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I Feel Uncomfortable Around My father

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This has been happening for the past 2 years. My dad has been getting really “close” with me and my other sisters but I don’t like it. He always kisses me on the lips & neck, there very soft kisses & it gets an involuntary moan out of me, it feels inappropriate he even jokingly said my lips are sweet before laughing. He always wants me to sleep next to him & whenever I do he always kisses my face every ten seconds and holds me close (like cuddles). I tell him to stop at times (& he does, once) & says he just loves me & how we never see him i know he’s a good man & he means well, but I hate it. He’s been like this since his mom died 2 years ago, which I understand his attachment has increased but I feel like its an excuse now. Whenever he does this I feel a way I really don’t want to feel & by the times I sleep next to him he has the feeling too, so I began to avoid him cause i don’t think he knows what he’s done & I can’t tell them that cause its weird. I don’t want to say he’s attracted to me (cause ewww) he’s not like that, I don’t think he understands these kinds of thing, he sees it as innocent stuff, but he’s been doing it recently. but I feel like my mom has been neglecting his “needs” cause she brushes it off whenever I tell her about his kisses. Is this normal behavior? (Keep in mind he’s almost 60, too.) (From the USA)

I Feel Uncomfortable Around My father

Answered by on -

A.

There are so many things that need to be said here. First, you list your age as 20 years old, which means that there needs to be an adult conversation around this. I’m being clear about the age in my response because it would be a very different response if you were 10 or 13 years of age. In those instances, I would encourage you to have support before you begin to deal with this. I am assuming your sisters are younger and this means that you will have to take the lead in speaking up, standing up, and getting them support to stop him.

Whatever his reasons for this the fact that it feels invasive, uncomfortable, and inappropriate is enough to demand it stops. Your father’s attachment needs are not your concern — but the emotional well-being of you and your siblings is.
The fact that your father hasn’t gotten the message and continues to be inappropriate with you is a deep cause for concern. The reality that your mother doesn’t take this seriously is just as damaging.

I wouldn’t mince words with this. I would talk to your sisters, make an appointment with a family therapist (you can check out the Find Help tab at the top of this page or check this group for qualified people) and then let your parents know that you’d like them to come. While it would be good for everyone to talk about this issue with a professional present, be clear that you are going to go whether or not your parents or siblings attend.

This strategy will do several things. Hopefully, this will wake your parents up to the fact this isn’t normal and needs to stop. Secondly, it lets your siblings know that you want to help and empower them. Finally, if you end up going alone, you’ll have the support of a knowledgable professional that can help you deal with this inappropriate situation at home.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Feel Uncomfortable Around My father

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Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2020). I Feel Uncomfortable Around My father. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 8, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/03/15/i-feel-uncomfortable-around-my-father/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Mar 2020 (Originally: 15 Mar 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 13 Mar 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.