the same table as them drinking coffee and trying not to shout 'the unnamed minor in that court case was me!'

That was painful enough and I didn't give a fuck about them, but for someone you love and trust deliberately making jibes...I cabt even bring myself to imagine how you're feeling.

As awful as it is to say, I really hope, for the sake of your relationship with your dad, that he does have some form of dementia so at least there is a logical explaination for his awful comment.


Dontknowwhattosay1 Mon 05-Jun-17 01:12:40

Rose I'm so sorry you had to suffer not just being assaulted but being made a joke out of for it. I live in a wee town so everyone was talking about it and in one memorable instance, asked if I enjoyed it. sad
Thing is, when it happened my dad was gutted. Understandably.

I feel....numb really. I dealt with this shit in counselling, am now happily married with DC. This has knocked me sideways. Of all the things to say.
In one sentence, he made me feel like that ashamed little girl again.
He didnt mean to, I'm sure.

AntiHop Mon 05-Jun-17 01:19:31

flowers to rose and dont

kissmethere Mon 05-Jun-17 07:07:01

Hi OP. I have the same kind of relationship with my dad and I just wanted to say I really feel for you. I'm so sorry that happened to you and I'm gutted for you. I would feel exactly the same.
Sending you hugs.

Dieu Mon 05-Jun-17 13:27:53

Sorry this has happened OP. You're understandably concerned about bringing it up with him, and your reaction emotionally. Have you thought about sending him a letter?

thestamp Mon 05-Jun-17 15:57:14

Oh op. I am so so sorry.

I am wondering if it is better to chat to a professional who understands dementia and so on before you go back and talk to your DF.

My concern is that your DF may be more affected by memory/brain problems than you (or he) realise and if you bring it up again, he might say something just as or more upsetting. I just want you to be prepared and not expect too much. It's incredibly tricky because he may just not be himself anymore.

Thinking of you. Xx

ElspethFlashman Mon 05-Jun-17 16:03:35

I think there have been more brain changes than you have realised.

I see this a lot in work, men with strokes or dementia or brain tumours, they can get really inappropriate and downright cruel. They become uninhibited but in a way that's contrary to their normal personality.

That's why it's called "personality changes". It's devastating for the family as often there's a sexual component to the way they talk and the family are bending over backwards to assure me that Dad has never been a dirty old man. "He's not like this" is what I hear over and over and I 100% believe them.

So that's why I suspect a brain scan would show significant changes.

WingsofNylon Mon 05-Jun-17 16:37:00

Hugs. Lot's of them. You will probably be feeling raw for a while. I second the idea of writing him a letter. How did everyone else react? There is still do much misunderstanding with these things. I was assaulted as a child for years (14 to 17) and once had a therapist who suggested that maybe I could view it as a complement seeing as they must have been attracted to me. Funnily enough i never went back to her. It went me into a dark place when I'd been doing so well.

rwalker Mon 05-Jun-17 17:19:59

if it's out of character i would put it down to early dementia .Appropriateness is very difficult for some to judge with dementia , if you think thats the case pleas don,t mention it to him as he will but so upset at realising what he has done . People with dementia have on idea of hurtfulness or how inappropriate the thinks they say are . If you think this is not the case and he was just been nasty then confront him

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 05-Jun-17 17:38:37

Regardless of why he said it, it is still very hurtful. Was it just you and dad talking, was there anyone else present when this conversation took place?.

Has your mother said anything to you about any changes in his behaviour?

When did he last see a doctor or was assessed at a memory clinic?. If it was more than say 3 months ago I would be encouraging him to return.

Mom2K Mon 05-Jun-17 21:44:20

I don't have any first hand experience with dementia or Alzheimer's, so I don't know if speaking with your schedule is something you should do (assuming he does have either of those conditions) but just wanted to offer a virtual hug. I can only imagine how hurtful that comment was sad

Mom2K Mon 05-Jun-17 21:44:57

If speaking with your DF* sorry, it autocorrected

shitgibbon Mon 05-Jun-17 23:06:46

You mentioned him getting confused. Often with dementia and Alzheimer disease people say things they don't really mean. It can be extremely upsetting to those close to them. If this is the kind of thing that might have happened here, remember your relationship with your dad and who he really is, because if he is suffering with a cognitive problem it's not his fault what he says, and he provably doesn't realize what he's saying all of the time and it doesn't make him any less of the dad he has always been.

Hope you are doing OK.

LizTaylorsFabulousTurban Mon 05-Jun-17 23:19:54

My mum has full blown dementia. Looking back now we can see when it must have started but we put the early signs down to her being a bit of a cow (she was saying horribly hurtful things and being very very argumentative) and just got on with life. It's so hard though because you can gently say to someone that they are having memory problems, but what do you say in the face of personality changes? We wrote to her GP in the end when it was clear she was having problems processing information and we mentioned the changes in her personality. Of course her GP never spoke to us (rightfully) because of confidentiality. She is in a care home now, 18 months later.

Unmumsnetty hugs to you OP for what you went through then and what you're going through now.

Dontknowwhattosay1 Mon 05-Jun-17 23:36:24

Thank you very much for the hugs-much needed! And for your thoughts.
It is out of character for my dad. He's a good man, I suspect he said it without thinking. He has history of saying silly things on occasion and repeats himself a lot.
Just me and my dad chatting in his garden, as we do several times a week! I;m very close to my Dad, always have been!
I've calmed down now and have decided to not bring it up unless something else is said.
I;ve long suspected early onset dementia or alzheimers but he is stubborn and proud and wont accept help. He's in and out of hospital/doctors just now with his diabetes and heart problems, so he isnt incapable and I think the doc would notice if he was really confused.
fuck, I just have to let it go dont I? I love my dad so much. Mum and he have been divorced for 20 odd years and my sisters only contact him when they want childcare, so its me and Dad. I see him 3 or 4 times a week, always have done.

I got two hours sleep last night going over what he said and trying to remember what my counsellor said!

Thank you

Seeingadistance Tue 06-Jun-17 00:27:04

I hope you're able to feel less traumatised by what your father said. I was sexually abused by a family member when I was a child, but I never told anyone at the time and my abuser is now long dead. But I can very vividly imagine how shocking your father's comments must have been to you, and how upsetting.

I just wanted to say that although your dad is regularly in and out of hospital and seeing doctors, they might not pick up on the signs of dementia. I started seeing early signs of dementia in my own dad about 3 years ago now, and he was almost constantly at the doctor for other, physical, health problems, but those people only focus on that particular problem. My mother was in denial for a long time, putting it down to side effects of meds etc, but he is now increasingly and undeniably confused. He still doesn't have a diagnosis of dementia though - Memory Clinic say "mild cognitive impairment" but it's more than that.

I think it would be worth your while encouraging your dad to see his GP for a referral to the Memory Clinic, as this does sound like dementia or Alzheimers.

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