Amber was sexually abused by her father for 9 years. Now, he wants back in her life. Should she let him?
AMBER (NASHVILLE, TN) QUESTION:
Amber: My real dad had sexually abused me. It started when I was 3 and didn’t end ‘til I was 12.
Dawson: When did you tell your mother about this?
Amber: I told my mom a couple of months ago.
Dawson: Wow. I’m very sorry that happened to you and I’m sorry you’ve had to carry it by yourself for so long.
Amber: It gets hard, but I have to stay strong for the family.
Dawson: I don’t know about staying strong for any family, but you need to work as hard as you can and cooperate with those who are going to help you get healed.
Amber: Actually, he walked out on me completely when I turned 13 years old. He didn’t want nothing to do with me or anything.
Dawson: But when your parents split up, obviously your mother didn’t know about all of this. Is he going to jail?
Amber: No, sir.
Dawson: Why not?
Amber: I’m actually in the process of trying to get him into jail, but we live in a city where he has the law, and everybody wrapped around his finger. They’ll do anything he says. He gets away with everything.
Dawson: So, how can I help you?
Amber: I just want to know what should I do? Because here recently he’s been calling and wanting to be in my life, and wants to be a dad to me, but I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t know if I should let him in or keep him blocked out like I have been.
Dawson: Do you want him back in?
Amber: A little bit, a part of me does.
Dawson: How much counseling and therapy have you had?
Amber: I’ve been in counseling since I was 9 years old.
Dawson: Okay, but over this situation?
Amber: For at least 3 months.
Dawson: What did your therapist tell you?
Amber: I need to do what my heart says to do but make sure I’m careful. Keep an eye out. Don’t stay the night with him or anything like that. Don’t ever be to where I’m alone with him. Always have people around and be in public places.
DAWSON MCALLISTER'S ANSWER:
Dawson: Far be it for me to contradict your therapist, but my sense of it is you are not ready yet. He still has such power over you. There’s so much open wound emotionally, you’re just not ready. It’s not even close to a level playing field. So, I would say to him, “I want to see that you’re working on your life. And secondly, I’m still not ready for you. I have a lot of work to get over the violations you did to me all these years.”
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