I sat down on my bed and there was a big crash. My daughter looked under the bed and the boards had fallen off the cement blocks. The center of the bed sags so my husband put three cement blocks under the center and two boards and that lifted the center of the bed up perfectly. As I write this I wonder if now that they fell if I will somehow plummet to the floor in the middle of the night! Because I have anxiety issues and sometimes those are SO illogical. The probability of the bed now completely breaking under my weight is I am guessing pretty low. But that won’t stop my brain from going there. Anxiety issues are a real bitch.
When I saw the picture that my daughter took, the one above, I remembered something. That anxiety feeling reminded me of something. When we first moved in we invited my dad over. We had this house built and we were very excited to show everyone. We picked out the floors and cabinets, wall color, fixtures, faucets, everything. Do you know what my dad said when he came in? “Wow you guys must be wild if you need extra support under that bed.” Cue and deflate excitement. Of all the things he could have said, that is what came out of his mouth. I didn’t even know you could see the cement blocks under the bed from the doorway, but he did.
There are certain things a father should not ever say to his daughter. 1. He should not comment on her body. Ex. ” Your hips look bigger….your breasts look larger….you look really nice and thin….you’ve gained some weight…those jeans make your butt look big.” 2. He should not comment on her sexual relationship with her husband. Ex. “Wow you guys must be wild if you need extra support under that bed…..can you even have sex if you have a muscle disease…You know husbands have needs…Have you had your first kiss yet…my daughter is a woman now… What do you think the best sexual position is.”
Two is all I could come up with. They seemed the most important things to NOT say to your daughter. Sadly, these comments have been mentioned by one or more of my family members at one time or another. So I guess I should have rather said, “Things that no one has any business asking or commenting on.” Three members of my family have said all of these comments. Unacceptable. Instead of my family choosing to speak about sexually and bodily inappropriate things, they SHOULD have been talking to me about more…Ugh I cannot even go there. The two do not compare. I cannot speak of the things they did say in the same paragraph of the things that they did not but should have.
I cannot go back and change what was said. I can just create boundaries of what is unacceptable to me now and have a plan for what I will say and do if that happens. These people are no longer in my life but there are always others who will slip in a comment where one has no place making one. I can also, and have also raised my daughter completely and totally differently. IF she asks how a pair of jeans look on her, I will ask how they feel on her and how she feels in them. IF she asks me if she has gained or lost weight I will ask her how she feels about her weight. IF she asks me if her hair is too long I will ask her if she would feel better if it were shorter. IF she chooses to tell me about her first kiss I will smile and express my joy at her joy. IF she has questions for me about sexuality I will answer to the best of my knowledge in an age appropriate way. She knows I write a blog about my journey during and past abuse. She doesn’t know the details. She doesn’t need to. She does know about instinct and listening to it. She does know about manipulators and predators. She has been raised to love herself and honor herself and demand respect from others. She has been given many examples of inappropriate comments and we have discussed at length strategies of things to do after they are made.
I have worked hard to overcome my body image and I knew when she was born that I would raise her in a way that focused more on values and integrity than the size of her nose or her feet.
It is unfortunate my family did not have the same discussion when I was born. We have not made that mistake with our daughter. I hope other parents don’t either. NO daughter should have a list of sexual comments their family has made. It is not ok and it never will be. IF you are excusing this behavior or permitting it, stop now. It is detrimental to the health of your loved one. We are bombarded with enough sexuality on TV and in social life and social media. We don’t need it from the people who supposedly are there to protect and cherish us. It is confusing and abusive. All it took for me to remember those comments is my bedframe coming apart. My beach OM has been temporily disrupted with unpleasant memories. Here I am repairing one damaged memory at a time. I will keep repairing.