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My dad said he's glad I have acne scars because it keeps boys away. Now parents want me to forgive them.


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In my teens and early 20s, I had terrible cystic acne that left tons of scarring on my face. Various treatments are getting the scars better, but I'm still working on it.

I've also never dated, and I would say *not* because of my skin. My parents had no-dating rules for me during my isolated, homeschooled high school years, and no-sex prohibitions while I lived at home during college and after graduation. Basically no dating life allowed.

My parents are loving and generous (letting me stay home totally expense-free for years, for example) but I've long known they've had, at the very least, anxieties about me being involved with guys.

Anyway, I was bemoaning my acne scars in the mirror and my dad overheard. (We're all in the same hotel room on vacation.) He said, "Oh, don't worry", and then jokingly added while walking away, "It's great for keeping the guys away." It was a major slip and my mom nudged him and he apologized, but it just confirmed what I think my parents have probably thought for a long time.

So...I won't accept his apology. I didn't even make a grandstand like, "I'm not accepting", I just didn't respond when he did. It's more than just this moment, just a build up of control I've been realizing A LOT over the past year.

Now I feel like I'm ruining the family vacation. Mood is different. My mom says I should just get over it. I need advice on how to proceed from this situation.

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Hey, if he shot you such a comment/insult, darn right you have the right to be affected by that!

It's bad enough you have had NO dating experience or anything like this and you're now done college? ( I know you mentioned being able to stay at home thru college?).

I don;t agree with that kind of control.  Kids grown up!  They need to be able to experience all of this in their life time.

I feel for you, having to deal with their ways & your acne issue 😕 .

Mom can back off a bit imo and leave you be.  IF they had any understanding, is that words DO hurt.  Respect is maybe a good thing to learn too.  Will you get time soon to be on your own so you can get your own life going?

 

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This is not about you.  Your dad has issues.  Yes, some people would find acne scars unattractive, some wouldn't care.  The problem also is you chose to vent out loud in a small space where it was likely you'd be overheard.  Why did you choose to go on a vacation where you're sharing a small room with your parents given your family situation as you have described it?  Certainly no one should be rude to you but why put yourself in that situation?

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I'd tell Mom, "Forgiving Dad or not won't make the hurt go away. I'm going to need some time for that. Telling me to get over it just hurts even worse."

The point is to clarify that this is not about stubbornness or pridefulness with you. You've been hurt, and that's not within your control.

((((My heart goes out to you, honey.))))

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So do you still live with your parents or have you moved out? From your post I'm guessing you're at least in your mid 20's or older? Yes your parents did control you. In my opinion you should have been allowed to date, in particular in your early 20's when you're actually an adult. I think you need to now live independently and branch out on your own.

The comment your Dad made is rude and inappropriate. "Keeping the boys away", why? Does he want you to be single the rest of your life? Never have a partner, marry, have kids? I wouldn't put up with this either, enough is enough.

I wouldn't worry about acne scars. Many people have them. Including me. There are definitely many treatments that can improve them.

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10 hours ago, Needinghelp101 said:

My parents had no-dating rules for me during my isolated, homeschooled high school years, and no-sex prohibitions while I lived at home during college and after graduation. 

My parents are loving and generous.

Your parents are abusive. You have insight into this.  You need to educate yourself on family abuse and seek out therapy. 

Google "Stockholm syndrome" and "cognitive dissonance". Your parents were obligated to support you until 18, but it's time to leave now.

Also read some literature on growing up in an abusive cult-like environment. It's not called "brainwashing" anymore, but you need to educate yourself.

Read "Combatting Cult Mind Control" by Steven Hassan, PhD.

There are other books that can educate you with regard to successfully extricating yourself from this.

There's no point staying there and continually complaining about the vile vulgar things your father does to you while your mother looks on and condones it. For what? The use of a washing machine?

 

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Making one ill-judged, off the cuff remark doesn't render someone abusive.  Your dad's comment was thoughtless, but you said he meant it as a joke and it came out wrong.  There are lots of kids who grow up with parents who won't allow them to date, especially people from certain religions or cultures.  It often means that kids find a way to date behind their parents' backs (I speak from experience).

If you choose not to accept your dad's apology and feel that your parents are exerting too much control over you then, as an adult, you should choose to leave home.  It will mean having to live in the real world by paying your own expenses, but you will also be making your own decisions.

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On 7/19/2022 at 10:55 PM, Needinghelp101 said:

So there was also a general teaching of, "Don't waste your life chasing d*ck. 

Read the previous thread about her father's frequent vulgar remarks and overall abusive household.

50 minutes ago, poorlittlefish said:

Making one ill-judged, off the cuff remark doesn't render someone abusive.  

 

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Also I wanted to add - explore how you feel about your scars- do you want cosmetic surgery or do you feel OK with them? You -not what dad says or social media or your dermatologist.  I have a scar and now age spots.  The scar is a long c-section scar.  I'm aware of women who get that taken care of, for "bikini" season.  Honestly never occurred to me- I'm not a fan, personally, of elective surgery. 

And the age spots -not a fan of them and also not willing to spend the time taking care of them.  But I do like getting my gray hair colored and highlighted for the last 20 years.  

But it's a good opportunity for you to quietly ask yourself whether you care and if so what you're willing to do about the scars.  Get in touch with what you want and you will find that easier once you move out (I did).

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I don't think you're wrong to feel the way you do. The problem is people can't turn back time and change what they did or said. 

Could you try telling them listen- I understand you're sorry and while I appreciate that,  I need this (what can they do?) in order to move forward. 

Maybe it's a promise (followed by action) to be more respectful of you. 

As for the dating life rules and etc, that was wrong and controlling behavior and shame on them for stunting your growth like that. 

Have you been dating or trying to socialize more with people you're age? 

I think the hurt feelings are more than the comment. It's a deep rooted problem that they caused through their controlling behavior. 

Are you living in your own now? Have you sought therapy? Why are you so close to them that you stay in a room together? 

I love my parents dearly but I would not stay with them in one hotel room. That's too close.

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