When You Need Some Advice Don’t Ask Twice… Ask Dr. Karen!
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Dear Dr. Karen:
My daughter and I live with my parents and my six brothers. I lost my job recently and had to move back home. My problem is my youngest brother. He is 21-years old and claims to be in love with my 12-year old daughter. It has been a living hell because I have had to watch my child 24 hours a day. I don’t feel safe leaving her alone with him.
I have no support from my parents. My mother blames my 12-year old daughter and says she flirts with my brother. My dad and my other brother’s position have been to just stay out of it. They ignore the fact that a 21-year old has no business messing around with a 12-year old child.
Fortunately, a friend of mine was able to help me get a job where she works. I saved enough money and now have my own place. I thought everything was going great until I noticed a change in my daughter. She seemed sad all the time, fearful and she started having behavioral problems at school. When I asked her what was going on she always said, “nothing.” Finally, after several weeks of questioning she broke down and said that her uncle had molested her on numerous occasions.
I immediately put her in counseling to help her get through this ordeal. She is starting to accept that she was not responsible for what happened and that she did nothing wrong. I still feel guilty though for not protecting her.
I have not had any contact with my family for several months, until my mom called last week. She said my dad is seriously ill and he wants to see his grand daughter and me. I cannot be in the same house with my brother knowing what he did. It would be impossible to visit without having any contact with him. I don’t want my daughter having to deal with any memories of him. My concern is if I being fair to my dad and to the rest of the family by staying away? I feel torn between my daughter and my family
~ Family Blues
Dear Family Blues:
You will never be considered for the “mother of the year” award. You gave your own brother a pass on having sex with your daughter and you have the nerve to feel torn between her and your family? If a stranger had molested your daughter, you would not have hesitated to press charges and prosecute him to the full extent of the law.
Keeping these family members in your life suggests that what happened is acceptable. It will hurt your daughter to know that you have no problem staying in touch with the people who were participants in a crime against her. Nobody has been punished here except your daughter. Your family should have had her best interest at heart and they failed. Your brother is the cause of your daughter being molested and yet your family is still trying to negate their responsibility for this horrific assault.
You would be perfectly justified in cutting off all contact with your family members. I won’t tell you what to do, but you are in a position now to give your daughter the justice that you did not allow the courts to do. You state that your mother blames your daughter well, I blame you!
***Dr. Karen R. January is an expert in youth development as well as male-female relationships. Her new book, ¨Lessons Mama Never Taught Me,¨ profiles 10 women and the mistakes they made in parenting, love and life. It can be purchased at Amazon.com. Please send your questions to Dr. Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit her website: www.drkaykay.com FB: drkayj Twitter: @drkjanuary
***Disclaimer “The advice offered in this column is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. Dr. Karen January, the newspaper and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.” Due to the large number of letters received, there is no guarantee that your question will be published.