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Wedding Woes

Say something. They can't know what they don't know.

Dear Prudence,

Years ago, right after college, I was living with some family friends while I worked an internship in a city I couldn’t afford. They were like another father and mother to me—until one night, when we all had some wine. After his wife had gone to bed, my family friend and “father figure” got weirdly sexual with me and tried to physically “comfort” me. I left the house after he tried to touch me and moved out the next day, but I never told my parents what happened. I’ve tried to ignore it for years, but it just haunts me—especially with sexual harassment in the news every day. I want my parents to stop casually mentioning this man, but I also want to protect them. I’ve been to therapy, but it didn’t give me an answer on whether I should tell them or not. I know this is a decision I have to make for myself, but I feel like I’m stuck in making it. Should I tell them?

—Should I Tell

Re: Say something. They can't know what they don't know.

  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited October 2018
    Exactly, V.  LW needs to stop 'protecting' their parents, especially to their (LW's) detriment.  

    Prudie recommends writing out a statement or talking points in their response.  I think it's a good idea.  Also, to tell their parents to let them speak for asking questions.  
  • If LW will be resentful every time s/he hears of this person then its time to speak up.   What is the goal here?  To have the parents change their minds or spare their feelings?   You need to acknowledge that this may come with a shock to their system but you can't tiptoe around it either.
  • It sounds like part of what is haunting the LW is not telling her parents.  And, because she didn't tell her parents, they talk about this guy in front of her.

    I agree she should probably say something for her own mental health.  But, sadly, she might also need to be prepared that they won't believe her/think she "misunderstood" and/or think it's NBD.  Obviously, she knows her parents and I don't.  And she didn't mention a concern like that, so I hope that is the case.  But I also hope she has at least considered the possibility, if only to dismiss it as unlikely.

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