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Abused Daughter

My adult abused daughter refuses to have anything to do with me.

(this is raw unedited text, computer transcribed directly from the audio, without voice inflection, pauses etc. Sometimes this results in the text implying the opposite of the intended meaning.)

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Johnny, you're having problems with your daughter?

Yes, I am. My daughter is 38 years old. And she said that she would never speak to me again in her whole life. And it has to do with child abuse. And I said something that I shouldn't have said.

Yeah, but what did you say?

Well, um, first of all, she was abused as a child at a very young age. And I don't know the details because she can't talk about it. She was

Abused by whom?

Her father,

Oh, her father.

And we were married at the time.

An we were married and he was abusing me. And I wasn't he was trying to but I wouldn't let him. So he turned on our daughter who was only probably the best guesses two or three years old. You stick in the shower with their

Sexual abuse, or physical?

Sexual. Yeah. And then it came out when her stepbrother started caressing her. And we didn't know about that until they were in their 30s. And my husband is

You remained married to this man?

No, no, no, the police picked him up and put him in an asylum. And it was just really bad because he tried to kill me three times. Oh, my God, speed up the chill the sun. I had a daughter and a son. Yeah. And I don't know if he sexually abused him but the daughter. She's just not right. The son seems a lot. He says I love you mom and stuff like that. And we watched the child. But this is growing worse and worse and worse. And now she says she'll never speak to me, it's been about two months. Because I said why didn't you stop your stepson or my stepson? Why didn't you stop him from touching you? Because, you know, when I grew up, I was like, Yeah, go ahead. When I grew up, definitely did that I didn't know all the I still don't know all the abuse. So I don't know how to treat her because she just flies off. And she's got a real angry kind of personality.

Okay, so she's the anger is the emotion that we feel when things are not fair, intense anger means things are intensely not fair. And if she's had to live with this, from her very earliest years, the her introduction to life was not a nurturing father, but a sexually abusive father. I mean, that is monstrous. That's one of the ways you can actually destroy a person is to just give them a wrong view of the world, a wrong view of people a wrong view of themselves. And it's not that you can't overcome this, but it does take a lot of therapy, and a lot of self nurturing. I mean, that's what I would encourage her to do is to learn how to value herself again. Now, when she reflects back over her past, it doesn't mean that she will have all the puzzle pieces accurate. And even if she did have them accurate, it may be a heck of an ugly picture. It sounds like it was awful. I'm hoping he Why did they put them in an asylum as he should have been in a prison?

Yeah, he really should have and now he's kind of mental. I mean, he was mantled. But now he doesn't know who he is. And

Okay, well, I hope he's out of away from every child and every adult that ever existed. He's in a different state. Okay, so she's safe from him. But here's what I think. Probably happened. And you probably already know this, but what she is needing from you is what? . . .

Hey, I gotta interrupt this because we've got to pay some bills. 30 seconds. That's it. A very quick break and then Ellen will be back.

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What she is needing from you is what?

I think I just figured it out. She needs acceptance. And she just needs me just not to say anything negative.

She needs you as a phenomenal listener. She needs you to be able to hear her anger towards you without justifying yourself. She needs you to be able to just sit and listen. It doesn't mean that you necessarily agree with her Joanie, but when the data first comes out, she just need you to be there. And when you said what you said, what happened in that moment? Why didn't you stop your stepbrother from doing that? hadn't she? It's called blaming the victim. And hopefully she doesn't want to remain a victim for life. She wants to be a survivor. And I would want encourage her to flourish, and especially with such horrific abuse, she may not know how to deal with you. And she may just throw up her arms and frustration and just feel like I can't try anymore. It's too painful.

Yeah, I'm really opposite. It's like, I'm, I'm like, she calls me Disneyland. She says, I'm always in Disneyland.

Then I would let her talk about that, honey, you know, you've said, I'm always in Disneyland. And I've made mistakes in the past by saying, why didn't you do X, Y, or Z. And I wish I could take those words back. Because it sounds like you have been, I know you've been through hell, honey. If you I know you're not ready to talk to me. And you may never be ready, I wouldn't put pressure on her to talk. If you feel like at some point, you want to talk with me, I am going to do my darndest to just sit and hear what you went through without putting in my two cents. And we can even do it in a therapists office. If you feel that that would be safe for you. And I'm open to several, many possibilities, you may come up with some idea for yourself, I want to tell you that my heart goes out to you. And I only wish I could go back and redo my past. Because I would have protected you with everything that I do with my whole heart, honey. If you read beautiful, yeah, what are you hearing in that?

That seems like it's helpful. It's so different than me because I accept her as an adult, 38 year old adult with four children and, and, you know, my response is that she's supposed to be normal, because I gave her a Disneyland childhood. But along with the Disneyland childhood was this gross mess that I didn't know about?

Yeah. And if you just say to her that I was in the dark. For that part, I want to hear all about your anger towards the Disneyland. And I don't want to fake anything anymore. I'm ready to hear what you're ready to say. And whenever you're ready to say it, if you're ever ready to say it, notice I'm always respecting her mind, I'm never putting the pressure on her that she has just opened up to me. I'm giving her a wonderful invitation for the future, if ever she wants to. So I hope that I hope that helps. It helps tremendously. Okay, and you can visit my website. I don't think I have specific information on abuse. I've worked with many abuse children, though. And I think what they so need is just the parent to be an active listener and the fact that she's angry with you is actually a good sign. If she's indifferent. It means she's totally given up. But angry means she still values us so there still could be a wonderful bridge there for the future.

And we're moving around the corner from her. Okay.

So I hope that helps. Thank you so much for the call. Joanie.

And here's a little more from Dr. Kenner.

Doc, there's a snake in the plane!
Oh, that's just my pet snake Reggie.
I hate snakes Doc.
Come on, show a little backbone.

And you probably know what movie that's from at least if you're my age, that's from Indiana Jones and that I hate snakes. And most of us have a fear of something, some phobia or whether we're afraid of spiders. I had a friend over tonight and he goes, Oh my God, a huge spider. So I went to see this huge spider. We live in the woods, you know, of course, you're going to have huge spiders. And it was this teeny black spider. But it didn't have the she said well, it didn't have big legs, but it was dark. So she in those type of fears, fears of bugs or animals whether I used to be afraid of dogs and cats. I mean, that's an odd phobia, isn't it? They usually have a childhood onset as my I had. There were also other phobias, other fears, you might have fears of water, or heights or storms, or fears of like I would I used to have a needle phobia or I don't have that anymore. I can watch them withdrawing blood from me. Or you could have a fear of tunnels or bridges or elevators or being in tight spots. I guess an elevator would be a tight spot or a fear of flying or sometimes appear a fear of public speaking or being with other people.

For more Dr. Kenner podcasts go to And please listen to this ad . . .

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